Sunday, February 17, 2008

An open letter to the Blogging Tories' Stephen Taylor.

Dear Stephen:

What the fuck? No, seriously, what the fuck? Because, this time, we really need to talk, and I think you know what it's about.

It's about this.

Yeah, that would be one Peter Csillag -- a member of your Blogging Tories -- seriously proposing a program of enforced sterilization.

Wow. Just ... wow.

Now I'm sure Peter meant well in that he was suggesting to sterilize only bad people, but I can't help but be reminded of another time when castration and sterilization was meant to apply only to undesirables and, as best I recall, that didn't turn out all that well.

So (and how can I put this diplomatically?) what in God's name are you thinking these days? I mean, seriously, one would think that you'd at least be trying to tread carefully, given that one of your star bloggers, Kate McMillan, thinks the Holocaust is good for a chuckle. But, Jesus Christ, Stephen, at this point, one has to wonder if you have any limits at all when it comes to membership in the BTs and what you're prepared to publish under that banner.

Really, one doesn't have to work terribly hard to fill several web pages with examples of Blogging Tory racism and misogyny (not to mention just plain scientific illiteracy), but even I'm a bit taken aback by a proposal that Adolf Hitler would be proud of. And the saddest part?

Well, it's that your Mr. Csillag pretty quickly figured out that he'd crossed some kind of line and disappeared that post down the memory hole, but there's been absolutely no reaction from you. Come on, Steve, don't you think that something that vile and loathsome from one of your own members deserves -- what -- perhaps a bit of a mea culpa? At least a tiny apology and a promise that something like that won't happen again?

But it doesn't work that way with the Blogging Tories, does it, Stephen? No, no, it doesn't. When someone finally slips up and lets loose their inner wingnut, the best we can expect is something along the lines of, "Well, I guess that didn't go over well, Delete Post, and movin' on ..."

Thank goodness for Google Cache, eh, Stephen? Because, little by little, we're collecting quite the collection of homophobic, misogynistic, white supremacist output from your little playground over there. And the most frightening aspect of all of it? It doesn't seem to phase you even a little.

I find that just a little bit disturbing, Stephen. But, then again, that's just me.


Anonymous said...

The thing is that while we laugh at the dumbassitude of teh boring tories, one has to wonder how removed they are from what "Glorious Leader" is thinking. One gets the feeling that teh boring tories are just trial ballons for what some of the inner circle think...

Red Tory said...

Far be it for me to defend Stephen Taylor and his cronies, but: a) the views expressed by people who associate themselves with that aggregator aren’t necessarily those of The Blogging Tories, let alone the Conservative Party (any more than mine are those of the Liberal Party) so it’s unfair to suggest that they are; b) it was an entirely legitimate (albeit really dumb and historically ignorant) opinion; and c) as I’ve pointed out before, do you really expect Stephen Taylor to issue an apology or disclaimer of some kind every time one of his blogging stablemates says something dumb, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, etc.? Good grief, there are only so many hours in the day, you know. Like I said over at Scott’s place a couple of weeks ago, despite whatever delusional conceit they may be operating under, the “Blogging Tories” are in no way representative of “mainstream” conservative thought, let alone the average opinion of most voters. But for a handful of exceptions, they’re a collection of cranks, extremists, partisan zealots, fanatics, and kooks. Reason, rationality and thoughtful moderation isn’t exactly their forte.

KEvron said...

"It's about this."

weird. when i click the link, the page shows for a second, then goes blank except for the header. the text cache has it, though.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Red, but I don't agree with you on this one.
The boring Tories do reflect more of the Canadian population that you may think. Every xenophobic and completely illogical argument is reflected and holds some tenet with a larger population base than you imagine.
Stephen Taylor does court the powers that be and in some ways is a sounding board to disinformation.

Unknown said...

it isn't as if Taylor couldn't kick some of the crazier racist/sexist/nazi-sympathizing and just plain dumber than a bag of rocks bloggers off the aggregator. It has happened in the past . I believe five feet of bigotry was shown the door a while back,thank in part to this blog shining a light under her rock.

Red Tory said...

