Friday, February 23, 2007

Jumping at the chance to defend a wingnut

So I'm bopping about the internet tubes this afternoon when I came across a link at Raw Story that I had to check out. The link leads to a column in the Washington Post by Mary Ann Akers titled Techno Ted's Wacky Site.

Basically Ms. Akers was doing her own surfing about the tubes of internet wonderment and happened across the website of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. Evidently some clown at the server which hosts the Stevens website has tweaked the message on error pages in a humorous way, saying that people who land on that page must be aliens, or uneducated cats on the keyboard and so on.

For some reason Ms. Akers takes this obvious attempt at humor as cause to slam Senator Stevens around, speculating that he has decided not to run for re-election after all, asking if he's ok, and generally ridiculing Stevens for being a luddite. I call foul!

Casting the language of that error page in any light other than an obvious attempt at humor is to entirely miss the point. Stevens over the years has impressed me as being singularly cranky, un-humorous and generally an unpleasant fellow. It seems to me that if he was the one responsible for the verbiage on the error page, it would be a step in the right direction for him.

Frankly, I'm dissapointed in Matthew Miller, the spokesperson for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign for rising to the bait when contacted by Akers, and slamming Senator "the internet is a series of tubes" Stevens for another seeming example of internet buffoonery. I think it would be a sign of maturity and wisdom for Miller to retract his statement after duly considering the issue at hand.

One final point needs to be made. If Ms. Akers wants to write an attack article targeting Stevens, why not just go to his website and start blasting away at any of several dozen wrong headed positions he has taken on various issues. I think Ms. Akers thought she had the makings of a gotcha column based upon Stevens fumble regarding the internet tube business and went for the cheap shot. Well in my opinion, that cheap shot missed it's intended target completely, and boomeranged back on Ms. Akers, making her appear to be the one out of touch on this issue.

ok, i see where you're coming from and i don't disagree... i actually found the website boo-boo (if it indeed WAS a boo-boo) highly amusing, but, like you, couldn't fathom it coming from ted stevens... the whole thing is kind of reminiscent of something several years ago that swept the country... it seems that, if you called the 800 number for a very large insurance company, and listened to their nested set of caller options, option 7 stated, "press 7 to hear a duck quack," whereupon if you pressed 7, you did indeed hear a duck quack... some wag - probably an employee - had undoubtedly pulled a fast one on the company who was so besieged with calls, they had to change their number...
When I first saw this over at profmarcus' blog I thought at first that Stevens' site got hacked. Knowing that it's a staffer's joke makes it even funnier. I can just imagine his staff's eye rolling at his "series of tubes" statement, and even though I hate the Rs with the white hot heat of a thousand suns, I actually has some sympathy for his staff over this. Musta been mortifying.

Stevens' policies and votes, on the other hand: Fair Game.
Someone intelligent enough to put partisan politics aside long enough to point out that the Emperor is naked.

Most likely the message was the default one for the server that the site is hosted on and his staff had very little if anything to do with it.

Yes, Ted is an idiot. Not because he lacks information on how the Internet works. If that's the case all of the journalists and bloggers who are holding this up as proof he's an idiot are as stupid as he is. He's an idiot because he attempts to legislate without a basic understanding of the item he's trying to legislate.
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