So now that conservatives are in the post-vindication gloat zone, we ought to at least pause to reflect on the tragic dimension of Sparkman's death. There have been many fake hate-crimes over the years, including the Sharpton-abetted Tawana Brawley hoax, but to kill yourself in pursuit of politically-correct glory . . . well, this is truly sad.
High fives, anyone?
UPDATE: If you expected Sully to be gracious and admit he got carried away with his "Southern populist terrorism" rant. . . well, think again:
Notice Malkin's formulation: "pointed his finger" or "immediately fingered." I said the "possibility" remained real and that "we'll see." How can you finger someone when you simultaneously say we do not yet know what happened for sure?This, from a post entitled "Correcting Michelle Malkin," as if Malkin -- who was right all along about the Sparkman case -- needs corrections from Dr. Andrew Sullivan, M.D., OB-GYN. Tell you what: We'll let Sarah Palin's Uterus be the arbiter here. We're not laughing with you, Sully, we're laughing at you.
UPDATE II: One thing that made the "right-wing crazies run amok" angle credible to the national media was the setting in the rural South, and Old Reb reminds us that the MSM relied on the usual suspects:
Both the Department of Homeland Security and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) have warned of a dramatic spike in antigovernment militia activity.Lower Glennbeckistan gets a shout-out from that dangerous redneck Michael Moynihan at Reason, who quotes some of the original lefty fear-mongering:
If conservative politicians and opinion leaders keep stoking fears about the government using census data to steal from or perhaps even round up law-abiding citizens, I am concerned that mentally unstable individuals will commit further acts of violence against census-takers next year. Republicans should condemn the hatemongers and make clear that the census is not only permitted, but required under the Constitution.We'll keep this in mind, next time the lefties accuse conservatives of fomenting paranoia.
The gruesome lynching of this Census worker seems to bear a disturbing similarity to some of the worst hate crimes committed across this country. Regardless of what the motive for the killing may have been, why would a murderer(s) take such pains to so blatantly convey anger, fear, and vitriol towards a Census employee? Perhaps because some on the right have created an impression that Census employees are terrifying.
Earlier this summer, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) waged a high-profile, wildly-dishonest campaign against the Census.
Others, namely the type to kill a Census worker and string up his body as message to the government, may call it a retraining camp run by the "Feds."
This is the kind of violent event that emerges from a culture of paranoia and unsubstantiated attacks.
From this profile of the cancer survivor and volunteer, it appears suicide is unlikely. We'll find out. But at some point, unhinged hostility to the federal government, whipped up by the Becks, can become violence. That's what Pelosi was worried about.
Send the body to Glenn Beck…Is it possible that the time has come for the FCC to consider exactly what constitutes screaming fire over the publicly owned airwaves? And what if Mr. Sparkman’s murderer(s) is never found? How many other lunatics will be emboldened to make their own anti-government statement as the voices of Beck, Limbaugh and Dobbs echo in their ears?
Nobody ever intended our public airwaves to be turned over to irresponsible voices. Maybe the time has come for the FCC to worry a bit less about wardrobe malfunctions and a whole lot more about those who would use our airwaves to make a name for themselves at the expense of the public they are suppose to serve–particularly when the expense comes in the form of blood.
UPDATE III: Donald Douglas at American Power calls out some lefty fearmongers, including the genuinely demented Larisa Alexandrovna, who seems to be trying to cheat Sully out of his Batsh*t Crazy Blogger Of The Year honors.
UPDATE IV: Bob Belvedere has a roundup at Camp of the Saints, and Darleen Click at Protein Wisdom links a McClatchy story that gets it wrong:
The bizarre details of the death caused a firestorm of media coverage and widespread speculation on the Internet, including that someone angry at the federal government attacked Sparkman as he went door to door, gathering census information.That is wrong. It wasn't the "bizare details" that caused the "widespread circulation," it was an anonymous source -- an unauthorized federal law enforcement official -- who fed the "anti-government sentiment" meme to Devlin Barrett of the Associated Press D.C. bureau.
The Sept. 23 AP article (lead byline for Barrett, with Jeffrey McMurray reporting from Kentucky) was the spark that ignited the "media firestorm," and if the Associated Press doesn't name the source of that bogus leak, maybe Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell can call for a congressional investigation.
The First Amendment doesn't grant federal officials the right to lie to reporters. A good reporter never burns his sources, but a good source never burns a reporter, and this unauthorized leaker fed Barrett a lie.
UPDATE V: Drew M. at AOSHQ accurately predicted the liberal blog reaction:
They'll pretend it never happened or better yet they knew it all along and this is just a rightwing attempt to smear them. The poor dears are always correct and the victims.Dave Weigel linked me (good) but couldn't resist taking another shot at Michelle Bachmann (bad).
Clayton Cramer kept his powder dry. Reaganite Republican says the left was actually "hoping for a case of reactionary violence against a federal employee to exploit for propaganda purposes."
Exactly. Democrats wanted Bill Sparkman to be to Fox News what Matthew Shepard was to homophobia -- a symbolic victim of right-wing media to justify re-implementation of the Fairness Doctrine.
Of course, you'll never get them to admit that, but we know it's true, in the same way the Left knew that Glenn Beck and the 9/12ers were responsible for Sparkman's death.
UPDATE VI: Da Tech Guy mentions the ugliest thought about this sad story:
Mr. Sparkman was counting on the media blaming the right for his death for his scam to work. He intentionally tried to frame us for his murder!Stop the ACLU has a round-up and I'm pushing deadline for the American Spectator, so let's let a Clay County resident have the last word:
As a rule it isn't proper to speak ill of the dead, but I'm just amazed that the dead was trying to speak ill of us. What a dishonorable act!
Many people felt the speculation and coverage of the death played on Appalachian stereotypes and gave Clay County an undeserved black eye.Good luck collecting that apology, senator. Being liberal means never having to say you're sorry.
"Everybody was saying, 'It's bad, but why are they saying this without letting the investigation go forward?' " said state Sen. Robert Stivers, a Republican who lives in the county.
Many in the media owe the county an apology, Stivers said.