Fear and Loathing on the Internet

My initial tendency is to think that John McCain has made a gigantic asshole out of himself, nominating an ultra far right MILF hottie to be his VP in hopes she'll hypnotize a few of the more moronic Hillary mavens.

Having said that, though, I find stuff like this to both contemptible and despicable:

I usually enjoy Kunstler's writing style (while dryly noting to myself whenever I read his latest 'America is DOOOOOOOMed' announcement that if he were a meteorologist with the same accuracy as he is a social prognosticator, he'd be an unemployable industry laughingstock) but stuff like this is just vile.

At first glance, gullible though I naturally am, I got all excited at the photo -- not for the obvious reasons (well, not exclusively, anyway, I am, after all, a mere man) but because I was thinking "geez, this is gonna be a tough pic for the McCain campaign to spin". I felt a little guilty for thinking that, because, honestly, a person's taste in swimwear really shouldn't be held against them, nor used as a basis for judging their qualifications to be U.S. Vice President. Nonetheless, I was pretty sure the conservative base that is currently going coo-coo for Palin puffs would stop dead, and then start shrieking in outrage, when they got a look at THAT particular graphic.

Well, they should scream in outrage. We all should. Once I thought about it for a second (and it's embarrassing it even took me that long, but, hey, a liberal can dream) I realized that this pic nearly had to be a photoshopped fake. And one quick Google search later, I confirmed it.

For those of you not in the know, here's how this sort of thing is done:

You go out and find a pic of your intended victim. Crop the head. Use a photoshop program to fuzz it up a little, then flip it horizontally so it won't look identical to the source graphic you stole it from.

Then, paste it onto some pic of some chick in a bikini doing something ridiculous, like holding an automatic rifle next to a swimming pool.

Then, do a quick blog post referring to a woman you know nothing much about (except that she's a state governor and now a nominee for Vice President) as 'trailer trash' while mocking her over an entirely personal, doubtless extremely stressful family situation involving one of her children. Use your newly photoshopped graphic as illustrative support for your snarky libels. Voila! You're a worthless little turd. Easy as pie.

I used to have some respect for Kunstler. Now, all I have for him is contempt and regret -- the last, mostly, because I actually spent money on one of his books.

I sincerely hope the Feds can track down whoever originated this graphic, and that the Palin family sues their ass off.

UPDATE, a day later:

Weirdly, the front page of Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo is currently using the exact same cropped Palin head on a graphic of their own:

I did post a link to this particular entry over at my TPM blog, but it's gotten little attention, so I can't believe this is anything but a coincidence. Strange one, though...

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