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Bloggingheads
10-28-2009, 10:49 PM

bjkeefe
10-28-2009, 11:35 PM
The diavlog actually lives here (http://apollo.bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/23475).

(If you tried the "View Diavlog" link and were wondering why that didn't work, it is known to be broken. This is a bug in the way the diavlogs are connected to the forums -- the apollo. part doesn't get added to the URL.)

kezboard
10-29-2009, 12:31 AM
Here's a point I think you guys missed. There are two reasons to get hot and bothered about Anita Dunn's Mao statement: one, that she's being flip about a historical figure who caused a lot of destruction (the same reason that people got mad about Alan Grayson's reference to deaths caused by our bad health care system as a "holocaust"), and two, that it reveals that she may actually be a Maoist. The first reason is totally fair, but all you really need to do to address it is to say "That was a bad joke and she shouldn't have made it" and then move on, not harp on it on your television show forever. It's clear that the reason that Beck spent so much time on the Dunn comment is that he's trying to make it seem as if his channel is being persecuted by Maoists. In fact, Beck's entire show is all about how Obama is setting up a leftist totalitarian state. It's crazy, and it's exactly why the Obama administration is going after Fox.

As for the "think of the children" angle, is there anyone here who remembers what the speaker at their high school graduation said? I only graduated from high school in 2004 and the only thing I remember about the address is that the woman who gave it was a local news anchor and she made a joke about how much smaller her butt was when she graduated from high school than it is now.

Bloggin' Noggin
10-29-2009, 12:37 AM
Well done, Gentlemen!
Jay suggests at the end that people on the right feel differently about Mao from those on the left, so that people on the right would feel it was inappropriate to quote approvingly anything Mao said.
I'm afraid I haven't watched the clip, but I've seen that TPM has a clip of John McCain quoting Mao.
Of course no one suspects McCain of approving of Mao in general, whereas those on the right may suspect Dunn really has a soft spot for Mao. The issue may not be merely whether one should quote Mao, but WHO can quote him and get away with it.

On the Fox issue, I can imagine that it may be good or may be bad for the administration to tangle with Fox, but that seems to have nothing to do with the issue of whether the administration is doing something unseemly by calling them out.
And I don't really see why it would be morally wrong or unseemly. I mean it might be unseemly for me to accuse a judge of taking bribes, but if he really is taking bribes and I have fairly good evidence that he isn't playing fair, then surely it isn't unseemly then.
Similarly, if Fox is pretending to be a fair judge while constantly making biased decisions against Obama, then why doesn't Obama have every right to call them out on this? Why should he play along with the "fair and balanced" pretense?

Unit
10-29-2009, 01:28 AM
Between 20 and 40 million died during the Great Leap Forward (1958-61).

Lyle
10-29-2009, 03:09 AM
High School students won't remember that a major White House official spoke at their graduation? Kind of special, I'd say.

Although I agree with you that your former point is really the heart of the matter, the fact that Dunn reveals herself to be a multiculturalist and not a western civilizationist does tell us all something about the White House and who is in control of America at the moment. Its like when Democrats ribbed on Bush for being a Texan, and Texas being some kind of neo-con, capitalist, racist paradise where only George W. Bush could have come from. So Dunn and progressives can expect nothing less from some corners of the political arena when they start talking positively about figures such as Chairman Mao.

This kind of backlash happened before during the campaign as well. There was an Obama supporter (working in the Houston campaign office) that had a U.S. flag with Che Guevara on it in her office and the Right looped that image into a whole lot of their online messaging.

AemJeff
10-29-2009, 08:37 AM
It seems appropriate to link this (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=133671#poststop) here.

Baltimoron
10-29-2009, 08:37 AM
Any hesitation about calling Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Suharto, Qaddafi, Park Chung-hee, Japanese samurai-bureaucrats in the Meiji and Hirohito periods, Chiang Kai-shek, et al, what they are -monsters- is merely a function of how vested interests have manipulated education and popular media. Hitler's lone, if just, demonization is also a symptom of America's euro-centrism, something bhTV never challenges.

