Thursday, April 10, 2008

I take it back

talk about Megan all you want, Glenn. You're good at it. (Scroll down to the second update.)

(9) Megan McArdle has now written I don't know how many more posts responding to what I wrote, but I've said everything I have to say for now on these matters. I'm nonetheless compelled to write once more because both she and Dan Drezner are actually now running around to other places complaining I've defamed them by falsely accusing them of being pro-torture when, in fact, they say, they oppose torture.

As is so obvious to anyone who even casually read what I wrote, I said no such thing. I don't know -- and really don't care -- what Dan Drezner or Megan McArdle's views on torture are, and I didn't write a word about any of that. What I wrote -- as clearly as the English language permits -- is that people like them who advocate aggressive wars, such as the invasion of Iraq, are responsible for what naturally follows. That's a principle established by the Nuremberg Trials. It has nothing to do with what they think about torture:
Lots of links not reinserted, but these two are new to us, and worth a look. (BTW, tho I don't agree with her on many things, Mona at High Clearing is almost personally responsible for me calling Megan a disgrace to libertarians. Mona is genuine, and willing to respectfully consider other viewpoints. That's no small thing, and shows that libertarians aren't universally narcissistic pieces of shit.) So, first, Drezner,
Comment by Dan Drezner —
April 9, 2008 @ 11:23 pm

I’m afraid good faith was out the window the moment Greenwald asserted I was pro-torture.
(Mona's reply, btw, shows why I respect her.) But now, the Megan.
Comment by Megan McArdle —
April 10, 2008 @ 12:06 am

What Greenwald said about me and Dan was deeply, deeply offensive, and also, not true, though I’m sure many in the crowd here believe otherwise. A positive description of how the media works is not a normative prescription for bowling stories, much less [expletive deleted] torture. Greenwald basically says that we’re supporting some establishment conspiracy because it will help us continue and conceal our enthusiastic support for war crimes. Given that I’ve said that the war was a bad idea and repeatedly taken the position that we shouldn’t even talk about whether torture works because it takes too much focus off the fact that we shouldn’t [censored] do it, this is vile, ignorant, malicious twaddle. Since Dan has said the same things earlier and more often, it is even worse directed at him. Y’all don’t engage with people who call you objectively pro-terrorist, and with good reason. Why on earth would we listen to Greenwald’s venomous froth?
Yes, why consider valid and well considered criticism when you can dismiss it as something which hurts your feelings. One should express disagreement politely, with 2x4's.
Comment by Megan McArdle —
April 10, 2008 @ 12:12 am

Mona, Greenwald made a positive claim–that the news coverage runs the way it is because journalists are “insulated” from their readers. I disputed the positive claim, with good reason, because if you’ve ever met a working journalist, it’s completely ludicrous. I am keenly alive to the problems of journalism, including its homogenous culture, but that culture is simply not a workable explanation for the particular phenomenon that Greenwald is describing; indeed, exactly the opposite. On this sort of thing, journalists are being led by other things, not following.

Greenwald took disagreement on a matter of fact and asserted that this was really a disagreement on principle. He didn’t dissect anything from my own words; he read into a factual claim all sorts of nefarious motives. Since you disagree with me about . . . well, I’m not sure what we disagree about, actually, but since you dislike me, his conclusions naturally seem entirely reasonable. But they are not divinable from a fairly anodyne, and not particularly original, analysis of why journalists cover the things they do the way they do.
Yes, there we have Megan expressing why Greenwald is wrong about... ummmm, something or other, she's not quite sure. It's almost as if her confusion relates to her professional failures, huh?
Remember how she flew down to Texas to do interviews in Jena before posting "Jail the Jena 6"? Or how her pieces on saving inner city school kids are chock full of the desperate pleas of parents, students, and teachers to destroy the school system in order to fix it? How's about them Vietnamese she spoke to who personally begged her to buy a factory and start a sweatshop? Megan talks to the people, not just to those in her clique and the media hacks her corporate masters pay to write her copy for her.
She's just like David Brooks, she's just more humble about it.
So there, hatorz.

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