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View Full Version : Do you miss John McWhorter?


claymisher
09-28-2009, 12:16 PM
The polls say (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=3898) bhtv commenters who reply to polls think he'd come back. But do bhtv commenters who reply to polls want him to come back? I say yes!

AemJeff
09-28-2009, 12:25 PM
The polls say (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=3898) bhtv commenters who reply to polls think he'd come back. But do bhtv commenters who reply to polls want him to come back? I say yes!

I may be a little sadistic but I'd love to condition that return with a grilling on What the Fuck Were You Thinking? by somebody who knows what they're talking about. I voted no, BTW.

nikkibong
09-28-2009, 12:45 PM
Miss him? No, not particularly. Dayo Olapade is a better interlocuter for Glenn Loury: she challenges Glenn's platitudes, does her own real reporting, and has actual political expertise. John is not an expert on politics or race relations (or biology, apparently): he's a linguist. I guess I wouldn't mind seeing him on Science Saturda.

Moreover, I thought his cowardly "please take this diavlog down!" plea was really beyond the pale for a public intellectual.

As I said in another thread, I don't think he'll be back. And I won't be heartbroken if I'm right.

bjkeefe
09-28-2009, 12:57 PM
The polls say (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=3898) bhtv commenters who reply to polls think he'd come back. But do bhtv commenters who reply to polls want him to come back? I say yes!

For the record, I was a "no" vote in that other poll, and a "yes" in this one; i.e., I want him to come back, but I don't think he will.

(I admit that I say the latter out loud partly in hopes of putting Murphy's Law to work for me.)

bjkeefe
09-28-2009, 01:14 PM
Miss him? No, not particularly. Dayo Olapade is a better interlocuter for Glenn Loury: she challenges Glenn's platitudes, does her own real reporting, and has actual political expertise.

I don't know who is better. I think they're both good when paired with Glenn, and I also think there's no reason John should be paired only with Glenn. I really liked when he talked with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Randall Kennedy, for example.

John is not an expert on politics or race relations ...

Disagree. To the extent that anyone is an expert on either of these, he is, and to the extent that no one is, I think he has better-informed opinions than most other commentators. In particular, I find what he has to say about race at the very least a perspective that is refreshingly different from what one usually hears. I especially like him because I don't agree with much of he says, and it's hard, these days, to find people who fit that bill who are also worth hearing out.

... (or biology, apparently) ...

Agreed.

: he's a linguist. I guess I wouldn't mind seeing him on Science Saturda.

Why do you hate the letter Y???

;^)

Moreover, I thought his cowardly "please take this diavlog down!" plea was really beyond the pale for a public intellectual.

I don't. I think Bob Wright's reasons for reposting it (and in general, for not allowing one diavlogger to have veto power) are correct, but I don't think "really beyond the pale" is anything but hyperbole. As I said back when it happened, it struck me as an understandable, even reasonable, instinct on John's part. He's not right about this, but I'm sure he saw his request as the equivalent of ripping a piece of paper out of his typewriter and throwing it in the trash.

As I said in another thread, I don't think he'll be back. And I won't be heartbroken if I'm right.

Disagree again. I would like to hear John give his take on the Behe kerfuffle. More importantly, I really don't want one unhappy moment, however anyone views it, to keep him from coming back here to talk about whatever else he'd like. I don't think he's quite in my Five, but he's certainly on a not much longer list of my favorite diavloggers.

Wonderment
09-28-2009, 02:32 PM
Yes, he should come back.

A few things strongly in his favor:

1) He's better than most "conservative" Bheads .

2) He's not reluctant to talk about his own psychology, i.e., how he experiences the world rather than what he thinks about the burning issues of our time.

3) He's a linguist. I'd pay to see BHTV if he'd just talk about his field of expertise -- language.

4) He's not white. BHTV gets a B in diversity from Professor Wonderment, but we can always do better.

Unit
09-28-2009, 09:30 PM
The polls say (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=3898) bhtv commenters who reply to polls think he'd come back. But do bhtv commenters who reply to polls want him to come back? I say yes!

Yes I hope he comes back.

Unit
09-28-2009, 09:32 PM
Miss him? No, not particularly. Dayo Olapade is a better interlocuter for Glenn Loury: she challenges Glenn's platitudes, does her own real reporting, and has actual political expertise. John is not an expert on politics or race relations (or biology, apparently): he's a linguist. I guess I wouldn't mind seeing him on Science Saturda.