TwinSwords
10-29-2009, 08:39 AM
Hey, great to see both of you guys! Very interesting conversation. Thanks for doing this. I hope you both come back. Maybe you should be Apollo's first regular pairing.

Simon Willard
10-29-2009, 09:17 AM
I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig, you get dirty; and besides, the pig likes it.

- George Bernard Shaw

Jay J
10-29-2009, 09:56 AM
Well done, Gentlemen!

Thank you Bloggin'. It's weird to watch yourself, I tend to notice every little thing I could have said better/more accurately/more grammatically correct (and what I should have said and didn't say, etc). I would not be shocked if Jeff could relate (not that he didn't do very well, he did, it's just that with myself, such self-treatment is probably inevitable). This experience will only make me more tolerant of the missteps of those who speak in public frequently and get interviewed a lot.

It was also a real pleasure to do this with Jeff. He did what I thought he would, which is challenge my position without caricaturing it.

And you're right, whether it is in the Obama Administration's political interests to engage in the fight is largely a separate issue from whether it is admirable or unseemly to do so. My main issue (but not my only issue) is with Anita Dunn's words, and how even after she gave what was probably an ill-advised speech on Mao, continued to engage in the tit-for-tat with Fox News, rather than backtrack or try to identify with people who might have non-cynical concerns about her use of Mao's example.

Also, by admitting Fox's... "part" in all this, I was hoping to get some distance between whether Fox is deserving and whether the White House ought to engage in the dispute. I mean, I'm sure that there are all sorts of people with all sorts of character flaws out there, but that by itself does not mean that it is admirable for me to point them out, especially when many people already are, and I've got a bigger job to do. Your example of a judge taking bribes seems to be an example of duty; the example of the White House calling out Fox News seems more akin to a respected school-teacher taking part in a schoolyard brawl with an admittedly terrible bully. That the bully is terrible is not enough to justify the teacher's actions.

EDIT: As TwinSwords points out to me, Anita Dunn did not give a speech about Mao, she was giving what seems to be a quasi-motivational speech to high school students, and in the course of giving this speech, she mentioned Mao as an example.

AemJeff
10-29-2009, 02:53 PM
Thank you Bloggin'. It's weird to watch yourself, I tend to notice every little thing I could have said better/more accurately/more grammatically correct (and what I should have said and didn't say, etc). I would not be shocked if Jeff could relate (not that he didn't do very well, he did, it's just that with myself, such self-treatment is probably inevitable). This experience will only make me more tolerant of the missteps of those who speak in public frequently and get interviewed a lot.

It was also a real pleasure to do this with Jeff. He did what I thought he would, which is challenge my position without caricaturing it.

And you're right, whether it is in the Obama Administration's political interests to engage in the fight is largely a separate issue from whether it is admirable or unseemly to do so. My main issue (but not my only issue) is with Anita Dunn, and how even after she gave what was probably an ill-advised speech on Mao, continued to engage in the tit-for-tat with Fox News, rather than backtrack or try to identify with people who might have non-cynical concerns about her use of Mao's example.

Also, by admitting Fox's... "part" in all this, I was hoping to get some distance between whether Fox is deserving and whether the White House ought to engage in the dispute. I mean, I'm sure that there are all sorts of people with all sorts of character flaws out there, but that by itself does not mean that it is admirable for me to point them out, especially when many people already are, and I've got a bigger job to do. Your example of a judge taking bribes seems to be an example of duty; the example of the White House calling out Fox News seems more akin to a respected school-teacher taking part in a schoolyard brawl with an admittedly terrible bully. That the bully is terrible is not enough to justify the teacher's actions.

I agree with Jay, this was fun to do; and Jay is an excellent interlocutor. Also the observation regarding seeing yourself in this position. Why is it that every "um...," and "ah..." seems to occupy four or five times the interval here as it seemed to at the time?

kezboard
10-29-2009, 03:53 PM
High School students won't remember that a major White House official spoke at their graduation? Kind of special, I'd say.

