In Which We Visit The Daily Caller To See How Civil Discourse Is Proceeding On The Conservative Website…

zombie bar fight

Well…not too well, actually.

Here is a representative segment of the comments on a recent post, describing Fox News’s Megyn Kelly admonishing Debbie Wasserman Schultz for demeaning Gov. Nicki Haley as being chosen by the GOP to respond to the State Of the Union message purely because she’s a woman.  Kelly suggested this was major glass-house stone-throwing, perhaps because the anointed candidate Debbie wants to run for President has little positive to offer but her lady parts, and, though Megyn was too polite to say so, the same goes for Debbie, who heads  DNC despite being a an inarticulate, dishonest dolt. Debbie, of course, retorted with gibberish, deflections and lies, her sole implements of communication. Little of this seemed to concern Daily Caller readers.

For as usual on The Daily Caller, The Daily Beast, Mediaite, Politico and so many others, here’s what the comment thread turned into after only five sort-of relevant-comments…

  • Face the facts, Democrats and their supporters are traitors. Most of the Democrat leaders should be charged with treason. The only problem is that our Republican representatives are cowards. So here we are…

    • All conservatives are worthless puke suckers.

      • You DO realize how stupid you are, huh, rodent?

      • This from the party of parasites and feminized males. So I take it you’re on welfare of some kind? Gay? Tranny? Just a run-of-the-mill government dependent gay parasite. Like all liberals you crave OPM because you’re too stupid to earn money on your own.

        • I like the way right wing puss buckets like you insult people by calling them gay while you have oral sex with goats

          • Right. So you are a feminized sissy and have no real idea why you’re a communist except your teacher said it was cool. Typical democrat. Feminized by liberals. If you’re not gay or a government dependent parasite, why are you even a democrat? Do you have any idea?

          • That would be your muslim friends.

      • Coming from a coward liberal wh0re like you I consider that high praise.

  • Two cupid stunts.

And so it goes. If The Daily Caller and the other sites aren’t bothered by the fact that this appears to be the typical critical thinking, persuasion  and communication skills of its readers, they should be.

Ethics Alarms virtually never gets comments like these, and when it does, they are not published.

46 thoughts on “In Which We Visit The Daily Caller To See How Civil Discourse Is Proceeding On The Conservative Website…

  1. May all your teeth fall out but one!

    Why leave one?

    So you can have a toothache.

    (my grandfather’s favorite curse: apply on any or all of the above-mentioned commenters)

      • Grandpa was an immigrant* Austrian Jew of the late 1800s. His curses were several, freely distributed … and serious. At least for the moment. I think. That’s one of his shortest. Most of them built like a house of cards, one at a time, until …. These are still rampant today but the old ones are best. They all start off politely with the word “May” (you/he/they, etc.). They build slowly, with as many dramatic pauses as you like, such as this chestnut’s variation: “May you have a hundred houses, and in every house a hundred rooms and in every room 20 beds, and may you come down with a delirious fever that drives you from bed to bed.” Another version continues from there with bedbugs, and so on.

        *presumably a legal immigrant. The only evidence I have is that “he should grow like an onion with his head in the ground” was his complaint of an official at Ellis Island (with a “bad moustache” whatever that meant) who kept trying to change his name.

  2. This level of rhetoric is pretty typical on Breitbart and Media Matters as well. I’d call it embarrassing, except no one seems to be embarassed by it.

  3. The internet could be the greatest tool on earth to bridge cultural divides and spread knowledge, instead people use it to call each other puke suckers….I’m more and more disgusted daily with what I see out there.

  4. Jack, how do you edit comments? They seem to appear instantaneously? I don’t remember ever seeing any that disappear. Is there a man behind the curtain at all times?

    As I’ve said before, I never look at comments on any web site other than this one. They inevitably and quickly descend into nihilistic awfulness. Depressing.

    • First time commenters are held in moderation, and won’t make it until I approve the commenter. One off, non substantive abusive or obnoxious comments don’t make it. If there is a substantive or long comment that is nasty or obnoxious it will usually get an airing and a less than friendly reply and warning from me.Sometimes I e-mail a first-timer and let them know why a comment didn’t get published. There are a couple of active, valued, excellent contributors here who got of to a rough start.

      • I plead guilty to occasionally being both sarcastic and jerky. I think going forward I will desist from making short, just-to-be-heard comments, where the jerkiness quotient outweighs the value – they are too close to comments like I have seen on or Slate or even the NYT, which have included such gems as “fuck you, racist jerk,” and “you’re probably strumming your bone right now.”

