the gop's hate machine frothed and fumed; right-wingers went on tv and merrily fantasized about times editor bill keller dying a gruesome death. it would all seem ridiculous, like bad satire, except that the insanity would soon begin to increase exponentially.
on friday, the ny times published a fluff piece in the travel section about the town of st michaels, maryland, where vp cheney and secretary rumsfeld both have luxury summer homes. it was a standard feature; the washington post had run a story back in 2005 with much the same information, and the times had run a similar piece about the clintons in 2003.
to a normal person, the story is light to the point of banality. but much like those poor children who are afflicted with "tootsie roll" vision—a form of dementia where the mind begins seeing tootsie rolls where there are none, until the tortured soul can no longer see anything but tootsie rools anywhere—people with murderous rage in their hearts began projecting it onto innocent feature writers. from glenn greenwald:
I learned today from Michelle Malkin, Powerline's John Hinderaker, Red State, and David Horowitz, among others, that The New York Times not only wants to help Al Qaeda launch terrorist attacks on the United States, but that newspaper also want to do everything possible to enable The Terrorists to assassinate Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld. That is the conclusion which these sober leaders of "conservative" punditry drew after reading this article in the Times' Travel section, which features the tiny, charming village of St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where both Cheney and Rumsfeld have vacation homes.
you might have thought it was just a boring bit of fluffery in the travel section, but these people think it was a deliberate attempt on the part of the times to hand terrorists all the information they'd need to assassinate rumsfeld and cheney. perhaps most ironically of all, one of the pseudo-media outlets pushing this angle is newsmax, had itself published a story last year about cheney's then-future home in st michaels.
convinced that the times article was an indirect act of terrorism, right-wingers decided to strike back. one of them posted the home address of the times photographer who dared to snap a photo (with rumsfeld's permission) of rumsfeld's driveway. another blogger suggested that angry goopers should hunt down times editors and reporters, and even hunt down their children:
Go hunt them down and do America a favor. Get their photo, street address, where their kids go to school, anything you can dig up, and send it to the link above. This is your chance to be famous - grab for the golden ring.
grab golden ring = kill some journalists. gotcha.¶