In case you missed it, Daniel Cassidy of the blog Sunlit Uplands has been busy patting himself on the back over the past couple days for having uncovered the identity of the author of a competing blog, Waldo Lydecker’s Journal.
Mr. Cassidy, it would seem, finally had had enough of Waldo calling him to task for numerous stories from spurious sources, in addition to a multitude of mindless rants against the president, including an ongoing obsession that Barack Obama may or may not have been born outside the United States.
Hence, we have this self-aggrandizing introduction: “Here at Sunlit Uplands we have been greatly encouraged by our steadily growing number of readers; by the good friends all over the world that we have made through blogging; and by our Number 1 ranking in the BlogNetNews ‘Weekly Influence Index.’ But of all the gratifying traffic stats and metrics we have looked at these past several years, the surest, most reliable indicator that we are on the right track, fighting the noble fight, and having a positive influence for good, has been the daily calumny and vitriol directed our way by South Carolina’s darkest, nastiest, most prolific, Christophobic, homosexualist, hate blog known as Waldo Lydecker’s Journal.”
Mr. Cassidy goes on to write that “Since Waldo is publishing as many as forty venomous posts per day, we believe it is time to shine some sunlight into the darkest corner of South Carolina’s blogosphere. Those who read his many angry, hateful posts deserve to know through whom all the spiteful rage flows. And now, at long last, we can reveal to you the identity of the devil’s own blogger.”
It’s not enough to identify Waldo, though. Mr. Cassidy lays out in full detail all his foe’s failings, including the fact that he’s no longer a practicing attorney, and puts the blame on the fact that Waldo is gay.
“Lindsay Taylor Thompson, posing as Waldo Lydecker, is a living witness to the death and destruction implied by the lifestyle he promotes,” Mr. Cassidy writes in his usual smarmy self-righteous style. “It is sad, perhaps tragic, that someone possessing so many gifts has used them merely for his own destruction, and for the attempted destruction of others.”
Do I agree with everything Waldo writes? No, not by a long shot. But he’s articulate, well read and calls it like he sees it. Mr. Cassidy, meanwhile, seems more interested in resurrecting the old White Citizens’ Council.
Interestingly, in Mr. Cassidy’s piece he not only acknowledges the nickname Waldo uses when he refers to the Sunlit Uplands’ author – “Savonarola” – he apparently takes pride in it.
From his post: “In (Waldo’s) ignorance, he has dubbed your editor “Savonarola,” an appellation we humbly and happily accept. Regardless of what Hollywood and pulp fiction novelists may have to say, that great religious and political reformer spoke truth to the highest earthly and religious powers, spoke of God’s love and law in the midst of moral corruption and dissolution, was martyred for defending the Truth, and is being promoted for canonization by many in the Dominican Order. ”
Being somewhat familiar with Girolamo Savonarola’s reputation, I found it curious that Mr. Cassidy would so willing embrace the anti-Renaissance monk. So I posted a message to his story that included the following background on the Italian Dominican, straight from Wikipedia:
“After Charles VIII of France invaded Florence in 1494, the ruling Medici were overthrown and Savonarola emerged as the new leader of the city, combining in himself the role of secular leader and priest. He set up a republic in Florence. Characterizing it as a ‘Christian and religious Republic,’ one of its first acts was to make sodomy, previously punishable by fine, into a capital offence. Homosexuality had previously been tolerated in the city, and many homosexuals from the elite now chose to leave Florence. His chief enemies were the Duke of Milan and Pope Alexander VI, who issued numerous restraints against him, all of which were ignored.
“In 1497, he and his followers carried out the Bonfire of the Vanities. They sent boys from door to door collecting items associated with moral laxity: mirrors, cosmetics, lewd pictures, pagan books, immoral sculptures (which he wanted to be transformed into statues of the saints and modest depictions of biblical scenes), gaming tables, chess pieces, lutes and other musical instruments, fine dresses, women’s hats, and the works of immoral and ancient poets, and burnt them all in a large pile in the Piazza della Signoria of Florence. Many fine Florentine Renaissance artworks were lost in Savonarola’s notorious bonfires — including paintings by Sandro Botticelli, which he is alleged to have thrown into the fires himself.”
I added that if Mr. Cassidy wanted to align himself with a book-burning, anti-culture zealot who favored putting homosexuals to death, so be it.
Of course, being the open-minded blogger that he is, Mr. Cassidy opted not to post my comment. However, he did take time to write the following comment on this blog:
Mr. Dietrich —
Your recent comments illuminate for me why your SCPC board members are quitting in disgust. First we learn that you have no problem with the President of the United States dictating the visitation policies for private institutions, and now we learn that “research” is based on Wikipedia entries. If you are the face of modern journalism, it is small wonder that it is dying, and that your “Nerve” blog has, at best, 1/2 the traffic that mine has and 1/5 the number of sites linking in.
A bit of explanation: Mr. Cassidy, that paragon of research, has fallen for the canard that several members of the S.C. Policy Council (my employer) have quit. Actually, to date not a single member has quit, resigned or left the board, and none have indicated any desire to do so.
The second line refers to a story posted on Sunlit Uplands last month that detailed President Obama asking the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a rule that would prevent hospitals from denying visitation privileges to gay and lesbian partners. To which I commented: “I gather from the fact that you choose to post this story that you don’t feel gays or lesbians should be allowed to visit their partners when they’ve been hospitalized. I fail to see what possible problem anyone could have with someone being allowed to offer solace to a loved one who’s in the hospital. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to what I’m overlooking?”
Cassidy replied with: “I don’t see a problem with anyone, visiting anyone in a hospital, Cotton Boll. But I do object to the President of the United States ‘ordering’ private institutions to do anything. As an employee of the South Carolina Policy Council which purports to believe in ‘FREE markets,’ I am surprised that you apparently support such statism. Perhaps that is one reason your board members are leaving in disgust.”
By that logic, a private hospital should be allowed to turn away blacks, Jews or anyone else they don’t want inside their doors. We’ve been down that road before as a nation and it wasn’t one of our prouder periods.
And then there’s the last bit of Mr. Cassidy’s blather – “… now we learn that ‘research’ is based on Wikipedia entries. If you are the face of modern journalism, it is small wonder that it is dying, and that your ‘Nerve’ blog has, at best, 1/2 the traffic that mine has and 1/5 the number of sites linking in.”
My apologies, Mr. Cassidy. I didn’t realize that crafting a comment on a blog required extensive research.
I’ve got a feeling on the rare occasions when you actually do write your own stories – rather than simply cribbing them from whatever crackpot media outlet best serves your narrow-minded worldview – Wikipedia would represent a step up in terms of your research efforts.