11.29.2007

sports columnist suggests bloggers should be exterminated. why we should care.

In response to my recent list of some sad US goings-on, my friend Dean G said:
Another item in your list could have been about the increasing cries by (especially young) US right-wingers for people they disagree with or find annoying to be tased. I've heard this sort of thing frequently over the past few years, and people here know full well that tasers are not safe, that they do destroy people. I somehow doubt that even a small segment of the Canadian population regularly calls for people they disagree with to be shot with enough volts to cripple or kill them, yet it's become a familiar cry now in the US.

Dean's comment was on my mind when I read this post in Joy of Sox. [Emphasis mine.]
Philadelphia Daily News sportswriter Bill Conlin believes that Jimmy Rollins was the National League's Most Valuable Player.

Rollins was decidedly not the MVP (as FJM points out), but that's not important.

A Phillies fan who writes the Crashburn Alley blog emailed Conlin and made the case for David Wright of the Mets. Conlin was not very polite in his responses. Indeed, during the discussion, Conlin wrote:
The only positive thing I can think of about Hitler's time on earth – I'm sure he would have eliminated all bloggers. In Colonial times, bloggers were called "Pamphleteers." They hung on street corners handing them out to passersby. Now, they hang out on electronic street corners, hoping somebody mouses on to their pretentious sites. Different medium, same MO.

A commenter asks:
By the way, does Conlin realize that the "Colonial pamphleteers" he's comparing to bloggers were the ones who instigated and led the American Revolution? So he's placing bloggers in the company of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and Alexander Hamilton ... and siding with Hitler and King George III.

And while we're chatting about the Third Reich, remember when [New York Yankees announcer] Michael Kay compared the idea of an announcer "jinxing" a no-hitter with the Nazis marching people into ovens?

(Audio? You better believe there's audio.)

[See the Joy of Sox post for relevant links.]

Don't worry that you've never heard of VORP, and don't know an MVP from a BLT. Baseball is not the point here. The point: this is considered acceptable discourse in the sports world.

It might be easy to dismiss this - "it's only sports" - but sports is a dominant element of American culture, and nearly every modern culture. Values seen in sports reflect the values of the larger society. Everyone who complains about high player salaries or steroid use (and I am not among those) should realize that. I would venture that the culture of sport exerts a stronger and more immediate impact on society than any academic or scientific community. You may find that a sad commentary, but it still may be true.

In the sports world - as increasingly in the political realm - it's perfectly acceptable to speak this way. Someone disagrees with you? Hitler would have known what to do with him.

Often when we scrutinize language like this, we are derided with that most hackneyed of accusations: political correctness. But language matters. I'll use the sports columnist Conlin's own extreme analogy. Hitler didn't wake up one day and snuff the life out of millions of human beings. He brought "his willing executioners" in line with his ideas. Ideas expressed through language.

Every action begins with an idea. Ideas are communicated through language. Language leads to action.

Or it can. Usually there is not an immediate cause-and-effect. More often language creates conditions that make action possible. Why else do militaries dehumanize their enemies? Why call the Iraqis "sand niggers", why call the Vietnamese "gooks"? Because those words help create the necessary conditions that enable soldiers to kill. Because how we speak influences how we feel. Because if we acknowledge the common humanity in all of us, it is more difficult to have enemies. And if we deny that humanity, step by step, word by word, we arrive at Abu Ghraib, My Lai, Wounded Knee, Katyn, Darfur.

Opportunities for that acknowledgement - and that denial - are with us every day. And the consequences of denying each other's humanity are vast, and very grim. A sports columnist who implies that people who disagree with him should be exterminated walks a dangerous road. But he's got a lot of company.

61 comments:

James said...

Here's another vile one:

Concerning the rioters at the shipyard in Tacoma. Where is the the National Guard unit that guarded Kent State when we need them?

From a letter to the editor in the Billingham Herald, found at Orcinus.

BTW, Orcinus is an excellent blog that concentrates on the activities of far-right eliminationist and supremacist groups (the kind that really like GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul).

James said...

Oh, another one: a prominent Jewish neo-con (I can't remember which one) was defending the use of torture recently on the grounds that "it worked for the Nazis". Seriously. His argument was that the Nazis tortured French prisoners and got them to give up the locations of their families, to be arrested and tortured in turn. Therefore, it works, therefore, the US should use it.