Anita Dunn is the interim director for communications. It's an important job, but it's not all that high-profile. Seriously, who spoke at your high school graduation?

the fact that Dunn reveals herself to be a multiculturalist and not a western civilizationist does tell us all something about the White House and who is in control of America at the moment.

First off, where did she do that? Secondly, what does that even mean? A "multiculturalist" and not a "western civilizationalist"?

Ocean
10-29-2009, 07:00 PM
Jay and Jeff, great discussion. Once again, why the time limit?

Jay J
10-29-2009, 07:38 PM
Jay and Jeff, great discussion. Once again, why the time limit?


Hi Ocean,

Thank you. And on the time limit, I'm not sure what the rationale is on the Apollo time limit, we just tried to comply with it (and went 5 minutes over).

Lyle
10-29-2009, 07:51 PM
I don't think anyone spoke at my high school graduation, actually. However, I'd remember it if an Obama official spoke at it.

Multiculturalist and western civilizationalist are made up words. However, they describe a dichotomy in how to look at the world, either through a "we're all the same" perspective or a distinctive American, western perspective. It's totally subjective, but I think it matters. Dunn is of the former, as are a lot of liberal thinkers (more developing world history in schools and less dead white men!) No one looking at the world from an American or western perspective would ever talk about Chairman Mao as a model in how to live one's life.

Ocean
10-29-2009, 08:08 PM
Hi Ocean,

Thank you. And on the time limit, I'm not sure what the rationale is on the Apollo time limit, we just tried to comply with it (and went 5 minutes over).

I would venture to say that the time limit may make this pilot project less anxiety provoking for some of the participants. However, it seems that it cut short what could have been a more fruitful exchange between the two of you. It would be great if the participants were asked to talk for at least 20-30 minutes but they could continue up to 60 minutes if the conversation merits the extension.

kezboard
10-29-2009, 08:53 PM
However, they describe a dichotomy in how to look at the world, either through a "we're all the same" perspective or a distinctive American, western perspective.

Lyle, frankly, I don't think you know what multiculturalism is. It's the exact opposite of a "we're all the same" perspective. Multiculturalism, for someone like me or you or Anita Dunn, would be recognizing that your perspective is shaped by your position as an American or a Westerner, not that it's the exact same as everyone else's.

Is it unheard of for right-wingers to bring up non-Americans or non-democrats as examples when illustrating some point? I doubt it. I recently read the book The Family and the members of said family are very interested in studying the leadership skills of Hitler, Lenin, and Mao. Every single businessman I saw on an airplane for a while was reading that book about applying Sun Tzu's Art of War to the corporate world. Clausewitz gets quoted all the time. Rommel is always brought up as a master of military strategy. I've heard the tactics of Saul Alinsky brought up by right-wingers multiple times and have never assumed that they're therefore endorsing his politics.

Whatever you think about reading Toni Morrison in sophomore English class or devoting relatively less attention to the various battles of the Civil War in favor of discussions of Cesar Chavez, I don't know what it has to do with Anita Dunn's speech. I highly doubt she brought up Mao in the name of diversity. She could have just as easily brought up, I don't know, Washington crossing the Delaware or anyone else triumphing over overwhelming odds. She probably should have, but in that case I'm sure Glenn Beck would have found some other molehill to make a mountain of.

I don't think anyone spoke at my high school graduation, actually. However, I'd remember it if an Obama official spoke at it.

Fair enough. I guess I just think that you're underestimating how boring graduations usually are or the attention spans of eighteen-year-olds for platitude-filled exhortations. All I was thinking about during my high school graduation was how hot it was in the auditorium, how uncomfortable my polyester gown was, and how dumb I looked in my cap.

Lyle
10-29-2009, 10:11 PM
Multiculturalism isn't just about studying and respecting every other culture in the world, but also about equating our own culture to every other culture. So yes, I know precisely what multiculturalism is.

I'm not arguing about the point she was trying to make, but about how the idea of talking about Mao got in her head and how she would think that would be a righteous thing to speak about at a high school graduation.

edit: By the way, what does Toni Morrison and civil war battles have to do with the cultural relativism of Chairman Mao?

