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June 27, 2004

Comments

Can you agree that emailing a journalist to point out the factual or distortion errors in a article is one thing, and that emailing a journalist to tell them they are traitors or undermining the troops is another thing.

The first is in the spirit of America, the second is definitely not 'spirit' of America (although it certainly is in the history of America - not the admirable part, however).

I believe Gore's wording was directed at those who dispute someone's patriotism because they think that what has been said is factually wrong or is a distortion.

Are those who question patriotism of others (journalists or bloggers) for disagreement on facts/accuracy/fidelity deserving of strong criticsm?

How do you feel about this, Moe?

My comments on the "Hitler comparisons" were posted a couple of days ago at MY's blog (in reference to the Bush campaign site video of Democrats and Hitler):
-----

"Now, however the Hitler pieces are interleaved with national Democratic figures in a video posted on the Presnit's reelection campaign site. Is this equivalent in any meaningful sense? No, of course not.

Fascist rule in Germany, Italy and (somewhat) Japan consisted of a set of tactics and strategies to maintain totalitarian control. For instance, the Big Lie was clearly one of those tools.

If a person or a group chooses to use one or more of the tools from the totalitarian toolbag, it is perfectly fair and reasonable to point out that it is a fascist tool. To the degree that more of the tools are used, then it is more appropriate to point that out - with outrage if necessary.

A person, or party doesn't have to do ALL of the things that Fascists did in order to be so characterized, at least in degree.

The objective is too avoid a totalitarian state created and maintained by totalitarian tools, whether fascist or communist, by pointing out the danger and vigorously opposing those tactics - this may be necessary to maintain our democratic republic.

If you can't argue against partial totalitarianism, when the whole tool bag is finally deployed opponents will not be able to speak out because they've already been sent to the camps.

So, these Hitlerite charges may be funny to some, but as a person with a potential future pink triangle, I certainly take it seriously, and I hope many others worry as well."

MatthewInglesias.com


"How do you feel about this, Moe?"

To be completely honest, I'm uncertain what you're asking my feelings about. If it's re your interpretation of Gore's accusations, I'd have to reply that it doesn't seem supported by the text; if you're asking me whether I think that all accusations about somebody's patriotism are unjustified, my answer would be of course some are justified. It is, however, a serious allegation, so I generally avoid making it - and that in my opinion genuine accusations of unpatriotism are about as common as genuine instances of unpatriotism.

As for this administration being Fascist in any meaningful way... I'll be polite and simply note that I've long since considered and rejected the standard allegations that it is.

Moe: "in my opinion genuine accusations of unpatriotism are about as common as genuine instances of unpatriotism."

I'd greatly disagree that "genuine accusations of unpatriotism" are uncommon. They are made daily on TV, newspapers, blogs, magazines.

How many times has the WH said that those who disagree are 'undermining the troops' or 'undermining the WOT'? Many!

I guess I failed to make my question clear:

"Are those who question patriotism of others (journalists or bloggers) for disagreement on facts/accuracy/fidelity deserving of strong criticsm?"

My answer is yes, they (those who question the patriotism of others) deserve strong criticism. If they allude to Hitler-like similarities, they deserve stronger criticism. If they use totalitarian methods to beat down the legitimate criticism, they should be called on it, and it is legitimate in return to call them totalitarians or fascists.

I'd appreciate your response to the question.

"How many times has the WH said that those who disagree are 'undermining the troops' or 'undermining the WOT'? Many!"

Then you won't have a problem giving me twenty-five distinct cites where a named primary source in the Bush Administration has explicitly stated that those who disagree with administration policy are undermining the troops and/or the WOT. Primary source text only, please: no secondhand articles and no anonymous sources. Transcripts of official WH business and/or major speeches will do nicely.

As to your question:

"Are those who question patriotism of others (journalists or bloggers) for disagreement on facts/accuracy/fidelity deserving of strong criticsm?"

I've already answered it with: it depends on whether or not said questioning is justified. However, such questioning is fairly rare - as are activities that can be justly defined as unpatriotic. The fact that you perceive otherwise on the former but not the latter is interesting, but is more your issue than mine. Sorry about that.

Moe

All three of my blogs were with very spotty posting capabilities when this was hot (conspiracy?) but yes, it was a stupid thing to say. A lark for a commenter, perhaps, but c'mon Al, you got nearly 50 million votes. You can be steadfast, even strident, and still be smart.