        • When you get The Urge, Steve-O, write in the Reply box whatever comes naturally and highlight it. Then, take your hands off the keyboard, close your eyes, take two long deep breaths (leaving the stomach wherever it was), then look at what you wrote and consider whether it contributes to the value of the blog or yourself in the eyes of those you respect. Then press Delete or Post Comment and be ready to stand behind your choice.

          Personally, I don’t do the Delete thing often enough but then, I probably have a bigger stomach than you do.

      • Including multiple links in the text (5 appears to be the threshold) also seems to hit the moderation tripwire. I’ve run into this occasionally when I include links to previous Ethics Alarm articles and/or posts.


  5. The internet has irrevocably regressed both the subjects of discourse (Red Cups at Starbucks, whether twerking is “cultural appropriation”), as well as the level at which discourse takes place – to an infantile level. In fact if you look at some websites – Salon and Jezebel on the Left, the Daily Caller on the Right – it almost seems as if these people think it’s cool to write like a child about child-like topics. I know I sound like a curmudgeon old man (I am in my early 30s) but I am seriously concerned about the direction of our culture.

    • I’m about 10 years older, and I agree with you. Unfortunately it’s become both popular and profitable to channel your inner 14yo, and it’s become UNpopular for men to appear mature, capable, and thoughtful.

      • The list of people we have to thank for this trend is long. Bill Maher is a good current exemplar. And perhaps Rush Limbaugh, although he tends to try to keep his broadsides at least a little on the genuinely humorous side. But perhaps it can be traced back to the dubiously sainted Lenny Bruce. But it is a terrible and very worrisome trend. I’m glad to hear the younger generation is worried by it, not just us oldsters.

    • I think a moderate or conservative has to be extremely civil to the point of tip-toeing to have any chance of even being heard out these days. I can be insistent to a point but I can’t let myself be dragged into a shouting match. I’m already on thin ice because I don’t adhere to the orthodoxy. Being a heretic is still dangerous even though the Middle Ages ended a long time ago.

  6. And …… these people vote. If only we could guarantee rule by a benevolent dictator — that is the way to go. Feudalism? Return to a constitutional monarchy? Intelligence tests to vote? (No one with an IQ under 100 may participate?)

    This is all tongue in cheek of course. We’ve got the best system around, it’s just terrifying to speculate how many people are at the “puke sucker” level of critical thought and discourse.

      • And we already have the functional equivalent of an IQ test to be involved in government: If you’ve gone to Yale or Harvard you gain automatic admittance to the elites, no questions asked.

  7. Face the facts, Democrats and their supporters are traitors. Most of the Democrat leaders should be charged with treason. The only problem is that our Republican representatives are cowards. So here we are…

    William A. Levinson, an engineer and a founding father of Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, wrote about propaganda.

    Do not direct propaganda against the opposing side’s rank-and-file. They are the people whom you want to persuade to cease resistance, malinger, desert, mutiny, or even change sides.
    Sending the Japanese cartoons of themselves, mocking the German language, calling Italians by familiar but inelegant names– such communications cropped up during the [Second World] war. The senders got a lot of fun out of the message but the purpose was unintelligently considered. The actual effect was to annoy the enemy, stiffening his will to resist.” (Linebarger, p. 40. Emphasis is mine)

    • That may be what’s driving Trump’s popularity. The rank-and-file non liberals are less taken in by Alinsky style propaganda. It’s just too bad the knee-jerk reaction is to embrace their own style of propaganda as delivered by Trump.
      Alinsky got many things right one of the biggest is that people are the biggest enemies of their own freedom.

  8. Donald Trump is like that guy at the end of the bar, loud and opinionated. He has a comment on everything, and what he says makes more sense as everybody gets drunker. But his grand solutions are left in the bar because the bar has to close, everybody sloshes home and wakes up the next day and doesn’t remember what he or anyone else said the night before.

  9. It seems clear that large parts of public discourse in American society have been largely hijacked by diverse cults of non-thinking – but committed – self-righteously indulgent exhibitionists of what I call a culture of la-la-la-la-la, or “5-la culture.”

    All of us reading here are probably very familiar with this – but where it started and how it became so popular, I don’t know. Picture: a person with their mind closed on a matter (usually, presumably), intent on blocking-out the entire world, firmly pressing the palms of his hands against his ears, elbows jutting out to their respective sides, rejecting any and all external input while making “counter-noise,” namely: “LA-LA-LA-LA-LA!!”

    That little “5-la” gesture says so much with so little. It is such a convenient crutch for worshiping irrationality and anarchy, and so lazily. Ethically, it perpetrates, proliferates, and perpetuates much harm most insidiously.

