Thursday, March 20, 2014

I Hate It When Mommy And Daddy Fight

The Daily Banter has "A Question for Mr. Charles Pierce" which reads, in part:
“Never before in a long period of newspaper intercourse—never before in any contact with a cotemporary, however unprincipled he might have been, have we found an opponent in statement or in discussion, who had no gentlemanly sense of professional propriety, who conveyed in every word, and in every purpose of all his words, such a groveling disregard for truth, decency and courtesy as to seem to court the distinction, only, of being understood as a vulgar [liar. Meeting ]one who prefers falsehood; whose instincts are all toward falsehood; whose thought is falsification; whose aim is villification through insincere professions of honesty; one whose only merit is thus described, and who evidently desires to be thus known, the obstacles presented are entirely insurmountable, and whoever would touch them fully, should expect to be abominably defiled.”
Mr. Pierce response with pungent "RESPONSE TO THE DAILY BANTER" in which he offers his opponent satisfaction:
You assume in your last note, that I “have challenged Mr. Wilmington,” and that he has informed me “over his own signature,” that he is quite ready to afford me “satisfaction.” Both assumptions are utterly false. I have twice challenged you, and you have twice attempted to shirk the responsibility. Mr. W’s note could not possibly be an answer to my demand for satisfaction from you; and besides, his note simply avowed authorship of a certain “communication” that appeared simultaneously with your libelous “editorial,” and stated that its author had “nothing to [retract.” ]For your gratification, however, I will remark that Mr. Wilmington’s case will be attended to in due time by a distant acquaintance of his who is not willing to see him suffer in obscurity.2 In the meantime, if you do not wish yourself posted as a coward, you will at once accept my peremptory challenge, which I now reiterate.
Actually, now that I take a closer look at my notes, neither of those quotes are from either Mr. Pierce of Esquire or Peter Player of The Daily Banter at all.  They are both taken from this exchange between James L. Laird of the Virginia Daily Union and Samuel Clemens of the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise circa 1894 1864*

This was during the First Golden Age of American Journalism when the country was riddled with government espionage and counterespionage.  When the newspaper business was being overthrown and rebuilt by new, portable technology and skilled artisans. When open, vicious partisanship and shameless scandal-mongering was a given.  And long before the concept of "professional journalism" was even a whiskey-fueled twinkle in the bloodshot eye of America's most infamous ink-stained wretches.

So management regrets the error.

Management was also interested to see Mr. Pierce respond to someone's questions vis-a-vis Mr. Greenwald.  Ever since Mr. Greenwald became the Most Famous Reporter in the World and Mr. Pierce began writing about him and Mr. Snowden, I have asked Mr. Pierce in print many, many times about several aspects of Mr. Greenwald's occasional bouts of lying and uncontrollable, venomous slander and that mob of hysterical howler monkeys of his that swing into action the minute anyone questions any portion of Mr. Greenwald's dogma.

To-date, Mr. Pierce has never replied to any of my entreaties so it was interesting to see what it takes to get a response.

Management was also glad to see someone get some use out of this videowhich management has cited a buncha times in every corner of the internet and all it ever got me was a blight of trolls.

Finally, management was delighted to see that, in response to a recent uptick in criticism of several editorial choices made by his new media enterprise -- First Look -- Pierre Omidyar has announced that noted trial attorney Nathan Thurm has been retained as the site's new ombudsperson.

"We are very excited to get an internationally known and respected figure like Nathan on-board," said fictional Pierre Omidyar. "We at First Look are all about integrity, and that means boldly challenging every aspect of the status quo. Sinister government and corporate entities are threatened by what we are trying to do, so our watchword has to be absolute fidelity to the facts -- no embellishing or making things up or petulant dick-waving or bitchy passive-aggressive tantrums will be tolerated up in here. Also as mankind's greatest champions of global openness and transparency, we feel we must lead by example, and that means complete transparency about our process, our funding, our editorial decisions and our ideological and political agendas." 

To that end, Mr. Thurm has been given his own First Look media space (tentatively entitled "I Am Rubber/You Are Glue") and, according to Omidyar, complete freedom to fearlessly tackle any criticism of First Look's handling of issues involving the global threats of surveillance, rigged elections, military aggression and attacks on press long as his fearless tacking in no way mentions Russia, China or several South American countries which have yet to be fully enumerated. 

