December 10, 2002

A READER ON TRENT LOTT: Reader Eric Boysen writes:

You think Trent Lott is a racist and his slip-of-the-tongue just proves it. And every blogger you know agrees with you, so that just validates the proof. And since the blogosphere was first to grab the rope and find a hanging tree, it’s backslaps all around for this hi-tech lynching now, is that it??

“First the verdict, THEN the trial,” shouted the Red Queen.

What you are applauding, sir, is your assumption of Chief of the Thought Police and Head Executioner of any freedom of speech you do not agree with.

You’re too conceited, but you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

My reply was “F*ck that. I saw the video.” But this is absurd enough to answer at a bit more length. It’s not a “trial” because it’s not a “crime.” He said something in public, and he’s being criticized in public. That’s not a threat to free speech, it is free speech. What’s more, Lott has had plenty of time to respond, and has chosen not to except in the lamest and most unsatisfactory way. The result — heat from some people with weblogs — seems to me to be something short of “execution.”

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