June 24, 2014

"People aren’t 'misunderstanding' what Will wrote. They deliberately misrepresented what Will said..."

Instapundit writes:
RESPONDING TO THE SMEAR ATTACK AGAINST GEORGE WILL: Rage Against The Outrage Machine. But let’s be clear. People aren’t “misunderstanding” what Will wrote. They deliberately misrepresented what Will said, and they did it to chill debate. That’s who they are, that’s what they do.
Glenn deploys the classic metaphor: chilling. Notice that this metaphor focuses on the debate, as though the whole conversation about a subject is an entity, a composite that has a temperature.

I think what is happening is more nefarious, because it focuses on the person. It's not just an idea that is put off limits (such as questioning the veracity of a woman who accuses a man of rape), it's the person who dares to say it. You are to be regarded as toxic. It's this fear of being regarded as toxic that inhibits many people from speaking.

The problem isn't merely that the debate is chilled — that people don't get to hear the arguments on different sides — but that people are also influenced to choose their side out of a psychological need to be accepted by others and not shunned. Even if, in a chilled-debate environment, you sought out information and arguments on your own and even if you saw the value in them, you might still choose your position out of a desire to be thought of as one of the good people. So the argument "George Will is toxic" works even on people who think George Will makes a persuasive argument.

I'm using the word "toxic" — the poison metaphor — because I see it a lot, and because to me — someone who has lived and worked in a liberal environment for a long time — it expresses the threat of shunning so well: You are afraid that if you associate at all with the toxic person — if you offer one good word — you will have toxin on you, and others will have to avoid you lest they become toxic.

I note that the focus on the person corresponds to Saul Alinsky's Rule #12 in "Rules for Radicals":
Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)
Note the word "freeze," which gets us back to the metaphor of coldness, the point in chilling where water turns to ice and what had been flowing has been stopped. The police yell "Freeze!" And "freeze" is a powerful social word, beyond the awkwardness of a "chilly" reception to outright exclusion: You are frozen out.

141 comments:

Jeff Teal said...

Between this attack on Will and the tenor of the roundtable on campus sexual attacks hosted by Claire McCaskill and Blumenthal yesterday is it any wonder thar males consider college an attack on their very participation in college.

rhhardin said...

Drugs are always two-sided, poison and remedy.

Pharmakos means scapegoat, the middle term.

Jeff Teal said...

And as an ENG major in the 70s when all scholarship money for males dried up after Title IX it didn't take a nuclear physicist(which we were aspiring to be) to read the tea leaves

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, excellent analysis. You're looking at 21st century "liberalism." It's not about empowering the weak, it's about disempowering people who have the effrontery to poke holes in your specious arguments.

Just Mike said...

Everything old is new again. Welcome to 500 BC. Conform or face ostracism from the city state.

The Crack Emcee said...

"That’s who they are, that’s what they do."

And you stand with people who, repeatedly, are found to be racists - you've made a nice place for them to hang out - and who "play the victim" when it suits them, but admonishes NOT to do so, when oppressing others.

Boo-hoo. My sense of justice is devastated. How unfair.

Dumb ass,...

PB Reader said...

Ad hominem attacks are mere projections of the attacker's crimes.

Original Mike said...

Even though I've watched the phenomenon for years (every since I became "political"), it still shocks me to see people purposefully misrepresent what someone said for political advantage. How can a person of good conscience do that?

n.n said...

Leverage is a means to an end.

The Crack Emcee said...

Here's the political equation right now:

In the battle between liberalism's Left-Wing fascism, and conservatism's Right-Wing racism, the conservatives are losing - badly.

I'm just glad it's finally a fight to the death,...

Michael K said...

This whole matter might be the salvation of young law school graduates. Title IX lawsuits are a new growth industry. They will eat colleges alive. Bon appetite !

Fernandinande said...

Nowadays "toxic" often means "correct".

SGT Ted said...

This is how the left has always operated. The politics of personal destruction is their stylebook. They use it to avoid being held to account for their dishonesty.

Unknown said...

Kindle books under "Rules for Radical" (next after these is about Common Core & I choose to think it's too diffuse to fit with the previous books):

1. Barack Obama's Rules for Revolution: The Alinsky Model by David Horowitz
2. Rules for Radicals (Vintage) by Saul Alinsky (Jun 30, 2010)
3. Rules for Radicals Defeated: A Practical Guide for Defeating Obama / Alinsky Tactics by Jeff Hedgpeth (May 4, 2012)
4. The Communist Manifesto by Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx (May 17, 2012)
5. How Obama Betrayed America....And No One Is Holding HIm Accountable by David Horowitz (May 29, 2013)
6. Saul Alinsky:The Evil Genius Behind Obama by Jerome R. Corsi (Feb 6, 2012)
7. One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future by Ben Carson M.D. and Candy Carson (May 20, 2014)
8. From Shadow Party to Shadow Government: George Soros and the Effort to Radically Change America by John Perazzo and David Horowitz (Jan 13, 2011)

Gahrie said...

You almost got their Althouse. A paragraph noting that this is a tactic of the Left, and a small step on trhe return to facsism.

Unknown said...

"Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions."

In what context other than naked politics (in the broad sense) would this considered to be acceptable? What would people think it you proposed this as a rule for any debate, game, or conversation? If I said I liked the color red and someone responded as per above, would you continue the conversation with that person?

Unknown said...

"And you stand with people who, repeatedly, are found to be racists - you've made a nice place for them to hang out - and who "play the victim" when it suits them, but admonishes NOT to do so, when oppressing others."

Now THERE's a man who knows how to use the book.

Alex said...

Crack comes in..

bleats Racist, racist, racist. Like a stool pigeon.

Alex said...

Yet Ann keeps saying how she belongs with the liberal fascists because conservatives are icky on abortion & gays.

Saint Croix said...

Again I'm amazed at what a great journalist Conor Friedorsdorf is. His article is like a commentary on journalism, what it should be, how you perform it.

libertariansafetyguy said...

Why do I have the feeling our society is being neutered.

From Inwood said...

George Will Meets The Clerisy Media.

“Watch What You Say, The New Liberal Power Elite Won’t Tolerate Dissent"…

George Will…dared to dissent from the clerisy media’s party line, and he was fired. This is what was going on with the Los Angeles Times, the Arizona Daily Sun, and their respective decisions to ban so-called climate deniers from their pages…

The real problem with George Will’s column was not the column but the clerisy media that runs the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Will threw a blazing fast ball, and the Post-Dispatch deliberately dropped it.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch isn’t about speaking truth to power. It is about protecting its own—the power of the clerisy.


http://spectator.org/articles/59742/george-will-meets-clerisy-media

And for others it’s about protecting the power of cronyism, credentialism, & contraception to use Fred Siegel's phrase.

garage mahal said...

I think Instapundit is trying to chill free speech by criticizing people who use free speech to criticize free speech. Which is chilling. What Alinsky Rule # is that?

SJ said...

Admittedly, the political right would use this tactic.

If the left-leaning portion of the Media world would repeat the slogans in a non-derogatory manner.

(How often do you hear the phrase "pro-life"? Does any supporter of abortion think that they are against life?

No, but supporters of abortion tend to define "fetus" as "outside the legal protection given to infants, children, teens, and adults.")

I think you've noticed the use of slogans and misquotation to demonize a big opponent.

