Monday, June 09, 2008

All the bigotry that's fit to post at John McCain's website

By Michael J.W. Stickings

AMERICAblog's John Aravosis has a fantastic (and invaluable) post up today examining some of the bigotry that can be found at McCain's website -- and it's pretty revealing.

Entering search terms like "fag," "bitch," and "Jew," he found a discussion thread on whether or not Obama is the anti-Christ (including a comment suggesting that the anti-Christ is "an apostate Jew"), comments calling Obama "a Muslim fag" and the Quran "the Muslim book of hate," a reference to the "Jewish TV and press" (this commenter would support McCain if not for the fact that McCain has the support of Lieberman, Kissinger, and the allegedly Jewish media), a claim that Obama harbours "deep resentment toward whites," and other anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli sentiment (including the charge that McCain is committing treason by "[answering] to AIPAC and Israel").

Now, to be fair, this bigotry was posted not by the McCain campaign, let alone by McCain himself, but by non-affiliated commenters at the McCain website. And we bloggers often find such bigotry in the comments sections to our posts, and I've had my fair share here. (I delete most of it, with a note that I've done so, but I've also kept some of it up, with my own comments in response, to serve as an instructive reminder of the sort of hate-speech (and hate generally) with which we must contend.)

But this is different. McCain's website isn't a blog (although it includes a blog), it's his campaign's primary online presence. And his campaign, presuming it's paying attention, could either have deleted the bigoted comments or at least responded to them (as I and other bloggers and blog-moderators do). "It's interesting to note that each comment has a 'flag as offensive' button next to it, so that readers can inform the moderator that the comments are offensive," John points out. "Either McCain's readers don't find any of this offensive, or McCain's staff was informed and didn't care."

Either way, it seems that McCain's website -- http://www.johnmccain.com/ -- is not just his campaign's primary online presence but an outlet for straight-talkin' bigotry.

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