The Nation Apologizes….Sorta
Katrina vanden Heuvel offers a non-apology apology to John Tyner for allowing her magazine to smear him. By non-apology apology I mean that rather than acknowledge the innuendo in the piece was an outright slander and falsity, she writes simply that: “when Tyner denied any connections to lobbyists and to Koch-funded organizations in an interview, we printed his denial—we didn’t press hard enough to get clarity on his actions and intentions. We should have stopped and done just that, and if Tyner’s story checked out, we should have removed him from the piece.” Of course, she doesn’t acknowledge what everyone else well-knows, which is that Tyner’s “story” is unrefuted.
As for the rest of the well-refuted article, which made a whole host of insinuations and claims about the Koch brothers and civil libertarians more generally, vanden Heuvel’s response isn’t to offer even a non-apology apology, but is instead to double-down:
We have long opposed, and exposed, the continuing encroachments of the national security state, though we also think that those who applauded each sacrifice of liberty for security under the Bush administration should expect to be regarded with skepticism if the presence of a Democrat in the White House suddenly prompts libertarian concerns.
Radley Balko responds to this magnificently here, documenting the lengthy history of libertarian movement (even the evil Koch-funded parts!) opposition to the TSA. Better still, he does what The Nation failed to do, and actually does some research into that publication’s history on the TSA. Let’s just say that the results of that research are less than supportive of vanden Heuvel’s claim that “we have long opposed, and exposed, the continuing encroachments of the national security state.” I shan’t quote from it because Balko’s piece deserves to be read in its entirety.
Barely a day goes by that I don’t thank the FSM that I’m usually on the same side of things as Mr. Balko.