Moreover, I thought his cowardly "please take this diavlog down!" plea was really beyond the pale for a public intellectual.

As I said in another thread, I don't think he'll be back. And I won't be heartbroken if I'm right.

Really? Dayo gives me the impression of being thoroughly partisan with no hint of skepticism about what can possibly be accomplished through the political process.

Baltimoron
09-28-2009, 10:07 PM
I agree with nikkibong, but taking a public grilling might soften my heart. Actually, by this logic, some bhTV staffperson should go first.

Baltimoron
09-28-2009, 10:12 PM
I think Bob Wright's reasons for reposting it (and in general, for not allowing one diavlogger to have veto power) are correct, but I don't think "really beyond the pale" is anything but hyperbole. As I said back when it happened, it struck me as an understandable, even reasonable, instinct on John's part. He's not right about this, but I'm sure he saw his request as the equivalent of ripping a piece of paper out of his typewriter and throwing it in the trash.

I'm a bit more libertarian on free speech, or liberal - sunshine is my fav. But, when the diavlog was posted on ID sites, what McWhorter wanted was moot. It became bhTV's issue, not his.

rcocean
09-28-2009, 11:29 PM
Yes, I hope he returns. He was one of the most interesting BHTV heads.

Baltimoron
09-28-2009, 11:50 PM
Actually, this is a good test of Apollo: pair McWhorter with a commenter and make him audition for his spot on the elite track!

Lyle
09-29-2009, 02:03 AM
Boo, boo... you couldn't be more wrong about Dayo (trying to get her to hire you nikkibong, or just backing up your profession?). She's too partisan. John McWhorter also isn't a journalist, like Dayo is, so of course he won't be doing his own reporting. No offense, buster, but blogginheads isn't a journalist only zone... look at Glenn Loury for example, not a journalist.

Furthermore, John McWhorter is probably one of the most expert diavloggers on race relations. How many others have even written a book about race, had it published, and then sold lots of copies of it? Hmmm?

JonIrenicus
09-29-2009, 04:06 AM
Yes, for 2 reasons.


1. I enjoyed his discussions when he was on.



2. I am not an emo blacklisting-esque crybaby.



I am so glad I am above low blows. Sauce for the black listing geese.

bjkeefe
09-29-2009, 04:24 AM
Yes, for 2 reasons.


1. I enjoyed his discussions when he was on.



2. I am not an emo blacklisting-esque crybaby.



I am so glad I am above low blows. Sauce for the black listing geese.

I think we can safely conclude that the only thing JonIrenicus likes better than straw men is carriage returns.

nikkibong
09-29-2009, 08:05 AM
I don't think he's quite in my Five, but he's certainly on a not much longer list of my favorite diavloggers.

Who is in you Five?

I would probably go Josh Cohen, Mark Kleiman, Johnson/Horgan (they count as one!), Bob Wright, & Michelle Goldberg.

stephanie
09-29-2009, 09:25 AM
I said yes.

He's an excellent blogginghead with a different perspective than many others. It's especially nice that he's not primarily a journalist (as so many are), and it would be great if one day he'd talk about linguistics (or debate his silly Shakespeare in translation hobbyhorse -- that would be fun too).

I'd also be curious for the backstory on the Behe thing, but none of this depends on that.

osmium
09-29-2009, 09:42 AM
I would like him to come back, yes.

PreppyMcPrepperson
09-29-2009, 11:01 AM
Who is in you Five?

I would probably go Josh Cohen, Mark Kleiman, Johnson/Horgan (they count as one!), Bob Wright, & Michelle Goldberg.

Well, if McWhorter never returns, we can always have Cohen/Loury DV's.

messwithtexas
09-29-2009, 12:46 PM
Yeah, I liked McWhorter. One pathetic dvlog on a subject he was obviously unfamiliar with is no reason for permanent ban, especially given the quality and quantity (remember this is unpaid) of his previous vlogs. I'm not convinced he would want to come back if he was asked, however.

bjkeefe
09-29-2009, 03:00 PM
Yeah, I liked McWhorter. One pathetic dvlog on a subject he was obviously unfamiliar with is no reason for permanent ban [...]

Where are you (and JonIrenicus, apparently) getting this idea that McWhorter has been "banned?"

Unless you've heard something I've missed, I'd say there's no evidence to support that, and given Bob Wright's nature, I'd say it's a very poor bet.

messwithtexas
09-29-2009, 03:41 PM
Fair enough.

