If it turns out that Chas Castagana, the California man charged with sending threatening letters containing white powder to Nancy Pelosi, Keith Olbermann, Chuck Schumer, Jon Stewart, and others, really is a longtime contributor to Free Republic, how long do you think it's going to be before reporters start filing stories in which Castanaga's crime is "balanced" with references to the netroots' unsuccessful campaign on behalf of Ned Lamont -- as if both are merely equivalent examples of how the influence of online political amateurs may not be as "transformative" as previously believed?
If you don't know what I'm talking about, see Raw Story and Seeing the Forest for details on Castagana and Freeper Marc Costanzo, who seem to share interests, hometowns, e-mail addresses, and catchphrases. Scroll down here and read Castagana's "SF Has No Space for PC" ("With the passing away of Lexx ends an intriguing albeit smarmy experiment in sci-fantasy..."), then go to this Free Republic thread started by Costanzo ("With the passing away of LEXX ends an intriguing albeit tawdry experiment in Sci-fantasy..."). A Daily Kos e-mail search reveals that Castagana/Costanzo apparently also posts on the Net as Jeff Costigan -- compare this selection of Costigan blog comments (e.g., "Malkin, Laura Ingraham, and Ann Coulter ... ARE FEMININE AND CHAMPION WOMANHOOD AND ALL WOMANLY VIRTUES") and Costanzo's FR profile ("Ann Coulter is a Goddess and I worship Laura Ingraham and Michele Malkin").
(By the way, I linked the Lexx rant several months ago; I found it so bizarre I couldn't say a word about it.)
UPDATE: Oops, Marc Costanzo's account has been suspended by Free Republic and his profile has been taken down. Here's the cached version.