L-girl said...

Oh, another one: a prominent Jewish neo-con (I can't remember which one) was defending the use of torture recently on the grounds that "it worked for the Nazis".

I believe that would be Dershowitz. I'll look for a link.

L-girl said...

Well, that didn't take long.

Google "dershowitz torture" for tons links.

Lone Primate said...

This reminded me of stuff I've seen on an other "blog". Oh, it does get chilly down south, y'all.

L-girl said...

Wow. I can't look at that for very long. I literally - correct use of the word here - feel sick to my stomach.

Amy said...

This whole topic leaves me speechless. I cannot believe the things that people say and write. Dershowitz should be ashamed of himself---for anyone but especially for a Jew to use Hitler as a role model and as a justification for torture is beyond appalling. Dershowitz has always been a jerk, but this is beyond anything I would have expected.

redsock said...

That type of language has definitely been the norm for the right-wing in recent years. And it seems to be increasing. I'm sure Media Matters or FAIR has been keeping track of this crap.

From Coulter calling for the assassination of Supreme Court justices to anonymous internet commenters wanting to pull the switch on Cindy Sheehan and hoping that lefties can be waterboarded, tasered and whatever else for simply speaking their opinion, it is pretty dismal down there.

s1c said...

Well if one uses wiki's definition we have reached a point of infinity. As for Dershowitz, he has always had me looking and going "say what?" but I am surprised that he would make such a statement.

Oh, Redsock, don't be blaming us neocon libertarian fire breathing fascists for all of the nazi / kill / death threats / and other dastardly things. Both sides have those who spew hate and bigotry and they all should be scorned for what they are, neanderthals.

James said...

Both sides have those who spew hate and bigotry and they all should be scorned for what they are, neanderthals.

Is there anyone on the left who is both as prominent and as hateful as Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Michael Savage, etc?

The worst one of any notoriety I can think of is Ward Churchill, and he at his worst hasn't come close to, say, defending internment as a reasonable way to treat citizens based on race or religion, the way Malkin has.

impudent strumpet said...

It might be easy to dismiss this - "it's only sports" - but sports is a dominant element of American culture, and nearly every modern culture. Values seen in sports reflect the values of the larger society.

The following is the "Thought Du Jour" on the Facts & Arguments page of today's Globe and Mail:

"Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: In other words it is war minus the shooting." - George Orwell

James said...

"Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: In other words it is war minus the shooting." - George Orwell

And all the world over, each nation's the same,
They've simply no notion of Playing the Game:
They argue with umpires; they cheer when they've won;
And they practise beforehand, which ruins the fun!
-- "A Song Of Patriotic Prejudice", Flanders & Swann

redsock said...

Is there anyone on the left who is both as prominent and as hateful as Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Michael Savage, etc?

I anxiously await even one example. I will not hold my breath, however.

L-girl said...

Oh, Redsock, don't be blaming us neocon libertarian fire breathing fascists for all of the nazi / kill / death threats / and other dastardly things. Both sides have those who spew hate and bigotry and they all should be scorned for what they are, neanderthals.

Evidence, please?

And s1c, how can you even think of using the word "libertarian" in the same sentence as "fascists", and linking them as if they are similar or the same? Unless you don't understand the meaning of either of those words?

L-girl said...

It is a common notion that the left is as hateful as the the right.

A common notion, yet still a myth.

L-girl said...

Please let me remind readers that wmtc is not a place for verbal warfare disguised as debate. Everyone is entitled to her/his opinion, but I am not obligated to host those opinions on this blog.

It's not censorship. It's my house, and my rules. Play by them, or go away.

s1c said...

Actually I understand the words quite well.

As for Evidence well here is one Dallas news Irish Peace Activist, or how about the storming of the stage, when the Minuteman founder was asked to speak at Columbia, or go to just about any thread on DU, Huffington Post, or Daily Kos after bushhitler speaks and feel the loathing and wishes for death.

Just because you close your eyes does not mean its not there. Of course the main point of my post was the simple fact that in most cases they should be treated like the neanderthals they are.

L-girl said...

s1c:

No one here is saying that every individual person who subscribes to leftist politics behaves as he or she should. That would be absurd.

