A Flack-of-the-Year nomination goes to Kremlin spokesgeek Dmitry S. Peskov, who said that the murder of Alexander Litvinenko – for blowing the whistle on an earlier Putin-ordered murder – “is not among the topics that interest us.”
I agree with Ed Kilgore that the pundit blah about “partisanship” – with its implicit assumption of equivalence – ignores the frequency and virulence of pure hate speech within even relatively respectable precincts on the Right. I’m not shocked when some Faux News ranter wows a Texas GOP audience by joking about murdering Californians at random. But Bill Whittle did so as a warm-up act for Ted Cruz, who is discussed seriously as a Presidential candidate, and Cruz did not object. Worse, as far as I can tell no one among the Red commentariat, or in Red Blogistan, has objected, either. (Consider this a bleg for exceptions.)
Note that Whittle’s speech was much, much nastier than anything the Rev. Mr. Wright ever said, and there’s no question that Cruz heard every word. And yet – so far – none of the GOP fans who populated the fainting couch over the Wright sermons seems to have a problem with this. Worse, I can confidently predict that if Cruz does become a Presidential candidate, the mainstream media won’t see this as a story on a par with the Wright story. Hate speech on the right is simply dog-bites man.
Footnote Yes, there’s plenty of regional bigotry among bicoastal progressives, and hearing “cracker” or “redneck” used as pejoratives makes me queasy. But I’ve never heard anyone on the Blue team express the idea, even in jest, that killing Texas, just as Texans, would be a good idea.