I can't help but notice that this method is used in favor of abortion. Think "War on Women", think "Outlaw Contraception", as discussed by many liberals after the Sandra Fluke incident.

I guess some feminist ConLaw professor could have enlightened most pundits about Griswold v. Connecticut. Which makes the private use of contraception a Constitutionally-protected practice, under "Right to Privacy" emanating from the shadows of the Bill of Rights. And struck down a law which banned contraceptives.

But political causes aren't won by reminding people that the slogan is misleading...

I also think of the social power of the word "homophobic".

Is that a similar use of slogan and argumentation-against-a-misquote?

Or is it different?

What should a person do when they realize that their favored political cause uses misquotation and demonization to destroy opponents?

Scott M said...

I thought they weren't allowed to yell "FREEZE" anymore. Probably due to some lawyer...

Scott M said...

And you stand with people who, repeatedly, are found to be racists - you've made a nice place for them to hang out - and who "play the victim" when it suits them, but admonishes NOT to do so, when oppressing others.

Self-realization and admission can be very cathartic. Cathetertic too, as it's been clear for quite a while now that you've needed some cleaning out, Cripus.

Tank said...

garage mahal said...

I think Instapundit is trying to chill free speech by criticizing people who use free speech to criticize free speech. Which is chilling. What Alinsky Rule # is that?

LOL. Misrepresenting the issue perfectly. They are not using free speech to criticize free speech, they are demanding that he be fired, that his column not be run, that he retire in disgrace.

Saint Croix said...

I'm using the word "toxic" — the poison metaphor — because I see it a lot, and because to me — someone who has lived and worked in a liberal environment for a long time — it expresses the threat of shunning so well: You are afraid that if you associate at all with the toxic person — if you offer one good word — you will have toxin on you, and others will have to avoid you lest they become toxic.

I think the toxin in this particular case is that feminists are calling Will a supporter of rape. He's a symbolic rapist. It's like using "rape" in the case of ultrasounds in an abortion clinic.

Why is Dahlia Lithwick talking about rape in regard to a doctor using an ultrasound? Not because she's worried about the crime of rape. She is simply using the "rape" word to win an argument.

Who's the rapist in the ultrasound case, the abortion doctor?

The use of the word is divorced from factual reality. Our brains are trained to recoil from rape and rapists. It's poison. Lithwick is using this poison to go after innocent people.

We have seen the same thing with the word "Communist" and the word "racist." These words were once quite powerful. If people believed this about you, your career could be ruined. But if you over-use a poison, and enough innocent people are attacked with it, we are inoculated.

Rape is a crime, a serious crime. If the word "rapist" follows the same path as the words "Communist" and "racist," people will stop taking the rape charge seriously.

Rapey is the new pinko.

Feminists think they are being serious about rape, as they use rape in symbolic attacks against men who annoy them. But they are doing horrible damage, not just to innocent men, but to actual victims of rape.

Will's article is simply a plea to the Obama administration, and feminists in general, to be rigorous and serious about a rape accusation. Not surprisingly, now they're calling him a witch too.

harrogate said...

garage,

Sadly, you'll be lucky if you can get anyone else to cede the basic truth you are pointing to here. Good comment, though.

Heyooyeh said...

Crack said:

"'That’s who they are, that’s what they do.'

And you stand with people who, repeatedly, are found to be racists - you've made a nice place for them to hang out - and who 'play the victim' when it suits them, but admonishes NOT to do so, when oppressing others.

Boo-hoo. My sense of justice is devastated. How unfair.

Dumb ass,..."

Bravo. Couldn't agree more.

tim in vermont said...

Poor Crack must be hurting for hits on his bitter blog to make that stretch.

Brando said...

The blatant mischaracterization of what George Will wrote is the worst part of all of this. If you can't take apart the argument that the guy actually makes--and instead tear him apart over things he didn't say or imply--then you're lazy and pathetic and should move aside so the adults can talk.

It's quite clear what Will was talking about--that there are people who do covet "victim" status even where they're not victims (see Warren, Elizabeth). And as a result of this, victimhood has been so broadened (with "microaggressions" and expanded definitions of sexual assault so that one in five women on campus become victims of sexual assault) that it renders any examination or redress of actual victimhood more difficult.

Now, you can argue with that actual point--maybe pointing out that the claiming of "victimhood" is not nearly as broad as Will suggests, or that rape and assault are still underreported and it's a greater problem that rape victims don't get justice than it is that some men are falsely accused. That sort of discussion can be had among fairminded people willing to look at evidence and consider one another's arguments.

But in this day of smearing and cheap argument tactics--particularly egregious when it happens in an academic setting--it's all the more important to destroy the other side, that the other side be not merely "wrong" but evil. This is what we've come to.

The only way this stops is when people are willing to call out such crap on their own side.

Larry J said...

e mahal said...
I think Instapundit is trying to chill free speech by criticizing people who use free speech to criticize free speech. Which is chilling. What Alinsky Rule # is that?


George Will has his rights to free speech, as do those who criticize him and the people who criticize the critics. The critics have their right to their opinion but no right to stiffle criticism of them, or of me or you. We can say what we want but no one is immune from criticism.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Frozen?? Let it go. (The cold never bothered me anyway.)

YoungHegelian said...

People aren’t “misunderstanding” what Will wrote. They deliberately misrepresented

I have to disagree with Instapundit on this. I don't think they "deliberately misrepresent". I think that 90% of today's pundits are simply incapable of "analyzing" (in its root meaning of breaking an argument into it logical parts) an argument. If they can do it, they hide it well. Logical coherence, to say nothing of philosophical rigor, are not the modern pundit's strong points. "Hey, buddy, chill! I've got columns to fill & a deadline, okay?"

If you think I'm being cruel (or just plain wrong), ask yourself this: how many times do you read an article and think "Wow, that was an incredibly clear exposition of the author's points!"

Bob Ellison said...

Young skunks are often largely white.

Rick Caird said...

The left is very experienced and very good at this. They did so with Palin and the Obama campaign did so to Romney. I remember having dinner with another couple and both girls said they didn't trust Romney. Now, I ask you, who is the real liar, Obama or Romney.

Humperdink said...

Garage presents his circular argument. Distant relative of Koskinen?

traditionalguy said...

Will is a Denier for sure. He denies sophisticate new statistical lies on which the Government's Tyranny over us is being built.

He is a dangerous man. But he has been declared socially unacceptable now.

What was his name???

lgv said...

This is why 80% of people in California support gay marriage until they actually voted on it.

Then looked what happened. I thought it odd that people were targeted and outed for belonging to the majority. If Brendan Eich needed to resign for believing what he believed, then why not the other 50+% of voters? Wouldn't that be something if they were all fired at once.

Ben Calvin said...

Mikhail Bakhtin developed a concept which I have found quite useful in thinking about political discussions.

Bakhtin identifies a specific type of discourse, the "authoritative discourse," which demands to be assimilated by the reader or listener; examples might be religious dogma, or scientific theory, or a popular book. This type of discourse is viewed as past, finished, hierarchically superior, and therefore demands "unconditional allegiance" rather than accepting interpretation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heteroglossia

Much of today's political debate consists of attempt to establish authoritative discourses, which are not open to debate.

A small example is the use of the label "denier" for those who question the validity of global warming theories or data.

This has two purposes, to delegitimize any critique for those sources, and secondarily, to identify and create factions.

In this example, one cannot give consideration to criticism of global warming and still be considered in good standing with the body of middle class, "liberal" opinion.

