Hot Air Has A Problem

whore-of-babylon

I have often linked to Hot Air, a conservative web-site.  I greatly respect Ed Morrissey who posts there.  He is a solid orthodox Catholic who has a good nose for news.  It disheartens me therefore to have to point out that whenever a story involving the Catholic Church is featured there, vicious anti-Catholic bigots among the commenters always take the opportunity to lambaste the Church in the vilest terms possible.  My friend Sydney Carton has done yeoman work spotlighting this problem at his website Aggressive ConservativeHere is a typical thread at Hot Air where Catholic bashers came out to play.

If a website is to be part of a responsible debate on the issues of the day, the management of the site must take steps to ensure that bigots do not shelter within their comboxes to vent their hatred against other creeds or races.  In regard to the Catholic Church the management of Hot Air has failed to take effective steps to ban anti-Catholic haters from among the ranks of the commenters, and to send a clear message that they are not welcome.  They can do far better than this.

15 Responses to Hot Air Has A Problem

  • Jay Anderson says:

    The atheist running the site – who appears, in my estimation, to despise social conservatives – probably relishes the anti-Catholicism in the comboxes. And let’s not forget the site’s owner, who has come dangerously close to anti-Catholic bigotry herself:

    http://michellemalkin.com/2008/04/18/open-borders-and-the-catholic-elite/

    Whatever Ed Morrissey’s reasons for being associated with HotAir, his writing is clearly the only thing worthwhile about that site.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Yes, I’ve stopped reading Hot Air for three years now after encountering the Anti-Catholic bigotry on there. The owners of that website have not responded to my queries concerning this so I stopped reading them.

    We need to publicize this more and expose Hot Air’s issues with Catholicism.

  • Jose says:

    I must say that I disagree. Censoring comments is really a choice, and an unnecessary one at that (at least in most contexts). The great thing about free speech is that if someone says something wrong, you can respond. In fact, even in the example of Catholic-bashing that you linked to, people responded rather effectively. I think that the discussion that comes out of a free speech context can often seem more fruitful because you know that all objections are being aired.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    I disagree Jose. An exchange of ideas is one thing, bitter vituperation is quite another. Allowing bigots to run at large in comboxes merely produces endless threads of weary back and forth which are boring to read and shed precious little light on any subject, except to underline that the bigots really hate the target of their ire.

  • Jay Anderson says:

    A site that cannot maintain decency and decorum, and which cannot avoid falling into the trap of ad hominem attack that actually distracts from a conversation about the actual topic at issue, is NOT doing a service to anyone, and certainly isn’t promoting a “fruitful” or enlightened discussion. It becomes a free-for-all where insults are hurled and the actual topic at hand is ignored.

    I mean, really. Is it really “fruitful” for a commenter to continually bring up the priest scandal as a means of disqualifying the Church from speaking out on the moral issues of the day? Case in point:

    Given the fact that the Catholic Church has been complicit in covering up the rapes committed by its priests and complicit with the acts of Nazi Germany, (and these are only headline items) I find it highly entertaining that it tries to take moral stands and even more amusing that anyone takes it seriously.

    And this:

    When did schtupping boys and nuns get official sign off? Because I am pretty sure the Church has been complicit in that for at least the last thousand years.

    Apples and oranges maybe? Perhaps there are hairs to be split here – abortion vs. homosexual statutory rape.

    Catholics are the very last people on earth who should be sounding off on moral issues.

    “The mote in your eye” comes to mind.

    And then this:

    The Catholic Church and its adherents should clean up their house before trying to force feed their version of morality on the rest of the world. Admittedly they have had a great deal of success, especially in developing nations with under-educated populations, but its claim to any kind of moral authority is at best suspect given its disgraceful history of covering up sexual abuse and of course its collusion with the nazis and other totalitarians in the 20th century.

    Personally I don’t care if priests schtup alter boys and nuns regularly. Personally I don’t even care that they colluded with the fascists in WW2. What sticks in my craw is having these craven fools try to ram down their twisted morality down everyone’s throats.

    Enough.

    I mean, seriously. What ends of “fruitful” dialogue are served by such ad hominem nonsense? I think many of you already know my views on this subject:

    http://proecclesia.blogspot.com/2007/03/godwins-law-for-sex-scandal-revisited.html

  • Dale Price says:

    Let me stick up for Allahpundit for a moment. While I know he enjoys the free-for-alls on atheism and other “red meat” topics, I don’t think he particularly has it in for Catholics. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that between Catholics and Protestants, he prefers the former. Moreover, he has some reason to grouse against Christians in general–I’m reminded of the gloating about Hitchens getting beaten up by pro-Syria thugs in Lebanon–not the believers’ best moment on HA.

    But I agree wholeheartedly about what is permitted in the comboxes, which threatens to poison what is otherwise a worthwhile enterprise. As to provoking dialogue and good defenses of the Faith–yes, but only for a while. Who wants to read and respond to the same Chickian drivel every day? The bad drives out the good, every time, on the internet.

    If they can (rightfully) ban paranoiacs pushing conspiracy theories, then HA can ban the Catholic bashers. After a while, silence becomes assent.

  • Christopher says:

    llowing bigots to run at large in comboxes merely produces endless threads of weary back and forth which are boring to read and shed precious little light on any subject, except to underline that the bigots really hate the target of their ire.

    Sounds like another blog that I know. ;-)

  • paul zummo says:

    I agree with Dale’s assessment of Allah. The man himself is not an anti-Catholic bigot, though I do tend to avoid his posts. He’s simply not as good a blogger as Ed. He’s also just too squishy for my tastes.

    But I do think HA has to do a better job moderating their comments and removing the vilest of the anti-Catholic stuff.

  • e. says:

    “If a website is to be part of a responsible debate on the issues of the day, the management of the site must take steps to ensure that bigots do not shelter within their comboxes to vent their hatred against other creeds or races. In regard to the Catholic Church the management of Hot Air has failed to take effective steps to ban anti-Catholic haters from among the ranks of the commenters, and to send a clear message that they are not welcome. They can do far better than this.”

    Did it even occur to you gents that they might bloody well hold the same anti-Catholic sentiments that their commenters foaming at the mouth do?

    The fact that they haven’t even in the least spoke out against the anti-Catholic vermin should make that self-evident.

  • Donna V. says:

    It’s not just the anti-Catholicism that is wearying at Hot Air – any discussion of say, evolution, degenerates into a stupid, unedifying squabble. I got my fill of the place during the primaries, when the supporters of Huckabee were bashing the supporters of Romney and McCain and vice versa. It got very nasty and childish, and after a while I thought “This place is turning into the right wing version of Daily Kos. Why am I wasting my time here?”

    I liked the old Captain’s Quarters blog much more. I thought the commentators there were generally a thoughtful bunch, but I suppose I can’t blame Morrissey for wanting a more high profile (and, I hope, more lucrative) venue.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    Donna, I was a faithful reader of Captain’s Quarters also, and I only began to read Hot Air when Morrissey closed up shop and moved over there. At Hot Air I usually only read the posts by Morrissey.

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