Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Blogger, News-Leader Tell Tabby Tale

Springfield blogger Larry Litle has a post on his displeasure with the reaction of some unnamed people have had to the passing of Jerry Falwell. He uses a large brush to paint broad strokes:

My issue is squarely on the shoulders of those on the left that (sic) have been celebrating his death. I have been hearing about the parties that have been thrown in honor of his death. The jokes have not stopped in two weeks. I find this behavior to be morbid and disgusting.

The kicker of the situation is the hypocrisy. The left wing preachers of tolerance are leading the bandwagon. If you hate someone enough to throw a party at their death, then are you living a tolerant life? I don't think so.
[emphasis mine]

Litle presents no evidence that any such parties have actually been thrown "in honor of [Falwell's] death." Litle merely says he's been "hearing" about them. Where have these parties taken place? What evidence does Litle have that this assertion even vaguely resembles reality?

Litle further asserts "left wing preachers of tolerance are leading the bandwagon." Who are these bandwagon leaders? For that matter, are they truly "preachers of tolerance?" Or is Litle merely lumping everyone on the left together? We don't know because Litle provides no support for his assertion.

A Google search for "Jerry Falwell death party" produced 1,140,000 hits, none stating a party had been or was being thrown to celebrate Falwell's death. Some contain statements clearly indicating the authors are not saddened by Falwell's death. A few even outright indicate happiness over the death. One would need to read a great deal more from these authors to determine if they are truly "preachers of tolerance." None of them are popular progressive bloggers. Your mileage may vary.

The closest thing I could find to fit Litle's assertion is an "anti-memorial" staged by members of San Francisco's gay and lesbian community. Not much of a party.

What I did find were many conservative blogs parroting Litle's assertions. One resembles Litle's post a great deal, right down to the lack of evidence:
I did a search of blogs and so-far, 99 out of 100 are praising his death.
And which 100 blogs did this author search? He doesn't tell us. The author doesn't include a single link to support this assertion. Could it be that these bloggers are merely parroting each other?

Ya' know, I keep hearing several Freepers like to beat up women and spit on them and go all crazy. Those right wing preachers of faith are leading the bandwagon. What? You want me to back this up? Provide an example? Uh, that'd be too much work, dude. I'd rather just repeat what I've "been hearing."

Without any sort of supporting evidence, repeating what one has "been hearing" is nothing more than peddling gossip.

Even the Springfield News-Leader got in on this gossip gabfest by reprinting Litle's post in Wednesday's (May 30th) edition. We know the News-Leader editorial board believes signed blogs have "a higher standard," implying signed blogs are more credible than unsigned ones. To quote the editorial board, "the best blogs in Springfield and Missouri have names attached to them."


What sort of high standard is set by spreading gossip? By making grand assertions with no supporting evidence? It doesn't matter whether the gossip monger signs his name or not. It's still just peddling gossip.