Tuesday, March 31, 2009
One question that has been raised is the degree to which management is culpable. As I said in my first post on this subject, bloggers aren't always responsible for the content of their comments. However, when hateful comments are deleted towards one religion and not another, that's a problem. What bothers me the most, however, is the stupidity of creating an environment given over to ranters who drive away Catholic conservtives at an otherwise mainstream conservative blog.
Jay Anderson suggests that the problem of Hot Air's comments begins with Michelle Malkin. He points to this post by Michelle criticizing "Catholic elites" for their statements on immigration policy.
Michelle Malkin has done many posts on the Pope and she seems to have an admiration for Ratzinger and JP2. I've long wondered whether she is Catholic, and I've admired her for a long time. If you look at the history of her posts, I think that her post on immigration policy is the first time she's said anything remotely critical of the Church. However, her comments on that, while aggressive, may not cross the line. In particular, I think she was reacting towards Cardinal Mahoney, and as we all know there's much criticism that can be directed at him.
Additionally, Michelle Malkin has been the subject of many hateful leftist attacks and slurs. She has been blogging for a long time and probably has built up a very thick skin towards hateful attacks in general. It's likely that she may see the anti-Catholic posts as just part of the nature of internet commenting and may think that there's little that can be done about them.
Ed Morrissey is Catholic and as I've noted, tries to police the comments at Hot Air by mistakenly engaging the bigots instead of banning them. He can't be there all the time. Allahpundit is an atheist and he has said that he enjoys "a good religious food fight in the comments" (as seen in this thread from today). Some people think that Allahpundit is setting the tone for the anti-Catholic comments. However, I think it's more likely that, like Michelle Malkin, both he and Ed Morrissey are veteran bloggers who might think that hateful comments are just part of the nature of blogging and cannot be avoided entirely. Additionally, they might think that it's too much effort to police their blog. Although I've been focused on Hot Air's comments, a cursory examination of Michelle Malkin's blog shows that the same problem exists.
However, I have no doubt that Michelle Malkin would not permit hateful posts towards her in her comments. The comments policy in her blog and on Hot Air expressly state that comments can be deleted. And as I've noted, Hot Air has banned people for posting hateful attacks towards Islam. So this is not a situation where there is a resistence to censor and that completely free speech is the policy. Commentors are guests at those blogs. This is a problem that can be solved with effective policing. Over time, the bigots become well known and they can be ejected from the blog. Michelle can hire another blogger to do the dirty work of policing her comments in her various blogs.
In the meantime, like Michelle who posts hateful emails to expose them to the world, I'll continue to provide excerpts of Hot Air's comment problem. It would be nice to be able to contribue to political discussion on a blog without having to constantly defend your religion. It would be nice to have religious discussions where people are respectful towards differences. Ultimately, the problem isn't Hot Air's management, but an anti-Catholic undercurrent that is prevelent in conservativism that needs to be execised. I'll have more on that later. And I'll have more on why it is just stupid to allow a well known conservative blog like Hot Air to be known for this.
However, one question for those who have followed this issue - should I change the label of "Hot Air Bigots" to something else? It's aggressive, but then again, that's what I'm all about.
Monday, March 30, 2009
But there was no post from a "TheoLogan" yet. Was it deleted? Maybe it was! Ed Morrissey posted comments at 1:49pm. But of course, the bigots showed up eventually (or again), knowing that they'd face no consequences for making a premiere conservative blog a place well known for its hatrid of Catholics:
Often the day-laborers leave a urine stain on a wall and the local priests show up to declare it a vision of their “Queen of Heaven” as proof AMNESTY should be granted to these criminals. What a failed people, culture, religion, and country!!!!!
RealDemocrat on March 28, 2009 at 4:14 PM
RealDemocrat is a very well known anti-Catholic bigot at Hot Air. He's usually found in threads trying to bash the Church. You'll probably see a lot more of him here, as I find other examples of him.
This post sums things up very well:
"right4life" doesn't want to hear any of it:
whatever you’re preaching, it ain’t christianity…in christianity you cannot ‘earn’ a spot in heaven…Jesus earned it for us…and He is the ONLY ONE who could..
right4life on March 28, 2009 at 7:25 PM
What is it with these so-called conservatives who, by their names are pro-life, yet feel content in attacking the Catholic church - which is the biggest pro-life organization on the planet.
Think right4life is merely disagreeing with the theology of the Church? Think again:
then tell me why a good ‘christian’ like you wants to see the jews slaughtered? hmmm?? remember Jesus was a jew.
right4life on March 28, 2009 at 7:26 PM
tigerlily tries to be nice, again:
No, not questioning Catholic doctrine, as in sincere and humble inquiry. What you call “questioning” is really a rude violation of the core beliefs of another human being.
You don’t even respect the faith enough to capitalize the word “Catholic” when you write it. (FYI, the word Catholic means “universal” and was first used to describe the Christian church about 100 years after His Resurrection.)
Also, since the time of Martin Luther, (an ex Augustinian priest), there are now some 26,000 Protestant sects. None of them agreeing with the other on many facets of the faith. Perhaps you should spend some time questioning that can of worms.
I stand by my statements. We could go on ad nauseum - as in now you come up with a statement(you don’t say who wrote it and who published it)which seems to be written in order to inflame prejudices and obscure true understanding.
It would seem that the author is implying that the Church is attempting to insult other faiths. This is America, and we still have Freedom of Speech, so the author can deceive and continue to divide and conquer, and you are free to agree. But I am free to tell you that you and your author are completely and sadly mistaken.