Unknown said...

From Marx's criticism of Hegel's philosophy of right:

...criticism is no passion of the head, it is the head of passion. It is no anatomical knife, it is a weapon. Its object is its enemy, which it will not refute but destroy. For the spirit of the conditions has been refuted. In and for themselves they are no memorable objects, but existences as contemptible as they are despised. Criticism has already settled all accounts with this subject. It no longer figures as an end in itself, but only as a means. Its essential pathos is indignation, its essential work is denunciation.

Sorry, George. You understand, dear boy? Spirit of the conditions and all that.

Ann Althouse said...

"I thought they weren't allowed to yell "FREEZE" anymore. Probably due to some lawyer…"

I think the point is that it constitutes a seizure (a statement that you are not free to leave) so the 4th amendment applies. That doesn't mean the seizure is always a violation.

Paco Wové said...

"you'll be lucky if you can get anyone else to cede the basic truth you are pointing to here"

Arguing that you have a right to misrepresent other people's positions seems like a case of missing the point.

Civilis said...

It's quite clear what Will was talking about--that there are people who do covet "victim" status even where they're not victims (see Warren, Elizabeth). And as a result of this, victimhood has been so broadened (with "microaggressions" and expanded definitions of sexual assault so that one in five women on campus become victims of sexual assault) that it renders any examination or redress of actual victimhood more difficult.

I think the obvious comparison is with the periodic phony "hate-crime" scares that appear on campuses. While I'm sure there are some actual incidents, most of which appear to be cases of nothing more than stupid insensitivity, the most egregious "hate-crime" incidents always seem to turn out to be hoaxes created for raising the status of the "victim". As such, "victimhood" must have some value.

Owen said...

Maybe the saddest part of the Alinsky approach is that it can be addictive. Once you have given yourself permission to act like a vicious little shit --avoiding the merits of the issue and hurting people quite gratuitously, with a wonderful sense of self-righteousness-- it gets easier and easier. You become hooked on that irrational, emotion-laden brew. And you become the instrument of others.

Levi Starks said...

Althouse is starting to sound like she thinks there's some sort of a vast left wing conspiracy. Better back it off a notch, or people will she's a nut job.

Marty Keller said...

I love Crack's optimism. He's forever showing up at the baseball game with a frisbee and expecting everyone to change the play. Wonder why no one pays attention?

girlwriteswhat said...

I'm just going to recreate (slightly modified) a comment I left on the Atlantic article:

----

And here in the comments, is the conferred privileged status of the victim Will was talking about--that Will (or anyone) writing or talking about the subject of sexual assault, must first consider and assuage the feelings of victims before discussing even tangentially related aspects of the topic.

It is the privilege to demand total control over the discourse, and to demand one's feelings be considered and pandered to in every single discussion.

I find it amazing that this status is not immediately evident to the very people reinforcing it--the same people who invented the "progressive stack", no less. If you have not been a victim, you have no right to express an opinion on the subject. If you are not part of a victim group, you need to STFU because you can't possibly understand. If you *have* been a victim, but are found to be an unworthy (read: unfeminist) one, you have no right to express an opinion on the subject.

Victim status renders someone essentially untouchable, with gangs of pundits, columnists, and commenting rabble ready to rip into the first person who challenges or doubts you, even to the point of demanding they lose their job. Dare to hold a wrong opinion or ask an unsanctioned question, and you are branded a monster.

How quickly they forget that Meg Lanker-Simons was the toast of the campus right up until the moment police discovered she'd sent herself the rape threat that launched her back into relevance.

-----

It brings me back to a panel discussion I had in NH with Naomi Wolf. We have both publicized the fact that we have experience with sexual violence, but she made a point to bring her own up (apropos of nothing) during the discussion. At one point, when I was explaining WHY rape is a difficult crime to prosecute (because it is based on state of mind alone--consent or lack of it), she interrupted with "OMG, you're a rape apologist??!!" By the end of the panel, she was so worked up, she dropped an f-bomb--this after her rudely overtalking everyone else involved for 45 minutes.

After, I approached her and said, "I can't believe you called me a rape apologist." She told me I sure sounded like one. I started to say, "What, for saying that rape is a crime based on consent?" but she interrupted (yet AGAIN) to say, "I've been RAPED! I can't talk about this with you!"

At which point, I threw up my hands and gave up.

The status of "worthy victim" grants one the privilege of having their position or opinion on the issue prioritized, and the privilege of ending conversations the moment they get uncomfortable. It gives them license to essentially call other people monsters for the dire crime of not being as upset about something as they are. And it shields you from criticism over your dirty tactics, as multiple people will rush in to defend you from anyone monstrous enough to revictimize a victim in any way.

This is the exact opposite of how public discourse on serious issues should go down. If you have not gotten over your personal baggage to the point where you can let someone finish a sentence before hissing "RAPE APOLOGIST!" at them, then you are the LAST person who should be influencing public policy.

The entire thing makes me shake my head.

garage mahal said...

They are not using free speech to criticize free speech, they are demanding that he be fired, that his column not be run, that he retire in disgrace.

So what?

Sebastian said...

Will was right in his column.

Friedersdorf is right about the misrepresentation of Will.

You are right about its toxic effects.

Progressivism is the politics of ideological exclusion.

The underlying issue in this case is to some extent an empirical one: Will argues that new policies have changed many people's calculations by making a certain status more "coveted." Friedersdorf suggests that being viewed as a rape victim still carries stigma. I think Friedersdorf underestimates the advantages of victimization claims, especially in academic settings, but he and Will can both be right. Actual research would help more than a battle of words.

Of course, progressive smearing also hampers such research. Some topics become too toxic to touch.

Sebastian said...

Will was right in his column.

Friedersdorf is right about the misrepresentation of Will.

You are right about its toxic effects.

Progressivism is the politics of ideological exclusion.

The underlying issue in this case is to some extent an empirical one: Will argues that new policies have changed many people's calculations by making a certain status more "coveted." Friedersdorf suggests that being viewed as a rape victim still carries stigma. I think Friedersdorf underestimates the advantages of victimization claims, especially in academic settings, but he and Will can both be right. Actual research would help more than a battle of words.

Of course, progressive smearing also hampers such research. Some topics become too toxic to touch.

CatherineM said...

It is a deliberate misrepresentation. I am quite sure most of the complaints came from people who had not read the article. If you read the comments under the video posted of Will's reponse on C-Span, you know they didn't read the column.

Most of the comments were men need to be punished for their crimes against women. No one questioned whether they were being falsely accused of crime. No one cared about a life being ruined.

gerry said...

LOL. Misrepresenting the issue perfectly. They are not using free speech to criticize free speech, they are demanding that he be fired, that his column not be run, that he retire in disgrace.

True. And not surprising. Garage never reads anything that threatens his abysmal perceptions of anything.

Meade said...

garage mahal said...
"I think Instapundit is trying to chill free speech by criticizing people who use free speech to criticize free speech. Which is chilling. What Alinsky Rule # is that?"

That's not an Alinsky Rule, that's straight of the best-selling, _Garage Mahal's Rules for Radical Rubes_.

"Rule #1: Derail, deflect, play dumb. Everyone loves a clown."

Peter said...

What he said:

1. Sometimes women lie.
2. Even accused men deserve due process.

These assertions would be obviously true in any other context.

But when there's an allegation of rape, they become "toxic"?

garage mahal said...

