Friday, November 21, 2014

Today in All Sides Do It

Over at his blind tiger, Brother Charles Pierce laments the fact that one more professional Conservative liar is being given one more chance to lie to the Great Wad of mentally underclocking headcheese. who watch the ongoing externalization of Roger Ailes' Id on Fox and think they are seeing News.
Media Matters is upset because [Lucienne Goldberg's demon whelping Jonah] Goldberg didn't disclose that AEI is lousy with oil money. I don't much care about that and, if you're counting on Neil Cavuto to adhere to traditional journalistic ethics, you are barking up the wrong network there. I do care that someone who knows so transparently little about an important issue is brought on to make through comic-opera erudition an argument that you can hear from any barstool, and for free.
But what does that have to do with the Both Sides thingy?

Well hold on a minute, pard, and I tell you.

See, for reasons that completely escape me, yesterday was Doughy Pantload Day on the Internet. And to celebrate, Andrew Sullivan joined Jonah Goldberg in having a good cry into a giant beer over how rude and uncivil everyone is:
We really are back to the 1990s when I find myself agreeing with Jonah Goldberg:
We live in an age of diversity, defined not merely by gender and race, but by lifestyles and values. That’s mostly a good thing — mostly. Like all other good things in life, diversity comes at a cost. And a big part of the tab is a lost consensus about what constitutes good manners and propriety. So instead of knowing how to behave, we spend vast amounts of our time worrying and arguing about it, with combatants on every side insisting it’s “Live and let live” for me but “Shut up! How dare you!” for thee.
Translation:  I am getting creamed for waddling into the middle of a controversy I did not remotely understand, and made matters worse by lashing back with every hoary Conservative cliche about political correctness that I still keep in my 1980s "Memories of Reagan" go-bag.

Mr. Sullivan continues
I wonder also if our digital life hasn’t made all this far worse. When you sit in a room with a laptop and write about other people and their flaws, and you don’t have to look them in the eyes, you lose all incentive for manners.
Mr. Sullivan is self-aware enough to realize that he is, in fact, one of the people who makes the world into the mannerless Thunderdome he deplores, but, see, he can't really help it what with hysterically overreacting to every internet twitch and tic being so busy blogging how he feels about stuff and keepin' it real, yo!
I’m as guilty of this as many. There have been times – far too many – when my passion for an idea or revulsion at a news story can, in its broadness of aim, impugn the integrity or good faith of other individuals. If I had to speak my words to the faces of those I am painting with too broad and crude a brush, my language would be far more temperate (and probably more persuasive). And so restoring manners to online discourse is a hard task – especially in an era of instant mass communication and anonymity. It’s hard for a blogger or writer not least because you don’t want to sink into torpor or dullness or vapidity. You want to keep the debate fresh and real.
Uh, OK, but what was the point again?

Oh yeah.  Here's the point (with emphasis added):
But all this means, of course, is that we actually need a set of manners for this age more urgently than in many others. Our web silos – from the Jihadists to the left-blogosphere to the right-media complex – make it easy to thrive and succeed without manners, and even easier to fail in the marketplace by upholding them.
Tell you what -- when Conservatives stop destroying my country behind an zombie army of brainwashed dolts and bigots, I'll stop being rude about it.


Jim Matthews said...

Shorter Sullivan: "We need a Marquess of Queensberry set of rules for the internets. It isn't cricket to troll the trolls."

Fritz Strand said...

Does anyone really have state the obvious fact that right wing hate radio legitimized hate speech?

Does anyone really have to say that the MSM let blow torch hate radio get away with it by talking about what great entertainers they are?

Dan said...

Skeleton key Sullivan: what are all you Native American people doing on white people land?
Hey they shot some arrows so genocide because both sides

Horace Boothroyd III said...

I always preferred Doughbob Loadpants myself, but the the internet is bigger than me.

And we mustn't forgot Juan Cole's dry slam on the "my ass are few" kerfluffle, which begins:

I think it is time to be frank about some things. Jonah Goldberg knows absolutely nothing about Iraq. I wonder if he has even ever read a single book on Iraq, much less written one. He knows no Arabic. He has never lived in an Arab country. He can’t read Iraqi newspapers or those of Iraq’s neighbors. He knows nothing whatsoever about Shiite Islam, the branch of the religion to which a majority of Iraqis adheres. Why should we pretend that Jonah Goldberg’s opinion on the significance and nature of the elections in Iraq last Sunday matters? It does not.

"Why should we pretend that [X’s] opinion on [Y] matters? It does not." is a fundamental criticism that is valid concerning just about everything. Perhaps we could teach it in the schools.

steeve said...

There's nothing wrong with civility. That's why the left tried it for a few decades. It didn't work. Since it didn't work, we're not going to do it anymore. Because doing stuff that doesn't work is stupid.

milegrinder said...

Those who value politeness more than the truth have absolutely no interest in the latter.