However, you will not find prominent leftist columnists, pundits, thinkers (whatever word you want to use) who perpetuate dangerous and violent ideas the way, say, Coulter or Malkin do, to use but two examples.

how about the storming of the stage, when the Minuteman founder was asked to speak at Columbia

If you regard the storming of a stage in protest as the same as calling for someone's death, then this conversation is not worth having.

or go to just about any thread on DU, Huffington Post, or Daily Kos after bushhitler speaks and feel the loathing and wishes for death.

Loathing? There's nothing wrong with loathing.

But show me one death wish. You say we can "go to just about any thread" and see this, so it should be easy for you to produce a tiny bit of evidence. So come back here with one example of someone on one of those sites calling for someone's death.

Finally, anyone can link to a Wiki definition, it doesn't mean they understand an idea. One can't be libertarian and fascist at the same time. It's not possible. My point was that to call someone "a libertarian fascist" shows a basic lack of understanding.

L-girl said...

To clarify, now that I've had coffee:

However, you will not find prominent leftist columnists, pundits, thinkers (whatever word you want to use) who perpetuate dangerous and violent ideas the way, say, Coulter or Malkin do, to use but two examples.

Some people regard any leftist idea as dangerous. But we are speaking of a specific kind of discourse, one in which someone calls for another's death or torture, or the death of an entire group of people.

I don't think anyone here is saying that you cannot find one leftist blog somewhere on the internet that calls for the death of Bush, Cheney or Rumsfeld.

We are saying that people who oppose the US occupation of Iraq and other US policies do not propose death or torture as a way of solving problems. And you *generally* don't see that kind of "...they should be shot" / "hang 'em high" type of rhetoric from the left. It is extremely common on the right, from the most prominent spokespeople and media outlets down to the average citizen.

I haven't gone to the link s1c supplied, but will now.

L-girl said...

Will everyone reading this thread, please go the link s1c supplied?

Betty Williams, who won the Nobel Peace Prize?? Expressing her anger that she "could kill George Bush" but then laughing and saying "how can you kill someone nonviolently"???

Will someone with more patience than me please explain the difference between what we're talking about and that incident? Thank you in advance.

Amy said...

I can't say that I did a comprehensive search, but after some searching, I could not find one leading liberal/lefting writer/thinker calling for death to Bush, the right wing generally, Republicans, etc. Sure, there are a few nuts out there, but no one with the status of an Ann Coulter or Alan Dershowitz, etc. In fact, when googling "Death to Bush," most of the stories that came up were about protesters in India and Afghanistan chanting that, not Americans.

Again, I can't say my search is comprehensive. I actually set out to find something to back up S1C because I assumed that there were liberals/leftists who could have used that rhetoric, but I came up with nothing.

Amy said...

Also, Betty Williams APOLOGIZED for making that comment. And how many times have any of us said, "I could kill X," meaning it as just an expression of frustration or annoyance, not an as expression that that person deserves to die?

redsock said...

... one Dallas news Irish Peace Activist ... the Minuteman founder ... any thread on DU, Huffington Post, or Daily Kos ...

None of these people are on a par with the well-known right-wingers cited above.

They do not write nationally-syndicated columns or best-selling books, they do not regularly appear on national television news shows -- indeed, they do not host cable news shows, such as John "5 To The Head" Gibson.

Try again.

redsock said...

Some of Coulter's comments:

August 26, 2002: "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."

February 7, 2005: "Would that it were so! ... That the American military were targeting journalists."

January 27, 2006: "We need somebody to put rat poison in Justice Stevens' creme brulee."

August 30, 2006 column: "They Shot the Wrong Lincoln" (referring to then-Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island).

....

Not to mention the hundreds of examples of right-wing media calling their opponents (or people they don't like) fags, bull-dykes, ghetto sluts, ragheads, etc., or for them to be murdered and dumped into mass graves.

John said...

This is a little off-topic. I noticed exactly one interesting thing on the "rhjunior" blog: the link to the Blog Readability Test.

The accuracy of little web toys is debatable. However, I find it irresistable to point out that rhjunior's blog is apparently at an elementary school reading level, while this blog rates as college undergrad. Make of that what you will.

