Climate Thugs With Glass Chins

By Keith Kloor | June 2, 2011 11:07 am

Like most bullies, partisan bloggers that use intimidation tactics don’t like it when they get called out. The latest instance is Marc Morano, who, in response to a post I put up this morning, has already countered at Climate Depot:

Warmist Kloor: ‘The Morano Gauntlet’: ‘GOP contenders for Pres. will be forced to run the Morano gauntlet if they don’t march in lockstep with the newly hardened GOP orthodoxy on global warming’

Kloor Makes Mafia Reference: [Morano's warning] ‘spoken like a true climate capo’ — Capo defnintion: ‘A caporegime or capodecina, usually shortened to just a capo, is a term used in Mafia for a high ranking made member of a crime family who heads a ‘crew’ of soldiers and has major social status and influence in the organization’

Now there’s one thing about that Capo reference Marc should know. I have used it previously at this site to describe the thuggish behavior of a certain climate blogger who also growls when getting a taste of his own medicine. For example, here’s an opening line to a post I wrote two years ago:

This is rich, coming from the Global Warming capo on the left, he who relishes rhetorical knee-capping.

More recently, I also invoked the term here:

But there’s too much of an echo chamber”“especially in the climate blogopshere”“ and anyone who steps even a teensy out of line risks getting worked over by the climate capo and his band of loyalists.

So Marc, consider yourself in good company. And remember: A hit job is a hit job, no matter what the politics of the assassin.

  • Jonathan Gilligan

    But I still fail to see how it helps matters to descend to their level and join the name calling. I’m a big fan of taking the high road and avoiding insulting rhetoric even when dealing with someone who indulges in it.

  • http://collide-a-scape.com Keith Kloor

    That’s why you’re a better man than me. :)

    Seriously, though, I’m a writer and one of the things writers do is use metaphors and images and pop culture references. I like to think there’s a difference between calling someone a “warmist” or a “denier” or a “nut job” as a means of labeling, than what I do with a term like “capo” which I use to describe in a colorful fashion what I consider thuggish blog behavior.

  • http://rankexploits.com/musings lucia

    Keith–
    Someone of Italian ancestry is likely to perceive being called a “capo”, “consigliere” or any Italian derived word associated with organized crime as a slur.  In contrast, someone from another ethnic group might see the word as merely a colorful reference.
    I’m pretty sure Morano is of Italian ancestry.  I suspect Romm is not.  So this could color people reactions to being called “capo”.

  • Jeff Norris

    @Lucia
    I agree with your statement but in this case I have to shout BS.  Morano is just indulging in the defense used by both Liberals and Conservatives that people are speaking in “code”.    It is just an extension of the attack the messenger ad hom.  In my subjective opinion I would say that the liberal side has brought this type of response to our current state.  Can you imagine the outcry if a conservative used the 100 year old phrase “call a spade a spade” in the current political climate?   Conservatives are merely recognizing this cheap tactic has worked and are now adding it to their repertoire.
    Keith I enjoy cultural reference also, may I suggest you embed stoned for saying Jehovah from Life of Brian to this thread.

  • http://collide-a-scape.com Keith Kloor

    Lucia, then Marc should chill out and watch some classic Sopranos. Here’s a good scene to start with.

  • Howard

    Morono reads more like a yenta rather than a Capo.  That is why he was offended when you paid him a compliment.

    The Soprano’s clip should be mandatory in all diversity training.

  • Jonathan Gilligan

    @Keith. No, it just means you’re not as dull a writer as I am. ;-)

    Srsly, I just get a bit puzzled by the hyperbole of describing someone’s rhetoric on his blog as “thuggish.”  Maybe the problem is that I don’t take blogs as seriously as I ought to. You write about bloggers using “intimidation tactics,” but it’s really hard for me to imagine a seasoned politician like Chris Christie being intimidated by Morano’s blog.

  • dorlomin

    Can you imagine the outcry if a conservative used the 100 year old phrase “call a spade a spade” in the current political climate?

    The political climate where it is no longer acceptable to call an afro American a “spade”? What a horrific world we have to endure.

  • Jeff Norris

    @dorlomin(8)
    Are you that ignorant or just too lazy to look up the phrase?
     “to call a spade a spade”
    To be outspoken, blunt, even to the point of rudeness; to call things by their proper names without any “beating about the bush”
     

  • http://rankexploits.com/musings lucia

    On the one hand, if I were a politician, I’d try to avoid the idiom “call a spade a spade”.  Politician’s need votes and need to avoid stupid distractions. This means they do need to be careful about usage.
    But I wonder, does anyone call african americans spades anymore?  I’m aware of the usage, but I’m not sure I’ve heard anyone use it in real life. Ever.  (And yes, I have heard people hurl slurs and epithets. Just not that one.)

  • Jeff Norris

    Lucia
    I agree politicians should be very careful with word choices.  My complaint is of the tactic that uses victimization, hidden meaning or implied pejoratives behind simple commonly used words or phrases to impugn a person.  Every action or word seems to have some hidden meaning.

  • dorlomin

    Jeff Norris Says:
    June 3rd, 2011 at 11:08 am @dorlomin(8)
    Are you that ignorant or just too lazy to look up the phrase?
    Your putting your spade to good use digging there, tally ho old bean.

  • Jeff Norris

    @dorlomin
    “Gods people shall not spare to call a spade a spade, a niggard a niggard.”
    Trapp’s use of ‘niggard’ is difficult to interpret. The word had several meanings in the 17th century. It could be used to mean ‘miser’, which is the more common usage today, or as a general term of abuse – ‘lout’, ‘barbarian’ etc. The word was also used as the name of firebricks in grates.
    The co-incidence in form and pronuctiation of ‘niggard’ and ‘nigger’ causes some confusion. Although the two words probably derived independently, they doubtless affected each other’s development of meaning over time.
    Whatever Trapp’s intention was, we can be confident that he didn’t mean ‘nigger’ or ‘negro’
    An earlier expression of the notion, albeit in different form to that which we now use, comes from Nicolas Udall’s ‘Apophthegmes, that is to saie, prompte saiynges. First gathered by Erasmus’ – translated in 1542:
    “Philippus aunswered, that the Macedonians wer feloes of no fyne witte in their termes but altogether grosse, clubbyshe, and rusticall, as they whiche had not the witte to calle a spade by any other name then a spade.”
    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/call-a-spade-a-spade.html

    Your turn my right blinkered friend.

  • Jeff Norris

    Since we are going all PC maybe Keith should be castigated for his racist word choice of Thug.
    http://theltrain52.blogspot.com/2007/01/word.html
    And I thought he was referring to a death cult.

  • Jim Diamond

    The word is “gantlet” – one throws down a gauntlet, or one runs a gantlet. Look it up in the OED.  Morano = Morono.

  • dorlomin

    Jeff Norris Sir you surely are an alchemist, you have turned pure irony into comedy gold.
     

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Collide-a-Scape

Collide-a-Scape is a wide-ranging blog forum that explores issues at the nexus of science, culture and society.

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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