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  #161  
Old 08-01-2010, 11:03 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Why is that an issue? Responding to right wing critics was the job description of many of the people on the list, and an important part of the avocational life of many of the other people on the list. It's a given that they were going to respond to the Wright story. I don't see why that's an issue.


Nothing. I'm not sure who you think has been suggesting that there is something wrong with it. It seems to me that if anyone has been complaining about opinion journalists expressing opinions, it has been ... The Daily Caller, Breitbart, and many others on your side. Have you been following the debate at all? Have you noticed the outrage expressed by your side over the fact that liberal writers have liberal opinions and -- gasp! -- occasionally express them to other liberal writers? That's what this whole controversy has been about. It's "the forest" you were talking about.


Now you are moving past the broad question about whether liberal bloggers should be allowed to express their personal political views to others using email, and into the nitty gritty of the Wright story. One so inclined could give you a detailed answer about why the Wright story was illegitimate and not worth 10 or 12 weeks of blanket coverage in the media. But it's late on a Sunday night and I don't have any interest in going there right now -- except to say this: Jeremiah Wright had posted every one of his sermons over a period of over a decade on his church web site. The sermons were also sold at his church store and church web site. And yet, despite that vast record, Fox News et al. were able to only identify a tiny number of inflammatory statements. If the wingnut view of Wright -- that he spent 20 years preaching hate from the pulpit -- were even remotely true, there would have been a lot more material to flog than the few quotes they did have -- and which at that were completely taken out of context to make Wright look as bad as possible.
I have been paying attention, thanks. Some people on the right have been complaining about the opinion journalists on Journolist. I don't think that's necessarily correct. I think a lot more people are upset with mainstream, non opinionated journalists not only being included on the list, but participating in it. As for the Wright thing, you're right that getting into a long rehash of his remarks wouldn't be a very productive use of time. But, just a few things: I don't really care that those were the only inflammatory things people could find him saying. And I don't really care that you say they were taken out of context, which isn't how I remember it (and how exactly does one put comments like that in context?) You still may think it didn't deserve 12 weeks (by the way, what kind of coverage are we talking about? Wall to wall network news coverage? Cause that wasn't 12 weeks, c'mon.) of coverage. Guess what? Neither do I! I wish we could actually talk about issues in Presidential campaigns. But we don't, and so people who want to win elections push things that they think will help their candidate. And it was ever thus. Can Spencer write something saying people should respond to the people pushing this story? Obviously he can. But he didn't want them to respond. He wanted to randomly accuse people of racism. And that goes well beyond trying to rebut a news story.
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  #162  
Old 08-01-2010, 11:10 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
I have been paying attention, thanks. Some people on the right have been complaining about the opinion journalists on Journolist. I don't think that's necessarily correct. I think a lot more people are upset with mainstream, non opinionated journalists not only being included on the list, but participating in it. As for the Wright thing, you're right that getting into a long rehash of his remarks wouldn't be a very productive use of time. But, just a few things: I don't really care that those were the only inflammatory things people could find him saying. And I don't really care that you say they were taken out of context, which isn't how I remember it (and how exactly does one put comments like that in context?) You still may think it didn't deserve 12 weeks (by the way, what kind of coverage are we talking about? Wall to wall network news coverage? Cause that wasn't 12 weeks, c'mon.) of coverage. Guess what? Neither do I! I wish we could actually talk about issues in Presidential campaigns. But we don't, and so people who want to win elections push things that they think will help their candidate. And it was ever thus. Can Spencer write something saying people should respond to the people pushing this story? Obviously he can. But he didn't want them to respond. He wanted to randomly accuse people of racism. And that goes well beyond trying to rebut a news story.
It seems to me that one of the most important themes of this entire conversation in regard to Ackerman is the question of whether it's fair to say he was saying to "randomly" accuse people of racism. I think we've made a pretty reasonable case that that is, at best, arguable; and even granting that, it's far from the most plausible argument.
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  #163  
Old 08-01-2010, 11:11 PM
graz graz is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
I expect professional writers to be specific, precise, exact, always factual in their writing, even in personal communication to other writers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
I have since recounted my experience with that publication to several other journos at various places and seen nods of agreement. So yes, you are correct that I can't prove Mickey is right, but I can say that his critique jives with my overall experience of the media, and those of others I know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
This was great. Matthew mispronounces a few words and place names, but otherwise, most of what he said jives with my reporting.
I expect you, as a writer, to stop jive talking, when you mean to say jibe. Of course, this is only a forum. Ackerman was only on a listserv. Still, your standards must apply to your every utterance, no?
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  #164  
Old 08-01-2010, 11:19 PM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by graz View Post
I expect you, as a writer, to stop jive talking, when you mean to say jibe. Of course, this is only a forum. Ackerman was only on a listserv. Still, your standards must apply to your every utterance, no?
Indeed they should. I was wrong, twice. I don't think that's insignificant. In fact, I rebuke myself pretty heavily for that, and have just added it to a post it on the side of my laptop with words, phrases I've recently bungled. So thanks for pointing it out.
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  #165  
Old 08-01-2010, 11:21 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

Quote:
Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
Twin. He prefaces his description of the group's behavior and his proposed response (which I have journalistic issues with) with the term 'the right.' That's pretty simple. It would have been more correct to say "If part of the right is going to..." or "If the hard right is going to..." or "If the right wing media is going to..."
First of all, you're absolutely right that if Ackerman were a lawyer drafting a contract, the more precise language would be preferable. But people don't talk that way in real life. In real life, people generalize. People speak like Ackerman did in that post all the time. I have no doubt that I could find examples when you have talked about groups of people without the extra layers of precision. And why would you have done this? Because you know that people have the ability to interpret language and understand clear meaning. In fact, you go on to say so later (two quotes below).

