Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Update on Spencer and his Readers
On my previous essay, Spencer and his Readers: Ideas for Improving Jihad Watch, I noted only briefly the unseemliness of Spencer reaching out for help to his population of readers when coupled with his overall aloofness from them, sometimes amounting to disrespect, in his general ongoing behavior, and I used this as a springboard to pose various constructive ideas for Jihad Watch.
I note today (July 4, 2007) that Spencer has posted a new update thread on his original plea to his readers. I note also that apparently many (if not most) of his readers do not share my misgivings and vague sense of visceral dissonance occasioned by the spectacle of Spencer reaching out for help from the very same population that he ordinarily, for the most part, treats as though he wouldn’t want to catch their germs from getting too close to them. On the original plea thread, there are now as I write over 104 responses, and on the update plea thread recently posted, there are already 40 responses.
I can understand the argument of, “Put aside your distaste for what you think is Spencer’s unseemly comportment here; the anti-jihad movement is of uppermost importance, and if Spencer needs help, by Gum, let’s roll up our shirtsleeves and help him!”
Still, it seems unseemly to me that Spencer is, effectively, using his readers’ exigent concern for the danger of jihad in order to help him by spending their time—worth money just as much as his time is—when he does not return the favor by involving them more in his site’s operation in various ways (some of which I brainstormed in my previous essay linked above and will likely update in the near future due to some good feedback from the reader Nobody), and in fact more often than not seems to treat them like lepers because, apparently, he wants to maintain a plausible deniability when people try to link him to the ostensibly egregious “hatemongering” and “bigoted” language of some of his readers.
So, yes: we should help Spencer in his time of need, since it is also Jihad Watch’s time of need. But can’t we pat our heads and rub our stomachs at the same time, and go ahead and help Spencer, but at the same time expect him to express his gratitude in concrete ways to his readers, who have shown themselves—not only in this instance, but also on other occasions when he has reached out for help—so eager to spend their valuable time?
Thus, Spencer today writes:
If anyone knows how to find out what single group may be responsible for this, or what I might be able to do about it, please let me know. . . I am at a loss as to what to do. Any advice anyone may have is much appreciated.
All I wonder is, how will he show his appreciation?