Interesting Standards…


Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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13 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike Farmer says:

    Well, yes, if you leave out the conext? Isn’t that the problem? You are reacting and commenting on a series of incidents which are all taken out of context. You would have to reconstruct the events in a long post, adding context and all the pertinent facts in order to get a clear idea of what happened and how both sides are guilty of using tit for tat race charges. It’s clear that the NAACP, Breitbart, some of his defenders, the administration, news outlets, and even Sherrod, are all guilty of, not so much racism, but using race weapons to wound the other side. You are guilty of simplification and partisan spin with your insinuations, plus, guilty of not being straightforward.Report

    • @Mike Farmer, What context makes what Breitbart did anything other than precisely the kind race-baiting that conservatives have (correctly) accused Al Sharpton of doing over the years? What context makes the response by the target of that race-baiting of “actually, you’re the racist” inexcusable race-baiting in itself but makes the identical response by a target of Sharpton’s race-baiting something totally defensible and appropriate?

      The point here is that conservatives are now doing exactly what they’ve long (correctly) accused Sharpton of doing (although Sharpton is a fringe character rather than someone within the mainstream of the liberal movement). I assure you that it’s every bit as despicable when conservatives do it.Report

        • Avatar Mike Farmer says:

          @Mike Farmer,
          In other words, those on the left who do it are just as bad as the those on the right who do it — period. The context shows both sides acted stupidly — both – each as guilty as the other.Report

          • @Mike Farmer, I’m responding directly to a claim in the linked post (which was cited with approval by Ed Driscoll and other conservative bloggers) that what Breitbart did was justified because it incited Sherrod to accuse Breitbart of racism and therefore show her true colors as a racist herself.

            But what Breitbart did was classic race-baiting, a tactic that has long been deemed by the Right (correctly, perhaps) to in fact be proof of the race-baiter’s own racism. The Right has thus long responded – with at least some justification – to instances of race-baiting by saying precisely the same sorts of things as Sherrod said in response to what Breitbart did. But when Sherrod does it, rather than being an essentially justifiable response to race-baiting, it just becomes an excuse for accusing her of racism.

            So let’s sum up:
            1. Breitbart posts blatantly misleading video purportedly proving that Sherrod and NAACP are huge racists.
            2. Video is exposed as misleading; all acknowledge that at the very least Sherrod was inappropriately attacked.
            3. Sherrod, who all acknowledge was wrongly attacked, responds in exactly the same way as targets of race-baiting have always responded.
            4. Sherrod’s response vindicates Breitbart and proves that she’s an evil, awful racist.

            …And I’m supposed to believe that the two sides are equally in the wrong?Report

        • @Mike Farmer, So what “partisan spin” am I guilty of here, then?Report

  2. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    This – Mark’s point – was, if I understand it, also behind my take on Erik’s takeaway from the unpleasantness. However deserved the condemnation, and it was, I’m not sure coming down more against the administration thn against Breitbart on this one really gets the rewards and punishments lined up with the worse and the merely bad behavior respectively the way we would really want them here. But mileage on that will vary.Report

    • @Michael Drew, I agree, although this is not necessarily my point in this piece of snark (which is primarily that the Right has made a widespread adoption of the tactics they have long condemned coming from a fringe character on the Left).

      To further your point, though: it may be absolutely true that Breitbart should not be taken seriously, but the fact is that a lot of people apparently do take him seriously. This is, in itself, the far more pervasive problem than whether the administration made an ill-advised and indefensible decision to fire an obscure official as a way of creating a firewall against the fact that a lot of people take Breitbart seriously. There can be little doubt that, had the Administration acted as it should have, Breitbart’s smear would have completely succeeded. What the administration did was wrong, because it was based on a nakedly political calculation; but the far greater problem is the fact that Breitbart is taken seriously enough that the naked political calculation was also the right political calculation.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        @Mark Thompson, Yep. Sigh…Report

      • Avatar John Howard Griffin says:

        @Mark Thompson, regarding this:

        the Right has made a widespread adoption of the tactics they have long condemned coming from a fringe character on the Left


        The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them.

        – Mark Twain


        • @John Howard Griffin, Damn. That’s a fantastic quote. [Reminder to self: read more Mark Twain]Report

          • Avatar John Howard Griffin says:

            @Mark Thompson, here’s some more good advice from Mr. Clemens (and, I concur: read more Mark Twain, for it will help you to ‘account for some things which seem to puzzle you now’. He always helps me understand the folly of the human race.):

            The Washington Post, May 7, 1910

            A MARK TWAIN NOTE
            Characteristic Response to a Puzzled and Inquiring Newspaper Editor.

            From a Letter to the New York Sun.

            To the Editor of the Sun. Sir: There is before me a letter from Mark Twain. In explanation as to why it came to me, let me say that I had the fortune to be the editor of a daily newspaper of some power in New England. In view of certain controversies between orthodox religion and a cult of some prominence, I, as a molder of public opinion, chose the side of the orthodox, and wrote, as I believed, trenchantly in its favor. Thereupon a number of devotees of the cult stopped their subscriptions to the newspaper over which I fondly suspected I reigned. My suspicions, however, were far from the truth, for I received exceedingly emphatic orders from the business office to cease from the practice of my incisive style and confine myself to discussions regarding the crop outlook of Hampden county and the increased facilities for the manufacture of carpets at Thompsonville, Conn.

            Presently observing a magazine article by Mr. Clemens dealing with the subject which had become taboo in my office, I wrote him, telling him of my troubles. His reply – which seems to me to conserve the ultimate of his philosophy, his religion, if you will – follows:

            My Dear Sir:

            But you are proceeding upon the superstition that Moral Courage and a Hankering to Learn the Truth are ingredients in the human being’s makeup. Your premises being wild and foolish, you naturally and properly get wild and foolish results. If you will now reform, and in future proceed upon the sane and unchallengeable hypothesis that those two ingredients are on vacation in our race, and have been from the start, you will be able to account for some things which seem to puzzle you now.

            Sincerely yours,

            S. L. CLEMENS.
            Riverdale-on-the-Hudson, Dec. 21, 1901.

            I believe the original of this letter should find a place among the most valued relics of the beloved gentle philosopher.
            H. P.


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