"911, what's your emergency?"

"Hi. I'm a conservative and these mean liberals criticized an opinion column written by a fellow conservative. It's really really bad. HALP. Quick!"

harrogate said...

"Arguing that you have a right to misrepresent other people's positions seems like a case of missing the point."

Well as a rider to this comment, I would think there is hardly any "argument" as to that point. Clearly the right to "misrepresent other people's positions" is long ensconced in our basic popular and political discourse no less than in our laws. I am sure you yourself would cheerfully cede this.

As for the business of attacking such misrepretnation, by all means we go for that too, on all sides of debate. But I have to say, I know of very few politicians or pundits or bloggers of any political persuasion whose words I have paid attention to, who have not taken some pretty wild liberties at one point or another, with the statements/ arguments of their opponents.

One problem here, though, is that so many people really seem unwilling to see why many others interpret Will's article the way that they have.

Heyooyeh said...

Meade's feelings are hurt :(

MountainMan said...

"Toxic" - exactly the word I used to describe Obama 6 years ago during the presidential campaign when talking with some of my co-workers. I said he would be the most toxic president in American history.

TCom said...

"So what?"

Because the criticisms of Will are WRONG and seek to DESTROY him.

It's unethical, and EVIL.

It's pretty clear, garage, you don't believe in good and evil. you believe in Democrat and Republican.

Doug said...

SJ said:

(How often do you hear the phrase "pro-life"? Does any supporter of abortion think that they are against life?

Is SJ mentally retarded ... or taking hallucinogens?
Supporters of abortion BY DEFINITION are against very specific lives! And speaking of which - the term "pro-choice" instead of "pro-abortion"! Does anyone think abortion supporters believe in more than one possible choice?

JPS said...

Don't know why I thought of this:

"Why should we bother to reply to Kautsky? He would reply to us, and we would have to reply to his reply. There's no end to that. It will be quite enough for us to announce that Kautsky is a traitor to the working class, and everyone will understand everything."

V. I. Lenin, as quoted by, of all people, George Will.

Brando said...

"I think the obvious comparison is with the periodic phony "hate-crime" scares that appear on campuses. While I'm sure there are some actual incidents, most of which appear to be cases of nothing more than stupid insensitivity, the most egregious "hate-crime" incidents always seem to turn out to be hoaxes created for raising the status of the "victim". As such, "victimhood" must have some value."

It certainly does have value--listeners believe it lends them extra credibility to show that they are more "unprivileged" than anyone else in the discussion. Fake victims of fabricated hate crimes often do this to get attention and sympathy (remember Tawana Brawley?).

I'd differ on rape though, as genuine rape victims often can feel enough shame that they don't want to mention what they've been through--and it makes it all the more obnoxious when someone makes a fake rape accusation, only making people slightly more skeptical when the next accusation comes out.

Whether Will is right or wrong--that the cult of "victimhood" and expansive definitions of sexual assault are part of the problem--is worthy of discussion. I certainly lean towards where he's coming from, but can also accept that in all the smoke and fury there are genuine victims who are not getting justice as well. But we won't get a worthwhile discussion as long as there's more value in getting a Thirty Second Hate going against the George Wills of the world than there is in engaging a debate.

William Chadwick said...

Someone may have already linked to this, but there's this:

http://spectator.org/articles/59742/george-will-meets-clerisy-media

"The Clerisy Media"--I like that.

Of course, if it weren't for misrepresentation (the Straw Man Argument), the Argument from Pity, and the Shifting Sands Argument, there would hardly be any "liberal" arguments at all. (See, for example, almost any post by our resident representative of the Stupid Left, Uncle Crack.)

William Chadwick said...

Someone may have already linked to this, but there's this:

http://spectator.org/articles/59742/george-will-meets-clerisy-media

"The Clerisy Media"--I like that.

Of course, if it weren't for misrepresentation (the Straw Man Argument), the Argument from Pity, and the Shifting Sands Argument, there would hardly be any "liberal" arguments at all. (See, for example, almost any post by our resident representative of the Stupid Left, Uncle Crack.)

Paco Wové said...

"Clearly the right to "misrepresent other people's positions" is long ensconced in our basic popular and political discourse no less than in our laws. I am sure you yourself would cheerfully cede this."

Yes. I cheerfully concede your right to misrepresent George Will.

"One problem here, though, is that so many people really seem unwilling to see why many others interpret Will's article the way that they have. "

Go for it, H. How do you interpret Will's article?

Hyphenated American said...

"And you stand with people who, repeatedly, are found to be racists - you've made a nice place for them to hang out - and who "play the victim" when it suits them, but admonishes NOT to do so, when oppressing others."

Althouse, looks like Crack, the infamous racist, who keeps writing one post after another expressing his hatred of white people, is upset that you allow him to post on your blog. Weird, but entertaining.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

harrogate said...

One problem here, though, is that so many people really seem unwilling to see why many others interpret Will's article the way that they have.

I think the problem here is that people are willing to see exactly why many others interpret Will's article the way that they have.

But, if you wish to offer another explanation as to why they are interpreting it the way they are, you are free to do so. I have yet to see such an explanation that makes sense and that does not boil down to them intentionally misrepresenting Will for political advantage.

Brando said...

"They are not using free speech to criticize free speech, they are demanding that he be fired, that his column not be run, that he retire in disgrace.

So what?"

So they are displaying thuggish behavior. Yes, they have every right to make those demands, and people vote with their pocketbooks all the time. But you can't do both that--trying to shut out opposing viewpoints rather than engage them--and still claim that you are an open-minded human being who enjoys vigorous debate. And media and academia both have an institutional obligation to be in favor of open and free discussion.

Again, this isn't a matter of rights--George Will does not have a right to require any newspaper to carry his column (outside of whatever contractual rights he may have them subject to). But any institution or person that claims to be "liberal" (in the non-partisan sense) and fair minded should never shut out discussion because it upsets their delicate sensibilities.

retired said...

Ann
Are you just figuring this out now? I remember this from 35 years ago talking to a feminist about abortion when I was in college.
How about the way the anti-war crowd treated Vietnam Vets?
The Chicom Cultural Revolution, The French Revolution.
This has been a favorite strategy of the hard left for centuries.

Sofa King said...

One problem here, though, is that so many people really seem unwilling to see why many others interpret Will's article the way that they have.

What leads you to believe that people are unwilling to see it, as opposed to willing to see it and rejecting it?

Brando said...

"Supporters of abortion BY DEFINITION are against very specific lives! And speaking of which - the term "pro-choice" instead of "pro-abortion"! Does anyone think abortion supporters believe in more than one possible choice?"

I'm sure anyone who is "pro-choice" by their own definition would believe in more than one possible choice, as long as it's a choice, and they would bristle at being called "anti-life" because they don't believe an abortion is taking a life. You may disagree with that, but then you're in the discussion of where human life begins and whether they're trying to push abortion as the only choice.

If you think abortion is wrong, argue that--but there's no need to misconstrue the opinions of your opponents. It'd be no more fair if they did that to you.

Michael said...

Garage:

Look, nitwit, no one is whining about criticism. Let us say that the head of the IRS said he was not aware of Lois Lerner's having conspired with the White House to slow the approval of conservative groups. If that was reported as the head of the IRS has said Lois Lerner could very well have conspired with the White House etc that would be what is called a "misrepresentation." Complaining about that misrepresentation is not the same as whining about "criticism." See nitwit?

