The Blogosphere Needs To Develop A Code of Chivalry

It was several years back and I was in better shape and lifted weights almost daily. I’d pump at least some iron and then my lifting partner would pump about 80lbs more. This dude qualified as a certifiable hoss. He came in to the gym one night complaining that he’d had to break up a fist fight at his job. His face kind of looked it as well.

I was curious as to who would be stupid enough to still have a beef once my lifting buddy has interceded. It turned out to be two women fighting over one lady’s allegedly cheating boyfriend. Nothing is as brutal as a fight over trivial stakes, and nothing is so without rules or restraint as combat between members of the fairer sex.

This set-up vignette brings us to the most recent sordid tale of Blogger/Attack – Hyena Jane Hamsher. Yes, I speak of Ned Lamont’s good buddy – that Jane Hamsher. Her disdain and hatred for Senator Lieberman have led once more into familiar terrain beyond the Pale of acceptable public discourse. According to WaPo “Conservative Columnist” Kathleen Parker, she takes out her disgust over Senator Lieberman’s votes by trying to wreck Mrs. Lieberman’s career.

Hamsher claimed that because Mrs. Lieberman was a lobbyist and had worked for the pharmaceutical industry, she should be fired from her position as global ambassador for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer charity. Hamsher says that when people run for the cure, or donate to Komen, they don’t expect their money to go to someone who helps funnel funds to pharmaceutical companies that are also fighting health-care reform.

It turns out that Hamsher’s bill of particulars, like many of the amazing things we can all read out on the Internet, should be taken with a grain of salt, a slice of lime and then a shot of tequila. Parker continues with her debunking of Hamsher – journalism so easy a caveman could do it.

Hadassah Lieberman is not and has never been a lobbyist. She did work for some pharmaceutical companies — Hoffman-La Roche in New York in the 1970s before she married Lieberman, and Pfizer, also in New York, from 1982 to 1985. Later, from 1993 to 1997, she worked for Apco, a global public relations firm that represents corporations, including several drug companies.

So Jane Hamsher’s complaints are essentially guilt by association. They are akin to arguments that other lawyers who worked in the same building as the guy who defended Timothy McVeigh somehow sympathized with McVeigh’s violent actions. They are garbage, and they further demean the sometimes checkered reputation of blogging in general.

I take if for granted and can totally understand Jane Hamsher and Senator Joseph Lieberman have no chance of personal reconciliation. They are implacable political enemies. Ms. Hamsher has advocated Sen. Lieberman’s political destruction since 2006. She even had posts adorning her Blog, Firedoglake, which featured Joe Lieberman in black face. I doubt with all sincerity that the Senator wishes her blessings this Hanukah.

Politics, like rugby, is a violent contact sport. What Hamsher does to trash Joe Lieberman as a political opponent, during his active senate races, isn’t a significant concern. I personally wrote lots of unpleasant things about Barack Obama during the 2008 Presidential Race and have yet to find valid gravamen for retracting a word. Her opposition to Senator Lieberman’s career is fair play. Welcome to politics, Senator.

What makes Ms. Hamsher as degraded as “The Natural Born Killers” in the movie she produced is her total willingness to bring personal harm to Senator Lieberman’s family. This should be banned throughout the political blogosphere. We should unite across ideological lines and make people that engage in this sort of cheap and despicable behavior blogging outcasts.

In response to such untoward and vituperative attacks against a family member, we could first try basic logic. “But Ms. Hamsher, Hadassah Lieberman doesn’t vote in the US Senate, nor does she decide where Komen Foundation R&D grants get given.” In dealing with a natural-born fifth-grader, rather than the educated and accomplished woman who chose to play one on her blog, this approach could bear fruit.

So we look to more proactive means as a solution to future deliberate degeneracy of the likes Ms. Hamsher routinely pedals onto cyberspace. In the past, people have gone into barbaric dens of iniquity, such as our blogosphere in its current dissipate state, and attempted to restore decency and honor. In Medieval Europe, this was codified under the concept of Chivalry.

This need for codes of honor transcended the problems faced by the suffering multitudes of Medieval Europe. Benjamin Franklin attempted to update the code of chivalry to meet the changing needs of his day and age. Franklin’s moral code follows below.

Franklin developed and committed himself to a personal improvement program that consisted of living 13 virtues. The 13 virtues were:

“TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”

“SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”

“ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”

“RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”

“FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.”

“INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”

“SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”

“JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”

“MODERATION. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”

“CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.”

“TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”

“CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”

“HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”

By the time we all got through doing all these things, the blogs we all enjoy reading could quite possibly seem kind of dull. However, as bloggers we wouldn’t be associated with the lower caste of humanity that attempts to get a guy’s wife fired because of how her husband votes in the US Senate. So we as bloggers operate in the trade space of morality versus the so-called cutting edge.

I do however posit this. We, as a society can no longer trust our established media as either a source of information or a valid means of acculturation. They are corrupted, self-besotted and steeped in almost surreal denial of the gaping chasm that parts their reportage from anything resembling ground truth.

Yet the fact remains that Hamsher-like tendencies prevent the blogs from capably filling this vital societal function. We must police ourselves, step up to the plate and not merely count on the MSM’s enstupidated death-rattle to vouchsafe our permanence as a functional social institution.

The Code of Blogging Chivalry must arise. For those who seek to rule should always first master themselves. Either that, or we can always just shoot the other guy’s wife. It’s ultimately the blogging community’s collective decision how much class and decency the blogging world will support.

Cross-Posted At…TEH MINORITY REPORT!!!!!!!!