Patrick at Popehat observes how a media outlet probably missed the fact that they were hearing sarcasm. But there is a very good explanation of why sarcasm does not work on the web. Think of a couple of sarcastic comments, like "Boy that Joe Arpaio is sure a friend of civil rights" or "wow, that Cynthia McKinney is one sharp legislator." The problem is that on the web, there are likely any number of people arguing, quite seriously, that Arpaio is the greatest friend the Constitution ever had or that McKinney is a bastion of well-reasoned, sober deliberation. We are getting to the day that without regularly reading an author on the web, it is virtually impossible to be sure a given remark is sarcasm. I mean, if I didn't know where he stood politically, I would have initially pegged Kevin Drum's assertion that Tip O'Neil cut a deal to have poor people pay the taxes of rich people as some sort of clever joke.