Ironically, First Look's "hands-off-Russia" policy has itself generated a number of the most critical public statements which will be waiting for First Look's new ombudsperson when he begins work later this month.

When asked to comment on the irony of these criticism of First Look's own attitude towards criticism, Mr. Thurm's replied, "Look, you go to war you the greatest champions of global openness and transparency you have -- not the the greatest champions of global openness and transparency you might want or wish to have at a later time."

* Thanks, Yastreblyansky


Anonymous said...

This was indeed a satisfying exchange. Bravo, Mr. Pierce.

I'm sure you'll catch your whale eventually, Driftglass.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you know the answer to this question, (I would ask it at the "Banter", but I don't comment over there anymore. I was expunged, not for commenting, but for flagging a trolls relentless comments. My loss....)
Any who, aren't "Peter Player", "Bryce Ruddow", ect...just noms the owner Ben uses, since nobody will click on a post with his true byline under it?
He being such a colossal douche and all?..and a big GG fan to boot.
I don't hold Peirce's light treatment of the criminal Snowden against him.
We all gotta make a living.

marindenver said...

Somehow missed that GG video until now. So, umm, the Rethugs are "a tiny bit worse" than the Dems? A TINY bit worse? Oh, I know a flatula of purity trolls will show up to argue that the Dems absolutely, positively, will, if given the chance, do all kinds of horrible things to the poors & the olds if only they get the opportunity but looking at the reality of who is actually trying to hurt people (hint: not Dems; looking at you Paul Ryan) all I can say is fuck you morons.

marindenver said...

I love your work Drifty. Thank you so much for this one. It appears that everyone is going to just ignore G. G.'s statement that the Rethugs are only a "tiny little bit worse" than the Dems. Seriously? Really?

At least there is still a reality based community here and a few other outposts. Dog help us all.

Unknown said...

Just posted this in Banter comments:

Charles Pierce -- whose extraordinarily good work I read on a five-day-a-week daily basis -- twitted Greenwald and Snowden mildly when the NSA stories first began breaking. He evinced a healthy and very journalistic skepticism toward both, just as he casts a squinty eye on most stories and figures in the news before he makes up his mind about them. But he now, unfortunately, does not at all spend a lot of time ridiculing Greenwald, but has chosen instead to place Greenwald's more than obvious thin-skinned, one-note and all-too-often hyperbolically prevaricating figure in his blind spot, using Greenwald's name most often these days only to preemptively slap down any one of his Esquire followers who would argue that, while the NSA and the surveillance state amount to a wholly alarming and deplorable issue, it is just perhaps not THE most important issue when ranked against the economic rape of the country, the takeover of the political process through corporate fiat, the reversal of civil rights and equal-rights legislation, the proliferation of guns and gun nuts, the degrading of the social safety net, and I could go on, but I won't. All that said, I will STILL read Charlie every day, admire roughly 99.9% of what he has to say and recommend everyone read him.

bowtiejack said...

So I'm reading the link to "A Question for Mr. Charles Pierce" and I realize I've done that too.

I've had a couple of martinis and sat down to write something.

The results are never pretty nor especially coherent.

Kathleen said...

Charlie lost me at "Eric Holder should be fired" and I refuse to read him, unlike certain trolls who visit this site for the sole purpose of insulting DG for his opinions about Snowald. If I don't like a blog host I simply do not go to the site and comment. I think it's bad form to poop in the blog host's sandbox. Honest disagreement is fine, but gratuitous insults are not. I guess it's how the nuns and my parents raised me.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Greenwald, until a more pure pure person comes along to draw attention to the doings of the intelligence community.
But I'm OK with those who want to ridicule Greenwald until he provides us all unicorns or something.

It's the mirror to voting for Democrats as the lesser of two-evils.


Yastreblyansky said...

Just please note that the Mark Twain duel was in 1864, not 1894. Peace and love.

Horace Boothroyd III said...


Well said.

Subcommandante Markos made similar remarks over at, his own site don't'cha know, nearly ate him alive. By the end of the Korean Whispers game, people were gibbering nonsense like "Did you hear? Markos thinks NSA is OK because white guys are doing it!"

Pooping in their own sandbox, they were.