Baying for blood? Moi?
Are the few people who commented on JK’s post on the Toxic Sock affair really (though metaphorically) “participants in [a] witch-hunt” and “the 21st century, virtual-world, equivalent of a medieval mob baying for the blood their latest victim”?
I can see why they (we – I was one) look like a crowd, because there are quite a few comments and they are critical and sometimes hostile. On the other hand, there are only (if I counted correctly) 23 people total, not counting Jean, and a few of them are friendly; there’s a total of 63 comments. So a rush of mostly-critical comments, yes; a mob baying for blood, no.
But more to the point: are we the Bad People? Are we the bashers, the demonizers, the bayers for blood, the pitchfork-wielders, in contrast to the kindly peaceable loving villagers who want only to be left alone to raise their raspberries and kiwis?
No; I seriously don’t think so. I think the issue here is that we “new atheists” think we are allowed to be openly critical of religion, and that we think haters of “new atheists” are wrong and illiberal to keep throwing merde at us for doing so. We think that when it’s Ron Rosenbaum throwing, and we think it when it’s “William/Tom Johnson” and we think it when it’s Chris Mooney.
So we tend to push back when people throw merde at us for doing something that is not and should not be seen as wrong. We pushed back at Mooney and Kirshenbaum when they threw merde at us in their book, and the result was that they banned some of us from their blog while allowing their pets to call us liars. That’s the backstory in a nutshell. M&K have chosen to spend a lot of time demonizing a minority that in the US is already thoroughly despised. That would be reasonable if the minority in question were Child-torturers United; but we’re not, so it isn’t.
So no. We’re not the witch-hunters here.