Quote:
Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
It's a simple thing, but as a writer the generality of the term 'the right' bothers me. That is separate from my issue with the proposed response which I outlined elsewhere on this thread.
Yes, I appreciate that, and I share your preference for greater clarity in language. But I also recognize that the level of clarity you seem to be insisting on is almost impossible to practice in real life. We are now talking about two words at the beginning of a sentence. That sentence contains other words that twice exculpate Ackerman from the suggestion that he was talking about all conservatives. In real life, people listen to whole sentences and whole paragraphs, and they interpret what they are hearing (or reading) based on the whole text. And you have done so yourself, here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
I am NOT saying Ackerman ACTUALLY thinks the whole right is involved in the Wright affair meme.
So, it seems that we both understand Ackerman the same way: he was talking about a subset of the right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
I AM saying he WORDED that sentence in a way that is more general. And even I can infer from the general to the specific, I don't think the burden should be on me as a reader to do that. I expect professional writers to be specific, precise, exact, always factual in their writing, even in personal communication to other writers.
Saying that Ackerman's writing lacks precision or professionalism is a long way from saying that Ackerman wanted to accuse any conservative racism, regardless of their involvement in the Wright story.
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  #166  
Old 08-01-2010, 11:25 PM
look look is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
But that would be impossible. And no one would think Ackerman was suggesting something that would be impossible. Therefore it has to be understood to mean what it clearly does mean: he's talking about people pushing the Wright story. It's just obvious -- and I'm sure you know it.



Ackerman said that some group of people is "forc[ing] us all to either defend Wright or tear him down," and that if we respond, "we lose the game [this group has] put upon us..."

There is no way that "this group" can be understood to include anyone who was not promoting the Wright story. It's really quite simple, and quite obvious.

I think what's going on hear is that some credulous readers uncritically swallowed a narrative fed to them by The Caller and the larger wingnutosphere, and upon examination of the actual text, these readers now feel a strong need to defend ground they had previous staked out. Humans, especially very high achieving humans, find it very difficult to admit error.
Which you said was, after "more than two months of sustained cable news frenzy, still pushing the Jeremiah Wright story."

Quote:
Rather, he was talking about a specific set of conservatives, those who were still, at the end of April, after more than two months of sustained cable news frenzy, still pushing the Jeremiah Wright story.
-pg. 3, post 109

Last edited by look; 08-01-2010 at 11:32 PM..
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  #167  
Old 08-01-2010, 11:31 PM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Saying that Ackerman's writing lacks precision or professionalism is a long way from saying that Ackerman wanted to accuse any conservative racism, regardless of their involvement in the Wright story.
I am making TWO points.

1. the point about specificity in writing, which is, admittedly, a standard that I myself fall short of, but that I still think is the goal, and one that professional writers--as opposed to others--should be chastised for failing to meet when it occurs.

2. the point about Ackerman's more specific point about how to handle the group he refers to as 'the right' (even if he means a more narrow group). His recommendation, to call one of them racists, EVEN IF we take him as meaning one of the more narrow group, I STILL find repugnant on journalistic grounds discussed elsewhere.

However, putting these two points together, I am saying that IF a person takes Ackerman's words LITERALLY, as opposed to interpreting them more narrowly as you or I have done, then he DID imply a broader group for potential accusation.

Last edited by PreppyMcPrepperson; 08-01-2010 at 11:46 PM.. Reason: faulty capitalization
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  #168  
Old 08-01-2010, 11:46 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
I have been paying attention, thanks. Some people on the right have been complaining about the opinion journalists on Journolist. I don't think that's necessarily correct. I think a lot more people are upset with mainstream, non opinionated journalists not only being included on the list, but participating in it.
Sure. Some have. But as far as I can tell, there really weren't very many of those. The main thrust of the conservative outrage over Journolist hasn't been those few isolated examples of 2 or 3 objective reporters who were members of the list. The main thrust of the story has been the right's dishonest campaign to portray Journolist as synonymous with "the media," and to suggest that it (a) included far more members of the MSM than it really did, and (b) had reach and power all out of proportion to what it really had. The average Joe sitting on his couch listening to Fox News very likely has a completely skewed perception of who was on journolist and the level of coordination that went on there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
As for the Wright thing, you're right that getting into a long rehash of his remarks wouldn't be a very productive use of time. But, just a few things: I don't really care that those were the only inflammatory things people could find him saying. And I don't really care that you say they were taken out of context, which isn't how I remember it (and how exactly does one put comments like that in context?) You still may think it didn't deserve 12 weeks (by the way, what kind of coverage are we talking about? Wall to wall network news coverage? Cause that wasn't 12 weeks, c'mon.) of coverage.
I don't watch network news coverage, so I can't say how much they talked about it. But it certainly wasn't "wall to wall," simply because the format of network news does not allow for that. Network new broadcasts in the evening are 22 minutes and they have to cover an array to topic areas. The morning shows are much longer, but they, too, have formats which compel them to cover a variety of subjects, from weather to sports, to various kinds of news and light, human interest stories.

What I was talking about was cable news. And yes, it was a wall to wall frenzy for several weeks. I don't remember the exact timeline, but it was basically all that was discussed from the time the Wright tapes were released until a few weeks later. Then there was a brief pause of one or two weeks, and then something happened and it started all over again -- several more weeks of morning-to-evening coverage on all of the cable news networks (CNN, Fox News, MSNBC).

