Environment

Demagogue, Meet Demagogue

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorSep 2, 2010 5:00 AM

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James Lee, the demented guy who was killed after taking hostages at the Discovery channel headquarters, is turning into quite an illuminating inkblot in the blogosphere. Exhibit A is this headline from Anthony Watts:

When warmistas attack

Exhibit B would be the majority sentiment that flows from that post's comment thread, of which this one was among the first few out of the box:

Are you surprised? All of the unbalanced minds are on the Alarmist side. Now watch for the reaction of Romm and Hansen and all of the other spittle-flecked lunatics. Will they have the guts to embrace his actions?

Joe Romm, for his part, rightly criticizes the warped nature of Watts' headline (as well as the equally cringe-inducing first line from that post) and the offensive tenor of many of the commenters in that thread. On the central figure in the tragic event, Romm also correctly observes:

I don't think you can tell much about this guy from his actions and writing other than the fact that he was crazy every which way.

Then Romm, being Romm, couldn't leave well enough alone. In the next breath, he forfeits the high ground when he writes:

But you can tell a lot about the anti-science, pro-pollution blogosphere by how they react to this and whether or not they denounce Anthony Watts.

Really? Does that also apply to the (presumably pro-science, anti-pollution) liberal blogosphere, a representation of which Anthony Watts (oblivious to the odious comments from his own readers in the thread of his post), gleefully points out in the thread of this Think Progress post? This is the thing that puzzles me about Romm. He could have simply let the Watts post speak for itself. It was a gift staring him in the face. Instead, he had to overreach and demagogue it. So I guess we can tell a lot about Romm and Watts, too, based on how they treat this sorry episode.

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