Sure, most of us working in the journalism vineyards have been accused of membership in the “liberal elite” or its conspiratorial subsidiary, the “liberal elite media.”
Being from Pineville, West Virginia, being pronounced an elite of any sort is always exciting – liberal, conservative, pie-eating contestant. But I’m certain that I’ve managed the singular distinction of the being first to face that accusation after writing a story based on the musings of entomologists.
I admit. I worked in a tiny political analogy, referring to some of the more ignominious crowd reactions at Sarah Palin rallies with those well-reported bursts of angry shouts toward the Democratic candidate that reporters found unsettling. But all I did was equate the roused Palin crowd reaction to the chorus of hissing emitted by a roused colony of Madagascar hissing cock roaches.
Apparently, the column, or portions of the column were posted on some right-wing websites. The e-mail was bracing. Especially since the column was written after the election when no one could accuse me of attempting to use insect fear mongering to alter the election. But my favorite reaction was from the self-anointed “Superpundit,” who wrote:
This illustrates one of the dangers of venturing outside one's field of expertise to offer cut-rate political opinions. Grimm presumably just writes a column about bugs and is completely unaware that there is a long and ugly history of mass murderers likening their victims to vermin, including cockroaches, as a precursor to genocide. Thanks to his political incontinence, the Miami Herald has unwittingly (we hope!) become a purveyor of eliminationist rhetoric!
Superpundit is so-named for his ability to stretch a tiny throw-way line into a “precursor to genocide.” Imagine his reaction if I had written about honey bee colony collapse syndrome.