Monday, September 7, 2009

Hate, Lies, and the ISJ

For some time now, the comments on the Idaho State Journal "blogs" have been filled with filth, hatred and outright lies.

Long before Barack Obama was elected president, the far right wingnuts that congregate on the politics page of the ISJ especially were littering the site with their vitriol. They said Obama was a Muslim, a terrorist, and sometimes both. They called him a leftist, Nazi, fascist, communist, and/or socialist, never quite grasping the differences in these ideologies. Some went so far as to call Obama a black nationalist and a member of the Black Panther Party.

If the regulars on the site were countered by outsiders, they would go into attack mode and make quick use of ad hominem argument. They can be and often are cruel to those who disagree and they have gone so far as to run off community opinion writers from the Idaho State Journal. They are like a pack of rabid dogs and they consider anything remotely progressive or liberal in thought to be fresh meat.

Like many on the far right, the wingnuts I speak of have come unhinged with the news that President Obama would be addressing American school children tomorrow. They have reacted similarly to the talking heads at Fox News who have done nothing to stem the racial hatred and campaign of misinformation in this country of late. As if they hadn't caused enough distress by spreading the steady stream of truthless talking points about health care reform, they started talking about how the President of the United States wants to brainwash our children. It's ridiculous and it needs to stop, but by damn the Idaho State Journal is going to feed it until it becomes dangerous because they, like so many other papers in this country, need the site hits or whatever it is their running of blogs brings the paper.

The motives of the Idaho State Journal aside, two recent posts on the politics "blog" have brought to light the true beliefs of at least one of the ISJ regulars--beliefs that aren't all that surprising to anyone who has read Eugene Sant's letters to the editor and his other comments on the site. The exchange:

When you hear those on the far right say that opposition to Obama has nothing to do with race, look at this exchange on the ISJ site as case in point. This exchange with Eugene Sant, easily the most extreme of the group of far right regulars who comment online and in print, is proof that there are pockets of extreme hatred toward Obama, his administration, and his supporters driven strictly by race. Unfortunately, Idaho is one of them.

Tomorrow the President of the United States is going to speak to American school kids. President Obama is going to urge them to take responsibility for their lives, their academic goals, and their long term goals. Obama, like George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton before him, will attempt to instill in our children the desire to learn and be successful. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this scenario and yet those on the far right will pull their children out of school tomorrow and continue to spout this line of complete nonsense about Obama using this speech as a way of "indoctrinating" our kids. Tomorrow the President of the United States is reaching out to kids who are impressionable while making no attempt to introduce politics or ideology into their young lives and minds.

It scares me that the young kids I know in southern Idaho are far more likely to be influenced by their own parents who may share the hatred of Eugene Sant, rather than being influenced by a guy with an inspiring life story like Obama. Unfortunately, the Idaho State Journal is harboring all that hatred and feeding all those lies by continuing to print the filth submitted to them online and in print. It's about time they start standing up for the truth. Correcting misinformation and stifling racial prejudice would go a long way toward erasing the hatred in this community, hatred toward President Obama and hatred toward minorities.

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