I suspect that because of your age**, you don't remember the cable news coverage during the Clinton presidency. For a period of YEARS it was a non-stop, Clinton bashing frenzy. Every night you could turn into any one of the 3 cable news networks and listen to people screaming their heads off about how Clinton was a criminal and a traitor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
Guess what? Neither do I! I wish we could actually talk about issues in Presidential campaigns. But we don't, and so people who want to win elections push things that they think will help their candidate. And it was ever thus. Can Spencer write something saying people should respond to the people pushing this story? Obviously he can. But he didn't want them to respond. He wanted to randomly accuse people of racism. And that goes well beyond trying to rebut a news story.
I'm not sure what you mean by "randomly." If you mean he wanted to randomly select one of the people pushing the Wright story, then I would agree with you: he was proposing picking one of those people ("who cares" which) and calling them a racist. If you mean he wanted to randomly select any conservative, i would point out that you have no evidence for your interpretation, and must thanklessly wage your argument in the face of all the evidence to the contrary.


* Thanks to Preppy for having answered with 2 or 3 names of objective reporters who were members of the list the last time this came up.

** Somehow I got the impression you're in your 20s. Apologies if this isn't the case.
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  #169  
Old 08-01-2010, 11:48 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by look View Post
Which you said was, after "more than two months of sustained cable news frenzy, still pushing the Jeremiah Wright story."

-pg. 3, post 109
I'm not sure I see your point, look. Can you clarify?

BTW: I'm going to bed soon, so I may not respond until tomorrow or later in the week.
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  #170  
Old 08-01-2010, 11:58 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
I am making TWO points.

1. the point about specificity in writing, which is, admittedly, a standard that I myself fall short of, but that I still think is the goal, and one that professional writers--as opposed to others--should be chastised for failing to meet when it occurs.

2. the point about Ackerman's more specific point about how to handle the group he refers to as 'the right' (even if he means a more narrow group). His recommendation, to call one of them racists, EVEN IF we take him as meaning one of the more narrow group, I STILL find repugnant on journalistic grounds discussed elsewhere.
And on other, non-journalistic grounds, too. Even apart from the question of journalistic ethics, there's nothing admirable about what Ackerman was proposing. I have heretofore refrained from passing judgment on Ackerman's actual proposal because it hasn't been relevant to the points I've been arguing. But his suggestion that his side should play the race card doesn't impress me at all. So I'm happy he was shot down by several other journolisters. In his defense I will observe that he's very young and as such probably somewhat impulsive and emotional.
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  #171  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:03 AM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
And on other, non-journalistic grounds, too. Even apart from the question of journalistic ethics, there's nothing admirable about what Ackerman was proposing. I have heretofore refrained from passing judgment on Ackerman's actual proposal because it hasn't been relevant to the points I've been arguing. But his suggestion that his side should play the race card doesn't impress me at all. So I'm happy he was shot down by several other journolisters. In his defense I will observe that he's very young and as such probably somewhat impulsive and emotional.
It was a slimy idea. Agreed. Not sure his age is a defense though. I think after about age 20, anyone should know better.
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  #172  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:05 AM
look look is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
I'm not sure I see your point, look. Can you clarify?

BTW: I'm going to bed soon, so I may not respond until tomorrow or later in the week.
Same hear...'night.
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  #173  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:10 AM
graz graz is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
It was a slimy idea. Agreed. Not sure his age is a defense though. I think after about age 20, anyone should know better.
It would be more a function of temperament than age. I have a general impression that your exceedingly high expectations are rarely the standard met by journalists in general or people your age particularly.
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  #174  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:35 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by graz View Post
It would be more a function of temperament than age. I have a general impression that your exceedingly high expectations are rarely the standard met by journalists in general or people your age particularly.
Yeah, you guys are right that it's probably not correct to blame it on his age. I do think in general young people are more likely to give into impulsiveness and emotion, but there still has to be some underlying temperament that would lead him to behave that way, as you suggest.

I also think that not many people on Journolist share PMP's commitment to her particular and rigid journalistic code of conduct. It strikes me that most of the journolisters are not objective reporters or even journalists. They are more like political activists. Many of the people on the list have devoted their lives -- or a significant part of their lives -- to advocating for a particular point of view. Their political activism is much more central to their concept of self than any notion of hewing to some idealized concept of objective journalism. These are people, for the most part, who explicitly want to advance a liberal agenda, something they could not do very well if they had to conduct themselves the way Preppy has decided that she must conduct herself.

I just googled for a list of known journolisters, and came up with this.

1. Ezra Klein
2. Dave Weigel
3. Matthew Yglesias
4. David Dayen
5. Spencer Ackerman
6. Jeffrey Toobin
7. Eric Alterman
8. Paul Krugman
9. John Judis
10. Eve Fairbanks
11. Mike Allen
12. Ben Smith
13. Lisa Lerer
14. Joe Klein
15. Brad DeLong
16. Chris Hayes
17. Matt Duss
18. Jonathan Chait
19. Jesse Singal
20. Michael Cohen
21. Isaac Chotiner
22. Katha Pollitt
23. Alyssa Rosenberg
24. Rick Perlstein
25. Alex Rossmiller
26. Ed Kilgore
27. Walter Shapiro
28. Noam Scheiber
29. Michael Tomasky
30. Rich Yesels
31. Tim Fernholz
32. Dana Goldstein
33. Jonathan Cohn
34. Scott Winship
35. David Roberts
36. Luke Mitchell
37. John Blevins
38. Moira Whelan
39. Henry Farrell
40. Josh Bearman
41. Alec McGillis
42. Greg Anrig
43. Adele Stan
44. Steven Teles
45. Harold Pollack
46. Adam Serwer
47. Ryan Donmoyer
48. Seth Michaels
49. Kate Steadman
50. Matt Duss
51. Laura Rozen
52. Jesse Taylor
53. Michael Hirsh
54. Daniel Davies
55. Jonathan Zasloff
56. Richard Kim
57. Thomas Schaller
58. Jared Bernstein
59. Holly Yeager
60. Joe Conason
61. David Greenberg
62. Todd Gitlin
63. Mark Schmitt
64. Kevin Drum
65. Sarah Spitz

How many objective reporters are there on that list? I don't recognize many of the names, so I can't really say what the exact count is, but the vast majority of names are bloggers and other liberal activist types.

