I generally refrain from fisking the blogposts of those I disagree with because I don’t want to risk beginning a pointless and time-wasting blog war, but I’m making an exception this evening. Glenn Greenwald, the poster-child of the left wing whine-o-sphere, wrote a post earlier today titled "Prominent right-wing blogger today calls for the murder of Supreme Court Justices – the Right fails to condemn it". In it, he stridently takes to task the righties who rushed to Jeff Goldstein’s defense this weekend in the now-infamous Frisch affair. They, he claims, are hypocrites for not rushing to condemn in a similar fashion the remarks made by Misha from the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler blog, who he claims advocated the hanging of the USSC justices who were the majority in the Hamdan ruling. He also cited other instances of comments made by conservatives in the blogosphere and punditsphere, some of which others would find offensive if attemping to engage in reasoned discourse, and noted the supposed ‘silence’ of the right in condemning those comments as well.
He makes a number of errors in his post, and in the process, exposes himself as the true hypocrite. First, he spends three paragraphs pointing out those ‘offensive’ comments that conservatives have made that have supposedly stood unanswered by others on the right. Apparently Mr. Greenwald thinks the monolith right (we all speak with one voice, you know) should spend their time scouring the rightie blogosphere and punditocracy for offensive comments and in turn post the obligatory condemnation, just as he, in turn, does with the leftie blogosphere – that is, when he’s not busy blathering on about how Bush is the real terrorist mastermind who wakes up every morning dreaming of new ways to steal our rights via ripping up the Constitution. Sorry, Glenn, but you don’t waste your time scanning liberal blogs and opinion pieces looking for vile things the left has said, and you can’t expect the right to do the same.
But while right-wing bloggers have to dig under rocks to find obscure commenters making reprehensible comments, many of the most prominent bloggers and opinion leaders on the Right routinely and blithely call for people’s deaths, and some even post their home addresses on the Internet for anyone who wants help making those recommendations turn into a reality. The most popular right-wing authors sell millions of books by attacking their political opponents as treasonous and mentally ill.
What Greenwald does not mention in his rant about how the right supposedly lets their own off without condemnation are the times the right has taken their own to task over comments they found over the line. I can’t imagine why he’d want to leave those condemnations out of his b!tch-fest about how conservatives supposedly don’t practice what they preach, can you? Here are some examples of the condemnations over comments prominent conservatives have made in the past. I’ll start with my own, and the conservative in question for this little exercise will be Ann Coulter:
Within those posts are links to blogger reaction roundups. Some bloggers praised Ann and some outright condemned her – both times. I’d say it was about 50/50 for the 9-11 widows comments, and even some of those who were on the "Coulter had a point" as it related to that issue said that she could have and should have worded what she said better. The reaction to the "ragheads" and shooting Bill Clinton comments were decidedly more negative.
Pat Robertson is another example I’ll use. Last August, Pat suggested that it might not be a bad idea for the US to assassinate Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. I posted what I thought of those comments here by suggesting Pat take a long vacation out of the public eye. The condemnation for Pat’s comments came from all corners (especially among Christians), and he ended up issuing an apology.
That was relatively easy information to find out. Someone who has made it his mission in life to verbally draw and quarter the right (while at the same time implying he is politically neutral) should have been able to locate them via simple Google and/or blog searches – that is, if he wanted to.
Contrast that with Greenwald’s tepid, almost non-condemnation of now-former UofA teacher Deb Frisch’s vicious comments about Jeff Goldstein and his two year old son. The only post on his blog which mentions Frisch is the one I refrenced at the beginning of this post. This was a major topic of discussion on the blogosphere over the weekend, so it was impossible for Greenwald to miss.
Just what was the extent of Greenwald’s comments on le affaire de Frisch? Rather than pointedly addressing the clearly outrageous comments of a university professor, he utilized the blanket ‘both sides have their idiots’ condemnation here:
Let us stipulate that there are crazed, insane lunatics and repugnant individuals on both the Right and the Left. Any honest person would readily acknowledge that.
Are we supposed to be impressed by that generalized condemnation? I’m not. Greenwald’s philosophy seems to be: if it’s something bad the right says, it’s standard operating procedure and should be roundly condemned. But if it’s something the left says that is contempt-worthy, ‘each side has their nutcases.’ But back to what he asserted earlier which was:
But while right-wing bloggers have to dig under rocks to find obscure commenters making reprehensible comments,[...]
Really? I can reference several without digging under rocks to find promiment liberals making reprehensible comments. Here, I’ll share a few (emphasis added):
Example 1 – Larry Johnson: Karl [Rove] is a shameless bastard. Small wonder his mother killed herself. Once she discovered what a despicable soul she had spawned she apparently saw no other way out.
