The Meme Wars Get Ugly

A new and disturbing trend seems to be emerging in the online world. A lot of people have been shocked and frightened by the ability of the blogosphere to counteract the usual distortions of the mainstream media (MSM, for short), as CBS was smacked down over the forged documents, the U.N. gets savaged almost daily at sites like the Diplomad, and the New York Times is held up to constant ridicule. A great deal of anger has arisen against the more conservative end of the blogosphere, especially from the "Deaniacs," the Web-savvy supporters of Howard Dean who still can't get a grip on reality.

Most of this anger has been expressed verbally, in the form of posts to their own blogs, or (less politely) crude hate-mail directed towards individual bloggers. (If you're really that curious, check out Michelle Malkin's hate mail. WARNING: Extremely coarse and vulgar language.) But recently it seems that the hostilities are escalating.

First, Little Green Footballs was hit with a Denial of Service Attack. (LGF played a major role in the Dan Rather takedown, producing a flash animation comparing the supposed documents with a duplicate document made with MS Word with the default system settings.) Then, just today the site of Tim Blair, Australian purveyor of sarcasm and common sense, was hacked. At this time all posts and archives have been deleted, and Tim's password details have been corrupted, so he is shut out of the system.

I have no idea who launched these attacks, but this is clearly not the work of a bored adolescent, attacking random websites. LGF and Tim Blair were key members of the blogosphere. Whoever attacked them has fallen back on the last refuge of the failing demagogue, wanton violence against the oppposition. And make no mistake, this is indeed an act of violence as bad as arson. Tim Blair's writings, dating back years, have been vaporized. His intellectual property has been destroyed.

I don't know how we should respond, besides doing frequent backups and installing better security when possible. Certainly we cannot retaliate against major blogs on the Left; vandalism does not excuse vandalism. If we could track down the scum who did this, however...

This is a sad day for the blogosphere. The thug wing of the Left has reemerged, and is tarnishing a glorious bastion of free speech and free-market exchange of ideas.

UPDATE (2:44): Tim Blair is back online. I linked to an article citing the thoughts of Theodore Dalrymple, as he prepares to retire from treating welfare cases in Britain. Highlights:

When young people want to praise themselves, they describe themselves as "nonjudgmental." For them, the highest form of morality is amorality.

There has been an unholy alliance between those on the Left, who believe that man is endowed with rights but no duties, and libertarians on the Right, who believe that consumer choice is the answer to all social questions, an idea eagerly adopted by the Left in precisely those areas where it does not apply.

Check out Tim's site. He does good work.

UPDATE (Jan 18): Tim says that the hacking was not malicious, but the result of a software glitch of some kind with the host. That makes me feel better; on the other hand, there's still the DOS attack on LGF, which cannot have possibly been an accident.

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