For those interested in blog operas (did I just coin a phrase?), another sophomoric effort to discredit well-known Virginia blogger Waldo Jaquith is taking place, courtesy of the more volatile members of Virginia’s Republican blogosphere (which, unfortunately these days, is almost all of them). Instead of a boring, chronological linkfest, I’ll try to document the saga with funny and representative quotations from the participants.
The argument began with a difference of opinion over whether Republican Virgil Goode has any ethical or financial culpability in a failed deal between defense contractor MZM and the town of Martinsville, and spiraled into an accusation that Waldo had deleted a trackback link from his blog (a mortal sin among bloggers). Here’s a small sampling of classic quotes, rearranged for maximum comedic effect. I’ve added (R) and (D) notations to distinguish the Republicans from the Democrats.
Waldo Jaquith (D): “I will be very interested to see whether the congressman [Virgil Goode] does what he ought to do here — personally cover Martinsville’s tab. He arranged the deal, he provided his assurance that this would be a good investment for the city, and in returning the tainted [campaign] contributions [from MZM], he’s established his personal financial culpability in the impropriety of this relationship.”
Alton Foley (R): “Once again Waldo is off in his Virgil Goode Bizarroworld. … Let me tell you the truth of the matter. A truth that is easily discovered if one only looks for it…” It’s worth noting that Alton did not provide any links to any of his sources, forcing the reader to either look for the truth himself or trust Alton’s conclusions completely.
Ward Smythe (R): “Still, in my view, if you can’t make your case without name calling and profanity, you really don’t have much of case.”
Mark Brooks (D): “I would only add that Mr. Foley is a smug, self-righteous dick…”
John Maxfield (R): “Recently, Alton Foley took the Almighty Knower of Things, Waldo Jaquith, to school…” Uh oh, name-calling from both sides! (Fortunately, name-calling only counts when someone else is doing it.)
John Maxfield (R): “He [Alton] soon found out that the voice of truth was not welcome in Waldo’s echo-chamber of misconceptions, exaggerations, falsehoods, and lies.” Hands down winner for Best Unintentional Irony.
Alton Foley (R): “Anyone that can refute a single fact that I’ve posted will receive a dedicated post on my site that acknowledges that failure on my part.”
Waldo Jaquith (D) to Alton (R): “Alton, you have not rebutted anything that I have said, as I cannot rebut anything that you have said. That’s because we’re both citing presumably accurate public records reported in the media that do not contradict one another… The only area where we presumably disagree is on the degree to which Rep. Goode is culpable.”
Waldo Jaquith (D) to Ward Smythe (R): “…we [Alton Foley and I] entirely agree that it [Alton’s trackback link] was there. Then it was flagged as spam and disappeared. Alton believes that it disappeared because I deleted it. That’s not so and, I should know, because it’s my blog.”
Spank That Donkey (R) to Waldo (D): “Why not stand up to Alton for destroying your latest tirade against Rep. Goode?” Doh!
Waldo Jaquith (D) to Alton (R): “This is a part of a pattern than [sic] you and I have gone through for nearly a year now. You accuse me of something terrible, using strong words and harsh criticism. I point out to you that your accusation is false. You refuse to believe me. I provide undeniable evidence. You apologize. We’ve done this over and over and over again. When you accuse me of something, I see it as an inevitable prelude to an apology.” Hilarious.
Badrose (R): “I’m not criticizing them [Martinsville Bulletin staff] by any means – if I owned a newspaper you better believe I’d use it to further my agenda.” Scary words from a member of the Old Dominion [Conservative] Blog Alliance.
Rowhey (R) to Waldo (D): “Don’t come on here and present a bunch of idle speculation and call it fact.” This was particularly funny because Rowhey wrote this on Waldo’s own blog!
SLANTblog also has a typically excellent roundup here: Aggrandizing aggregation aggravations. Biting, true, and funny. Read the comments, too.
Thomas Krehbiel writes The Krehbiel Strikes Back, a generally centrist commentary on news, media, politics, and culture.