Is Michelle Malkin A Decent Human Being?

No, of course not! But Lloyd Grove's profile of her in the Daily Beast includes more than one Michelle Malkin quote I agree with, so the world might be ending anyway.

If I'd read this profile without knowing anything else about her, I might even think Michelle Malkin is someone I could get along with, despite our political differences. That right there should tell you there's something terribly wrong. It reminds me of the recent Washington Post piece on NOM director Brian Brown, of which Kay Steiger wrote, "The main thesis of the profile seems to be that NOM's director isn't a crazy, fire-breathing, foam-at-the-mouth right-winger." Sure, it's possible to construct that argument if you don't dig too deep, but why would you?

As profiled by Grove, Michelle Malkin is the "charming, funny, vulnerable" daughter of hard-working, Reagan-loving immigrants. She first began taunting liberals at Oberlin College, where, let's face it, even liberals could taunt liberals. She's been a victim of racism all her life, and notes that "there is no such thing as post-racial America." She told Grove "she'll use good information from left-wing sources - even Salon and ACORN," and that she's "always thrived on digging up stories and shedding light on information that's not getting out there." Like many female bloggers, she's been the target of vicious, sexist attacks, including having her head photoshopped onto a bikini-clad body (about which she told her kids, "This is what I'd look like if I didn't have stretch marks"). Even more troublingly, she's received death threats, and now worries a lot about her family's security.

I'm relating to this woman. I'm sympathizing with this woman. What the hell?

And the cherry on top is, she even made a disparaging statement about "liberal bloggers" that I agree with:

I think that the racism and the sexism, particularly of liberal bloggers, is really something to behold. I think that so-called progressives who think it's funny to make Filipina barmaid jokes and somehow use my maiden name as some sort of cudgel or proof of hypocrisy-it's completely ridiculous. But I get that on a daily basis-you wouldn't believe the crap in my email box.

Obviously, I wouldn't paint all or even most liberal bloggers with that brush, but she's absolutely right that there's a thriving strain of fauxgressivism within the lefty blogosphere, and I've seen everything she's talking about coming from people who are ostensibly on my side. Wielding her maiden name as an insult, in an assbackward attempt to highlight her racism and xenophobia. Tossing all sorts of gendered epithets her way, and then excusing the sexism by saying she deserves it, unlike good liberal ladies who are not skanks and whores. No. She deserves to be criticized out the wazoo for her half-baked ideas, her paranoia, her incitement of wingnuttery, her bald-faced lies, but nobody, no matter how odious, deserves to be attacked for her race or gender. The fact that a non-zero number of self-identified liberals can't understand that distinction drives me up a fucking wall.

But you know what else drives me up a wall? Feeling any impulse whatsoever to defend Michelle Malkin. What is up with that? Grove does refer to her as "shrill," "smug" and "schoolmarmish" — two of which, I'll note, are highly gendered insults, even if they're not as bad as "skank" and "whore" — and reminds us that "She did, after all, once write a book defending the World War II internment camps for Japanese-Americans, and calling for racial profiling of Arabs in the war on terror." That says a whole lot more about Malkin's character than the cute line about stretch marks, if you ask me. But the acknowledgments of her extremist, "bomb-throwing" persona are mere pretensions to balance in an article that begins, "The last thing you'd expect Michelle Malkin to be is charming, funny, or vulnerable," and goes on to paint her as reasonable, misunderstood and sort of adorable.

Michelle Malkin, as a rule, is none of those things, but the really scary thing is, in the era of teabaggers and birthers, she does sound almost rational and mainstream by comparison. We just can't forget that she's one of the most prominent people feeding them lies and egging them on.

Michelle Malkin Has Feelings, Too [Daily Beast]