I was first introduced to the Bizarro World concept when I watched the brilliant Seinfeld episode in which Elaine stumbles across the good doppelgängers of her self-centered, fairly conscience-free group of friends (Jerry, Kramer, George and Newman). When she describes the “good” guys to her group, Jerry says that she seems to have stumbled into Bizarro World.
Bizarro World, for those who don’t follow Superman or Seinfeld, is a world like earth (indeed, it’s alternate name is Htrae, which is “earth” spelled backwards), where all that is good is bad. Here’s the Wikipedia summary:
In the Bizarro world of “Htrae” (“Earth” spelled backwards), society is ruled by the Bizarro Code which states “Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!”. In one episode, for example, a salesman is doing a brisk trade selling Bizarro bonds: “Guaranteed to lose money for you”. Later, the mayor appoints Bizarro No. 1 to investigate a crime, “Because you are stupider than the entire Bizarro police force put together”. This is intended and taken as a great compliment.
This 2008 presidential campaign is increasingly making me believe that, somehow, I’ve slipped into some horrible time-space vortex and emerged into Bizarro World. The latest example of the morally inverted insanity that is our MSM comes from the media’s response to the fact that Palin’s personal emails were hacked, with a website gleefully publishing the information thus obtained. Aside from being a federal crime, this is just a terrible rape-like violation of privacy. Michelle Malkin explains just what personal information went public:
The Gawker smear machine — see here for all the background you need — has posted private family photos of Palin’s children that were apparently stolen from the e-mail account.
They have used Bristol Palin’s illegally obtained private cell phone number from her mom’s private account, recorded her voicemail message, and posted it on their website.
They have reprinted her husband Todd’s private e-mail address and son Track’s private e-mail address.
And from a Wired News report:
The cache of stolen data contains five screenshots from Palin’s account, including the text of an e-mail exchange with Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell about his campaign for Congress.
Another screenshot shows Palin’s inbox and a third shows the text of an e-mail from Amy McCorkell, whom Palin appointed to the Governor’s Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in 2007.
The e-mail, a message of support to Palin, tells her not to let negative press get to her and asks Palin to pray for McCorkell, who writes that “I need strength to 1. keep employment, 2. not have to choose.”
To the surprise of conservative bloggers, the AP (which someone cleverly characterized on my blog as “American Pravda”) picked up on the story. “At last,” we thought. “Some sympathy for a conservative candidate.” Oh, how wrong we were.
The AP picked up on the story, not to convey to Americans the outrage of a public servant having her most private family information violated. Instead, it used the opportunity to castigate Palin for conducting government business (that would be the exchange with Lt. Gv. Parnell) on a private email (which is itself a bizarre inversion, since it’s more usual that people are in trouble for using their work email for private business). Anyway, here’s American Pravda’s take:
The disclosure Wednesday raises new questions about the propriety of the Palin administration’s use of nongovernment e-mail accounts to conduct state business. The practice was revealed months ago — prior to Palin’s selection as a vice presidential candidate — after political critics obtained internal e-mails documenting the practice by some aides.
This is Bizarro World, my friends. It’s “Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness.” Or, in this case, “Us have completely abandoned moral decency and ordinary standards.”
The one good thing that might come out of all of this, notwithstanding American Pravda’s ugly spin on a horrible crime committed against Palin and her family, is the fact that, even in her private life, Palin’s conduct is without stain. The “anonymous” mischief-maker who engaged in this criminal act, was deeply disappointed not to find any dirt. As a knowledgeable person explained to Michelle Malkin, the original hacker boasted about his skills in finding the emails, and then whined about their uselessness:
Earlier it was just some prank to me, I really wanted to get something incriminating which I was sure there would be, just like all of you anon out there that you think there was some missed opportunity of glory, well there WAS NOTHING, I read everything, every little blackberry confirmation… all the pictures, and there was nothing,….
I guess the only thing that’s not bizarre about this whole sordid incident is the fact that Palin conducts an irreproachable private life.
Incidentally, although I don’t feel like blogging on it at any length, if you want further examples of the Bizarro World inversion of this political campaign, please check out these two posts (this and this), both of which delve into what may be the most dishonest political ad ever — and, worse, it’s an ad aimed at the Hispanic community which I suspect is not tightly tied into the blogosphere, so its members will never learn just how indecently they’ve been tricked.