The "Brown Shirts" comment was way over the top, I agree. There are other bits of the speech with which I take issue. However, I think many of Gore's criticisms in this speech are legitimate, specifically criticizing the administration (not a vast conspiracy). I'm suprised (a little) at your "howling moonbat" comment, Moe. Wouldn't I be chided for coming onto ObWi in order to react to a Bush speech with, "W is in sniveling pig mode again"? Either comment is too dismissive, I think. Of course, it's your place.

Two cents.

" Wouldn't I be chided for coming onto ObWi in order to react to a Bush speech with, "W is in sniveling pig mode again"?"

Not officially: President Bush doesn't post here, so I don't have to worry about his feelings being hurt. Indeed, he has been called worse things than 'sniveling pig' with nary a response from me. I retain the right to roll my eyes at that sort of thing, of course... which you, also of course, are equally welcome to do. :)

Moe

PS: If it turns out that he didn't actually mean to lump me in with some vast administration-run neofascist conspiracy against the journalism profession I'll change his destination to Seriously Partisan Territory. Fair enough?

I don't think he meant you, Moe. Anyway, one of the reasons that I stop by daily is a good eye roll (almost always the result of reading comments). Keeps those ocular muscles in tip-top form. Hup, ho, hup, ho, up, down, left, right, hup, ho, hup, ho...

Oh, and you still owe me ten "Iroquois Twists".

Cheers.

"I don't think he meant you, Moe."

Hey, there's no reason why I couldn't be an evil, evil agent provocateur and servant of the shadows, you know. I could be bad, if I really wanted to.

I could.

;)

Moe

Lousy pay, but excellent benefits. Bwaah ha ha haaa.

I had occasion to refer a co-worker to the the Top 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord list. I'm sure Moe has already researched it extensively in preparation for his future career, though.

I have to say I've often wished Bush had studied it more. It's no fun being ruled by an incompetent Evil Overlord. (If he'd paid attention to 32, for example, no Plame Affair. Most of the problems in Iraq are the result of failure to attend to 17 (and 61). On the other hand, I think Guantanamo Bay is an over-the-top interpretation of "small hotel" (10).

Yes, I understand that former VP Gore's* gone off into Barking Moonbat territory again with this 'digital brownshirts' thing; Hell's bells, if you look at it the right way the man was accusing people like me (although it's entirely possible that Jonah Goldberg's assumption that Gore was talking about "a bunch of GOP flacks who email rebuttals to journalists" is correct).

Then you won't have a problem giving us twenty-five distinct cites where a named primary source directly associated with or employed by Al Gore has explicitly stated that Moe Lane is part of this 'Digital Brownshirts' thing. Primary source text only, please: no secondhand articles and no anonymous sources. Transcripts of official Al Gore business and/or major speeches will do nicely.

Nice try, Jadegold, but you seemed to have skipped right over the "if" part of that statement.

If the shirt fits....

New here SomeCallMeTim?

You should read our posting rules before snarking that strongly.

Thoughtful comments welcome by all; snarks only by those who play within the rules.

Ah, the Digital Brownshirt

Nice try, Jadegold, but you seemed to have skipped right over the "if" part of that statement.

Distinction sans difference.

Look, you accuse Gore of being crazy (distance amateur psychology being the fad du jour among the Rightwing) and you respond to a very accurate charge by JimPortlandOR concerning this admin's marked tendency to label all those who disagree with policy as something less than than patriotic with a demand for 25 cites. Then you very strongly imply that Gore's 'Digital Brownshirt' remark was pointed at you and yours.

It seems the rigors of evidence ought to be applied evenly.

"Distinction sans difference"

No, not especially, given that Jim was making a statement of fact and I was noting a possible interpetation. But if you've got evidence to back up Jim's allegations, feel free to provide it, provided of course that you can do so in precisely the manner required. If not, well, I can live with your disapproval, Jadegold; in fact, to be brutally honest I revel in it.

Jadegold, on his own blog, I actually think Moe has a right to make unsourced accusations against public figures which he is unable to prove with actual evidence. It's his blog: it's his right to post complete babbling nonsense if he wants to. (And yes, this post is not far off it, but hey: no Republican can be quite sensible about the man they know won the 2000 election, any more than they can be quite sensible about the man they know will win the 2004 election.)

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