Michael said...

Young Hegelian

I tend to agree but chalk it up to the fact that many, if not most, journalists are not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier. Most that I have known personally are actually pretty dim. Quick with the snide remark, ready with the irony, but hard pressed to logically proceed in a straight line.

Drago said...

harrogate: "But I have to say, I know of very few politicians or pundits or bloggers of any political persuasion whose words I have paid attention to, who have not taken some pretty wild liberties at one point or another, with the statements/ arguments of their opponents."

Feel free to post any "wild liberties" George Will has taken at any point with statements/arguments of his opponents.

Further: "But I have to say, I know of very few politicians or pundits or bloggers of any political persuasion whose words I have paid attention to...."

Well.

Thanks for presenting an hilariously impossible-to-validate/judge/quantify "baseline" for your observation.

Impossible-to-validate/judge/quantify baseline.

Do you work for (insert any democrat/leftist politician name here)?

raf said...

@girlwriteswhat

Bravo.

Michael K said...

"I think the obvious comparison is with the periodic phony "hate-crime" scares that appear on campuses."

The real analogy seems to me to be the "recovered memories" scandal of the 1980s. The meme was that children in day-care had been molested. Even though some of the allegations were impossible (surgery on children leaving no scars, tunnels, etc), the allegations were widely believed and resulted in people going to prison, some of them for decades.

The real end of that hysteria was the arrival of lawsuits that began to dry up malpractice insurance for psychologists who were using this scam as a new line of business. There were even workshops at Psychology conventions teaching neophytes how to "find" such memories in patients.

When the malpractice insurance companies dropped coverage of "recovered memory" treatment, the phenomenon vanished in a year. It still took a few more years to get some of the falsely accused, such as Gerald Amirault out of prison in the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

I think the Title IX suits will stop the rape hysteria on campuses. The first time one of those "counselors" gets a civil judgement against them, it will all go away, including the real cases.

TennLion said...

Thank you for this post. I, too, have used the concept of "chilling" the debate, but I think you are much more accurate in thinking to goal is to make the ungood thinkers toxic. Here is an example of the tactic's success: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/381097/report-brooklyn-college-rejects-10m-koch-brothers-ian-tuttle

Mark said...

Progressives are winning in exactly the same way as Charlie Sheen was winning. (His crash-and-burn was, however, more entertaining.)

wumhenry said...

J.S. Mill took aim at precisely the same repressive social phenomenon in *On Liberty*. He maintained that the main impediment to free speech and rational discourse in the England of his day was not government censorship but vilification of those expressing unpopular opinions and consequent intimidation of those inclined to agree with them.

Bruce Hayden said...

1. Sometimes women lie.
2. Even accused men deserve due process.


It is frankly ludicrous to automatically believe the woman over the man.

My, albeit sexist, view is that women often lie more, not less, than men, and esp. about sexual matters. Not having had sisters, I thought that there wasn't much difference between the sexes in this regard. But, my partner raised two of each, and pointed out that when they are growing up, when the girls are bad, they are sneaky bad, and while the boys are demonstrably bad. For example, the girls shoplift underwear (that they don't need), while the boys get drunk. She also grew up with both brothers and sisters.

So, that coloring my thoughts, there is an English word for cheating on a woman's husband: cuckold. There isn't a well known one for the opposite situation. And, I would suggest that this is very fundamental to our sexual strategies. Our females actually have (at least) two levels here. On the more basic level, they have an innate drive for Alpha male genes for their progeny. On a more recent level, they have a need for a (usually beta) male to help them raise their children. The way that they satisfy both needs is to cuckold their beta mate. My memory is that when genetic testing became available, it turned out that in many cultures, the percentage of males raising, unknown to them, children resulting from being cuckolded, was in the range of 30% or so.

The other reason that I suspect that females lie more often than males, esp. in this area, is that they are the weaker sex, and use lying to get around males being stronger.

Not that I believe that all men are honest and all females are dishonest, but rather, given what I believe the odds are of one or the other lying, I would give the edge to the woman. Maybe not by much, but at least a little. And, remember, we are typically talking a preponderance of the evidence standard.

harrogate said...

Drago generously invotes me to

"Feel free to post any 'wild liberties' George Will has taken at any point with statements/arguments of his opponents."

Well, for one thing he took some pretty wide liberties with the very article that got him in hot water. Why does he not acknowledge that so much of the discussion about sexual assault comes from, oh I don't know, a genuine anger borne from a sense that US culture is extremely cavalier about the issue of sexual assault? He ascribes the worst possible motives to "academia", basically setting fire to a field of straw man arguments, trotting out every imaginable right wing sterotype about universities and their "politically correct" culture. Doubling down, he goes ahead and ascribes some version of a self-aggrandizing motive in terms that, for all his reptuation for measured language, nevertheless impugns plaintiffs by arguing they have a "coveted status" to gain. Is it so hard to understand why people who find his argument ludicrous and damaging to victims of sexual assault?

Drago also writes:

"Thanks for presenting an hilariously impossible-to-validate/judge/quantify 'baseline' for your observation."

in response to my very uncontroversial observation that political pundits, journalists, politicians, bloggers (and their commenters) and voters in general misrepresent their opposition all the freakint time in the discourse.

Take our vaunted hostess. She consistently played with the suggestion that the OWS arguments were anti-semitic. "but, but, they're mad at 'bankers', and that has a history so let's talk about that!" Their actual arguments got very little play in her coverage, by contrast.

tim in vermont said...

"Why does he not acknowledge that so much of the discussion about sexual assault comes from, oh I don't know, a genuine anger borne from a sense that US culture is extremely cavalier about the issue of sexual assault? "

Define "sexual assault."

Does it include being "told promises that aren't true" to quote the CDC?

Does it include having sex with a girl when you are both drunk or high, like the CDC says?

Does it include "lying to get sex," or "acting sad ."

If I lie to a woman about the size of my crank, tell her it is huge when it isn't, am I a sexual predator?

What if I am disappointed and sad when she says no?

What if I tell her that I am going to marry her and share all my money with her, then change my mind when I see her mother?

If anybody is treating the issue of Sexual Assault lightly, it is the left.

I am sure that is why you don't have any actual facts in your post that could be ripped to shreds.

You saw Frederson make that mistake, you won't repeat it.

CWJ said...

raf and girlwriteswhat plus the commenter who offered the Lenin quote,

These.

Drago said...

harrogate: "in response to my very uncontroversial observation that political pundits, journalists, politicians, bloggers (and their commenters) and voters in general misrepresent their opposition all the freakint time in the discourse."

doubling down on the impossible to validate/quantify/baseline.

Why don't you simply present a few examples of what you speak (specifically from Will, as requested).

I'm suggesting that your self-determined "uncontroversial" statement is, in fact, arguable and thus, controversial.



Gahrie said...


"Hi. I'm a conservative and these mean liberals criticized an opinion column written by a fellow conservative. It's really really bad. HALP. Quick!"


Bullshit. Conservatives want you to engage and criticize his arguements. Instead the Left has tried to round up a lynch mob and get Will fired precisely so they don't have to engage in the argument.

Carol said...

There were even workshops at Psychology conventions teaching neophytes how to "find" such memories in patients.

And there is an army of former patients still around whose Reason for Everything Wrong is that they were molested as a child!! All based on recovered memories.

And who's gonna argue with that.

rhhardin said...