L-girl said...

I noticed exactly one interesting thing on the "rhjunior" blog: the link to the Blog Readability Test.

The accuracy of little web toys is debatable. However, I find it irresistable to point out that rhjunior's blog is apparently at an elementary school reading level, while this blog rates as college undergrad. Make of that what you will.


Heh, thanks. :)

I wish I could derive some credit from that, but alas, the test seems to be b/s, or at least that was the conclusion over here at Allan's blog.

I do agree, though, that is the only potentially interesting thing on that blog! :)

L-girl said...

I agree with what both Amy and Allan posted. I only want to add one nitpick.

one Dallas news Irish Peace Activist ... the Minuteman founder ... any thread on DU, Huffington Post, or Daily Kos ...

None of these people are on a par with the well-known right-wingers cited above.


It's possible that Allan doesn't realize that s1c has called a very prominent spokesperson, indeed a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Betty Willians, "one Dallas news Irish Peace Activist". She is much more than that.

However, her statement only compares to what is spewed from the right on a regular basis if it is taken completely out of context, twisted and reshaped. Accounts of what actually occured are (big surprise) nothing like what Fox News & its acolytes say all the time.

Btw, Allan = Redsock, for those who don't know.

s1c said...

A couple of things -

1) I am not aware of ever saying that Coulter and Savage are not capable of inciting hate speech or to my knowledge have I ever said that they should be applauded for saying such. Nor do I need examples.

2) I believe that you will see that all I said was that the left is also responsible for this type of speech (which is why I usually vote for the third party as I am generally disgusted with both parties), I was not aware though that we were restricting it to only promient (ie famous or important) people with a radio show, a column or on tv.

So with that in mind I guess Randi Rhodes would not count (third from the bottom).

L-girl - as for the neocon libertarian fire breathing fascists I probably should have put or's between those because really my point was that it is my experience that most republicans are called one or the other of those and usually a combination of at least two.

L-girl said...

I am not aware of ever saying that Coulter and Savage are not capable of inciting hate speech or to my knowledge have I ever said that they should be applauded for saying such. Nor do I need examples.

They don't only incite hate speech, although they certainly do that, too. They themselves speak hate speech.

The reason for those quotes is to be clear on what we're talking about.

If you've seen anything resembling that coming from anyone on the left in the US, I'd be very interested in seeing it. I think you could search a long, long time before you found anything.

However, when finding examples from the right, you could cut and paste all day without repeating yourself.

I believe that you will see that all I said was that the left is also responsible for this type of speech

And we asked for examples, and you had none.

(which is why I usually vote for the third party as I am generally disgusted with both parties)

Parties? You were talking about parties, as in Democrats and Republicans? I'm sorry, I was unaware of that. I do not regard the Democrats (as a party) to be leftist in any way whatsoever. So when someone says "left," I certainly do not think they are speaking of Democrats.

But if you are talking about parties, then I'm quite sure you've never seen or heard that kind of hate-filled, violence-filled rhetoric coming out of the so-called left.

You did, however, say this:

go to just about any thread on DU, Huffington Post, or Daily Kos after bushhitler speaks and feel the loathing and wishes for death.

Of course there is loathing for him, his minute brain and his destructive policies. Why shouldn't there be?

But I'd be very surprised if you could find death wishes at all, never mind "on just about any thread" as you claim.

I was not aware though that we were restricting it to only promient (ie famous or important) people with a radio show, a column or on tv.

That was the topic, yes. Since we can't possibly know or account for what every individual says or writes, we were looking at leadership, which sets the tone. The leadership on the right has increasingly set a tone of hate and violence. You do not see this on the left.

The original topic of my post was that this kind of hate-filled speech - calling for the death or extermination of whole groups of people - is deemed appropriate in US newspapers, a fact which I find distressing and dangerous.

redsock said...

L's post touches on how people may take cues from the words spoken in the broader culture -- which I would take to mean words that command a larger audience than others.

James picked this up and wrote: "Is there anyone on the left who is both as prominent and as hateful as Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Michael Savage, etc?"

I think that is where it started.

In its effect on other people, what I write at DU means next-to-nothing compared to what Russ Limbaugh says.

So where are the big-name lefties who habitually employ the same racist, homophobic, misogynistic, racist language as those on the right do?