AemJeff
10-29-2009, 10:13 PM
Multiculturalism isn't just about studying and respecting every other culture in the world, but equating our own culture to every other one. So yes, I know precisely what multiculturalism is.

Tail: chasing. It is what I say it is, so I know what it is.

Lyle
10-29-2009, 10:17 PM
What's your broad definition of multiculturalism Jeff?

Simon Willard
10-29-2009, 10:29 PM
Jay suggests at the end that people on the right feel differently about Mao from those on the left, so that people on the right would feel it was inappropriate to quote approvingly anything Mao said.
I'm afraid I haven't watched the clip, but I've seen that TPM has a clip of John McCain quoting Mao.
Of course no one suspects McCain of approving of Mao in general, whereas those on the right may suspect Dunn really has a soft spot for Mao. The issue may not be merely whether one should quote Mao, but WHO can quote him and get away with it.


Interesting. Those on the right can quote Mao because it is stereotypically unexpected, and those on the left can't quote Mao because it would reinforce stereotypes. If this keeps up, left and right will depolarize.

AemJeff
10-29-2009, 10:35 PM
What's your broad definition of multiculturalism Jeff?

As starting point, I'll take this:

It's the exact opposite of a "we're all the same" perspective. Multiculturalism, for someone like me or you or Anita Dunn, would be recognizing that your perspective is shaped by your position as an American or a Westerner, not that it's the exact same as everyone else's.

kidneystones
10-29-2009, 11:06 PM
Bloggin' Noggin writes...

I watched the Dunn clip. There's no question that Dunn is working with some form of irony: the image of Mao 'coupling' with Mother Theresa is precisely the kind of juxtaposition liberals adore. For them, this is edgy.

I also agree that there's nothing remotely wrong with Acorn whining about his bad press coverage. He's not the first; and the Obama administration hasn't yet hired Jeff Gannon. They have recruited a number of professional journalists, but Acorn is served soft-balls for free from almost all journalists. Slate and bhtv are two examples of Palin-free zones.

More worrying is Dunn's interview with another outlet in which she described shutting out the media during the elections, thereby forcing journalists to simply parrot Obama talking points. Quote from that right-wing smear machine: Media Matters (http://mediamatters.org/mobile/research/200910190025):

DUNN: A huge part of our press strategy was focused on making the media cover what Obama was actually saying as opposed to, you know, why the campaign was saying it, what the tactic was, that we -- we had a huge premium both on message discipline, on people in the campaign not leaking to reporters and people in the campaign not discussing our strategy, and also on making the press cover what we were saying.

So we, you know, one of the reasons we did so many of the David Plouffe videos was not just for our supporters, but also because it was a way for us to get our message out without having to actually talk to reporters; we just put that out there and make them write what Plouffe had said as opposed to Plouffe doing an interview with a reporter. So it was very much we controlled it, as opposed to the press controlled it.

"Without having to actually talk to reporters". The Obama WH wants to continue to dictate to the media. There's nothing sinister in the president complaining about the press. However, that doesn't mean that having two successive presidents protected press scrutiny is going to do much for the rest of us.

"Got Your Back" really shouldn't be in the vocabulary of Chris Matthews or Chris Wallace. The fact the press is in the tank for the Commander-in-Chief (again!) suggests there are plenty more bad surprises down the road.

Who could have predicted?

Starwatcher162536
10-29-2009, 11:34 PM
Well said.

As an aside, Sun Tzu's Art of War was the most overrated books I have ever read, at best, it was merely a mediocre compilation of common sense, at worse, it was a piece of crap on the level of Dr. Suess' Cat in the Hat.

I am not really sure why people feel the need to elevate old books/actions above their worth.

Example:

Spartan: We are out numbered 50 to 1, lets not fight in the open.
History channel guy: Pure tactical genius!

Washington: Hey, lets not stand in a line and shoot each other, when they have more accurate guns and outnumber us.
History channel guy: Has there ever been an act that showed such a
mastery of the art of war!

Lyle
10-29-2009, 11:46 PM
No, you need to speak for yourself on this one. Kezboard didn't understand what I was saying.

