Armando Out

Yesterday, the rightwing National Review Online “outed” Daily Kos front-pager Armando. (Won’t link; you can head on over and search for it if you like. There’s the main post and then a follow-up.) They revealed his real name and employer, which happens to be a law firm that represents big corporate clients like Wal-Mart (also disclosed in the post). Armando has offered his swan song at dKos.

If you do a breeze-through of the various blogs (both right and left) talking about this, you’ll find that Armando wasn’t, perhaps, as particularly careful as he might have been about keeping his identity secret, but that’s decidedly not the point. The NRO made a decision to disclose information about Armando that was not generally known, and made public his having worked on behalf of a client that would, inevitably, raise the hackles of many lefties, which can be viewed as nothing less than an overt effort to discredit him.

(It appears to me he may have had a concerning conflict of interest, but I never read him enough to know how much or how little he disclosed, so I can’t speak on it with any authority and may be totally wrong. Nonetheless, even if he did, surely an altruistic impulse to protect dKos readers from being hornswaggled did not guide the NRO’s decision to publish this information.)

The truth is, I don’t like Armando. In fact, he was one of the reasons I had largely stopped reading dKos even before the infamous pie fight affair, because, in addition to oft-espousing an unappealing centrism, he was routinely unyielding, unnecessarily combative, and frequently downright rude toward commenters. A friend of mine refers to him as “Stalin,” which I always found rather amusing. Suffice it to say, I had no love for the guy.

Which is why I didn’t read him.

Exposing the real-life identity of a political blogger (knowing it will ruin them) strikes me as the same kind of ridiculous nonsense as people who can’t just shut off their TVs if there’s a show they don’t like; instead they must campaign to have the show taken off the air altogether. Don’t like a blogger? Then change the fucking channel (as it were). There are millions of us, after all. (Which also means there are plenty waiting—and capable—of filling the specific political space of any other; taking one person down is uselessly, futilely, stupid and cruel.)

I find it completely repellent that the idiot tool at the NRO decided to make public Armando’s personal information for no good reason, except as political retribution because he disagrees with him. I found it disgusting when Michelle Malkin did it, when people did it to her, when Jeff Goldstein did it to Thersites, and I find it disgusting now. It doesn’t matter a smidgeon whether I agree with someone’s politics; if someone seeks to retain their anonymity as a blogger, it’s the lowest form of retaliatory nastiness to undermine that wish.

The NRO should be ashamed. But in true conservative fashion, they probably won’t be.

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