Freeze isn't a temperature metaphor. It's a state metaphor.

A thaw happens at the same temperature, and is the opposite metaphor.

Temperature is the partial derivative of energy with respect to entropy.

A lot of physicists get that wrong too. They think temperature is kinetic energy related. Unusually bad metaphors are the result.

harrogate said...

tim,

do you not see that you yourself are distorting arguments being made by people --surprise!--people with whose politics you disagree?

I don't know, maybe you can show me the argument that lying about "crank size" is sexual assault, or breaking off an engagement is sexual assault. Of course, you're not distorting at all because you can show me where these and the other hypothetical arguments reflect, say, the #yesallwomen discourse?

harrogate said...

Drago,

I have been reading your comments for a while. You boil political opposition down to the most extreme caricature routinely. Why not own up to it?

As for Will, I gave you the most germane example, but to understand how it is distortion, you have to first be able to see that he is taking the worst stereotypes aboout "academic leftism" and treating them as basic facts to be taken as such. Can you not see this? Just look a little closer at all he takes for granted. And then of course, there is the "coveted status" comment itself which puts on a Distortion Clinic to all who do not presume the worst about plaintiffs in the abstract.

Will is less of a bomb thrower than many partisan writers and, over the years, I have actually seen him generate some pretty damn good writing. But he also is very skilled at caricaturing the views of those with whom he disagrees. In doing this, he does not stand out among his class.

Unknown said...

FWIW, using census data and FBI crime statistics I calculate 31.3 "forcible rapes" per 100,000 year for the U.S., skewed a little because there are 7.8 per 100,000 for white folk and 23.5 for African Americans. United Nations reports 26.5 per 100K, but it's different years & probably different reporting methodology.

The "sense that US culture is extremely cavalier about the issue of sexual assault" is an artifact manufactured to promote outrage. It is patently untrue, and offensive. The extremely cavalier attitude about sex that has developed in the U.S. over the past few decades has consequences.

Naut Right said...

Don't show cowardice by whining about shunning. From experience I know that the way to gag the shunning is to refuse to be silenced by it. Not that in some way it isn't hurtful to be shunned. The flip side is those whose acceptance you seek have cared so little for you that they openly are trying to stigmatize you. There are "followers" out there who will so their small parts in your behalf if you stand up to the attacks. Eventually your detractors become more careful around you. Be a formidable foe. Dare them by doubling down. Don't whine about shunning!

Hyphenated American said...

"Why does he not acknowledge that so much of the discussion about sexual assault comes from, oh I don't know, a genuine anger borne from a sense that US culture is extremely cavalier about the issue of sexual assault?"

In other words, he is wrong by not immediately agreeing with you that:
a) those that object to his article, who make up numbers, lie about rape, and try to silence all the opposing view are generally good people, acting in best intentions.
b) Even people he writes about are nice folks, and their intentions cannot be questioned - they are definitely working for the best of the country.
c) What's the crap about "cavalier" attitude? Any evidence of that?

P.S. In general, you fault Will for not assuming (with no evidence) that the people he disagrees with are good people. Personally, I don't think he should just assume without evidence that those he disagrees with are good people.

eric said...

Harrogate wrote;

"Sadly, you'll be lucky if you can get anyone else to cede the basic truth you are pointing to here. Good comment, though."

You and garage are either idiots, or are engaging in exactly what Instapundit accues the others of doing, purposefully being dense.

You can find the difference right here in this comments thread.

Harrogate argued;

"Drago generously invotes me to

"Feel free to post any 'wild liberties' George Will has taken at any point with statements/arguments of his opponents."

Well, for one thing he took some pretty wide liberties with the very article that got him in hot water. Why does he not acknowledge that so much of the discussion about sexual assault comes from, oh I don't know, a genuine anger borne from a sense that US culture is extremely cavalier about the issue of sexual assault? "

You see that? You're trying to argue and persuade a point of view. Great!

Now, if myself and others called on Althouse to ban you from this website because of your views, that would be something entirely different. It wouldn't be us exercising our rights of free speech, it would be us trying to get you shut out of the conversation.

But, I'm not sure if you understand this difference. You might, in which case you're evil for playing dumb. If you don't, then you're just dumb.

Hyphenated American said...

"He ascribes the worst possible motives to "academia", basically setting fire to a field of straw man arguments, trotting out every imaginable right wing sterotype about universities and their "politically correct" culture."

Would you be so kind to quote from his article, and explain which one is a "straw man argument".

Anyway, you wrote the entire post without providing a single quote from Will, which to me proves that you could find no evidence that Will wrote anything factually wrong. Agreed?

Michael K said...

"whose Reason for Everything Wrong is that they were molested as a child!! All based on recovered memories."

They will eventually die off and be replaced by those claiming sexual "assault" in college.

My youngest daughter graduated from U of Arizona last year and saw none of this. She did call he cops on a guy beating up his girlfriend in a parking lot. He was arrested and she testified against him this past spring.

harrogate said...

A tour of the "George Will" tags shows that Althouse herself never examined Will's essays themselves nor did she engage the criticisms of those essays.

Blogger's perogative, of course, to take Will's much coveted conservative-victimized-by-liberals status as a premise and build from there. Interesting choice tho.

Carl Pham said...

Yep, that's why increasing feminine values -- which prize belonging and group identity -- is a loss for civil society. We need more widespread masculine values, which laugh at people who "freeze" us out. Who gives a flying fuck what you think, monkey boy? Or any of you? Freeze away!

Hyphenated American said...

Harrogate, quick question for you...

During 1950ies, some communists and communist sympathizers lost their jobs in Hollywood. Apparently, this was horrible and unfair, even fascist, according to liberals.
How is that different though from liberals calling Washington Post to fire Will for writing an article they did not like? And if firing a columnist for writing non-liberal articles is okay, then what was the problem with not hiring the people who supported the bloodiest dictatorship in the world, the communists, during the Korean War?

Hyphenated American said...

"And then of course, there is the "coveted status" comment itself which puts on a Distortion Clinic to all who do not presume the worst about plaintiffs in the abstract. "

Sorry, but you refuse to debate what will wrote. Is it true that victimhood is a coveted status in universities? Instead, you claim that Will "presumes the worst about plaintiffs in the abstract", which is no-where found in the article.

Do you understand this? Maybe not.

Doug said...

Brando said: I'm sure anyone who is "pro-choice" by their own definition would believe in more than one possible choice, as long as it's a choice, and they would bristle at being called "anti-life" because they don't believe an abortion is taking a life.
Oh, yes, this is why pro-abortion supporters want to shield pregnant women from seeing a sonogram of their "fetuses", why they don't wan't people within hailing distance of the abortion clinic door to offer the choice of adoption, why they want to ban parental consent for underage unwed mothers. Oh, yeah, they believe in ALL the choices.
They want dead babies and free consciences.

harrogate said...

"Now, if myself and others called on Althouse to ban you from this website because of your views [. . .] It wouldn't be us exercising our rights of free speech, it would be us trying to get you shut out of the conversation."

Actually--now hang on to your hat here, because this is really a doozy--it would be both.

We have a pretty long tradition of newspaper columnists/television pundits-under-siege in the United States, you know. Local and syndicated columnists being railed against? Par the course. Demands that they be dropped from the papers carrying them? Yawn.