Two of the names of actual reporters are Mike Allen and Ben Smith, both of The Politico. Anyone familiar with these men or their writing knows they were not and would not be part of any liberal conspiracy to report news favorable to the Democrats. I don't even know how Mike Allen got on the list; he's a conservative, and therefore doesn't fit the list's "left to center" membership requirement.
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  #175  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:38 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
Besides the fact that this discussion seems to have entirely missed the forest for the trees, ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
... but what exactly is wrong with people in opinion journalism pushing a story?
In light of the hysteria shown by you and your allies over ZOMG JOURNOLIST!!!1!, the above are the funniest things I have read in weeks.
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  #176  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:40 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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preppy, it'll never work. honestly, i'm surprised that twin can even see his computer monitor through his ideological blinders.
A post beneath even you.
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  #177  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:42 AM
rcocean rcocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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preppy, it'll never work. honestly, i'm surprised that twin can even see his computer monitor through his ideological blinders.
An excellent and truthful post.

Thanks.
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  #178  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:42 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by graz View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
I expect professional writers to be specific, precise, exact, always factual in their writing, even in personal communication to other writers.
Good lord, have you got some growing up to do, Ms. Preposition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by graz View Post
I expect you, as a writer, to stop jive talking, when you mean to say jibe. Of course, this is only a forum. Ackerman was only on a listserv. Still, your standards must apply to your every utterance, no?
FTW.
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  #179  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:45 AM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Sure. Some have. But as far as I can tell, there really weren't very many of those. The main thrust of the conservative outrage over Journolist hasn't been those few isolated examples of 2 or 3 objective reporters who were members of the list. The main thrust of the story has been the right's dishonest campaign to portray Journolist as synonymous with "the media," and to suggest that it (a) included far more members of the MSM than it really did, and (b) had reach and power all out of proportion to what it really had. The average Joe sitting on his couch listening to Fox News very likely has a completely skewed perception of who was on journolist and the level of coordination that went on there.



I don't watch network news coverage, so I can't say how much they talked about it. But it certainly wasn't "wall to wall," simply because the format of network news does not allow for that. Network new broadcasts in the evening are 22 minutes and they have to cover an array to topic areas. The morning shows are much longer, but they, too, have formats which compel them to cover a variety of subjects, from weather to sports, to various kinds of news and light, human interest stories.

What I was talking about was cable news. And yes, it was a wall to wall frenzy for several weeks. I don't remember the exact timeline, but it was basically all that was discussed from the time the Wright tapes were released until a few weeks later. Then there was a brief pause of one or two weeks, and then something happened and it started all over again -- several more weeks of morning-to-evening coverage on all of the cable news networks (CNN, Fox News, MSNBC).

I suspect that because of your age**, you don't remember the cable news coverage during the Clinton presidency. For a period of YEARS it was a non-stop, Clinton bashing frenzy. Every night you could turn into any one of the 3 cable news networks and listen to people screaming their heads off about how Clinton was a criminal and a traitor.


I'm not sure what you mean by "randomly." If you mean he wanted to randomly select one of the people pushing the Wright story, then I would agree with you: he was proposing picking one of those people ("who cares" which) and calling them a racist. If you mean he wanted to randomly select any conservative, i would point out that you have no evidence for your interpretation, and must thanklessly wage your argument in the face of all the evidence to the contrary.


* Thanks to Preppy for having answered with 2 or 3 names of objective reporters who were members of the list the last time this came up.

** Somehow I got the impression you're in your 20s. Apologies if this isn't the case.
Yes, you've caught me, I'm in my 20's. I'll hang my head in shame and silently slink away now. But seriously folks, I don't watch much cable news either. And we're not going to settle this with anecdotes about what the news coverage was when it appears that neither of us watch much of it anyways. You also seem to be describing press coverage *post* Lewinsky, which seems to make a good bit of difference. It seems like Bubba probably had a bit of bad press coming after proving himself unable to keep his snake in his trousers for the umpteenth time.

And OK, I do actually have a serious point to make. Let's take your interpretation of Spencer's comments for a minute. Far as I can tell, you're saying that it wasn't random, he wanted to specifically pick someone pushing the Reverend Wright story (Fred Barnes and Karl Rove I think?) and then call them racist. But the problem for me is, the logic of this statement seems to imply that Fred Barnes and Karl Rove were racists specifically for pushing the Reverend Wright story. And I don't come within 10 city blocks of buying that logic. I guess you could argue Spencer thought they were racists independent of this story, and wanted to call them racists anyways, but then why mention in conjunction with the Wright story?
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  #180  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:48 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by rcocean View Post
An excellent and truthful post.

Thanks.
That's kind of quaint, coming as it does from you.
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  #181  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:48 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
A post beneath even you.
I rest my case.
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  #182  
Old 08-02-2010, 01:02 AM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Yeah, you guys are right that it's probably not correct to blame it on his age. I do think in general young people are more likely to give into impulsiveness and emotion, but there still has to be some underlying temperament that would lead him to behave that way, as you suggest.

