Kathy Shaidle

Moral exhibitionism: Media Matters’ in-house flasher

Posted on January 11 2010 2:56 pm
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."
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Thomas Sowell calls it “moral exhibitionism”: that annoying leftist habit of expressing disproportionate outrage over cooked-up “controversies.”

For those who indulge in such “self-satisfied preening,” Sowell writes, “indignation is a way of life”:

Progressives are in the business of complaining and denouncing (…) Some of the most vocal critics of the way things are being done are people who have done nothing themselves, and whose only contributions to society are their complaints and moral exhibitionism.

Sounds like the staff of the George Soros Steno Pool, a.k.a. Media Matters in general, and Eric “The Excitable” Boehlert in particular.

Today he serves up another of the hysterical, typo-ridden posts that have become his trademark contribution to the “media watchdog” site. Boehlert is now scolding the “right wing” (or “RW” as he’s suddenly taken to calling it) for failing to condemn the death threats an NPR online cartoonist is getting — threats written in “all capital letters,” no less!

(That’s another tedious leftist tactic, by the way: scolding conservatives for failing to condemn something they probably hadn’t even heard about in the first place.)

Seems some touchy folks took exception to the artist’s mockery of Tea Party conservatives, and sent him some very nasty emails.

Which, in my world, we call “Tuesday.”

Every conservative writer I know gets death threats. Female writers like me also get rape threats. They’ve had their addresses and phone numbers posted on the web, along with information about when and where their children attend school. One was accused of being an incestuous child molester.

When you get death threats, you can call the police, clean your gun, send the jerk a fancy lawyer’s letter, laugh about it, or even take it as a perversely encouraging sign that you’ve struck a nerve.

Apparently, though, if you’re a leftist, your first reaction is to pretend you’re the first person it’s ever happened to, then get mad at total strangers for not being as outraged as you are.

Unless this artist has duly turned over these death threats to the authorities, then I’m not obliged to take them, or him, seriously, let alone indulge in my own form of “moral exhibitionism” by “denouncing” these threats on Twitter or something.

Boehlert loses it entirely, however, as his post sputters to (what I think he’d meant to be) a climax:

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some RW bloggers, at least privately, approve of the death threats as a way to intimidate the free press.

Uh, ok. Boehlert also muses that criticisms of liberal journalists, at sites like and, presumably, NewsReal, might lead to “physical action against journalists” if some “unhinged readers take those attacks literally.”

But using Boehlert’s own reasoning: what if “right wingers” take Media Matters’ attacks on conservative pundits literally, too, and take “physical action” against Boehlert & Co.? After all, Boehlert’s just spent hundreds of words trying to convince us that “RWs” are borderline domestic terrorists.

Is Media Matters beefing up security at its Chinatown headquarters? Has Boehlert signed up for karate?

Oh, and I take it this means we can expect a post tomorrow condemning, say, the torrent of racist and sexist messages Michelle Malkin receives on a daily basis…

Please. Boehlert, like so many progressives, doesn’t believe half of what he says. He just gets his jollies indulging in risk- and consequence-free moral exhibitionism, impotently whipping open his dirty raincoat and displaying his shortcomings.

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