Nowhere -- that's where they are. Could there be one or two out there? I suppose, though no one has been able to name any of them.

And since the right controls most almost all of the mainstream media, it is their words that frame the common discourse.

redsock said...

But I'd be very surprised if you could find death wishes at all, never mind "on just about any thread" as you claim.

In fact, on the bigger and more well-known boards like DU, clear death threats, along with stuff like calling for the violent overthrowing of the government, are always deleted and the poster is often banned.

L-girl said...

So where are the big-name lefties who habitually employ the same racist, homophobic, misogynistic, racist language as those on the right do?

Nowhere -- that's where they are. Could there be one or two out there? I suppose, though no one has been able to name any of them.


Yes, that's the point. Thanks, Allan.

And since the right controls almost all of the mainstream media, it is their words that frame the common discourse.

An important point, too easily overlooked when engaging in the "but the left says it too" debate.

L-girl said...

along with stuff like calling for the violent overthrowing of the government

Ah, the stuff dreams are made of.

redsock said...

From DU's rules:

Do not post messages that advocate harm or death to anyone, threaten the livelihood of anyone, or otherwise harass anyone. ...

Do not post messages that could be construed as advocating harm or death to the president or other high-ranking official in the United States government. In the case of the president, do not even post jokes, as the Secret Service is not known for its sense of humor.

Do not post messages that could be construed as advocating armed revolution or violent overthrow of the government of the United States.

Do not post messages that could be construed as advocating violence or military defeat against the United States, the U.S. military, US service people, or the people of the United States.

*******

Since Kos banned any and all 9/11 discussion that differs even one iota from the Bush-Cheney line, I do not visit his site for any reason.

But again, these are relatively unknown people often posting under a penname.

redsock said...

Ah, the stuff dreams are made of.

Yeah, Thomas Jefferson's dreams.

In a letter dated November 13, 1787:

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

L-girl said...

From DU's rules: . . .

Oy, soon we'll be hearing about censorship!

Ah, the stuff dreams are made of.

Yeah, Thomas Jefferson's dreams.


Mine own, as well.

My mother always said there could never be a people's revolution in the US, because everyone would have to miss their favourite TV shows.

Unfortunately, the US has always been in far greater danger of a revolution from the right than from the left. Who knew that when they finally did it, they'd be smart enough to dress it up in a democracy costume. Trick or treat.

s1c said...

And we asked for examples, and you had none.

A nobelist, who apologized as if that's ok and I suppose Randy Rhodes is not a leftist? You asked for one and I gave you two.

And since the right controls almost all of the mainstream media, it is their words that frame the common discourse.
lmfao

redsock said...

One of my favorite quotes:

"I admit it -- the liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures."
William Kristol, The New Yorker, May 22, 1995

redsock said...

You asked for one and I gave you two.

You gave me two isolated examples -- and one of them came (with no irony, apparently) from the website of Michelle "The US WWII Internment Camps Get A Thumbs Up From Me" Malkin.

What I asked was:

"So where are the big-name lefties who habitually employ the same racist, homophobic, misogynistic language as those on the right do?"

Meaning the progressive versions of Joe Scarborough, Michael Savage, Cal Thomas, John Gibson, Charles Krauthammer, G. Gordon Liddy, George Will, Rush Limbaugh, William Safire, Oliver North, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Brit Hume, Michelle Malkin -- to name only a few .............

L-girl said...

A nobelist, who apologized as if that's ok and I suppose Randy Rhodes is not a leftist? You asked for one and I gave you two.

Did you read what Betty Williams actually said? And you can compare that to what spews on a regular basis from the right??

I admit I don't know who Randi Rhodes is, which suggests to me that she's not all that prominent or all that leftist, but I'll check out the link.

But again, you said:

go to just about any thread on DU, Huffington Post, or Daily Kos after bushhitler speaks and feel the loathing and wishes for death.

but supplied no evidence of this claim.

And to Allan's more restrained question

So where are the big-name lefties who habitually employ the same racist, homophobic, misogynistic, racist language as those on the right do?

you say what?

Re right-wing media, "lmfao" is not considered a response on this blog.

If you have something to say, say it, and be sure to back it up. If not, go away.