I also think that not many people on Journolist share PMP's commitment to her particular and rigid journalistic code of conduct. It strikes me that most of the journolisters are not objective reporters or even journalists. They are more like political activists. Many of the people on the list have devoted their lives -- or a significant part of their lives -- to advocating for a particular point of view. Their political activism is much more central to their concept of self than any notion of hewing to some idealized concept of objective journalism. These are people, for the most part, who explicitly want to advance a liberal agenda, something they could not do very well if they had to conduct themselves the way Preppy has decided that she must conduct herself.

I just googled for a list of known journolisters, and came up with this.

1. Ezra Klein
2. Dave Weigel
3. Matthew Yglesias
4. David Dayen
5. Spencer Ackerman
6. Jeffrey Toobin
7. Eric Alterman
8. Paul Krugman
9. John Judis
10. Eve Fairbanks
11. Mike Allen
12. Ben Smith
13. Lisa Lerer
14. Joe Klein
15. Brad DeLong
16. Chris Hayes
17. Matt Duss
18. Jonathan Chait
19. Jesse Singal
20. Michael Cohen
21. Isaac Chotiner
22. Katha Pollitt
23. Alyssa Rosenberg
24. Rick Perlstein
25. Alex Rossmiller
26. Ed Kilgore
27. Walter Shapiro
28. Noam Scheiber
29. Michael Tomasky
30. Rich Yesels
31. Tim Fernholz
32. Dana Goldstein
33. Jonathan Cohn
34. Scott Winship
35. David Roberts
36. Luke Mitchell
37. John Blevins
38. Moira Whelan
39. Henry Farrell
40. Josh Bearman
41. Alec McGillis
42. Greg Anrig
43. Adele Stan
44. Steven Teles
45. Harold Pollack
46. Adam Serwer
47. Ryan Donmoyer
48. Seth Michaels
49. Kate Steadman
50. Matt Duss
51. Laura Rozen
52. Jesse Taylor
53. Michael Hirsh
54. Daniel Davies
55. Jonathan Zasloff
56. Richard Kim
57. Thomas Schaller
58. Jared Bernstein
59. Holly Yeager
60. Joe Conason
61. David Greenberg
62. Todd Gitlin
63. Mark Schmitt
64. Kevin Drum
65. Sarah Spitz

How many objective reporters are there on that list? I don't recognize many of the names, so I can't really say what the exact count is, but the vast majority of names are bloggers and other liberal activist types.

Two of the names of actual reporters are Mike Allen and Ben Smith, both of The Politico. Anyone familiar with these men or their writing knows they were not and would not be part of any liberal conspiracy to report news favorable to the Democrats. I don't even know how Mike Allen got on the list; he's a conservative, and therefore doesn't fit the list's "left to center" membership requirement.
41, 47, 59 are, for the WaPo, Bloomberg and CJR respectively.
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  #183  
Old 08-02-2010, 01:12 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Yes, you've caught me, I'm in my 20's. I'll hang my head in shame and silently slink away now. But seriously folks, I don't watch much cable news either. And we're not going to settle this with anecdotes about what the news coverage was when it appears that neither of us watch much of it anyways.
I never sit down in front of the television and watch cable news. But I do have cable news on in the background almost all the time when I'm home, and in that way, plus closely reading the political press and blogs, I always have a very good idea what is being discussed in the national political dialog. In other words, I have a very good idea of how the Wright story played in the first half of 2008, how the journolist story has played in Summer, 2010, and remember in vivid detail how Clinton's presidency was covered.


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Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
You also seem to be describing press coverage *post* Lewinsky, which seems to make a good bit of difference. It seems like Bubba probably had a bit of bad press coming after proving himself unable to keep his snake in his trousers for the umpteenth time.
It's true that the cable news frenzy reached absolutely epic proportions for the 14 months from January, 1998 (when the Lewinsky story broke) and February, 1999, by which time the impeachment trial was finally over. But no, I was not only describing press coverage post Lewinsky. The media was in a frenzied, anti-Clinton state from the first weeks of his administration, and it only accelerated and gained momentum the longer he was in office. It started, as I recall, with White Water allegations that were raised during the campaign, and continued right on into the administration. Every new utterance or action by the president was fresh cause for another round of cable news bloviating and hand-wringing. The only difference between then and now is that then there were no liberal voices. At least now we have MSNBC.

Example: The very same day that Clinton's mother died -- January 6, 1994, less than 2 years into Clinton's first term -- a day when you would think that Republicans would pause in their deranged attacks, Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich appeared together to make a public statement calling for a Special Prosecutor to investigate what they implied was White House involvement in the death of Vince Foster. Foster had died about six months prior, and many conservatives took for granted that he was murdered by the Clintons. Drudge and Limbaugh went so far as to suggest that Hillary did the deed herself. It had only been talked about for six solid months by this time, so it was still plenty fresh for conservatives to endlessly flog in the media, and the media was more than willing to play along, week after week, month after month.


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Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
And OK, I do actually have a serious point to make. Let's take your interpretation of Spencer's comments for a minute. Far as I can tell, you're saying that it wasn't random, he wanted to specifically pick someone pushing the Reverend Wright story (Fred Barnes and Karl Rove I think?) and then call them racist. But the problem for me is, the logic of this statement seems to imply that Fred Barnes and Karl Rove were racists specifically for pushing the Reverend Wright story. And I don't come within 10 city blocks of buying that logic. I guess you could argue Spencer thought they were racists independent of this story, and wanted to call them racists anyways, but then why mention in conjunction with the Wright story?
I don't buy that Barnes or Rove are racists merely for pushing the Wright story, either, but it's immaterial what you or I think. We weren't the ones who wrote those emails to journolist: Ackerman was. And the record makes it explicitly clear that Ackerman DID think they were racist. He said so in his emails. See my first post in this thread for details.