CWTF — It’s conceivable that I’m fooling myself and that most people are much worse (i.e., more ignorant, prejudiced, irrational and hateful) than I like to imagine. I certainly wouldn’t rule out that possibility; after all, it’s not like I can actually prove my assertion. In this case, my sunny optimism about the essential decency and common sense of most people is largely “faith based” I’m afraid to say.

That said, I still don’t think that Taylor can be expected to police those who subscribe to his aggregator or that it’s incumbent on him in any way to expel or discipline those individuals with opinions that you or I (or any other sentient person) might deem to be reprehensible or morally depraved. And really, why should I care? It’s not like it affects me in any way at all. I can simply ignore them — and, for the most part, that’s exactly what I do. They can go howl at the moon, for all the difference it makes. If the Conservatives want to start pandering to these people… well, good luck with that. I’m quite confident they would pay for it at the ballot box.

Anonymous said...

Red, I don't think that Taylor can or would police his cohorts. While you see it as Conservatives wanted to pander to these nutbars, I think that these nutbars are a partial reflection of those that are attracted to the Connies.

The outright lies and distortions seen in these blogs echos quite often the talking points made by the government. Little steps such as the gutting of what "they' call "SOW", the turning of government website into Connie propaganda machines, the advertising thinly disguised as polls, and the overall stretching of plausibility in many dossiers. the multitude of contradictory statements on issues (take Afghanistan), Harper's ultimatums all cheapen Canadian politics. This seems to be the lowest level of discourse ever.
The reality is that the Canadian public is rather stupid when it comes to politics. A few weeks ago Harper was espousing "emotion" over "facts" - truth is there is a large population basin that follows that creed.

CC said...


I'm not suggesting that Taylor police the output of his entire membership. But, really, you can't help but notice when some of your members are using millions of dead Jews for comedic material, or seriously suggesting the enforced sterilization of certain groups.

There comes a point where, yes, you do have to take responsibility. And it seems that Stephen has set the bar awfully low (or high, depending on how you look at it) for what it takes for someone there to be finally shown the door.

I mean, "Neo Conservative" is still a member there. I think that says all that needs to be said, don't you?

KEvron said...

"I still don’t think that Taylor can be expected to police those who subscribe to his aggregator or that it’s incumbent on him in any way to expel or discipline those individuals"

taylor created the thing, and he established the tos, so he's got to bear some responsibility (culpability, anyway!). regardless, i've always felt that these posts to taylor we're just to needle him about his despicable assosciates rather than a real plea for taylor to get his house in order. personally, i'm enjoying the difficult position he' stuck with. they're yours, steven; own 'em!


Red Tory said...

What can I say? Generally speaking, that group does little to disabuse me of my exceedingly low expectations. That some are more egregiously awful than others is simply a matter of degrees. You might think that he’d at least chide them when they take the bus to Crazytown just to clearly distance himself from some of the more reprehensible opinions expressed, but that creates a bit of a double-bind in itself because if he did in some cases but not others, then he could be accused of tacit approval by omission. So, perhaps from his perspective its best to take a completely “hands off” approach. And like KEv says, it’s kind of funny that he’s managed to surround himself with so many people that are an embarrassing disgrace to the good name of “conservatism”.

Ti-Guy said...

So, perhaps from his perspective its best to take a completely “hands off” approach.

Except that's not always been the case. He kicked off one nascent blogging Tory a while ago because the blogger wasn't writing enough political posts (the incident is somewhere in My Blahg's archives). The blogger told him to go to hell, basically. But in any case, that's an exceedingly interventionist action that doesn't square at all with any "hands off" approach that we might intuit from this under-condemnation of these long-standing horrors that belong to that outfit.

In any case, the modus operandi is transparent...officially, the Conservative Party avoids having to say the things the Blogging Tories are all too willing to express, and that's part of its communication strategy. I have a hard time believing what they post on represents the sentiments of your average Conservative (I don't know any who are that stupid and hateful), but it's certainly part of the Party's communications strategy. I think the Liberals (forget the NDP, they're useless in this respect) should find a way of hanging the stink of the Blogging Tories on the Conservative Party itself, perhaps by exposing how the "dog whistles" emitted officially by the party are taken up and expressed more candidly by the Blogging Tory rank and file.