AemJeff
10-29-2009, 11:48 PM
No, you need to speak for yourself on this one. Kezboard didn't understand the point I was making.

You have that backward.

Lyle
10-29-2009, 11:49 PM
No, actually I don't. Give us your definition of multiculturalism please.

AemJeff
10-29-2009, 11:57 PM
No, actually I don't. Give us your definition of multiculturalism please.

I have. And you do. If you want to debate a topic, first show that you know something. You haven't.

Your move.

Lyle
10-30-2009, 12:11 AM
You haven't provided your own definition, and where am I failing at showing I know something? What something are you talking about?

How about you start by giving us your definition of multiculturalism and we'll go from there?

edit: To help... here's the definition currently on wikipedia.

Multiculturalism is the acceptance of multiple ethnic cultures, for practical reasons and/or for the sake of diversity and applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g. schools, businesses, neighborhoods, cities or nations. In this context, multiculturalists advocate extending equitable status to distinct ethnic and religious groups without promoting any specific ethnic, religious, and/or cultural community values as central.

Anita Dunn's commentary seems kind of multiculturalist to me.

bjkeefe
10-30-2009, 12:18 AM
Jeff, I think you're illustrating your diavlog title perfectly.

Jay J
10-30-2009, 03:07 PM
kezboard,

Here's a point I think you guys missed. There are two reasons to get hot and bothered about Anita Dunn's Mao statement: one, that she's being flip about a historical figure who caused a lot of destruction (the same reason that people got mad about Alan Grayson's reference to deaths caused by our bad health care system as a "holocaust"), and two, that it reveals that she may actually be a Maoist. The first reason is totally fair, but all you really need to do to address it is to say "That was a bad joke and she shouldn't have made it" and then move on, not harp on it on your television show forever. It's clear that the reason that Beck spent so much time on the Dunn comment is that he's trying to make it seem as if his channel is being persecuted by Maoists. In fact, Beck's entire show is all about how Obama is setting up a leftist totalitarian state. It's crazy, and it's exactly why the Obama administration is going after Fox.

I think when Anita Dunn talked about Mao's general difficulties as a revolutionary (and directed her audience to draw personal lessons from his perseverance and victory) she went beyond joking. The attempt at humor was the reference to Mao and Mother Theresa as two of her "favorite political philosophers." So I don't think saying it was a bad joke would cover it.

As for Glenn Beck, it's not shocking that he's doing what you accuse him of, but it's hard to imagine that anyone who would be persuaded by the White House's accusations against Fox would be in play for Fox to trick in the first place. Fox has a loyal following, and if there are people out there who are agnostic or ambivalent about the White House on account of Fox's... coverage, then it seems hard to imagine that simply accusing Fox of not being a real news channel would change their minds. This is where the issue of whether it's in the practical interests of the White House to engage in the fight overlaps a bit with whether it's scrupulous or seemly for them to do so: If the left's surrogates like left-leaning blogs or media like MSNBC are already on the Fox-fighting job, and the White House has to spend political capitol with their dispute with Fox, then why not just stay above the fray, and maybe admit that people could have legitimate concerns about using Mao as a motivational reference, rather than simply blame the whole affair on a cable news channel?

TwinSwords
10-30-2009, 06:17 PM
My main issue (but not my only issue) is with Anita Dunn, and how even after she gave what was probably an ill-advised speech on Mao ....
Not to be picky, but to make sure readers aren't misled, Dunn did not "give a speech on Mao." She mentioned Mao, briefly, in a speech about other things. Big (huge) difference, especially when Fox News is going around leading the wingnut/loon population to believe that the totalitarian Marxist running the White House is planning to re-enact Mao's agenda here in the US.


...even after she gave what was probably an ill-advised speech on Mao, continued to engage in the tit-for-tat with Fox News....
I might be overanalyzing this, but you have the sequence wrong. Dunn gave the speech in the summer, long before the tit-for-tat with Fox News began. Instead of saying "even after she gave the speech, she continued to engage with Fox News," you should have said "months after she gave the speech, she began to engage Fox News."

