I’m sorry to have to tell you folks at The Gawker this, but it’s over. You’ve been tagged by the guy from the cow college as Outside the Pale, and you’re not coming back from that.
It’s like this: you were fine with this post, for a given value of fine: you took precisely the line that was expected of you with the Mancow narrative. Right-wing shock-jock gets waterboarded, now thinks it’s torture, yadda yadda and the Online Left cheers while it reaches for the tis… well, I’ll be polite. If you had left it there, nothing further would have gone on. But then you made the mistake of actually deciding that the evidence that this was a publicity stunt was actually worth publicizing. So you got yelled at for it, a little; but you just kept pushing. So now you got yelled at, for real – and it doesn’t matter in the slightest that it’s by a rampaging buffoon who believes that Cheney had secret death squads. Or that you actually agree with him that waterboarding really is torture. Or anything else, at this point.
The mistake that you made was assuming that the Online Left has a sense of humor about itself. It doesn’t: it barely has a general sense of humor above the ‘snigger at the thought of our domestic enemies being brutalized’ level. And one of the things that it emphatically does not have a sense of humor about is the lack of real or perceived respect towards their favorite purveyors of their particular pornographic fetish. Olbermann gives them what they want, in big heaping helpings, and is thus the epitome of judgment and courage. So from now on – until you retract the entire story, beg forgiveness, and do enough atonement to satisfy his fans – you get to be one of us. Whether you like it, or not. On the bright side, you no longer have to pretend that you actually care about recycling, that secondhand smoke is a greater killer than Hitler, that Sarah Palin is dumber than Joe Biden, or that if you had a gun and six frothing maniacs bearing down at you that you wouldn’t toss it to Dick Cheney and hit the dirt.
It’s quite liberating, really.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.