That was then…
“It’s 2001, and we can Fact Check your ass. And you, like many in the Hate America movement, are no longer able to dress your wretched “reporting” in fiction. We have computers. It is not difficult to Find You Out, dig?”
– Ken Layne, December 9th, 2001.
This is now:
Stacy McCain, whose video was used for the above smear job is appropriately livid. Clicking on Stacy’s video, and it’s obvious that what Bachmann is saying to her drenched summer audience is “who likes wet people?” Clicking on the video at Wonkette (no link, but you can click through Stacy’s page if you’d like to see it) results in the video being marked “private,” and a blank screen. I wonder how long it will remain up? (Answer: until the letter from Stacy’s lawyer arrived, apparently.)
Kudos to Yahoo for being able to see through this hatchet job:
Bachmann made a campaign stop at the Midwest Spirit Christian Music Festivalon Aug. 5 in West Des Moines to give a speech about her Christian faith. It was raining during her the appearance, so when Bachmann took the stage, she asked, “Who likes wet people?” referring to the still-damp masses who stuck around for her talk.
“Yeah, that’s right. Because we have the God of the winds and the rain don’t we?” she said immediately after–a key phrasing that was edited out of the shorter clip. “We serve a mighty God.”
And of course, this isn’t the first time that Layne attacked a prominent conservative woman, and in the process made a mockery of his 2001-era slogan, a frequent rallying cry for the Blogosphere in its then-nascent days. As I wrote in February of 2007, when Layne published a Photoshopped hit on Michelle Malkin, even then, the spirit of the early days of blogging was quickly receding into the distance, as this passage near the end of Howard Kurtz’s 2007 profile of Malkin illustrated:
Sometimes, though, Malkin seems to use the same howitzer against every provocation. After she started crusading against the “Girls Gone Wild” culture as a “liberal assault on decency,” the satirical site Wonkette received — and posted — a picture of Malkin’s head on the scantily-clad body of a college student, whose image had been plucked from the Web. Malkin denounced what she called the “hate-filled cowards” at Wonkette’s parent company for “repeatedly smearing and attempting to humiliate me.”After being contacted by Malkin’s lawyer, Wonkette ran a snarkily worded semi-retraction. The site’s West Coast bureau chief, Ken Layne, says he doesn’t know or care whether the picture is real and calls Malkin “incapable of getting a joke.”
“People send us dumb stuff all the time, and if it makes us laugh, we post it,” he adds.
As Ann Althouse wrote in 2006:
People blog for lots of different reasons, and blogging is still burgeoning and developing. Don’t cave into nostalgia for a Golden Age, especially one that got its golden glow from the horror that was 9/11. Things were bound to change and shake around, and some bloggers that you liked then may put you off now. But there are always a million new bloggers, and blogging is a beautifully fruitful format.
If not always a beautifully truthful format, of course. But these days, what media is?
(And as the above screen capture illustrates, it’s only gotten worse since.)
Update: Dana Loesch of Big Journalism breaks the other real news in this story: “Wonkette Is Still Online?”
Update: “No Honor Among Thieves, No Curiosity Among Journalists: Perez Hilton Re-Pirates Video, CBS News Repeats Smear,” Stacy adds tonight.
To be fair, one of those sources is an outlet known for gossip-mongering, partisan smear attacks, and running anything that gets tossed their way over the transom, the other is Perez Hilton.