These points seem trivial, on one hand, but on the other it makes me wonder if you really don't know the sequence of events or the details of what really happened.



Also, by admitting Fox's... "part" in all this, I was hoping to get some distance between whether Fox is deserving and whether the White House ought to engage in the dispute. I mean, I'm sure that there are all sorts of people with all sorts of character flaws out there, but that by itself does not mean that it is admirable for me to point them out, especially when many people already are, and I've got a bigger job to do.

The good news, from my perspective as an American, is that from now on at least for a while every time Obama bashing comes out of the mouth of a Fox News personality, viewers are going to think, "but of course they would say that; it's Fox News, and they are out to undermine Obama and the Democrats. They work for the Republicans."

And that's a good thing. Because it's true.


Your example of a judge taking bribes seems to be an example of duty; the example of the White House calling out Fox News seems more akin to a respected school-teacher taking part in a schoolyard brawl with an admittedly terrible bully. That the bully is terrible is not enough to justify the teacher's actions.
Well, not quite. Ultimately, the teacher is the authority on the premises that is responsible for protecting the rest of the student body from bullies. This doesn't mean "brawling" with the bully, but it does mean neutralizing him as a threat to other students. As it happens, it's not a perfect analogy, because we don't entrust our political leaders to "protect" us from speech that offends us in the way school authorities protect kids from bullies.

TwinSwords
10-30-2009, 08:02 PM
Well said.

As an aside, Sun Tzu's Art of War was the most overrated books I have ever read, at best, it was merely a mediocre compilation of common sense, at worse, it was a piece of crap on the level of Dr. Suess' Cat in the Hat.

I am not really sure why people feel the need to elevate old books/actions above their worth.

Example:

Spartan: We are out numbered 50 to 1, lets not fight in the open.
History channel guy: Pure tactical genius!

Washington: Hey, lets not stand in a line and shoot each other, when they have more accurate guns and outnumber us.
History channel guy: Has there ever been an act that showed such a
mastery of the art of war!

I agree with you about Sun Tzu, but as for the rest .... you should study some military history. It's remarkable how slow most military leaders are at adapting to changing circumstances and technology, and at replacing obsolete ways of fighting war. More generals that history can count have led their troops to slaughter because they failed to appreciate that their tactics had become obsolete.

Everything seems obvious in retrospect.

Jay J
10-30-2009, 08:30 PM
TwinSwords,

I agree completely, I'm ambivalent about, and I disagree completely with your post. So let me break it up into parts to endorse, mill over, and push back against what you've said. In order to do this, I'll take your post a bit out of order.

Completely agree with:

Not to be picky, but to make sure readers aren't misled, Dunn did not "give a speech on Mao." She mentioned Mao, briefly, in a speech about other things. Big (huge) difference, especially when Fox News is going around leading the wingnut/loon population to believe that the totalitarian Marxist running the White House is planning to re-enact Mao's agenda here in the US.

I agree 100% with this. I can assure you that my carelessness here was innocent. It didn't occur to me that anyone would think that Dunn has actually given a speech about Mao, but I see that the literal meaning of what I wrote communicates exactly that, and if there's anything we should take responsibility for, it's the literal meaning of what we say. So, my bad. I'll add an edit, not erasing, but clarifying, that Dunn's speech was of course not about Mao, but seemed to be general advice about life/career, and Mao was used as an example in this quasi-motivational speech.

Ambivalent about:

Well, not quite. Ultimately, the teacher is the authority on the premises that is responsible for protecting the rest of the student body from bullies. This doesn't mean "brawling" with the bully, but it does mean neutralizing him as a threat to other students. As it happens, it's not a perfect analogy, because we don't entrust our political leaders to "protect" us from speech that offends us in the way school authorities protect kids from bullies.

I can see that. And you're right, it's not a perfect analogy. Rather than ridiculously tweaking an already flawed analogy, I'll move on to the general point, which I think can be dealt with by responding to this:

The good news, from my perspective as an American, is that from now on at least for a while every time Obama bashing comes out of the mouth of a Fox News personality, viewers are going to think, "but of course they would say that; it's Fox News, and they are out to undermine Obama and the Democrats. They work for the Republicans."

