There’s no love lost between the left and right online. Things are tense on a good day and then they’re just bloody at any given turn. Such was the state of affairs this week as ex-HuffPost blogger and lawyer Pascal Robert told outspoken conservative radio host Dana Loesch that he’d like to see her blanked up the blank.
What won’t surprise you: the conservative online community collectively flipped out, claiming Robert was calling for Loesch to be raped. What might: Until this morning, HuffPost had nothing to say. When we requested comment, HuffPost Spokeswoman Jessica Hanks told FishbowlDC: “Pascal Robert has contributed blogs to The Huffington Post. He has never been on staff and is not a paid contributor. We stopped publishing his posts in July after inappropriate comments surfaced.” Still, his Twitter bio says he’s a HuffPost Contributor, something they conceivably cannot control.
“I’m not sure what happened to society that a woman can’t disagree with a man (or anyone) without being threatened with rape or to be fetishized in a violent manner,” Loesch told FishbowlDC.
Katie Pavlich, of the conservative Townhall.com, wrote on the matter this week, asking rhetorically, “Are you shocked? Because I’m not. It’s no wonder Robert is anti-gun, that’s usually the case with progressive men who promote rape against women (conservative women in particular).”
So far, HuffPost has been silent on Robert’s behavior. Which, in itself, seems odd. Even for today’s murky online standards, surprising that pushing presumed forced sexual fantasies on those you disagree with wouldn’t fall under the category of too far, especially for site founder Arianna Huffington. Huffington has daughters, meditation dens in her newsrooms and who recently declared that all comments on the site must include real names.
Robert (pronounced Ro-Bear like Stephen Colbert) is known for his “hard hitting, blunt, unvarnished style” says his HuffPost bio. He is also the co-founder and list administrator for the Haitian Bloggers’ Caucus: A consortium of Bloggers from Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora. Pascal’s parents fled Haiti in the mid 1960’s from the oppression of then President Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier. He was born and raised in New York City. He earned his B.A. from Hofstra University and his J.D. from Boston University. His most recent post for HuffPost was July 18: “What is Haitian Voodoo?”
The left-wing media has largely been silent, with Media Matters characteristically quiet and some suggesting that perhaps the radio host deserved what she got for her views on gun rights.
Loesch continued to FBDC, “I wish it didn’t seem commonplace, but it does, at least where myself and other conservative women are concerned. Happy 19th Amendment certification!”
Should the writer be fired? Apparently he’s not being paid but is that even the point? “I am surprised that his work is still published to the Huffington Post site. Regardless of whether he’s a paid contributor or not, his work is still part of a site that is, ironically, founded and operated, in part, by a woman,” Loesch said. “I’m not going to tell a private entity how to run their business but I’ll think twice before taking them seriously again where it concerns ‘war on women’ pieces due to the platform they give this guy.”
Asked if this behavior no longer fazes her, she replied, “I’m still shocked when I read things like this, even as it becomes predictable. I hope I never become so desensitized to this behavior that I expect it.”
Is Loesch ever concerned about her safety with the rising levels of online angst? “I’m always concerned about safety, especially as we’ve had some incidents before and the threats seem to grow whenever I have an opinion on something.”