The practice of sifting through the comments of blogs, email threads, discussion groups and other user generated content in an attempt find choice quotes proving that the advocates for or against a particular political opinion are unreasonable, uninformed extremists.
It doesn’t just happen online.
The New York Times:
“Trump that bitch!”
“Build a wall — kill them all.”
New York Times reporters have spent over a year covering Donald J. Trump’s rallies, witnessing so many provocations and heated confrontations at them that the cumulative effect can be numbing: A sharp sting that quickly dulls from repetition.
But what struck us was the frequency with which some Trump supporters use coarse, vitriolic, even violent language — in the epithets they shout and chant, the signs they carry, the T-shirts they wear — a pattern not seen in connection with any other recent political candidate, in any party.
Not everyone attending a Trump rally behaves this way. In fact, many are polite and well mannered. But while protesters are often shouted down, crowds seldom express disapproval of the crude slogans and angry outbursts by Mr. Trump’s supporters. Indeed, these displays have become inextricably bound with the Trump show itself — as much as the snaking entrance lines and the calls to “build a wall” along the border with Mexico.
With that in mind, we set out to record the shouts, slogans, imprecations and interactions among audience members that set Trump events apart from other political gatherings. We also obtained recordings from others in attendance, who sometimes were closer to the action.
So you go to a Trump rally. You stand in line for hours. You spend the time chatting with some of the thousands of other Trump supporters who also showed up. Most of them are nice, well-behaved middle-class Americans. Most of them are white, but there are lots of people of color there too, and nobody is treating them any different.
The only trouble-makers you see are the anti-Trump protestors outside the arena. They are chanting “Fuck Trump” and other, similar phrases. A few protestors inside the arena are escorted out as the crowd boos.
After the rally you go home and watch the news. The story you watch about the rally you attended looks nothing like what you saw with your own eyes. Most of the coverage focuses on a couple anonymous assholes that the media picked out of the crowd.
None of the anti-Trump protestors are shown. Neither are any of the nice people you talked to. Just those anonymous assholes.
If the best evidence of wackjobism you can find is a few anonymous nutballs commenting on a blog, then the particular brand of wackjobism you’re complaining about must not be very widespread after all.