As to your final question -- why mention their racism in conjunction with the Wright story -- Ackerman answered that question. He said his side would fall into the right's trap if they defended OR attacked Wright, so instead the left should accuse one of them of racism. He gave two reasons for this: (1) To change the subject and break out of the dilemma presented by having to defend Wright, and (2) to show the right that it will pay a price for going after the left.

Last edited by TwinSwords; 08-02-2010 at 01:16 AM..
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  #184  
Old 08-02-2010, 01:22 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
41, 47, 59 are, for the WaPo, Bloomberg and CJR respectively.
Thanks!

Next step is to cross reference those names against the published record and see what contributions they may have made to the discussions occurring on journolist.

I realize you would not, but if I was a political reporter committed to objectivity, I would still be willing to join journolist -- not to privately express my liberal POV, but to pick up leads and to keep my finger on the pulse of a group of semi-influential liberal activists. I know you have said that an objective reporter should get no where near a list like that*, but I can well imagine that some objective reporter somewhere might have been happy for the chance to be on the list just so he or she could keep tabs on what was being discussed.

By the way, I've been meaning to ask. You've had a lot of criticism of the members of journolist for their role in this affair. What about The Daily Caller? What do you think of their ethics and how they have covered this story? Do you see any issues there?


* Or, at least, that's what I recall you saying. My apologies if I've mis-read or mis-remembered what you said.
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  #185  
Old 08-02-2010, 02:03 AM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Thanks!

Next step is to cross reference those names against the published record and see what contributions they may have made to the discussions occurring on journolist.

I realize you would not, but if I was a political reporter committed to objectivity, I would still be willing to join journolist -- not to privately express my liberal POV, but to pick up leads and to keep my finger on the pulse of a group of semi-influential liberal activists. I know you have said that an objective reporter should get no where near a list like that*, but I can well imagine that some objective reporter somewhere might have been happy for the chance to be on the list just so he or she could keep tabs on what was being discussed.

By the way, I've been meaning to ask. You've had a lot of criticism of the members of journolist for their role in this affair. What about The Daily Caller? What do you think of their ethics and how they have covered this story? Do you see any issues there?


* Or, at least, that's what I recall you saying. My apologies if I've mis-read or mis-remembered what you said.
You've represented my views fine.

On the role of the DC: My take is that if a leak contains information that you believe to be of material value to your readers, you publish. If it contains life-threatening information, you hold that back. [I'm angry about Wikileaks' not redacting the Afghan names, for example.]

So the DC did no wrong by breaking the story, as news, and quoting the source (the leaked emails) directly. I just re-read the initial story and it reads like a standard news piece, more magazine than newspaper, but news. That said, they DID do wrong by not, at least in the initial Weigelgate stories, posting the context of many of the inflammatory comments.

The DC's coverage from the last ten days, on the other hand, has been more thorough, posting long exchanges, and then adding the conservative analysis/spin, which is also fine, so long as it's presented as opinion. This second wave of coverage has been presented in the form of analytical columns and commentaries. While I disdain the opinion style some of these writers use, from a strict journo-ethics perspective, I can't say it's wrong to write commentaries.

The people I DO have ethical issues with are the other conservative sites--Drudge, Breitbart et al--who don't make a news/opinion distinction, and who included the opinions (ie calls for Weigel to resign) IN the initial news stories (ie reporting the leak). That's not okay.
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  #186  
Old 08-02-2010, 03:38 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Yeah, you guys are right that it's probably not correct to blame it on his age. I do think in general young people are more likely to give into impulsiveness and emotion, but there still has to be some underlying temperament that would lead him to behave that way, as you suggest.

I also think that not many people on Journolist share PMP's commitment to her particular and rigid journalistic code of conduct. It strikes me that most of the journolisters are not objective reporters or even journalists. They are more like political activists....
I think part of it is temperment, specifically what seems to be Ackerman's general approach, which I would not agree is any more common than Preppy's (based on her persona in this forum).

I think another part of it, though, and another reason I think the JournoList idea ended up being a bad one, is that there was some degree of confusion about what was going on on that list. Was it a bunch of activists or friends, as Ackerman may have thought in the moment? Or was it a professional discussion among journalists of a particular range of political views? My understanding is the latter, but given the personal relationships between them, I can understand feeling at times that it was the former, especially in the heat of the moment. It's not an admirable thing in either context, but there's a big difference between venting or ranting to friends and making the statement on a professional listserv or one devoted to a journalistic discussion. That both were going on creates, at least, a potential appearance of impropriety for those concerned about journalistic ethics and professionalism.

And for that matter, I think it's not fair to the journalists (including opinion journalists) on the list to suggest that Preppy's concerns wrt to ethics aren't ones they would share. Chait, for example, writes opinion pieces and for a liberal (ish) magazine, yet I bet he'd be offended by the idea that he's closer to an activist and not a real journalist, and I expect he'd say he cares deeply about ethical considerations. I think the majority of the people are either mainstream journalists or people like Chait, although there clearly are some others.

(And like I said in an earlier post, I really think the JournoList thing has been blown out of proportion, but I'm getting concerned that some of the defenses are dismissing genuine concerns that I don't think the participants, for the most part, would want to dismiss.)

