Outrage misunderstood

Speaking of L'affaire Marcotte, I was a bit dismayed to see two bloggers (Julian Sanchez and Megan McArdle) whom I've both met and admire quite a bit seeming to fall for the conventional wisdom that "Bill Donohue done run them off for slagging Catholics," and that the whole 'scandal' is essentially pseudo-outrage over one piece of ill-considered ranting. And if that were the case, I'd agree with them. But as the lefty kids like to say these days, sadly, no. This isn't about Donohue in the slightest. It's about Marcotte qua Marcotte.

The problem is, as pointed out in the first post on the matter over at Hit and Run by Jeff Taylor, the initial 'outrage' per the non-leftosphere was not about the anti-religion, it was this post:

In the meantime, I’ve been sort of casually listening to CNN blaring throughout the waiting area and good fucking god is that channel pure evil. For awhile, I had to listen to how the poor dear lacrosse players at Duke are being persecuted just because they held someone down and fucked her against her will — not rape, of course, because the charges have been thrown out. Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair.

This wasn't right after the rapes occurred, this was January, 2007. A time when anyone with any shred of intellectual honesty realizes that via circumstantial and forensic evidence there is really no chance at all that the accused raped this woman. It's even doubtful whether they even did anything to her at all, just given the massive reasonable doubt the continually shifting story of the accuser has generated, let alone the airtight alibi of the main accused.

So after seeing all of the lies and cover-ups emanating from the DA’s office, the wanton obstruction of justice, the total lack of forensic corroborating evidence—she still wrote that. And pardon me to borrowing some Marcotte-ish language, but to do so given all we now know, that’s pretty fucking vile.

Even if that were the sum total, it's still pretty fucking vile, not to mention evidence of either complete cynical contempt for the truth, or batshit insanity. A sort of “she said it, I want to believe it, that settles it” creed that is immune to reality. Not the best traits for a potential employee in what amounts to public relations, and even if it were just one post I’d be hesitant as an Edwards campaign manager to bring that sort of potential loose cannon on board.

After that, Donohue’s later slam is pretty much filler. The scandal was the rape post, then the weasel reaction to getting called on it.

But as another Reasonite, Cathy Young points out, this isn’t just the sum total of what’s wrong here. The post above is just one part of a long, established, continual pattern of puerile abuse and intellectual dishonesty. If she’s not grossly misrepresenting one person’s views to the point of slander[1], she’s dismissing someone else’s views out of hand simply because they’re “not left” (and if you’re not left, you’re either evil or stupid. No evidence, reason, or really any thought process required.)

So no, it's not a matter of pseudo-outrage or just some anodyne perfidy, nor is it being excoriated for one slip-up, it's a matter of a seriously unhinged and cowardly rageaholic being tapped by a supposedly serious candidate for the Democratic nomination to be part of their ‘outreach’ and message team. Having her go is a victory for anyone claiming to be part of a "reality-based community" as well as for civility and good taste.

(Footnote below)

fn1. From Cathy Young’s Y-Files blog, an excerpt:

A sampling of Marcotte's other posts on the Duke case can be found on this page. Anyone who questions the guilt of the accused players, in her book, is a "rape apologist." In this post, she fumes:

Kathleen Parker has been writing about almost nothing else, but instead building a long case that unless the victim is 9 years old and a virgin and white and blonde and her attacker kills her and he mutiliates her body, then rape isn’t so much a crime as a feminist plot to put all men in jail so that we can, I don’t know, wear sweatpants more or something.

Here are three Kathleen Parker columns on the case, discussing the "rush to judgment" in the Duke case and the hasty presumption of guilt toward the players. In the last of these columns, Parker actually expresses concern that the alleged victim may be seen as less deserving because she's not a paragon of chastity:

A disturbing portion of the American public -- at least judging from my mail and some commentators -- doesn't believe the Duke stripper deserves our sympathy or even our suspension of judgment. She's a stripper after all. A radio interviewer put it to me just that way.
I'm sorry, but I can't go there. A woman raped is a woman raped, no matter what her ill-chosen profession.

Marcotte's crude "satire" is far worse than a caricature of Parker's views. A caricature is an exaggeration of truth. Marcotte's summary of Parker's position is an outright, slanderous lie.

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