“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Setting Up Camp

I have been told in no uncertain terms that work attacking Virgil Van Camp will simply not be published in the Amarillo Globe-News. One is supposed to stick to issues, like:

“Molly Ivins’ . . . hate-filled diatribes . . . were mean-spirited and rude.” “hers was a venom I did not care to drink.” “any day without Molly is a great day.” “Her hatred for President Bush . . . was without doubt borderline insanity.” “Why publish an idiot like Molly Ivins?” “She is a complete bleeding-heart liberal, not to mention a complete nitwit.” “I still wish that the section reserved for Molly Ivins could be shipped to Timbuktu or somewhere.” “Consider dropping Ivins' column and find someone who can at least write a sensible column.” “If enough of us complain, maybe we can get the Globe-Times to drop Ms. Ivins.”

Or an issue like global warming: “Allen Finegold, in his single-minded Gorebezoic approach, is riding the same magic carpet.”

Or an issue like politics: “Sagan's continued battering of our president during time of war is idiotic and deserves the condemnation of every loyal American.” “There's no point in reading a column by Molly Ivins or Greg Sagan once you've read the first one. They hate George W. Bush with all their being.” “Sagan is a liberal bomb-thrower, and such drivel should be expected from the like.” “I rarely read anything our local Marxist pundit writes.” “Sagan and his ilk are puzzling on one hand; disgustingly vile on the other.” “The problem is . . . his hypocrisy, his arrogance, his disingenuousness.” “His reasoning is as faulty as his grammar.” “Sagan's specious conjectures [are] maliciously inaccurate and deserving of public scorn!”

Or another issue related to politics: “The opinion pages have been . . . infested by a preponderance of pundits from the left . . . who hate President Bush, indeed, all Republicans: William H. Seewald, Jim Perkins and Tony Tackitt, among others.” "My suggestion to Tony Tackitt . . . is to move to Italy and see how he likes its form of government.” “Tony Tackitt and the rest of the "extreme" liberals bash the president.” “I would implore Tackitt to give up on us and leave.”

Apparently the AGN finds it perfectly acceptable for conservatives to make vituperative personal attacks on liberals, but to have a liberal heap scorn on a conservative, especially one of their conservatives, is considered completely out of bounds. To call a racist bigot a racist bigot just isn’t the civil thing to do.

Now before anyone leaps to the conclusion that the Amarillo Globe-News is exercising some kind of double standard the Amarillo Globe-News has assured me they do not exercise a double standard, and in fact take great umbrage at the very idea, so put that idea completely out of your head.

So since we’re supposed to be civil toward bigots, and stick to the issues and not call them names and the like, how does the Amarillo Globe-News deal with them? Let’s see the AGN tackle the issue of Holocaust denial:

“At times, even the most obvious lunatics need to be shouted down.” “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, and one-time Klansman David Duke . . . Crazy, ignorant or as consumed by hatred as these men may be, they are also dangerous men.” “Duke's danger lies in the oh-so-smooth veneer he has applied to the hate he continues to spew years after he sought to become governor of Louisiana.” “Of course, this nutcase never has renounced the Klan's hate mongering.” “The civilized world, however, has a quick answer to these two crackpots.”

No personal attacks here. Certainly Mahmoud Ahmadenijad and David Duke deserve all the opprobrium that can be heaped upon them. But when it comes to our own hometown crackpot Virgil Van Camp, a man who reviles non-whites and non-Christians, who spews hate from beneath his “oh-so-smooth veneer” we are told to be civil. When it comes to a man who denies a people’s history, demands the commission of war crimes, the barbarous murder of children and now pretends to be a humanitarian, a time when “even the most obvious lunatics need to be shouted down” we are told to stifle our outcry. Why damn it? Where is our civilized world?