The Martyrdom of the Smear Artist Posted by: Jon Henke
on Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Every now and then I'm overcome by a wave of despair at the sheer intellectual dishonesty of some pundits. Case in point, Atrios' coarse attempts to simultaneously smear his political enemies and to proclaim the martyrdom of the Left when the same is done to them. Today's martyrdom comes from Atrios:
The link goes to Think Progress where they citeNational Center for Policy Analysis Senior Fellow Sterling Burnett, who "compared watching Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth, to watching a movie by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels to learn about Nazi Germany." I disagree with Burnett's point, but Goebbels is the archetype for propaganda, so on the list of outrageous things said this year, that's almost mundane.
"The crew around the president — Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, Karl Rove, the ''neo-cons'' like Paul Wolfowitz — are not as crazy perhaps as Himmler and Goering and Goebbels. Yet like them, they are practitioners of the Big Lie..."
Naturally, this Goebbels remark was immediatelypicked up and criticized by the sort of people who haven't paid the least attention to the beam in their own eye. Oliver Willis says that "sort of behavior is integral to the right wing attack machine" (and his co-worker at Media Matters, but that's different. Matt Yglesias writes that this is "the legendary conservative civility" and not "at all like those nasty bloggers". (except, of course, when it's exactly like those nasty bloggers) Tristero at Digbyblog writes that Burnett is an "unprincipled f*ck", feigns indignation that nobody called Burnett on his comparison, and then argues that calling him an "unprincipled f*ck" is perfectly fine because the "terms of engagement have been set by this slimeball".
Naturally, none of them will delink, attack or disassociate themselves from Atrios with anything like the same level of disgust. And, while both sides shout about the mote in their opponents eye, the descent will continue. [cross-posted at Chequer Board]
Well, if history is any teacher, they don’t care if they said it or not. What matters is we aren’t allowed to say it. Taking other comments that the self same characters make, it seems that racist remarks, attacks against someone’s sexual preference and medical problems (e.g Jeff Goldstein’s legal prescription for anti depressants) are perfectly fair game.
I really wish they would stop the hypocracy because it is truly sickening.