The biggest hoax of the late 20th Century - "the liberal media" - holds no purchase on this blog. Wmtc readers are far too smart and well-read to stand for that particular bullshit. You want to blather about the liberal media, try a radio call-in show, where all the right-wingers use the media to complain about the media they supposedly don't control.

This is getting very tiresome. It's time to get your last erudite licks in - maybe rofl or lol will do - and call it a day.

L-girl said...

My apologies to Randi Rhodes.

Nice work, s1c. It was in a skit - a satire! And it's being quoted on Michelle Malkin's website!!! A woman who has called for the immediate forced internment of all Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans, among other gems.

Even if we concede those two isolated examples (Rhodes and Williams), they are two drops of spit compared to an ocean. Can it be you actually don't realize that?

But if you don't, if you honestly think there is as much hate speech coming from the left as from the right - not that you personally don't like either camp, but that both camps employ the same methods and tones - there's no point to this discussion.

s1c said...

LMFAO is the only thing that can be said when it is obvious, repeat obvious that the NY Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Sun Times, The Hartford Courant, The Boston Globe and most other newspapers along with ABC NEWS, NBC NEWS, CBS NEWS, MSNBC, and CNN are all left of center in their opinions, and their slants on "news".

As for drop in the buckets, you know what I didn't say that the right does more or less or the same I just said that both camps have called for the shooting of people, wished for them to die (check out Michael Moores blog) etc. My only statement was instead of "right wing nut houses constantly calling for that" you should just condemn the call!

And oh, yeah, since you asked me to find I probably spent only about a total of 10 minutes both times looking for the nobelist and the Assination (was in a skit oh yeah that makes it a-ok). Funny how I sent you to a page with just 10 or so links, of course those were just the bush should be assinated list and it was the first selection when I asked (ask.com) for randi rhodes bush gun shot. Which is why it took me ten minutes, since tonight is one of those nights when my left hand / arm doesn't want to cooperate and makes me do hunt and pecks.

As for Malkin, I haven't read her book (have you?) so I will not either support or slag her for the comments.

L-girl said...

ABC NEWS, NBC NEWS, CBS NEWS, MSNBC, and CNN are all left of center in their opinions, and their slants on "news".

Wow.

WOW.

WOW.

CNN is left of center. Ho-lee shit.

SO the nagging feeling was correct. There's no point in this discussion. Ta-ta.

L-girl said...

And lest I be misunderstood, I don't see any left of center media outlets on s1c's list. Not a one. I see a few moderate outlets and the rest conservative.

I only said "holy shit" at CNN because that was so mind-boggling.

L-girl said...

As for Malkin, I haven't read her book (have you?)

No, I have not. I know Malkin's beliefs from reading them online. It's not necessary to read an entire book of ideas that are quite literally nauseating to me in order to judge their relative value.

I read books to learn, to enjoy and to grow. Not to become enraged. If 95% of the Democrats in Congress are too far to the right for me, how can I be expected to cope with Michelle Malkin?

redsock said...

Which New York Times are you talking about?

The one I read while living in Manhattan, whose reporter Jeff Gerth invented the Whitewater scandal out of whole cloth?

The one that giggled like a schoolgirl over Bush and ignored everything in his past (and present) in 2000 while making up lies about Gore and then pounding away at them throughout the campaign -- a tatic that its lead Bush reporter Frank Bruni finally (years later, in his book about the whole ordeal) admitted was way out of line?

The one who gladly ran with Judy Miller's front page lies about Saddam Hussein over and over and over and over so Dick Cheney could use them as rationale/evidence for his invasion of Iraq? And when those lies -- Christ, the Times was joined at the hip with the Bush administration in calling for the invasion and occupation -- were utterly laid bare just hemmed and hawwed and starting printing similar lies about Iran?

The Times that happily parrots Bush's spin about necessary criminal American aggression in Somalia?

The paper that employs and gives valuable op-ed space to Thomas "6 Months" Friedman, David Brooks, Maureen Dowd (and used to employ William Safire)?

The Times that regularly misreprsents the comments/stances of John Edwards, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, while not calling out John McCain and Rudy Guiliani for obvious lies and misreading of cited studies?

Or is there some other New York Times of which I am unaware?

redsock said...

