Both Sides Are Just As Bad

[Content Note: Violent rhetoric; racism; misogyny; homophobia; antisemitism.]

With Ann Coulter’s latest indecency, and Michelle Malkin going on the offensive against the “obscene, abusive, unhinged jerk Keith Olbermann,” the Right has turned once again to that old and well-polished chestnut: “Both sides are just as bad.” It’s come up in a comments thread here today yet again.

It’s time to put this preposterous—and flatly wrong—assertion to bed.

Who is the Left’s equivalent of Ann “We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too” Coulter, best-selling author and syndicated columnist, who has been a guest on Your World with Neil Cavuto twice, Hannity & Colmes sixteen times, The O’Reilly Factor six times, Real Time with Bill Maher six times, The Tonight Show twice, guested at least once on Larry King Live, At Large with Geraldo Rivera, Fox and Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The Today Show, and has co-hosted The View?

Who is the Left’s equivalent of Michelle “In Defense of Internment: The Case for ‘Racial Profiling’ in World War II and the War on Terror” Malkin, who has been a guest on The O’Reilly Factor eight times, and Hannity & Colmes three times, and Real Time with Bill Maher once, among others?

Who is the Left’s equivalent of Pat “Hitler's success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path” Buchanan, who has been a guest on Hardball twice, The O’Reilly Factor three times, The Situation with Tucker Carlson once, Face the Nation once, and has guest-hosted Scarborough Country and Crossfire?

Who is the Left’s equivalent of Pat “The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians” Robertson, host of The 700 Club, who has been a guest on Fox’s Hannity & Colmes five times?

Who are the Left’s equivalents of Bill “And if Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead” O’Reilly, Sean “'I hate America.' This is the extreme left” Hannity, Tucker “Cross-dressing and abortion, two great Democratic values that go great together” Carlson, Don “Fudgepack Mountain” Imus, and Chris “I mean [Osama bin Laden] sounds like an over the top Michael Moore here, if not a Michael Moore” Matthews, all of whom have their own television shows?

Who are the Left’s equivalents of Rush “I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus—living fossils—so we will never forget what these people stood for” Limbaugh, Michael “Howard Dean should be arrested and hung for treason or put in a hole until the end of the Iraq war” Reagan, and Michael “Smallpox in a blanket, which the U.S. Army gave to the Cherokee Indians on their long march to the West, was nothing compared to what I'd like to see done to these people” Savage, all of whom have their own radio shows?

Don’t give me Michael Moore. Michael Moore is a filmmaker, and a media personality at best. He’s not entrenched in the political process. He doesn’t, for example, sell access to “unnamed members of Washington’s Power Elite”—and doesn’t have that access himself. He doesn’t host a cable news show, and is rarely asked to be a guest on one, and he certainly hasn’t been asked to guest host, like Pat Buchanan. He’s been a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher—a favorite of progressives—one time less than Ann Coulter, for crying out loud.

Of all the times I’ve written about this, never has someone who asserts that erroneous notion been able to provide me with a single concrete example of a prominent, household-name Lefty who has as much uncritical mainstream media attention as any one of the above and has also made outlandish statements as often as all of the above.

The Right’s best counter to the obvious and indisputable evidence that the conservative movement is rife with indecent, hatemongering assholes is to reinforce the fallacy that both sides are just as bad. This is patently false. And we need to start calling it for the bullshit it is every single time we hear it.

[This post has been updated to add a content note and remove disablist language.]

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