If you or anyone else would like to know what the Catholic Church teaches about herself and others, then I suggest you get it firsthand. Go to http://www.vatican.va There you will find
two thousand years of Catholic teaching to learn and read for yourself.
I have always avoided the anti-Catholic fighting that I have seen on this site, but today I guess it’s my time to defend my Blessed Mother and my Lord. But to answer every crack that is or will be written on this thread - no, no, no.
tigerlily on March 28, 2009 at 7:36 PM
tigerlily makes a good fight, but the bigots have come out of the woodwork now:
right4life seems to think that Catholics hate Jews for some reason. I have no idea why:
You are soooo right. The Church protects the unborn while covered up for years the rape of childern by priests. I guess you are procted while the in mother’s womb; but once you leave it: watch out for the priests!!!!!!
Chekote on March 29, 2009 at 11:34 AM
Here, blogger Ed Morrissey tries to deal with the guy when he rants about the Church and the death penalty:
Sunday, March 22, 2009
It seems as if every comment thread involving the Pope, or religion in general, turns into a Catholic bashing thread by the bigots there. Notwithstanding that Ed Morrissey is a Catholic, and Michelle Malkin might be Catholic but is at least Christian, the bigots run the show at Hot Air. A basic rule of thumb: if the post has anything to do with religion, the Pope, abortion, or sex - it will always eventually turn into a Catholic bashing thread (perhaps with a little anti-Mormonism if Mitt Romney happens to be mentioned).
So the excerpts I'm posting here really aren't out of the ordinary. It's just the stuff I could find in my free time. This sort of stuff happens so often that it's obvious they know of this problem.
They either refuse to acknowledge the problem, or do not care about the problem, or hope that it can be ignored by others who do not read the blog's comments. That is why I am going to expose all of them. If they are not shamed, then they can own these comments. If they think there's nothing wrong with a popular conservative blog hosting these vile comments, let them defend it. One day, someone bigger than me is going to take notice. And by then, I'll have hundreds of these posts in the "Hot Air Bigots" category.
Here's a run of comments by a guy named "TTheoLogan":
Thank you, Your Holiness. It’s about time.
coldwarrior on February 18, 2009 at 11:12 AM
How is he more holy than anyone else?
TTheoLogan on February 18, 2009 at 12:21 PM
Here's where he admits that he'd unapologetically attack Mormonism as well. This is the state of "conservatives" on Hot Air:
Catholics didn’t compose the Law.
baldilocks on February 18, 2009 at 12:25 PM
They claim they have a monopoly on scripture, didn’t you know that?
TTheoLogan on February 18, 2009 at 12:26 PM
You obviously have a problem with the Catholic Church. I hope you work it out somehow.
baldilocks on February 18, 2009 at 12:30 PM
I’d post the same things if they posted mormon stuff on here.
TTheoLogan on February 18, 2009 at 12:31 PM
The catholic church… the biggest religious power grab in history.
1.Hey, let’s claim we put together the bible!
2.Hey, let’s claim that peter was the first pope and he gave us the right to determine future popes!
3.Hey, let’s claim our tradition has precedence over the bible!
4.Hey, let’s claim only we can determine the will of God and this pope guy is the vicar of Christ on earth!
TTheoLogan on February 18, 2009 at 1:15 PM
Here's a snarky edit of another person's post by the resident bigot:
So I've decided to document all of this for posterity, in an attempt to embarass people enough to do something about it. These posts will run until Allahpundit finally wakes up and realizes that it is incredibly stupid for one of the most well-known conservative blogs to be known as a Catholic bashing blog, or a Mormon bashing blog. Or, hopefully Michelle Malkin will give the order to clean house. I hope she does.
Bloggers aren't always responsible for blog comments, but Hot Air had no problem banning people who attack Islam. And Allahpundit has a tendency to deliberately post inflammatory threads about the Pope or Catholicism, in a crass attempt to get readers. I guess he's earned his 30 pieces of silver. Nevertheless, even a single commentor can be ignored. But when it's hoardes of bigots on your blog, bashing Catholics day in and day out, in every thread that has anything to do with the Church or the Pope, then I think the label fits: Hot Air is a Bigoted Blog.
Some choice comments in this thread:
This one's by "RealDemocrat":
And this one seems to think he knows everything about Catholic theology:
Explain this… the RCC warned American Catholics that if they voted for Obama (or any pro-Choice candidate), they might be guilty of a mortal sin (they were warned of forfeiting their eternal life)… and if they were pro-Choice they have effectively made themselves unfit for communion…
They were guilty of cooperation with evil.
But they won’t refuse the actual Catholic politicians and judges to partake of the Eucharist.
Here's mankai again claiming that his out of context quotes aren't attacking the Church.
It matters because you must hold to what the Popes said. Period. If quoting your popes and councils makes me a “Catholic basher” or if you’re ashamed of their decrees that is something you’ll need to explain to yourself.More examples to follow.
As Ed himself noted last week… how is it bashing to quote someone verbatim?
EDIT: More here:
Some comments acknowledge the scope of the problem:
Allah has a horse in this race, and we just have to put up with it. After all, he’s the one who loves putting up those interesting and mind-expanding posts on the foibles of believers. mankei is obviously not Allah’s sockpuppet, but he is serving Allah’s purpose, just as those idiots trashing Mormons were. Allah loves a fight in which the believers are at each others’ throats, telling each other they aren’t real believers.
That said, all real Americans love the sting of battle.