You know, I am getting prit-tee sick of seeing Howard Zinn's mug all over CNN and MSNBC.

Him and Chomsky and Ehrenreich and Pollitt and Morford hoggin' all the air time ...

Seriously. There ought to be a law.

L-girl said...

Or is there some other New York Times of which I am unaware?

Why yes, there is. It's the imaginary New York Times that wingnuts love to claim is liberal, because if you repeat something often enough, it becomes true.

A baseball friend of mine in NYC used to always say "...but now that the Times has moved so far to the left..."

I asked him, when did you used to read that paper, that you know how it has changed? "Never."

And do you read it now, to see the difference? "No."

How do you know it has changed and is now "so far to the left"? "Everyone knows it! It's common knowledge."

Obvious, repeat, obvious.

deang said...

I’ve avoided commenting because I’m also one of those who dreams of “a violent overthrowing of the government,” and understands why people might consider violent actions to stop, say, routine tasering of harmless people; the transfer of millions of dollars of tax money from social services and education to prisons, police, and the military; murders of dark-skinned immigrants; thousands of people jailed for years for marijuana possession or less; military slaughters of hundreds of thousands of people in other countries; destruction of entire ecosystems for parking lots; conscious destruction of the very air we need to breathe; etc.

However, as you’ve made clear, lefty people like me don’t command the US public’s attention, lacking media as we do (and that’s despite the existence of Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War”, Rage Against the Machine, and the rapper Paris’s “Bush Killer” joint from the early 90s). So maybe I will comment where I’ve got the space. I promise not to threaten to kill anybody.

The situation you and I are aware of is that right-wingers dominate the US media and political scene and use both the rhetoric of violence and violence itself as a first-response tactic to cow anyone who might disagree with them. Then when they’re called on it after accusing “liberals” or “leftists” of being uncivil or whatever, they get all sanctimonious and haul out the “it’s 2 equal sides fighting it out and individuals on both sides are equally guilty” crap. Sounds so balanced and omniscient, especially to people who’ve never taken the time to actually step out of their team loyalty daze and look at the evidence.

After even a cursory look at the evidence you’ve summarized here, is it any wonder people like me (and doubtless many others) think of the right not so much as “conservative” but as dangerously violent?

The tactic of claiming 2 equal sides equally guilty extends to how they talk about US military adventures. It is well known that the US attacked Vietnam and Iraq and killed hundreds of thousands of people in both places without provocation. In Vietnam, people are still dying from US cluster bombs and chemical warfare to this day. It will be the same in Iraq. The indigenous responses to these US attacks, in both countries, have been proportionately much smaller in scale and much less damaging to American lives, despite Vietnam’s technical win. Yet, right-wingers talk about both sides being equally guilty. And they have a mass platform to insure that a huge segment of the US public comes to think the same way.

M@ said...

As a Canadian, generally left in my views, I have to say that if you think CNN is on the left, you either have never watched CNN or you have a completely different concept of "left" from mine (and I'm far from the most left-leaning commenter on this blog).

As for the NY Times, I only read Krugman and the crossword. And we've had a bone to pick in the last little while with Will Shortz too, come to think of it. But you might as well say the Washington Post is left-leaning -- oh, wait, people say that too. Smell anything?

(Btw, I thought you were serious about Howard Zinn being on CNN and MSNBC, Allan -- I was about to get all "why was I not told WTF!!!1!" etc. when I realized what you were getting at. Phew. (I do note that he's been interviewed on Al Jazeera, which says a hell of a lot.))

L-girl said...

Dean, you rock. Thank you for that.

L-girl said...

As a Canadian, generally left in my views, I have to say that if you think CNN is on the left, you either have never watched CNN or you have a completely different concept of "left" from mine

That sums it up.

As for the NY Times, I only read Krugman and the crossword.

That, too.

L-girl said...

Some further thoughts on Dean's comment.

I am also someone who believes that armed resistance must be (and always has been) an integral part of people's freedom movements, be it the American colonists against England, the Resistance against the Third Reich, black South Africans against the apartheid regime, or the Iraqis against the US. (And everything in between.)

And I do think there's a very real moral difference between a tiny minority fighting for its basic humanity engaging in violence (or even violent words) and members of the dominant, oppressive class advocating violence against those who disagree with them.

