Andy McCarthy, just askin’ questions

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Will

Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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15 Responses

  1. Avatar Mark Thompson
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    says:

    This is quite the fisking, Will – well done.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Thesis. Antithesis. Thesis. Antithesis.

    My brain is throbbing.Report

  3. Avatar ThatPirateGuy
    Ignored
    says:

    More like this please.Report

  4. Avatar Katherine
    Ignored
    says:

    “Just asking questions.” Wow that’s sounding remiscent of Andrew Sullivan.Report

  5. Avatar sidereal
    Ignored
    says:

    Actually, it’s more Glenn Beck’s schtick.
    “Hey, I don’t know if Obama is actually an alien from Betelgeuse that wants to drain your childrens’ bodily fluids to power his wallet-absorbing tax rays! I never said it’s true! I’m just asking questions! Aren’t we ALLOWED to ask questions anymore in the Peoples’ Republic of America? Are we AFRAID of questions?!”

    Etc.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Farmer
    Ignored
    says:

    Actually, it’s a poor Andrew Sullivan impersonation.Report

  7. Avatar Tim Kowal
    Ignored
    says:

    I disagree. McCarthy gets a bit neo-con for my taste pretty often, but I thought he was spot on with that piece about the birth cert, and said so here.

    Yes, I watched that episode of South Park, but I still don’t have trouble picking McCarthy out of a line-up of Glenn Becks. The piece wasn’t about Obama or the Birthers as much as about the pathetic state of investigative reporting. In prior generations we had Woodward and Bernstein; now we have a 20 year old dressed as a pimp breaking the biggest story of the year. If we’re content to call off our search after reading a throw-away comment from the State Department, as Will appears to be, I suppose we’ve gotten what we deserve.Report

    • Avatar Will in reply to Tim Kowal
      Ignored
      says:

      Tim Kowal –

      McCarthy’s entire line of inquiry is so silly it detracts from serious efforts to uncover relevant information about Obama. We’re talking about a guy who evidently takes the purveyor of the “whitey tapes” seriously and doesn’t even bother to check if the State Department actually issued a travel advisory when Obama visited Pakistan. Why should I take his other claims seriously?Report

    • Avatar ThatPirateGuy in reply to Tim Kowal
      Ignored
      says:

      You seriously think the ACORN story was the biggest story of the year?!Report

  8. Avatar Tim Kowal
    Ignored
    says:

    This is how I put it in my post on this back in August (forgive the cut and paste):

    Burden of proof is the operative concept underlying McCarthy’s point, as I take it. That is, to waive McCarthy off because he cites to questionable sources misses the issue entirely. The burden of proof does not lie in favor of the subject of a news investigation, viz., the President of the United States. Every hint, every lead, every suspicion is to be ferreted out with the zealous assumption that the fellow is a rat and a sneak and a crook ready to yield his tale of lies to that would-be case-cracker with the tenacity and contempt for public figures’ privacy to go the distance and get the story, dad-gummit.

    Instead, somehow the burden of proof is now shifted to those who would challenge the “official” record provided by the Administration. A formal investigation is not warranted, under this view, unless and until substantial and corroborated evidence has already been amassed. Proffering less than this with a request for further investigation is derided as crackpot paranoia fit for scorn, contempt, and general hecklery.

    That’s not how this is supposed to work. No, McCarthy’s is not piece of investigative reporting. But it doesn’t purport to be. McCarthy is not an investigator or a prosecutor—he was a fine one of those already, and I doubt he would volunteer to continue doing it on an opinionator’s wage. His piece simply suggests that there are some clues here, the sort that investigative journalists used to take up and sniff down and let us know at the end whether there is anything to jump up and down about. The observation here is that there is a curious lack of interest in any such sniffing.Report

    • Avatar Will in reply to Tim Kowal
      Ignored
      says:

      I think this standard for burden of proof is frankly unfair to public figures. Every conspiracy we have to chase down the rabbit hole detracts from attention paid to serious issues like health care or national defense. You need to demonstrate at least some credible proof before we take these objections seriously.Report

    • Avatar Bayesian in reply to Tim Kowal
      Ignored
      says:

      I stopped taking McCarthy in any way seriously (other than in the sense that I take say Glenn Beck seriously) after “starbursts”.

      But for those who do follow him and have for a while, was/is he a big supporter of investigative journalism (which I agree isn’t what it theoretically could be – the Market has Spoken; nobody seems to have a good enough business model) when it’s a conservative/GOP ox being gored? Somehow I doubt it, but if in fact he is then I forgive him the starbursts and will give him mad props.Report

  9. Avatar Nob Akimoto
    Ignored
    says:

    So I’ve heard that Andy McCarthy has hired private investigators to stalk Sarah Palin and take compromising pictures of her. I think in light of the fact that he had “starbursts” for her gives us reason to believe that such rumors could be factual. I’m just asking questions about it, y’know? It’s only responsible to do that…Report

  10. Avatar A.R.Yngve
    Ignored
    says:

    Andy McCarthy comes off like Robert DeNiro in WAG THE DOG, demonstrating how you can spread a rumor by categorically denying it…

    “I categorically deny any unfounded rumors and unsubstantiated allegations about National Review columnist Andy McCarthy and goats. Why do people keep making these things up? People, please! Do not indulge in libelous hearsay!”Report

  11. Avatar Barry
    Ignored
    says:

    Tim Kowal { 11.24.09 at 8:03 pm }

    ” This is how I put it in my post on this back in August (forgive the cut and paste):
    Burden of proof is the operative concept underlying McCarthy’s point, as I take it. That is, to waive McCarthy off because he cites to questionable sources misses the issue entirely. The burden of proof does not lie in favor of the subject of a news investigation, viz., the President of the United States. Every hint, every lead, every suspicion is to be ferreted out with the zealous assumption that the fellow is a rat and a sneak and a crook ready to yield his tale of lies to that would-be case-cracker with the tenacity and contempt for public figures’ privacy to go the distance and get the story, dad-gummit.”

    We heard that same line in the 1990’s, then the usual suspects zipped their lips while George and Dick did as they pleased; now it’s coming back out.

    You got proof of sh*t, show it. And those who ignores the fact that their sources have been caught lying before trash their own credibility.Report

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