Dover Bitch

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Textbook Right-Wing Authoritarianism

Following up on the on small part of this morning's post about Right-Wing Authoritarianism, here is Raw Story's expansion of Keith Olbermann's treatment of the anthrax hoax on Countdown.

Olbermann focused his attention on the fact that Castagana considered "thuggish" right-wing bloggers and commentators his idols.

KEITH OLBERMANN: For the record, as I understand it, the connection is that the fellow identifying himself as Costanzo posted something about science fiction, which he said was a rewrite of something he’d previously posted on a sci-fi site, which was written by and identified by Castagana. But the Ann Coulter-Laura Ingraham-Michelle Malkin connection is—how is that best described? Is that hero worship? Or crushes of some kind, or do we know what that is?

JOHN COOK: Well, I mean, if he is idolizing them, that sounds like hero worship to me. I mean, I think, you know, these, Ann Coulter and Malkin, you know, they sort of present a kind of rhetorical world view where they have their troops out there, and I think he thought of himself as one of their troops and wanted to live up to their standards.

And I mean, I don’t think we can always hold these people responsible for the actions of the least hinged of their followers, but I think it is clear that he was an acolyte of the Coulters and the Malkins, and I think that they clearly enjoy having acolytes, and they clearly sort of issue calls to action -- not necessarily to send threatening powder-filled envelopes to you in so many words, but they certainly exhort their followers to let themselves be known.

OLBERMANN: But to that point, I mean, the part—it was one thing—an acolyte is one thing; an emulation is something else. There were students at the University of California at Santa Cruz who protested military recruiters on their campus. Malkin posted their addresses and their personal information on her blog, and then when people harassed the students at their homes, Malkin did the King Henry thing about Thomas Becket, “who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?” I never told anybody to do anything. And then this is the problem, right? You can come out, you can directly encourage people to act violently. Ann Coulter has done that. Or you can do it in this sort of thinly disguised way, the way Malkin has.

DB has no doubt that there is a connection between this loser's infatuation with these horrible people, their advocacy of intimidation and his actions. No doubt whatsoever.

But to reiterate from that previous post, it is surprising that Olbermann hasn't made more of a connection between this behavior and the Right-Wing Authoritarianism that he has discussed (with John Dean and others) on his program. Looking at the actions of the extremists on the right through the lens that Dean has provided is illuminating and useful. It would be a shame to forget those lessons.

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