For what it's worth, I think Ackerman's language was ambiguous, but the best reading is that he's holding "the right" as a whole responsible for the Wright stuff and not distinguishing between individual members of the right in his blanket suggestion (which I think is more of a vent than a serious proposal). That seems a much better reading to me than claiming that he's redefining a common term "the right" to have a new meaning without specifically doing that. That said, I doubt he meant it all that seriously (and his sloppy language was a symptom of that), but it does reflect badly on him and puts the other members of the list in something of an awkward position (although I don't think worse of any of them).
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  #187  
Old 08-02-2010, 03:48 PM
Bima Bima is offline
 
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Default Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

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Part of it is that Bob is so clearly in such a good mood when he's talking to Mickey. The variation in Bob's comfort level (where 1=Andrew Sullivan, 3=Mike Kinsley, 9=Joel and 10=Mickey) is one of the great joys of Bloggingheads completionism.
What level on this scale will assign to Christopher Hitchens?
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  #188  
Old 08-02-2010, 04:11 PM
Bima Bima is offline
 
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Default Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

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I dunno, it seems to be a pretty apt analogy in that both cases have someone taking tenuous-to-non-existent ties to some feared organization and tries to spin it as substantive in order to politically injure the target. Bob said it best when he pointed out that the investigative reporting of the piece led to nothing and therefore should have either highlighted that there is NOT a credible connection to terrorist groups, or should have more appropriately been one of the millions of stories that remain on the cutting room floor. To take the non-evidence and spin it as evidence in the hope of scaring the public, is exactly the type of tactic that McCarthy was famous for.
I just finished reading the TNR piece and considering Mr. Schwartz's previous writing it seems relatively mild. He is a Sufi Muslim who writes about the influence of Wahabi/Salafi money in the West. My guess is that he looked pretty hard for a link but was unable to find it. We may not have heard the last from him on this subject.
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  #189  
Old 08-02-2010, 04:49 PM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

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I think part of it is temperment, specifically what seems to be Ackerman's general approach, which I would not agree is any more common than Preppy's (based on her persona in this forum).

I think another part of it, though, and another reason I think the JournoList idea ended up being a bad one, is that there was some degree of confusion about what was going on on that list. Was it a bunch of activists or friends, as Ackerman may have thought in the moment? Or was it a professional discussion among journalists of a particular range of political views? My understanding is the latter, but given the personal relationships between them, I can understand feeling at times that it was the former, especially in the heat of the moment. It's not an admirable thing in either context, but there's a big difference between venting or ranting to friends and making the statement on a professional listserv or one devoted to a journalistic discussion. That both were going on creates, at least, a potential appearance of impropriety for those concerned about journalistic ethics and professionalism.

And for that matter, I think it's not fair to the journalists (including opinion journalists) on the list to suggest that Preppy's concerns wrt to ethics aren't ones they would share. Chait, for example, writes opinion pieces and for a liberal (ish) magazine, yet I bet he'd be offended by the idea that he's closer to an activist and not a real journalist, and I expect he'd say he cares deeply about ethical considerations. I think the majority of the people are either mainstream journalists or people like Chait, although there clearly are some others.

(And like I said in an earlier post, I really think the JournoList thing has been blown out of proportion, but I'm getting concerned that some of the defenses are dismissing genuine concerns that I don't think the participants, for the most part, would want to dismiss.)

For what it's worth, I think Ackerman's language was ambiguous, but the best reading is that he's holding "the right" as a whole responsible for the Wright stuff and not distinguishing between individual members of the right in his blanket suggestion (which I think is more of a vent than a serious proposal). That seems a much better reading to me than claiming that he's redefining a common term "the right" to have a new meaning without specifically doing that. That said, I doubt he meant it all that seriously (and his sloppy language was a symptom of that), but it does reflect badly on him and puts the other members of the list in something of an awkward position (although I don't think worse of any of them).
This is an excellent post.
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  #190  
Old 08-02-2010, 04:55 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

I disagree with your assesment of the most obvious reading of Ackerman's words. I think Twin nailed it as being a much more targeted group that he was talking about (Barnes, Rove etc.) and I think Twin's rabbit analogy illustrated that logic nicely.

But another thing worth mentioning is the possibility that Ackerman is known as a blowhard who tends towards hyperbole amongst friends. And I'm not saying that as a negative. I'm very much the same way with alot of my more intimate conversations. I tend to say drastic things for comedic effect or just to be provocative. And taken out of context it can be very easy to get the wrong impression of what I actually meant, if someone parsed through my e-mails etc. The very fact that Ackerman's suggested tactic didn't get much enthusiasm from others on Journolist suggest that they may have treated it more as Spencer-being-Spencer or even that he was using a bit of sarcasm. Obviously this gets into crystal-ball territory on our part, but I just thought it worth mentioning because everyone seems to be going on a 100% literal reading of Ackerman's words, and given the nature of the friendships of the people on the list I can see more than small possibility that hyperbole and humor may have often played a part in the discussions.

I still have trouble getting upset abot any of this in that I imagine journalists sharing drinks and in moments of heated campaigns hearing all kinds of slimy ideas when they are venting. Oh to be a fly on the wall when the Tucker Carlson's and Andrew Breitbart's discuss Obama, Pelosi etc.

At the end of the day, nobody acted on Ackerman's suggested tactic. It was shot down by his peers and never amounted to anything. At least not based on any of the released e-mails.
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  #191  
Old 08-02-2010, 10:28 PM
Alexandrite Alexandrite is offline
 
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Default Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

Interesting policy, but I don't really think you should enforce it.

For example.

Get past the notion that it is inherrent to human beings who are angry to always be civil.

I'd pay to see Ann Coulter on BH.TV. I don't know who she should debate, someone both sympathetic but also antagonistic to her views. A 'new-partier' like Ross Douthat or David Frum? Or a libertarian?

