August 21, 2002
“Is your tape recorder running? Turn it on! I got something to say.”Media Whores Online had this to say [pointed out by Atrios]:
Then she said: “My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building.”
We wonder again why Slate.com’s Mickey Kaus would concern himself with MWO’s rhetoric, when someone he has recommended, and whose site he has permanently linked on his weblog at Slate.com, has expressed disappointment that his fellow journalists working for the New York Times have not been murdered in a terrorist attack.You know, I said some pretty rough things about Media Whores Online just the other day—but on this, they’re dead right. Kaus tries to play both sides of the street, subjecting MWO and other left-leaners to a forbidding standard of rhetorical punctiliousness, while at the same time displaying an indulgent tolerance of thuggishness on his right. This fails a basic test of entertainment journalism, not because it’s hypocritical (hypocrisy, handled right, can be very entertaining), but because it’s unconvincing.
Obviously, linkers don’t inherit responsibility for everything said by the linkee. I link to a bunch of weblogs; many of them contain statements I think are dumb. (For that matter, this weblog frequently contains statements I’ve later come to think were dumb. Obligatory Kaus imitation: Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) But you know, if this weblog featured a permanent flattering recommendation for someone who repeatedly talked about how much they’d like to kill Glenn Reynolds, or arrest all the libertarians, or convert conservatives at gunpoint, I think some folks in the blog world would get just a little bit creeped out. Particularly if I did so while getting all self-righteous every time a right-of-center blogger tossed out a stupid insult or made a foolish remark.
By all the personal accounts I’ve heard, Kaus is a splendid human being. Then again, some of the people who work at the New York Times building are surely also splendid human beings. My mother and father, pretty much liberals the last time I looked, are splendid human beings too. Ann Coulter says she wishes the folks in the Times building had been killed. She said “We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too.” You know, that’s my mother and father she’s talking about. For some reason, I don’t find this kind of thing entertainingly outrageous. Publicly winking at it doesn’t make you look smart, or broadminded, or brilliantly devil-may-care. It just makes you look cruel and stupid. [06:27 PM]