It's from down under...with this follow-up:
MURDOCH SCRIBE FIGHTS BACK
Bush-bashing leads inevitably to Dubya trouble
July 6, 2002, Saturday
ONE week ago I wrote a piece that said that much of the world was getting to terms with the fact that President George W. Bush is a fraudulently elected nitwit.
You always expect some kind of reaction from statements like that. On Monday morning, I opened my e-mail, something I always consider a minor triumph. There are usually a handful of them, politely derisory ones from editors, merchants offering me wine deals, troubled people from the travel pages wondering if I ever would get to write that piece about Damascus.
This time the inbox showed 674. By the end of the week there were more than 1000.
A handful were from Australia and the world. All the rest were from the US and for days they handed it to me as if I were the greatest threat to democracy since Joe Stalin.
The hatred and invective was quite staggering.
Then I found out what had happened. I had been picked up by the Drudge Report, the website started by a right-wing zealot called Matt Drudge.
The report ran the column and then Drudge read selected bits of it on his US national radio program, urging listeners not to let me get away with it.
Well, whee-hoo, as they say down on the ranch.
Drudge obviously aims at a lowest common denominator, since most of my electronic correspondents failed to catch on that I was an Australian. They saw the London dateline, and said: "OK, let's trash this limey."
Mainly I got it for being a limp-wristed nancy-boy (Bruce is thought to be a poofie name in the rednecked areas of America) whose nation (Britain) was twice saved by ever-brave American military might and GI know-how.
You simply don't have time to read 1000 e-mails and they clog up the memory. I took them randomly while wiping them out, reading about one in 20, and then replying if the sender was making some kind of a point or other, saying I was Australian, not British, and used to work in the US and some of my best friends were Republicans. Then I detected the pattern. It was clear that a network existed to organise the outraged responses.
They ran on two levels: "Come to Texas . . . and we'll show ya." And, "We saved your asses and if you keep this stuff up we won't do it again."
Some were so offensive I replied in kind. Some I tried to tell that the US came very late into World War II and Britain already had fought its two major battles without them.
Then, as the week went on, there came a slow and then increasing inbox of what might be described as the still, small voice of reason.
"Thanks. Nobody's saying this stuff often enough here," was the general theme. September 11 had created a president wearing false clothes, said one. But nobody would say so. Or if they did, not loud enough.