Friday, August 31, 2007

The Warrantless Blogtapping Program

BLOG UNDER SURVEILLANCE: Right Wing News and Cassy Fiano ...
Issue: Their Trashtalking New Orleans

Conservative blogger John Hawkins of Right Wing News has a column over at, which he cross-references on his own blog, and his blogger sidekick, Cassy Fiano, has her own piling-on posting relative to the topic.

Well, I tried to leave an extended comment on the Townhall comment boards, but they limit comments to 2000 characters, and mine went way over. So here's what I wrote in full. It applies to Hawkins primarily, but it also certainly can be said to his acolyte, Cassy Fiano, too. Here's what I had to say:

That fraud Hawkins is so easy with the condemnations. He loves to throw them around left and right when he knows nothing about it. I'd bet Hawkins hasn't even been to New Orleans ever in his life. If he had, he might at least respect the historical value of the city to shaping this great country.

As a native New Orleanian, let me tell Hawkins a few truths about my hometown and the people who live here.

First, the people here love their homes. Generations of families are rooted here. Matriarchs and patriarchs, aunts and uncles, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and even children are buried here. Everything my family has ever had and earned and been has come from living in this great City. To tell me that I'm stupid for living here, and to get over the tremendous loss we have faced here, is callous in the extreme. And I'd even say typically conservative. How would he react if I said that his home in North Carolina is a pissant little nothing, devoid of anything meaningful in life, so why would anybody live there? I bet he'd be a little ticked. Rightly so. One does not just throw away tradition so cavalierly and easily. One would also think that a conservative would understand this.

Second thing: Hawkins smears every person in New Orleans, heroes every one, who has come back here and rebuilt a life on the ruins of destruction without getting so much as a passing glance from the Government. There are thousands upon thousands of people who are the epitome of the "picking yourself up by the bootstrap" mantra conservatives are so fond of. In fact, knowing how much of a coward Hawkins is and how quickly he folds under the mildest of intellectual and psychological challenges, I don't think Hawkins has a half-an-ounce of what it takes to weather such a calamitous experience. He'd probably wither like a prune if he and every single member of his extended family left their hometown and everything they owned one day and found out the next day that it was all gone, everything, and faced the prospect of having to start over completely with nothing except the clothes on his back and whatever he managed to save in his bank account.

Sure there are some people who are all too willing to play the eternal victim and who are living on the dole in New Orleans. But I dare say that there are plenty of such people in Hawkins' town, too. The fact is that there are exceedingly more people in New Orleans who aren't playing the eternal victim and who are managing to thrive on their individual courage, their ingenuity, and their strong sense of neighborliness and community.

Finally, I find it incredibly rich that Hawkins drools over Iraqis with purple fingers, and never has a beef about throwing US taxpayer money at them over there, and that he laments the incessant negative media coverage of the Iraq war, but that he can't even find a single thing of worth ever to write about New Orleans and its people. As I said before, there is heroism abounding in New Orleans these days. I wish Hawkins would find a little bit of that here to highlight. But it would take him a herculean effort to be human, instead of a conservative ideologue, and I'm not sure that Hawkins can do it.


Anonymous said...

Great response, Huck. I read the comments over at the Dead Pelican's link and it put me in quite a sour mood.

Personally, I long ago abandoned any attempt to inject sanity in a comment "debate". Oh, I used to be all over it, but to quote a really lame Rod Stewart song "there aint no point in talking when there's nobody listening..." And when "facts" generally are what shit you pull out of your ass to prove one's point, there really isn't much point. And it's far better for my blood pressure, anyway...

jkim said...

I am quite suprised that Hawkins is so callous in his article about New Orleans, and it is sad that people read him to get a perspective on the situation in the city. You are probably right: Hawkins must have never visited the city or read anything historical or cultural about the city to merit such an ignorant response.

For me, the situation in New Orleans baffles me (or at least baffled me when I was there). I feel like there was no way for me to get a good handle on what was going on. I went to a couple meetings held on campus about the continuing lack of power and resources in a particular section of the city, but at the same time I could bike around uptown no sweat and things looked pretty good.

Perhaps the one of the reasons that Hawkins and other people with the same opinion can make such statements believable is because it is really hard to get a macroscopic picture of how the city really is doing right now. Who knows? It does show a lack of respect for the city and its people.

Good luck with the start of the first semester!

Don_cos said...

The negative view of NO's recovery might die away if people (outside of NO) were seeing action taken in preventing a repeat of the Katrina disaster.