Saturday, April 22, 2006

Blogging Bad Boys

In the Blogging business you have to take the bad with the good. For example, my last post about the Spring/Summer Apologetics series sponsored by Biola University ended with a brief mention of a new book that I liked. The very first comment on my blog had this to say.

Bill, why can't you read serious books on theology? His demographic data on atheism is wrong, since atheism is on the RISE! And while there may be a resurgence of interest in religion, it is of the brain dead fundamentalist variety, where science is held in low esteem, and where bigotry prevails.

I take that as a “bad” comment. But then there are these.

Anonymous is full of #!@%. The Godless swine are always telling us that “God is Dead.” I say Nietzche to him.

Bill, never mind Anonymous, you are doing God’s work. And Mikekoshi is right on the button.

Bill, I think you are wonderful. That Anonymous guy is just a sorehead who probably was weaned too soon. His mother has a lot to answer for.
(your Mom)

So, three “good” comments versus one “bad” comment is not so bad. But, you say that you can’t fine the good comments by Mikekoshi, Nofanofcablecos and Mom on my blog. Well, they could very well be there, if only I made them up and posted them like Michael Hiltzig does.

Those of you not familiar with the LA Times (I call you the lucky ones) might not recognize Hiltzig as the designated blogger on the Times-sponsored Golden State blog. This is what Los Angeles Assistant District Attorney Patrick Frey said about Hiltzig on his own (private) blog, Patterico's Pontifications.

Three in One: Michael Hiltzik, Mikekoshi, and Nofanofcablecos

“Mikekoshi” has commented on various blogs over the past two or three years, including L.A. Observed, Brad DeLong, at Hiltzik’s blog, and at my own blog. Mikekoshi and Hiltzik appear to get along quite well. In comments on his blog, Hiltzik has praised Mikekoshi’s arguments. For his part, Mikekoshi has lobbed rude insults at folks known to be disliked by Hiltzik.

If Mikekoshi sounds a lot like Michael Hiltzik, that’s no coincidence. Because “Mikekoshi” is, in fact, Michael Hiltzik. The weirdest thing about Mikekoshi is the way that he and Hiltzik praise each other, and back each other up — all the while pretending that they are different people.

Is that the end of the story? No . . . the plot thickens further. The blog Independent Sources reports on a comment left on their site by someone called “Nofanofcablecos.” The comment’s opening line displays Hiltzik/Mikekoshi’s usual tact:

Boy, you guys are stupid.

The topic of Nofanofcablecos’s comment ended up being the subject of Michael Hiltzik’s L.A. Times column two days later. And now, for the coup de grace: His IP address wasn’t from the L.A. Times — but guess what? It was the same as Mikekoshi’s other IP address. Nofanofcablecos is also Michael Hiltzig.

This is how the main stream media has entered the Internet world, by using the same biased, unethical means they use in the print media.

But I have strayed from the “bad” comment by Anonymous about my sources. To balance the book that I praised (The Twilight of Atheism by Alister McGrath) I chose The End of Faith by Sam Harris, a dedicated atheist.

“I hope to show,” writes Harris, “that the very ideal of religious tolerance is one of the principle forces driving us toward the abyss.” Perhaps this is what they now call a moderate position. And then there was this statement about religious tolerance: “Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them.”

Harris would have been right at home with Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot; and, perhaps, with Anonymous.

A review of both books may be found in the Fall 2005 edition of the Claremont Review of Books.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, instead of reading a thoughful book on theology, you again cherry pick a book on the opposite end of the spectrum....and bascially state that this is what atheists believe. Cherry picking....intelligence? Intelligent design? Anyways, try some stuff by an Kai Nielsen. Unfortunately, there probably won't be anything outrageous enough to galvanize the "War on Christmas" crowd.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill --
“...brain dead fundamentalist bigots” ... Count that writer as a loser in the arena of ideas, and probably hates capitalism too. Hmmm --- wasn’t atheism a basic tenet of Marxism? Could your writer possibly be a neo-Marxist?!!


10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love when wingnuts throw the whole "You're a communist!" card! I'm sorry Barry, but the cold war is over. It's funny that wingnuts also hold up capitalism as if your views on economics separates the Jesus people from everyone else. If you want to be more clever and up to date, just accuse the anyone who disagrees with you as an "islamofascist". That's more in keeping with the times. Thanks

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I would concur on the idea that capitalism equals "freedom". Just look at China, which has introduced many capitalist reforms. Would you call China a "free" society. Calling someone a communist/Marxist these days is a little out of style.

8:06 AM  
Blogger fetching jen said...

Very interesting post Bill. Wow. And weird, huh? The Michael Hiltzig episode was just too weird, as were his comments on your blog. It's disturbing and creepy to think people are using fake names (especially journalists) on blogs. ANd did you hear what the LA Times is doing about it? They's suspended his blog, not Hiltzig!

12:17 PM  

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