Like Jerry Reed in The Waterboy, the hubris of The Nashville Scene knows no bounds. After a weeklong silence, the Ivory Tower comes back mad as hell and letting everybody know that “har-har – yer still fired!”:
A Web of Conflicts
by Liz Garrigan
How many bloggers actually have jobs? We donâ€™t know, except to say one fewer now than before.
Open mic is every Wednesday afternoon. Remember to tip your waitress.
Thatâ€™s because a poor blogging sap whoâ€™d made his bedâ€”only to be snugly tucked in by the Sceneâ€”lost his job at Belmont University last week. Maybe he deserved it. Maybe he didnâ€™t. But the Scene makes no apologies for exposing the juvenile, anti-Muslim Internet speech of Bill Hobbs, a â€œblog-based journalistâ€ who has worked feverishly over the last few years to be regarded seriously, and whose political blog at one time saw serious Internet traffic (Political Notes, April 13).
So much for the cooler head of The Editor who doesn’t recognize her weekly’s constant denigration of Christians, Baptists or any other protestant fringe group that doesn’t subscribe to the Utne Reader.
On to the hit piece’s original author who has heretofore been as quiet as a Mosque Mouse:
Blogged to Death
Bill Hobbs gets canned andâ€”surprise!â€”bloggers everywhere are opining
by John Spragens
Turns out, when you write about bloggers, they write back. So itâ€™s been one hell of a circle-jerk over the past week as computer jockeys around the country weighed in and inveighed upon the Bill Hobbs affair, both on the Sceneâ€™s blog and a few hundred others. The story of Hobbsâ€™ demise in the Belmont University public relations department and subsequent ascension into right-wing blogger martyrdom made headlines in Tennessee and waves in all sorts of Internet circles, including those of clubby local bloggers, conservative national ones and net-surfers with an eye toward happenings in higher education.
Certainly, the whole affair raises issues worth debating. Is an ersatz journalist with mainstream media credentials a fair target? What if heâ€™s prominent in some political circles and, by day, a paid representative of a local university? Can he be fired for his private statements? If an anti-Muslim cartoon is drawn in the blogospheric forest and few people read it, does it still offend? Can an alt-media journalist on his way to work for a centrist politician point out conservative Muslim-bashing when he sees it? And, most importantly, isnâ€™t karma a bitch?
So far, this is the biggest thought stolen from brittney’s repertoire yet. For Spragens to contend that Karma has “come around”, what exactly did Hobbs do that warranted termination? If an unrecognizable stick figure that requires a footnote at the bottom to tell you what it is becomes the new standard for offensive speech, well we all might as well just leave free speech to the people who can afford attorneys. Better yet, to the professionals.
But over the past week, the Scene has learned a few lessons, and like Hobbs, weâ€™ll paint with a broad, provocative brush here. First, bloggers want media attention until they get it. Second, many of them are far more reactive than the angry Muslims we feared would storm our offices after we took Billâ€™s challenge and published a hateful Mohammed caricature in our newspaper.
First off, The Scene never learns anything except to be more careful about promoting ads for Prostitution in it’s backpages that pay the apple martini bill. Once again invoking the real terrorists are the conservative bloggers meme.
The schadenfreude that The Scene continues to exhibit in spite of the overkill and firepower they aimed at Hobbs is indicative of Hobbs greater point before he backpedaled on publishing the cartoons.
Publishing the cartoon in the United States is not controversial. It’s like the old adage about yelling fire in a movie theater. Someone yells “fire!” on a personal web page and people don’t start trampling each other to get to the doors. Likewise, the original Danish cartoons were published two months before the burning of embassies took place and while the cartoons were used as an excuse for the riots, the true motivation was the radical Islamic fascism that sent cartoonists to their drafting desks in the first place and subsequently into hiding for fear of their lives. It would seem that the Islamofascists and The Nashville Scene have a de facto alliance when it comes to this issue. Bent on the same result and equally unapologetic.
One beheads you with a sword and the other with a barrel of ink.
So remember this the next time you speak out against the Scene on their website (or at home, in private, at the dinner table). They are perfectly willing to destroy a (semi) private citizen to suit their partisan ends. And then laugh about it while libeling you as a bigot.
They were kind enough to list some local businesses stupid enough to advertise with them that they’d like you to boycott.