Time to Stop Using “Hobbit” as an Insult

Two years ago, John McCain derided “Tea Party hobbits.” Now Tulane University assistant dean Jim Letten is using the same insult against conservative “guerrilla journalist” James O’Keefe:

Former U.S. attorney and assistant Tulane University Dean Jim Letten unleashed a barrage of verbal abuse at conservative “guerrilla journalist” James O’ Keefe and his film crew in an altercation on Tulane’s campus early last month.

“You are a nasty cowardly little spud, all of you, you’re hobbits,” Letten shouted in the video, which was released by O’Keefe’s organization, Project Veritas, on Monday.

“You are less than I can ever tell you,” continued the former-attorney, who briefly lead a prosecution effort against O’Keefe in 2010. “You are scum. Do you understand?”

Letten, who was surrounded by campus security personnel, also appeared to throw a copy of O’Keefe’s book “Breakthrough” back at him, after O’Keefe had handed it over just seconds before.

Letten added that O’Keefe was “a snail,” a “horse’s ass,” and an “asshole.”

Depending on whose version of events you believe, it’s possible that Letten has some legitimate grievances against O’Keefe. Still, he, Senator McCain, and everyone else should realize that “hobbit” is not an insult. The hobbits were the good guys in The Lord of the Rings; they destroyed the Ring of Power and saved Middle Earth from tyranny. They bravely explored the world long before humans did. If O’Keefe really is ” ‘a snail,’ a ‘horse’s ass,’ and an ‘asshole,'” that probably means he is not really like a hobbit. People who want to vilify their enemies with Tolkienian insults should try “orc” or “balrog.”

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