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Friday, February 11, 2005

The Unbelievable Kinsley Part 2

This post concluded that Michael Kinsley exists in a liberal echo-chamber. He was unaware of the following meme-

Bush has led us to liberate Iraq because democratizing Iraq will change the culture of the middle-east- and that is necessary in order to end Islamist fascism- and that is necessary in order to end Islamist terrorism against the U.S.

until Bush spelled it out for him in his 2/2/05 SOTU speech. Whether one agrees with that meme or not, Kinsley has no excuse for not being aware of it. It was common in conservative circles, and it was used almost every time a liberal told a conservative that invading Iraq was wrong because no WMD were found. (Which means it was cited, I would conservatively guess, about 78 trillion times.)

Here is Kinsley’s very impressive resume- (from the L.A. Times website) - Harvard, Slate, WaPo, Harpers, The Economist, Crossfire, The New Republic, WSJ, the Times of London- what a distinguished list! All of which leads me to wonder- how can anyone so smart be so stupid? The best answer I found, regarding Kinsley specifically, is in this article from The Daily Standard by Jonathan Last. The operative section-

"SHATTERED GLASS" wants you to believe that Stephen Glass was a neurotic mastermind, against whose wiles editors were powerless. But his editors--all smart, talented, honorable people--shared a failing which the movie refuses to acknowledge. There is a particular type of journalist who spurns the input of outsiders and believes that there is no truth beyond his magazine's horizon. The impulse to dismiss those who argue with our words as acting out of political disagreement or bad faith is a failing many of us share. It is an impulse which must be fought.

Take, for example, Michael Kinsley. Kinsley, a former New Republic editor, was running Slate when Glass was fired. At the time Kinsely derisively described those who questioned the New Republic's editors as "hindsight artists" and bragged that Slate didn't employ fact checkers. "We do have a group of people whose duties include making sure our writers are as accurate as possible. They are called 'writers.' And we have another group of people who skeptically examine what our writers produce and try to catch errors of fact. . . . These people are called 'editors.'"

Then, in 2001, readers and other outsiders suspected that Slate had it's own Glass in the form of Jay Forman's "monkeyfishing" stories. Kinsley took an aggressive, nearly belligerent, line of defense. "The accusation is that Slate published a fraudulent story," he thundered. "Where's the evidence?" Twelve days later, a team of New York Times reporters supplied the evidence. The Slate headline: "Slate now concedes that key details of the article in question were fabricated." Editors should embrace, not concede, the truth.

Kinsley is the poster child for the movie Forrest Gump- he’s stupid, not because he’s stupid, but because he’s arrogant. Rathergate, Easongate, Glassgate arrogant. Stupid really is as stupid does. For years conservatives have claimed the MSM is blinded by allegiance to the left. Perhaps we have given the MSM too much credit.


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