Thanks to Steve in the comments yesterday for pointing me in this direction: if you were in any doubt whatsoever of Melanie Phillips's tenously slender grasp on reality, have a look at this Spectator article here. And then, if you have a couple of hours and can stomach the churning mass of insanity, read the comments. And then have a little cry, if you like.
A voice of reason amidst the frothing hate:
October 26th, 2008 1:59am
James (above 9.59pm) writes:
"Many have remarked that this election is the one during which journalism finally died. Not just in America either - the disgraceful BBC has officially thrown its own Charter under the bus and has allowed hacks like Justin Webb to use their BBC blogs to claim that anyone thinking of voting for McCain must "hate America."
This could in fact be the end of the mainstream media as more and more of us discard it in favor of online sources we can trust.
It does not seem like five minutes since the phrase "I read it on the internet" inspired mockery and derision. Now the roles are changing and the internet is gradually being seen as the only place you can actually find objective information and reasonable viewpoints.
No, James, the BBC's Justin Webb has not said anything of the kind and would be instantly dismissed if he did.
Is your post some kind of postmodern satire? If not, I suggest you go and have a good lie down in a quiet room and only get up when your computer has been safely locked away in a cupboard by your carers.
Melanie P is a fairly skilled polemicist, always has been -- even when she was a leftwing journo mostly writing about social policy for the Guardian. Good for her. These days, sadly, she is more of a demagogue. Her piece is interesting enough, but it is relies on any number of bald assertions and rash generalisations. Perhaps she should go and have a nice chat with Stella Rimington, the ex-MI5 boss who has a very different view of the threat posed by Islamists.
But more to the point, as an interested bystander and British friend of America who believes in democracy, I am frightened by the vicious tone of the debate, even here on the Spectator website. Is any one else?
Assuming Obama wins, are we going to have to put up with four or more years of internet nutters talking about anti-Americanism, palling around with terrorists, and the rest, or is all that dreck just a campaign tactic? God let's hope so.
I'm pretty sure Mr McCain himself will do everything he can to rally round if Obama wins. He is after all, a patriot and a democrat.
As we know, democracy is the worst system of government yet devised, except for all the others. But the tricky bit is your own team doesn't always win. Failing to respect the verdict of the people and labelling your opponents as unpatriotic is a slippery slope -- one that ends in McCarthyism and/or on Elm Street, Dallas TX -- and it's one that too many people, even here on a Spectator blog, appear to be in danger of sliding down.