Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Problem as I See It

Last week the Senate voted against a resolution to create a memorial to a distinguished alumnus. Almost immediately conservative talk show hosts sprang into action. Ironically, perhaps, I wasn't even going to post on this; it simply wasn't worthy of attention, but it has gotten so out of hand (WorldNetDaily, Michelle Malkin, Boortz Report, Seattle PI) that I wish to establish a few facts here. You see, the problem wasn't the debate which occurred in the Student Senate; it's what occurred after the meeting, which I intend to establish here.

1.) College Republican president Brent Ludeman sent out an e-mail to his listserv (including conservative talk show hosts and state legislators) which characterized the opposition thusly: "Opponents of the resolution contended that Colonel Boyington 'is not the type of person we should be honoring' and that 'we don't need to honor any more richwhite males' while others ecquivicated the hero's actions to murder." He paraphrased two individuals of the 130 senators and insinuated that all those voting against the resolution did so for these reasons and I can personally vouch that that is simply not the case.

2.) Local conservative talk show hosts Kirby Wilbur and John Carlson carry the show on the air, repeating the characterization of Brent's e-mail and singling out students for derision. They attacked the intelligence and motivation of certain students. Unsurprisingly, this is when the hate mail and intimidating phone calls began.

3.) The conservative blogosphere picked up the story, continuing the misrepresentation, but now adding personal e-mail addresses and phone numbers online. The hatefulness peaked here; one individual received FOUR HUNDRED such e-mails in a single day to say nothing of the phone calls.

4.) The WorldNetDaily "News" carried a "story" repeating the UWCR press release insinuations, but now quoting conservative bloggers (who were, in fact, basing their work off the original press release).

5.) Fox News is picking the story up today; I only hope this can be promptly defused.

The greatest irony of all here? The sponors of the legislation, Andrew Everett, is a friend of mine and respects those who disagree with him; he doesn't necessarily like it, but he resents the circus this has turned into. Why, then, if this is not an issue on campus, has the conservative media become so mesmerized and incensed? Why do they seek to divide through insinuation and misrepresentation?


Travis said...

I was reading some of the discussion threads on As you can imagine they were less than "thrilled" by the whole situation. What really gets me though is that as of late they're making a big deal about some of the announcements that happened at the end of the meeting like the Drag Show auditions and the Vagina Monologues. What gets me is that one guy actually typed “V*gina”.

My question therefore is this. After going to the vagina Monologues this evening, I would say I have at least received a crash course about the power of the vagina. Why are people so intimidated by the letter "a"?

Kate said...