Thursday, September 23, 2004

take down

From Professor Bainbridge
In a post claiming that the blogosphere's reaction to the Rathergate business was in fact a revolution, in that the blogosphere was providing real accountability for the traditional media, I noted that the columnist in question had misrepresented a Michelle Malkin column. This prompted an email from law prof and blawgger Eric Muller, which I'm quoting with premisison, who correctly pointed out an irony I had missed:
Apropos your post about blogging being a revolution: There is great irony in Michelle Malkin's crowing about the blogosphere's ability to take down an old media fraud. That's exactly what has happened to her in the last six weeks, concerning her absurd book "In Defense of Internment," primarily on my blog. [See, for example, this post and that one.] Somebody ought to point this out to her. I'd do it, but she just ignores my criticisms these days. Sort of like CBS.
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I think Eric's exactly right about all this. There is an amusing yet disturbing irony in the juxtaposition of the two cases.

Other bloggers like Joe Carter at theEvangelical Outpost agree with this odd sentiment.

Of course the two cases are in no way parallel and comparing them is absurd. Dan Rather purports to be an objective journalist. 60 Minutes purports to be an objective news show. They used evidence that turned out to be fake. The fake evidence was fairly obviously fake. They made a gesture at validating the evidence and then went with it anyway when their experts told them it might be fake. They got their evidence from an unreliable and partisan source.

None of those features apply to Malkin. Malkin doesn't claim to be objective. She does claim to be making an objective case in the book, but she doesn't hide her overall agenda. The book was manifestly written in support of an agenda. None of her evidence is fake. The supposed "take down" of her book is nothing more than a rehashing of the other side of an old argument. Yes, yes. Academic historians are agreed that her interpretation is wrong. I'm duly impressed. This does not a take down make.

I've "taken down" Atrios several times on my blog, showing unequivocally that the man is a liar. Shouldn't I get my moment of fame too? But there is a difference isn't there? I haven't caught Atrios using fake documents. And Atrios has never claimed to be unbiased.

What happened to Dan Rather is a "take down". What happened to Michelle Malkin is a "disagreement". I should think the two wouldn't be that hard to distinguish.

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