    How self-soothing it apparently is for so many, to declare so simply their stand on a matter, saying in effect: “My mind is made up; it will never change; I’m all right AND I’m all correct; I neither need, nor want, nor accept any further external input from anybody; I owe no apology to anyone, ever, no matter what I say; all challenges to what I say or think are evil personal attacks, perpetrated either by morons, or control freaks, or some other kind of sociopaths (none of who deserve to live, let alone deserve any respect for anything they say).”

    Such is the underlying message in so many of the comments we see in cyberspace.

    However, I do believe it is fair to at least suspect that at least some of even the most thoroughly ethical Americans have learned and used the same 5-la response from time to time in recent times, and with nothing but the best intentions, such as desire not to be poisoned by the culture in which they are immersed. As I write here, I think of something Jesse Jackson said when he eulogized Jackie Robinson, referring to a culture of racism and hatreds of earlier times, and of a worthy aim for any person: (paraphrasing) to be immunized from catching the diseases one fights, and to have the capacity to wear glory with grace. Sometimes, it is wise to just block out the noise.

    Culturally, the U.S.A. has thus become “Ameri-la-la-la-rica.” I rate it “3-la” since in the country overall there still are vestiges of, and sancutaries for, freedoms of thought, speech, public expression, press, assembly, association and religion, and true respect for the same. But, to a terribly enormous extent, The People, especially on line in the so-called marketplace of ideas, are suffering a Stage 4 cancer of culture that rates a full 5 la’s.

    Short of a complete change-out and makeover in the character of the society’s leadership over several consecutive generations, I have no ideas on how the 5-la culture might be killed off, beyond personal exemplification of wiser counter-culture.

    The 5-la culture has poisoned me, too. I have even taken to inserting 5 la’s into the names of prominent political figures, when I have written their names in other venues, or spoken them. But I won’t elaborate, because (1) it should not require of a reader of this blog much thinking or imagination, to figure out precisely who I am likely referring to, and (2) despite how much I have soothed myself by inserting la’s into others’ names, I recognize my hypocrisy in having done so.

    So I’ll stop here, now intent on re-reading “The Closing of the American Mind” – its “reductio ad Hitlerum” warts (if that’s what they are) and all – and reading a few more recent publications (outside this blog) which critique contemporary American public discourse. My search for reasons to hope never ends.

  10. There is no hope if we can’t engage constructively with at least some of those with whom we disagree, those who come to the table with a different agenda. They can’t all be mentally deficient or corrupt.

    • Wow, talk about an article that takes what he said and turns it into something else entirely. And I love how he was supposedly meant to cry while having one brief conversation with a woman, just because she was a rape victim. I’m a two time survivor of sexual assault, and if I felt a need to use that as part of a question in a political event (note she never says if having a gun might’ve prevented her rape), I sure as hell wouldn’t expect the politician on the other end of the conversation to tear up just hearing briefly about my experiences. Why would he/she, without more context, details or a personal relationship to the assault? I certainly didn’t, reading her comment.

      But the best part may be their inability to discount the statistics which have been confirmed MANY times, so they made up new ones – you are more likely to have a child drown in the bathroom than an accidental shooting? How does that remotely address that you are more likely to have a household-accident shooting than to ever be in a position to use your gun to defend yourself from an assault? And “hide her gun from her toddler” is the answer to responsible storing and transportation of a firearm. The strawmans here are rife.

      Obama’s statement is entirely accurate. If a man grabs her from behind on the street and tries to rape her, what are the odds she will be able to use a gun in her possession – even one in a holster – to stop the assailant? If he breaks into her house in the night, and she wakes up with a hand over her mouth, what good will her gun do, unless it’s under her pillow – which is NOT safe and responsible gun storage. That’s assuming her rapist was a stranger – which is the least common type of rape. So how much help is a gun in the purse going to offer you, from a date rape situation – if the rapist lets you get to your purse, he’s risking you getting away. That is not how rapists tend to operate – either they have weapon to force you to follow their instructions, they beat you into cooperation, or they hold you down. And if they are holding you down, as Obama says, you gotta be a pretty good shot to get the gun out and use it on the rapist, who isn’t even inches away from you, without causing yourself serious bodily harm.

      Rape is not armed robbery or a mugging – it’s an up close and personal form of assault with entirely different parameters. Claiming a gun is a great tool to prevent being raped isn’t just gun-lobby pandering, it’s irrational drivel. Pepper spray or even just an rape whistle/alarm are FAR better tools for preventing rape than a gun.

      Of course she also thinks the restrictions being put in place would prevent her from owning a gun when – if she’s a law abiding, mentally stable person who can pass a background check – it won’t. Or maybe, since she mentions the desire to get a “firearm of her choosing,” it’s that she thinks she’ll prevent rape with access to an assault rifle with a 30-round clip.

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