Sometimes, these requests make more sense, and/or enjoy a broader base of support than others. Sometimes they achieve their ends. Liberals, Conservatives, and Moderates all have expereinced this and will continue to. Bill Maher, Phil Donahue, John Derbyshire all come to mind immediately.

Owen said...

Michael K (at 3:40 PM): thanks for the reference to the Amirault case. Very similar. The politico-psychological dynamics here are very disconcerting: join the mob, ride the emotional surf, make a buck or five, burnish a career in "activism." Screw the idea of common sense, justice, fairness and well-tested evidence.

These people always offer the same stuff. And it is never any good.

Francisco D said...

OMG! I have been away for a while. Who is this Crackhead character? Is this a joke?

It must be a joke. No one is that stupid, unaware and angry. Well, anyone who is stupid and unaware is probably angry ... at themselves.

tim in vermont said...

"A tour of the "George Will" tags shows that Althouse herself never examined Will's essays themselves nor did she engage the criticisms of those essays."

Nor have you engaged in any of the criticism of your 'criticism.'

Your prerogative, but clearly you can't defend your position based on the facts.

Did you think I made that stuff up up there? No I didn't. It came from the CDCs survey on sexual violence. I just put it to the proper ridicule.

tim in vermont said...

" maybe you can show me the argument that lying about "crank size" is sexual assault, or breaking off an engagement is sexual assault." - Harrogate

"Rape is defined as any completed or attempted unwanted vaginal (for women), oral, or anal
penetration through the use of physical force (such as being pinned or held down, or by the
use of violence) or threats to physically harm and includes times when the victim was drunk,
high,
drugged, or passed out and unable to consent."

"Sexual coercion is defined as unwanted sexual penetration that occurs after a person is
pressured in a nonphysical way. In NISVS, sexual coercion refers to unwanted vaginal, oral,
or anal sex after being pressured in ways that included being worn down by someone who
repeatedly asked for sex or showed they were unhappy; feeling pressured by being lied to,
being told promises that were untrue, having someone threaten to end a relationship or
spread rumors; and sexual pressure due to someone using their influence or authority"

CDC

Sorry I didn't see your response to me earlier, belay that last comment. I was just trying to get you to respond.

garage mahal said...

Conservatives want you to engage and criticize his arguements. Instead the Left has tried to round up a lynch mob and get Will fired precisely so they don't have to engage in the argument.

Again, so what? So what if some lefty group calls for Will's firing? WHO GIVES A FUCK! The Tea Party wants to impeach Obama. This bitter, pseudo-intellectual bag of thesaurus jello should have been shitcanned a long time ago as far as I'm concerned.

John said...

It amazes me that Althouse bothers to moderate comments and then allows Crack to rant about racism on every thread with all of the coherence of the guy who lives in back of the dumpster near where I work. And to make up for it she posts Garage Mahal, one of the most profoundly retarded Prog sock puppet accounts on the internet.

The Althouse comentariat was never the best but it was never the worst either. This is ridiculous.

Drago said...

harrogate: "You boil political opposition down to the most extreme caricature routinely. Why not own up to it?"

That you make this assertion in a thread where you praise garage is beyond caricature.

harrogate: "As for Will, I gave you the most germane example,..,."

No, you didn't.

harrogate continues: "..but to understand how it is distortion, you have to first be able to see that he is taking the worst stereotypes aboout "academic leftism" and treating them as basic facts to be taken as such."

LOL

I have to internalize leftist defense mechanisms before I'm able to see the real truthiness about your claims against Will!

What a perfect leftist caricature.

harrogate: "Can you not see this?"

I think you mean 'can I not just see things the way you do' don't you?

Your premises are BS.

Perhaps you should revisit them.

harrogate: "Just look a little closer at all he takes for granted."

Says the 'taker for granted' king.

Delightful.

harrogate: "And then of course, there is the "coveted status" comment itself which puts on a Distortion Clinic to all who do not presume the worst about plaintiffs in the abstract."

LOL

The Distortion Clinic was built and manned by leftists, like you. Whose every decision/action presumes the absolute worst about the real "plaintiffs" (you know, the men accused and presumed guilty 'cuz "male").

And it's not in the abstract, it's for "realz" as Crack would say.

I suggest you take every bit of advice you offered up to the other side and apply it to yourself.

Leftist heal thyself, so to speak.

But you won't.

Drago said...

Hyphenated American (to harrogate): "Sorry, but you refuse to debate what will wrote."

Correct.

harrogate continues the very behavior that drove Althouse to write what she did about Will's column.

Of course harrogate doesn't see that.

He's too busy standing atop the twin shoulders of the left (presumed moral superiority and academic/observational neutrality/distance) and lecturing the rest of us from on high.

His preening and lack of substance is precisely to be expected.

chillblaine said...

I loved Friedersdorf's column. He basically called the people who twisted George Will's words, 'floppers.' Like Pau Gasol, exaggerating slight contact and imploring the referee to call a foul on the other guy. It just reminds me about the solemn command not to bear false witness. That used to mean something.

Jupiter said...

rhhardin said;

"Temperature is the partial derivative of energy with respect to entropy."

Part of the difficulty is that, experimentally, it is much easier to vary energy than entropy. This makes the idea of a derivative with respect to entropy rather abstract. So, I prefer to think about the inverse; 1/T = k dS/dU, the change in entropy for a small additional energy.

But in this case, the "freeze" metaphor refers to restricting mobility. So, kinetic energy is apropos. No?

rightguy2 said...

AA, you are spot on. This is vintage Alinsky. And they targeted Will because he is reasonable, thoughtful, and, in their view, too persuasive.

Alex said...

Ann has already stated that she will never ever NOT let a crack comment through.

Gahrie said...


Again, so what? So what if some lefty group calls for Will's firing? WHO GIVES A FUCK! The Tea Party wants to impeach Obama.


The difference is, the Left wants to get Will fired for what he said, the Right wants to fire Obama because of his job performance.

davinci78 said...

“they had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce, growling dogs roamed everywhere,”

Larry Nelson said...

girlwriteswhat said...
...I started to say, "What, for saying that rape is a crime based on consent?" but she interrupted (yet AGAIN) to say, "I've been RAPED! I can't talk about this with you!"


Great post.
I can only add that Naomi should go give Algore a massage.

John Lynch said...

We don't read the blog posts or newspaper columns that we disagree with. We read what our side says is wrong with them.

Kirk Parker said...

Naut Right,

"Don't show cowardice by whining about shunning. From experience I know that the way to gag the shunning is to refuse to be silenced by it."

Yep. Christopher Hitchens knew how to respond to this kind of attack.

tim in vermont said...

Crack is entertaining, in a car wreck sort of way.

Brando said...

"Oh, yes, this is why pro-abortion supporters want to shield pregnant women from seeing a sonogram of their "fetuses", why they don't wan't people within hailing distance of the abortion clinic door to offer the choice of adoption, why they want to ban parental consent for underage unwed mothers. Oh, yeah, they believe in ALL the choices.
They want dead babies and free consciences."

My issue with what you wrote here is that you're assuming all "pro-choice" people believe the exact same things. Not all "pro-life" people believe the exact same things either. As for the restrictions you mention, I'm sure a pro-choicer would argue that each of them interferes with a free choice of whether to abort or keep the child to term. You can quibble with that, but that's where they'd be coming from.

My point isn't whether pro-lifers or pro-choicers are right or wrong--my point is that the tendency to villify and resort to misrepresenting the arguments of our political opponents has reduced political debate to the gutter. Maybe this was always so--but I prefer to get into discussions where one will either hone better arguments or adapt them, rather than a shouting match.

