I alluded to it and Justin dealt more directly with Froma Harrop calling tea partiers “terrorists.” Others in the “national” blogosphere have called attention to the hypocrisy of Harrop’s comments given she is the chair of the National Conference of Editorial Writers, which runs the Civility Project, whose goal is to help all of us blogging rubes get more manners or something. When called to the carpet for her tea party terrorists hyperbole, Harrop defended herself on her personal blog (didn’t know she had one…). Ed Morrissey covers it all. Harrop justified herself because, you know, she was just sooooo mad! Harrop:
Yes, I was angry, but I’m engaging in the defense of my country. I know the tea partiers say the same, but their behavior is that of a national wrecking crew. Most may be nice people who don’t know what they’re doing, but many a country has foundered on the passions of nice people.
As far as the facts are concerned, I stand my ground. Terrorism is not confined to physical attacks.
She then tries to support herself with a Wall Street Journal report on cyber-terrorism:
The Pentagon has concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war, a finding that for the first time opens the door for the U.S. to respond using traditional military force. …
“If you shut down our power grid, maybe well put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” said a military official.
Harrop then adds:
Blowing up the U.S. economy to make a point would be an even more serious attack, in my book. And that’s what the tea party saboteurs were threatening. They are what they are.
Morrissey rebuts her poor logic:
Does Harrop miss the point that the military was talking about actual sabotage, not policy changes and negotiation? The Pentagon sent a warning to other nations that an attack on our virtual infrastructure would be an act of war — explicitly and literally. The point wasn’t that rhetorical arguments are the equivalent of terrorism. For all of her syndicated reach, Harrop seems to have trouble reading for comprehension.
Earlier, in her defense, Harrop had written:
I see incivility as not letting other people speak their piece. It’s not about offering strong opinions. If someone’s opinion is fact-based, then it is permissible in civil discourse. Of course, there are matters of delicacy, and I dispensed with all sweet talk in this particular column. And I did stoop to some ad hominem remarks, I’ll admit.
So, basically, civil discourse is whatever Harrop says it is, especially if she agrees with you. Many commenters took Harrop to task for her skewed logic and hypocrisy. They were even civil in their discourse. But Harrop closed comments to the post.
Too bad for her, Morrissey preserved the comments for posterity’s sake. Just another terrorist act, I suppose.