And that's a good thing. Because it's true.

I'm not sure which viewers you're referring to. My feeling is that the people who will think "but of course they would say that; it's Fox News, and they are out to undermine Obama and the Democrats," are people who already thought that. As for it being good that people think that because it's true, I mean, all sorts of things are true, but among those true things are statements that we would call trivial or wasteful if the White House said them. So it must be that the White House is performing some sort of needed community service, not just saying something that makes our tribe feel better because our frustrations are being legitimized. I know many people probably do think that the White House is politically well-advised to engage in the fight (and that the action is ethically praiseworthy), I just want to make sure we have that discussion, rather than skipping past it (that Fox deserves it, or that what the White House is saying is true, is not the topic, in my view).

Completely disagree with:

I might be overanalyzing this, but you have the sequence wrong. Dunn gave the speech in the summer, long before the tit-for-tat with Fox News began. Instead of saying "even after she gave the speech, she continued to engage with Fox News," you should have said "months after she gave the speech, she began to engage Fox News."

These points seem trivial, on one hand, but on the other it makes me wonder if you really don't know the sequence of events or the details of what really happened.

OK I know I said I completely disagree with this, but there are parts to sift through. So, if I had the chance to record the diavlog again, I would be careful not to use the word "earliest," when I mean to say "latest," because these words don't mean the same thing at all. Not quite sure why that wire got crossed in my head. I meant to say that Barack Obam's statement about not losing sleep was the latest event (involving a statement from an Administration official) in the dispute. Also, I assume BH.tv viewers are familiar with the dispute, and one of our links mentions some of the things I didn't, but in case someone is not up on the topic, I should have given specific examples of the White House pushing back against Fox; this may have provided more context to how the dispute has played out.

However in my defense, I did actually say in the diavlog that Dunn's speech was in June, and I said that Glenn Beck showed the video of her speech on his show on October 15 (I also said, though I misused the word "earliest," that Barack Obama's entry into the dispute, mild as it was, was on October 21). So while I can see there being confusion on other matters, I don't think it's even plausible to suggest that I have the timing on either Dunn's speech, or Beck's showing of the speech, wrong.

As for whether I should have used the word "began," rather than "continued," I don't think there's much to see here. I think it's charitable of you to remove my reference to Mao in your paragraph subsequent to my quote, because as I've acknowledged, the implication that Dunn have a speech *about* Mao is just plain wrong, but when you quoted me the first time, you included the whole quote, and in your paragraph subsequent to the quote, it seems like I said "even after the speech, she continued to engage with Fox News," rather than, "even after the speech on Mao, she continued to engage in the tit-for-tat with Fox News." The string of words at issue here is "...she continued to engage in the tit-for-tat with Fox News." So as for that string of words, I actually don't think there's much I would change: there was an ongoing dispute with Fox News, and she continued it. If the concern is that someone would think I'm accusing Dunn of being the sole participant in the dispute, or being involved the whole way, I'm not sure what it would change in terms of the larger issue, but perhaps I should have said,

"... even after giving a motivational speech to high school students in which she highlighted the struggles of Mao and offered his experience as a personal lesson to learn from, Dunn chose to continue a dispute the White House had been engaged in with Fox News, rather than trying clean up her own mess or identify with people who may have non-cynical concerns about her use of Mao's example."

So again I don't think there's any reason to wonder whether I know the order of events, and think a more plausible explanation is that what I was communicating was that Dunn continued a political dispute, in spite of the fact that she had probably thrown fuel on the fire herself... in any case, I hope my response is satisfactory, not for us to agree on the larger issue, necessarily, but to deal with your stated concerns.

Whatfur
10-30-2009, 11:35 PM
Thanks guys. I would have appreciated a bit more disagreement and I did think some things were thrown out as fact that were BS and other things left out that should not have been, in general I will just leave it at that and say ...I enjoyed watching it and look forward to more from J J and J.