To be clear though, I don't mean to say that he was explicitly banned, but instead that I disagree with those who seem to feel it is warranted (either explicitly or implicitly by not being invited back). I agree that Bob is too level-headed and pragmatic with the way he runs the site to support an overarching ban on anyone individual....actually I think that's what started this whole thing.

graz
09-29-2009, 04:34 PM
Fair enough.

To be clear though, I don't mean to say that he was explicitly banned, but instead that I disagree with those who seem to feel it is warranted (either explicitly or implicitly by not being invited back). I agree that Bob is too level-headed and pragmatic with the way he runs the site to support an overarching ban on anyone individual....actually I think that's what started this whole thing.

Except Ann Coulter of course.

Do you know Bob's mind better the he does? His only comment was as good as a no comment in my mind. George asked, Bob answered:
Have you invited John back? Without characterizing John's words...share your thoughts... well, is it better left unsaid? Why hasn't Bob made his wishes plain? Do you want John back? The poll awaits. (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/22300?in=31:30&out=32:24)

bjkeefe
09-29-2009, 04:42 PM
Fair enough.

To be clear though, I don't mean to say that he was explicitly banned, but instead that I disagree with those who seem to feel it is warranted (either explicitly or implicitly by not being invited back).

I am under the impression, from the poll on this thread and the extensive discussion in other threads, that the overwhelming majority of those who have voiced an opinion think John should certainly come back. If you're just registering your complaint with those few in the minority, fine.

I agree that Bob is too level-headed and pragmatic with the way he runs the site to support an overarching ban on anyone individual....actually I think that's what started this whole thing.

Nothing is perfect. On balance, I think Bob's spirit of openness is a good one.

bjkeefe
09-29-2009, 04:47 PM
Except Ann Coulter of course.

A case for which the term sui generis was invented. You can't really generalize from her, especially given that Bob has had on Jerome Corsi.

Do you know Bob's mind better the he does? His only comment was as good as a no comment in my mind. George asked, Bob answered:
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/22300?in=31:30&out=32:24

Thanks for that link. I didn't hear it so much as a "no comment" as I did Bob not saying anything about the possibility of his not wanting John back simply because it would have been such an alien concept to him. It would be nice if Bob (or someone else from Bh.tv admin) stated this for the record, though.

messwithtexas
09-29-2009, 05:10 PM
I am under the impression, from the poll on this thread and the extensive discussion in other threads, that the overwhelming majority of those who have voiced an opinion think John should certainly come back. If you're just registering your complaint with those few in the minority, fine.

Then I guess what I said was supporting the majority position. I'm glad that's fine with you.

Nothing is perfect. On balance, I think Bob's spirit of openness is a good one.

I agree. I especially appreciate his treatment of this with an eye the precedent it sets in an effort to come up with a fair procedure for handling the issues this raised.

bjkeefe
09-29-2009, 05:45 PM
Who is in you Five?

I would probably go Josh Cohen, Mark Kleiman, Johnson/Horgan (they count as one!), Bob Wright, & Michelle Goldberg.

Hmmm ...

Well, given that two who first come to mind (Sean Carroll and Carl Zimmer) are no longer working numbers, a third (Eric Alterman) hasn't picked up in a long while, and a fourth (Rosa Brooks) is busy helping Obama turn America into a Nazi Marxist Workers' Paradise For Brown People So We Can Surrender To The World, I'm not sure I can come up with a well-defined Five anymore.

Certainly Heather Hurlburt and Bob. I guess I'd have to say there are about ten or twenty, including the rest of yours (and McWhorter, as I said earlier), who all pretty much tie for the last three slots.

AemJeff
09-29-2009, 07:20 PM
...Actually, by this logic, some bhTV staffperson should go first.

I think McWhorter committed an unforced error. BhTV agreeing to the interview doesn't bother me; John mostly abandoning skepticism, on the other hand, was a real fiasco.

TwinSwords
09-29-2009, 08:52 PM
I hope McWhorter returns. I've always assumed he would -- and sooner than this.

People as successful as McWhorter are generally pretty good at dealing with adversity and failure, and don't let setbacks hold them down. However embarrassing the Behe diavlog might have been for him, I can't fathom that it would keep him from ever showing his face here again. (But maybe it's not a matter of his ability to recover from a setback, and instead his absence is due to something he's upset about, like Bob reposting the video, or the attacks from the commenters, or something else that happened that we're not aware of. Or maybe he's just really busy with the new school year.)

In any event, he's always been one of the bright spots of BhTV, and it will be a poorer place if he never returns.