Since announcing Monday that her unborn baby has been diagnosed with an almost always fatal medical condition, U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash., 3rd) has been embraced by a dominantly compassionate response from constituents, friends and even some of the congresswoman’s detractors through comments made to online news stories and social media websites.
The painful news moved former Gov. Sarah Palin to extend the virtual prayer circle to include her millions of followers on Facebook.
For some, however, Herrera Beutler’s plight has become an opportunity, a chance for a very, very ugly brand of self-righteous political mockery.
Counter to the norm, the least offensive commenting appeared on Twitter.
Hmmm…an anti-abortion congresswoman might need an abortion king5.com/news/local/Rep…
— I Am Your People (@IAmYourPeople) June 5, 2013
Comments on online stories at major news sites were far worse, particularly the purportedly moderated remarks made by users at The Huffington Post.
“If they pray for anything, it should be a miscarriage,” wrote so-called “HuffPost super user” “bessielil” in a moderated comment forum on an article at AOL’s The Huffington Post. “What do medical professionals usually recommend for couples who receive this kind of devastating news?”
The vile insinuation made by “bessielil” pales in comparison to the dehumanizing term “rmarie” chose to describe the baby Herrera Beutler is carrying.
“Well she and her husband had better keep praying, because she’s keeping that thing in there until it dies or she does,” wrote “rmarie.” (bold added)
“rmarie” described the remark as sarcastic. Most would call it offensive, bordering on sociopathic because of the complete absence of empathy.
Still, “rmarie” looks saintly beside “ellasophia” whose sadism is chilling.
“Strap her down and stick the probe in, on national TV. No sympathy here.”
Because The Huffington Post claims to operate an around-the-clock squad of comment police, one has to accept that the staff at HuffPo believes the comments above are part of a “respectful, engaging and informative conversation.”
From The Huffington Post comment policy page:
“…[T]his community does not tolerate direct or indirect attacks, name-calling or insults, nor does it tolerate intentional attempts to derail, hijack, troll or bait others into an emotional response.”
Section V of the site’s comment policy begins with the heading “This community is a safe space.” Not so much, by my account.
But one almost expects that kind of vitriol and hate from the readers laying in the comment gutters of The Huffington Post. Similar comments also began to appear on Wednesday on online stories at The New York Daily News and The Daily Mail (UK).
Some sites, such as The Oregonian, took the time to pre-empt vicious comments. Reporter Janie Har self-policed commenting on her story about the heartbreaking circumstances. Bravo, Ms. Har.
Sadly, this is the social result of the Sandra Fluke offensive orchestrated by the Obama White House and the Democratic leadership under U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), a campaign of distortions and half-truths designed to produce foam in the mouths of rabid abortion activists.
Ironically, the so-called Republican war on women Fluke and Company promoted is a myth, but Left’s war on one woman is an unsettling reality.
[featured image credit: sylvar]
Doctors do make mistakes and this could be one of them. As my cousin (an M.D.) says, “That’s why they call it ‘practicing medicine.’)
I don’t always agree with you in political matter, Jaime, but in this instance, I support your decision to see it through.