I don't expect many US readers to agree with me, as we are enculturated to reject all revolutionary violence as evil. In fact, violence is always to be suppressed, no matter how just the cause, unless it comes from Official Sources said to be keeping the peace at home or abroad.

But to my mind, a prominent journalist (for lack of a better word) like the many Allan named advocating the round-up or extermination of dissenters is substantially and morally different from someone wishing aloud for the death of a tyrant such as currently lives in the White House.

As already said here, there is an enormous difference in volume and prevalence, as one side controls the media. But for me there is a moral difference, too.

s1c said...

based on this comment:

If 95% of the Democrats in Congress are too far to the right for me, how can I be expected to cope with Michelle Malkin?

I am going to alter a quote from "Cool Hand Luke" - "what we have here is a failure in definitions".

Now, of course I fully expect you to say that I do not understand what defines the left or the right, who knows you may even be right! What I feel though, is that what you consider moderate and conservative outlets I feel are biased left.

Now maybe that is because the NY times editorial boards are in the words of Gail Collins - "The general goal of the opinion section is to give the readers a wide range of commentary. The editorials are the exception - they reflect the opinions of an 18-member editorial board, which is by most political standards a pretty liberal group. That's been the case for several generations now. I don't think it has much effect on the paper's circulation, which has actually been very strong in an era when many readers are migrating to the Web."

And maybe that op-ed bias feeds the skeptical eye when it comes to their news. Of course about the only time I read the times as a whole is if Friedman has a good column. Other than that, not going to read it unless someone points out an interesting article / commentary.

So, is there a common ground here? After re-reading your posts and mine probably not. So, I will take my Neanderthal mind (I said it so that you don't have to :) ) and go to bed since I worked last night and in the last 48 hours have had about 6 hours of sleep (b-fly needs new dance shoes and a new ballroom dance dress).

Oh yes I am sure that you have seen this quiz before "the worlds smallest political quiz". I think there is a better one out there but to be honest I am just too tired to look for it.

L-girl said...

What I feel though, is that what you consider moderate and conservative outlets I feel are biased left.

Yes. That is obvious. That speaks to a very basic - and very huge - difference between your politics and mine.

But beyond that, for anyone to think that CNN is biased left does show a basic lack of understanding of what left means and what the political left stands for. If you understood leftist values on any level, you would easily see that they are not found on CNN.

* * * *

I don't know if you've seen Political Compass? I posted about it here and here, and here is a graphic showing where some wmtc readers placed on the scale (also found in comments on the earlier post).

You might find the original site interesting.

Amy said...

I enjoyed the political compass test. It seems I fall close to where the Dalai Lama is on the lower left side of the square. More libertarian than Gandhi, but as far left. Who knew??

Very interesting. Thanks for the link.

FWIW, I still think of the NYTimes as on the more liberal side of the issues than most of the mainstream media. That does not mean people like David Brooks, but it does mean their editorial positions. I am realizing more and more, however, that the Times' selection of what news to print is not always as comprehensive as I thought in that lots of stories that should be told never get the light of day. I guess it doesn't "fit" or seem "fit," as their slogan goes.

L-girl said...

I enjoyed the political compass test. It seems I fall close to where the Dalai Lama is on the lower left side of the square. More libertarian than Gandhi, but as far left. Who knew??

Amy, what's your numerical score? Feel free to post here and/or on the old post where commenters posted their numbers.

L-girl said...

So you can see how others posted their scores.

Amy said...

I ended up with economic left/right of -6.62 and social libertarian/authoritarian -7.69. Not as far left as most of your commenters, but pretty far down in the lower left corner for a fairly conventional American.

s1c said...

I don't know if you've seen Political Compass? I posted about it here and here, and here is a graphic showing where some wmtc readers placed on the scale (also found in comments on the earlier post).

Actually I am pretty certain that wasn't the one I had in mind, but it is a pretty good one!!!

L-girl said...

Not as far left as most of your commenters, but pretty far down in the lower left corner for a fairly conventional American.

A decidedly liberal American, that's for sure. You're in good company in that lower left quadrant.

I knew some of the questions would frustrate you. There's not a lot of room for nuance in each question, but they add up well.