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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Thursday, February 27, 2003

I Reject "Guilt By Non-Association"

Bold, huh? Here we have an interesting post by Atrios about McCarthyism, which I slyly excerpt:


Jonah Goldberg is a fan. Glenn Reynolds is a fan.

CalPundit nicely tries to explain it to them, but .... I think it's hopeless, Kevin. Reynolds has expressed his support of collective racial guilt in the past, and he's tarred anti-war protesters with loose associations they're hardly aware of - you know, red-baiting - both of which demonstrate a clear fondness for the tactics of that old drunk.

Sorry, that wasn't sly excerpting at all, that is pretty much it. But imputing "guilt by association" seems to be a bad thing, at least in the context of anti-war protests.

What, then, to make of this post, also by Atrios, roughly seven hours later:

Protest Savage on MSNBC

This is one I think most of my conservative pals would want to join in with. After all, he'll be representing you every Saturday afternoon, not me.

Emphasis added.

Well, now. I have never listened to Mr. Savage, I do not know if his radio show is available in my market, and he evidently has a book out which I have not read. Despite my near-perfect ignorance of the man and his views, I can say this with confidence - he does not hold elective office either nationally or in my region.

Consequently, there is no meaningful basis for describing him as my representative, and I reject this attempt at guilt by non-association.

Here is the MSNBC announcement. Matthew Yglesias comments. Here is the Salon article M Yglesias links to. A FAIR press release.

OK, the guy is a jerk. But not my jerk, thank you.

UPDATE: Atrios has a reply in his comments section:

I didn't say conservatives are responsible for savage, what I meant was he will be representing the "conservative viewpoint." Like, I'd be pissed off if they put Joseph Stalin up there to represent the "liberal viewpoint."

Hmm, a possible clue to his secret identity? Actually, this answer is consistent with his earlier post on the subject, which I have finally found.

Well, I see the point. I will admit that if a noted liberal news outlet such as the NY Times hired Old Joe, I am sure I would join in pointing the mocking finger. If a news organization with a conservative tilt such as Fox hired this Savage chap (presuming him to be all he is cracked up to be), then I would have to concede a dimunition in their credibility.

But MSNBC is just flailing about, turning over rocks and hoping something telegenic crawls out. So I don't think the presence of Savage on the roster represents conservatives - I think he represents himself, and his fans. If Republican politicos start making nice with him, then we will see.

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