A friend emails, with results of a near-scientific experiment:
I just watched John Avlon’s Daily Beast commentary about the ugly tweets celebrating Andrew’s passing. His underlying logic, like some other commentary I’ve read, seems to accept that the vicious attacks from the left (which he counsels them to suppress out of good taste and decency) are a direct response to Andrew’s combative and aggressive persona. ‘It’s true, Andrew was a lightning rod. So, it’s natural, if regrettable, that you are reacting as you are. But try to contain yourself, people. Do the right thing, for goodness sake.’
Regretfully, I must remind these deans of civility that when Tony Snow announced that his cancer had returned, gleeful cheers rose up from prominent quarters of left. Tony, as absolutely everyone knew, was courtly, contained, a devout Evangelical Christian, whose unflappable public style could not have been more different than Andrew’s flamboyant, and, yes, often combative personality. It didn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. Low key, or fever pitch. The standard that counts is influence. If a conservative has it, they can expect to be savaged, even in death. And Andrew knew this.
1. In 2007, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow announced his cancer had returned. Commentators on the left-wing Daily Kos website remarked, “the world would be better off without him”.
2. Charles Karel Bouley offered these reflections for The Huffington Post before being gripped with second thoughts and deleting them:
I hear about Tony Snow and say to myself, well, stand up every day, lie to the American people at the behest of your dictator-esque boss and well, how could a cancer NOT grow in you. Work for Fox News, spinning the truth in to a billion knots and how can your gut not rot? I know, it’s terrible. I admit it. I don’t wish anyone harm, even Tony Snow. And I do hope he recovers or at least does what he feels is best and surrounds himself with friends and family for his journey. But in the back of my head there’s Justin Timberlake’s “What goes around, goes around, comes around, comes all the way back around, ya..”
. . . .
Now, I’ve been brutally honest above, and may have offended some, and for that I’m sorry. Again, I don’t want Tony Snow to suffer and die of cancer. But like many this morning, I had the thought.
3. A gem from Wonkette:
“Under the heading of ‘What goes around comes around’, the cancer in Tony Snow is removing the cancer of Tony Snow from the national scene,” wrote TDoff on the D.C. gossip site Wonkette.com.
4. Some general spewing:
Omnilation wrote, “Dear Tony, I hate you. -God.”
A contributor called homofascist stated, “It is a bitch that I wouldn’t wish upon even a smarmy, evil f—face liar like Snow. Because really, isn’t he OUR smarmy, evil f—face liar?”
Some readers at Huffingtonpost.com …:
“Sure holding all that bulls**t in your gut would make anybody sick..!”
“The growth in his abdomen is his head stuck up his a**. F**k him!! He is pure lying scum and should die ASAP!!”
5. And upon Tony Snow’s passing, a sour AP offered [a] less pungent, but nonetheless gratuitous, dig …:
With a quick-from-the-lip repartee, broadcaster’s good looks and a relentlessly bright outlook — if not always a command of the facts — he became a popular figure around the country to the delight of his White House bosses.