Saturday, April 28, 2007

Criminal intent and the question of influence

The incident with Phillip F. Thompson and Senator Webb's gun demonstrates why the right-wing blogosphere has so little influence in Virginia. The right-wing kept pushing a story that had no merit long after every mainstream media reporter had figured out that Thompson lacked the necessary criminal intent, or "mens rea," to be guilty of the crimes he was accused of.

What does that tell us? Virginia's right-wing blogosphere is either too ignorant to understand a concept like mens rea (it is, after all, Latin) or they are deliberately trying to mislead their readers.

Why would anyone trust anything coming out of this group?


Jim Hoeft said...

Unbelievable. Fine, we'll lump you in with the rest of the "lefty" blogosphere too.

Learn to have a little discretion with that broad brush you paint with.

The Richmond Democrat said...

Funny, I don't recall you explaining why this is a bogus story.

Jim, you're one of the best of your side of the aisle, but surely you must admit that pushing stories like this--and doing it in a way that suggests ignorance or dishonesty--reflects poorly on the rightosphere as a whole? Surely you admit that there was a coordinated effort in the rightosphere to push this story long after the MSM dismissed it?

And as far as lumping me in with the Lefty Bloggers, I was unaware that I ever possessed any other status. Rightie bloggers indulge in personal attacks on Democrats every day. Funny how much they don't like it when we push back.

Jim Hoeft said...

Whatever, Whitmore.

Coordination? I'll be brutally honest...Republicans -- as in the party hierarchy -- would love for that to be the case. Unfortunately, there are several of us renegades out there who just like to see things for what they are.

The reality is that this is a non-story. I stopped following it a long time ago.

Offended by you? Not really. Just wondering why you feel that it's necessary to make things so black and white.

By the way, obviously you have decided to consistently blog again. I'll add you back to the blog roll.

The Richmond Democrat said...

I grant that you are something of a renegade, and to the best of my knowledge you did not try to peddle this story after it became obvious there was nothing to it.

But you must admit that there has been a coordinated effort to push this story, even if you weren't a part of it. And, as I said before, pushing this story damaged the credibility of the rightie bloggers who did it. There are only two possibilities here:

1) They don't understand the concept of criminal intent, and therefore their opinion on a story like this isn't worth much; or

2) They are dishonestly pushing a story they know has no basis in law or fact, and their opinion isn't worth much on any story.

Thanks for the link. I am happy to have hosted a link to you for several months now.