Gerry Daly said...

Oh, don't worry about it. As soon as you step outside that door, you'll start feeling better. You'll remember you don't believe in any of this partisan crap. You're a life-long liberal, remember? Here, take a cookie. I promise, by the time you're done eating it, you'll feel right as rain.

Freder Frederson said...

The hypocrisy here is rank. Can't any of you remember the debate on the Iraq War? Remember what happened to the Dixie Chicks? I was called a traitor and worse on this very forum.

And now you are getting all bent out of shape about legitimate criticism of George Will.

Moneyrunner said...

Ann says: "...someone who has lived and worked in a liberal environment for a long time ...” Let me correct that for you, you have lived in a toxic environment. And after a long time, toxic is viewed as normal. North Korea is a hell hole, as everyone agrees who is not North Korean. But for the average North Korean, the things done there are normal. Normal … like normal in academia.

harrogate said...

John Lynch:

Some of us frequently read columns and blog posts we disagree with all the time. I know I do. And it seems that Althouse spends a lot of time doing so as well. I bet you do, too.

Brando said...

"The hypocrisy here is rank. Can't any of you remember the debate on the Iraq War? Remember what happened to the Dixie Chicks? I was called a traitor and worse on this very forum."

Did anyone try to prevent you from offering your opinion a the time? And were the people who tried to prevent you from opining the same people who have an institutional obligation to support the free flow of debate and new ideas?

Because if not, then it isn't the same thing. Country fans deciding not to buy the Dixie Chicks' (admittedly awful) music or attend their concerts are not the same thing as major newspapers refusing to run columns because the writer raised controversial points.

If you did get your column yanked by a media outlet during the Iraq War, then those people were also wrong to do so.

The Crack Emcee said...

Marty Keller,

"I love Crack's optimism. He's forever showing up at the baseball game with a frisbee and expecting everyone to change the play. Wonder why no one pays attention?"


WHite people are funny - and blind:

I spoke up twice, here, and they generated 11 responses.

So much for the racists not paying attention to me.

And Marty Keller - you have some of the WORST powers of observation I've ever seen,...

tim in vermont said...

Freder, still haven't explained why Will was wrong about the debasement of the term "sexual assault." It's fine, you don't because you can't.


The Dixie Chicks insulted their own fan base, in a foreign country to a foreign audience, Maines said she was "ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas."

They lost their fan base. Country music fans admire Texas, even if not all of them want to live there. As a group, they liked George W Bush. The only people who bought their next album were blue state liberals who didn't really like the music, probably listened to it once, then forgot about it.

George Will has had his words misrepresented in the national media in a way that you still refuse to acknowledge. Nobody twisted Natalie Maines' words. There was no need.

Why don't you simply admit that you think that misrepresentation of people's words is also free speech and fair politics and is accepted in the culture at large?

You deny it because you know it is not true.

Michael said...

Freder F

No one is bent out of shape by criticism. They are bent out of shape bythe willful misrepresentation of what Will wrote. Turning a clear position on how these procedures on campuses are trivializing rape into saying that women deserve it. It is a distinction with a difference. Surely you can see the difference. Or perhaps not.

tim in vermont said...

I am shocked, shocked, that neither Freder or Harrogate will defend the CDCs definitions of sexual assault. Or their interpretation of Will's column.

CatherineM said...

Tim, re Dixie Chicks - the exploited their situation with a cover of TIME and thought they would get mainstream cred that never materialized.

Freder Frederson said...

Turning a clear position on how these procedures on campuses are trivializing rape into saying that women deserve it.

You are wrong about what Will's column said and about the criticism of it.

It is amazing you can mis-characterize both positions in the same statement.

Why don't you simply admit that you think that misrepresentation of people's words is also free speech and fair politics and is accepted in the culture at large?

It is free speech and accepted by the culture at large, but it is not fair politics.

The only reason that I waded into this debate is because Althouse, and most of the commentators seem to believe that this behavior is restricted to liberals. That of course is bullshit. Limbaugh has built his career on mischaracterizing the opposition.

Did anyone try to prevent you from offering your opinion a the time? And were the people who tried to prevent you from opining the same people who have an institutional obligation to support the free flow of debate and new ideas?

Well yes they did.

What makes you think that newspapers have an obligation to publish op-eds they don't agree with or cancel columns that don't match their editorial policy?

Hyphenated American said...

"The only reason that I waded into this debate is because Althouse, and most of the commentators seem to believe that this behavior is restricted to liberals. That of course is bullshit. Limbaugh has built his career on mischaracterizing the opposition. "

Is it really fair to look at the entire career of Rush Limbaugh, and multiple good ideas and opinions that he aired - and reduce him to this caricature?

Sounds like you are doing something that liberals are known for doing - show a simplistic view of someone they don't agree with. Right?

Drago said...

Freder: " Limbaugh has built his career on mischaracterizing the opposition. "

Actually, media matters and folks like you have built your careers and online blog personas on mischaracterizing what Rush and every conservative says.

This is to be expected from the side that claims -2.9% GDP is an indicator of a "growing economy".

Freder Frederson said...

Is it really fair to look at the entire career of Rush Limbaugh, and multiple good ideas and opinions that he aired - and reduce him to this caricature?

I think it is. Rush habitually mischaracterizes and distorts facts and views, and outright lies, to make his point. Heck, he is so dishonest he even misrepresents the statements of people who generally agree with him (as Althouse pointed out just recently).

Drago said...

Freder: "Rush habitually mischaracterizes and distorts facts and views, and outright lies, to make his point."

Freder, and the left, habitually mischaracterize and distort facts and views, and put forth outright lies, to make their points.

They've always done it and they always will.

tim in vermont said...

"You are wrong about what Will's column said and about the criticism of it"

Nice topic sentence, now support it with examples.... Oh, you can't. That would drag you into the realm of having to argue things like facts, and not drive by rhetoric.

jr565 said...

Girlwriteswhat wrote:
The status of "worthy victim" grants one the privilege of having their position or opinion on the issue prioritized, and the privilege of ending conversations the moment they get uncomfortable. It gives them license to essentially call other people monsters for the dire crime of not being as upset about something as they are. And it shields you from criticism over your dirty tactics, as multiple people will rush in to defend you from anyone monstrous enough to revictimize a victim in any way.

a perfect example of this - Cindy Sheehan. Because her son died she had unassailable moral authority, and if you opposed her arguments, why then you were for her son dying and how dare you be such a heartless monster. The left does this over and over.

Carl said...

Part of the difficulty is that, experimentally, it is much easier to vary energy than entropy.

You are incorrect. For a thermodynamic system, it is generally challenging to control the energy, as most such systems are in contact with a thermal reservoir. However, the entropy can be readily and directly changed by injecting or removing heat at a constant temperature, dS = dQ/T, as Clausius points out.

Michael Walsh said...

George Will committed Heresy against GoodThink. The ostracism is now required by the Correct to maintain their tribal identity status.

More of the same really. After all, it is far far easy to destroy a strawman produced by a caricature than to address an actual argument.

After all, addressing the argument might give it some form of legitimacy. Far better to make the Idea toxic, as you say. Then one does not need to address it at all. It is simply Heresy. BadThink. Contemptible. Ignorable. How could you possibly be one of THOSE people? They are the Other. Shun them and those who agree.