I used the Blogspot search feature at the top of Greenwald’s blog and according to it, there are no posts at his blog referencing "Larry Johnson" who is a very prominent anti-war activist, so prominent, in fact, that he gave the DNC radio address one weekend last July.
Example 2 – Dr. Kamau Kambon: former visiting professor at NC State University who called for the extermination of white people.
Nothing on the Blogspot search of Greenwald’s blog on that one, either.
Example 3 - Democrat Alan Hevesi, comptroller for the state of New York, made comments at this year’s Queens College commencement about "putting a bullet between the president’s eyes."
Again, nothing found using the Blogspot search. Kinda odd that he’d have no comment to make on it, considering he’s from New York. In fact, the day that the story about Hevesi’s despicable comments broke, Greenwald was promo-ing his book on his site – click here for who was blogging on the Hevesi story, and scroll to see the link to Glenn’s book promo post.
Greenwald, in a breathtaking display of blatant hypocrisy, does not practice what he preaches.
Nobody needs to wade through the depths of comment sections to find this rhetoric on the Right, nor does anyone need to seize on totally obscure individuals and — a la Ward Churchill or Deb Frisch — absurdly try to transform them into some sort of political leader in order to impose responsibility for their moronic statements on people who never even heard of them before. One need only peruse the routine hate-mongering of the Right’s opinion leaders and their prominent bloggers — the Malkins and the Mishas and the David Horowitzs and the Ann Coulters — and one will find more hateful and deranged rhetoric than one can stomach. And it is almost never condemned, including by those who self-righteously parade themselves around as Defenders of Civility and have the audacity to demand that others condemn such rhetoric when it comes from far less significant and influential corners.
LOL. Can you say "pot, kettle"?
Based on the grieving rituals we had to endure this weekend over Jeff Goldstein’s sensibilities, I presume it’s fair to infer that the silence from right-wing bloggers over Misha’s calls for the deaths of journalists and Supreme Court Justices means — as one of the most-cited sermons put it — that "one might be tempted to think that this absolute lack of condemnation was a tacit acceptance of these tactics." One might be particularly tempted to think that given that such rhetoric flows not merely from obscure commenters on right-wing blogs, but also from the Right’s leading bloggers and pundits, with virtually no condemnation of any kind.
Untrue, as I noted earlier with the Coulter and Robertson examples. There are plenty on the right who will step up to the plate to condemn their own. Greenwald, on the other hand, has demonstrated a number of times an unwillingness to condemn liberals on comments that no reasonable person could describe as "ok" and let pass without remarking on (such as the examples I cited above that Greenwald had no response to at his blog).
What the bottom line is here is that Glenn is upset that the right doesn’t condemn every supposedly ‘offensive comment’ he thinks they should, when he wants them to (there’s also the question as to what ‘offensive’ means to one person versus another). I’m willing to give Greenwald the benefit of the doubt by saying that maybe he’s never even heard of the examples above that I gave of nutcases on the left gone over the edge – who knows? Maybe those stories weren’t featured prominently on Memeorandum for him to notice. On the other hand, le affaire de Frisch was one of the most, if not the most, discussed issue this past weekend in the blogosphere so there is no way Sir Greenwald didn’t know about it. At the time of this post, there is still no pointed condemnation of Frisch’s remarks by Greenwald, several days after the issue lit up the blogosphere.
For someone who supposedly doesn’t tie himself to either party, Greenwald has this peculiar fascination with slamming all things conservative, while curiously staying either silent or utilizing the generalized ‘both sides have crazies’ condemnation routine towards the left. His assertion about the right having to "dig" to find reprehensible statements by the left is laughable – there are many more out there beyond the examples I posted which don’t require any digging beyond a simple Google search. I suggest that in the future, should Mr. Greenwald desire to do a better job at presenting himself as an objective political observer, he utilize that Google search not on blogs, but instead on reprehensible statements made by Democrats that routinely get shoved under the rug or excused by the left and the MSM (like on racial issues, for example) and not condemned – by him.
Updated to add: I meant to note that Greenwald made it a point to note where the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler blog ranked in the TTLB ranking system, in an attempt to prove how many bloggers on the right ‘approve’ of that blog, based on links:
What Greenwald doesn’t point out, though, is that in terms of actual traffic, his blog ranks 91, with an average of close to 20,000 hits a day. The A-IR blog, on the other hand, sits at number 303 with an average of 3,210 hits per day. That shows that the double standard messages from Greenwald like the one I referenced in this post get read by a lot more people than the posts at the A-IR blog. Another little factoid that I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked that he didn’t mention.
Wed AM Update I: Dan Riehl is onto Greenwald’s act, too.
Wed AM Update II: Patterico weighs in. Slam!
Wed AM Update III: Welcome again, Instapundit readers!