BH.TV Premium?
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  #192  
Old 08-03-2010, 09:55 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

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I'd pay to see Ann Coulter on BH.TV. I don't know who she should debate, someone both sympathetic but also antagonistic to her views. A 'new-partier' like Ross Douthat or David Frum? Or a libertarian?

BH.TV Premium?
Christopher Hitchens. I doubt she'd let him get away with the 'smarter than thou' routine...and vice versa.
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  #193  
Old 08-03-2010, 10:10 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

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Christopher Hitchens. I doubt she'd let him get away with the 'smarter than thou' routine...and vice versa.
I remember her on Buckley's "Firing Line" once, in the mid-to-late nineties. Buckley's patience with her approach seemed to me to have lasted about fifteen minutes. He was characteristically gracious, but it was clear (to me at any rate) that he had very little he wanted to hear from her by show's end.
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  #194  
Old 08-03-2010, 11:11 AM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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Default Bob and Hamas

Bob doesn't seem to see much wrong with supporting Hamas, a virulently anti-semitic terrorist organization.

By that same logic, it wouldn't be bad to support the Klan. Now, not everyone who has ever supported the Klan has been racist (though the vast majority have), but everyone who has supported the Klan has at least demonstrated a tolerance of, if not an outright acceptance of, racism and terrorism, because they would not otherwise support the organization.

In the same way, not everyone who voices support of Hamas is an antisemite, but the vast majority are, and the rest tolerate if not accept bigotry and terrorism.

Time for Bob and others on the left to take a more sane position on Hamas.
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  #195  
Old 08-03-2010, 01:02 PM
look look is offline
 
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Default Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

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Christopher Hitchens. I doubt she'd let him get away with the 'smarter than thou' routine...and vice versa.
I think Hitch is a great selection, but unlikely. Mickey's my top choice.

Bob is just using the apology thing as an excuse. He simply detests her.

See if you can find the Hitchens review of Coulter's book 'Godless,' I think it was. Nicely done.
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  #196  
Old 08-04-2010, 02:07 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Ackerman's Proposal

Exactly right, especially this part:

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Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
I disagree with your assesment of the most obvious reading of Ackerman's words. I think Twin nailed it as being a much more targeted group that he was talking about (Barnes, Rove etc.) and I think Twin's rabbit analogy illustrated that logic nicely.

But another thing worth mentioning is the possibility that Ackerman is known as a blowhard who tends towards hyperbole amongst friends. And I'm not saying that as a negative. I'm very much the same way with alot of my more intimate conversations. I tend to say drastic things for comedic effect or just to be provocative. And taken out of context it can be very easy to get the wrong impression of what I actually meant, if someone parsed through my e-mails etc. The very fact that Ackerman's suggested tactic didn't get much enthusiasm from others on Journolist suggest that they may have treated it more as Spencer-being-Spencer or even that he was using a bit of sarcasm. Obviously this gets into crystal-ball territory on our part, but I just thought it worth mentioning because everyone seems to be going on a 100% literal reading of Ackerman's words, and given the nature of the friendships of the people on the list I can see more than small possibility that hyperbole and humor may have often played a part in the discussions.

I still have trouble getting upset abot any of this in that I imagine journalists sharing drinks and in moments of heated campaigns hearing all kinds of slimy ideas when they are venting. Oh to be a fly on the wall when the Tucker Carlson's and Andrew Breitbart's discuss Obama, Pelosi etc.
If you're going to make judgment's about Spencer's fitness for his profession, you do it on the basis of his work. As with everybody else on that list. This witch hunting by the wingnuts for thoughtcrimes, and worse, the solemn murmuring in acquiescence by too many centrists is just completely eye-rolling.

I know, I know. PMP never said a harsh or hyperbolic thing in her life, or so she will claim at tiresome length, and probably Stephanie will say the same about herself, too. Spare me.
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  #197  
Old 08-04-2010, 02:12 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

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See if you can find the Hitchens review of Coulter's book 'Godless,' I think it was. Nicely done.
Is this the one you had in mind?
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  #198  
Old 08-04-2010, 02:20 AM
listener listener is offline
 
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Default Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

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Is this the one you had in mind?
I'm sorry; as much as I may agree with some of Hitchens' views, I just cannot abide his bitter, dishonest nastiness. I went to this review with the hope that with respect to Ann Coulter, whom I generally view as despicable, Hitchens might make a solid argument. However, in my view he undermined whatever points he had to make by virtue of his unadulterated meanness, if nothing else. I'm sorry if he is unwell, as I have heard, and personally I wish him well; but what he writes here is just unreadable vitriol.
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Last edited by listener; 08-04-2010 at 02:25 AM..
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  #199  
Old 08-04-2010, 10:43 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

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Originally Posted by listener View Post
I'm sorry; as much as I may agree with some of Hitchens' views, I just cannot abide his bitter, dishonest nastiness. I went to this review with the hope that with respect to Ann Coulter, whom I generally view as despicable, Hitchens might make a solid argument. However, in my view he undermined whatever points he had to make by virtue of his unadulterated meanness, if nothing else. I'm sorry if he is unwell, as I have heard, and personally I wish him well; but what he writes here is just unreadable vitriol.
Yeah, but context is king. Coulter is a gushing well of unreadable vitriol. Hitchens simply seemed to be attempting a much needed top-kill operation.
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  #200  
Old 08-04-2010, 11:25 AM
listener listener is offline
 
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Default Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

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Yeah, but context is king. Coulter is a gushing well of unreadable vitriol. Hitchens simply seemed to be attempting a much needed top-kill operation.
If so, that is what is known as "sinking to her level," which as I wrote, only weakens his argument and undermines whatever points he had to make IMO.
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