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February 24, 2006

To Be Fair?

-- by Dave Johnson

Digby comments about Kevin Drum writing about what he calls

the toxic stew of cherry picking, half truths, and outright misrepresentations currently being used to demonize the UAE as a virtual arm of al-Qaeda.
Digby writes,
Like Pakistan, another close ally in the war on terror, the UAE have been playing both ends against the middle for a long time. We all understand that and accept it. They have to deal with the vicissitudes of their own political situation which doesn't always accrue to our benefit. Welcome to the real world where the black and white formulation of "you're either with us or you're with the terrorists" is shown as the bullshit it always was.
I want to comment on what Kevin said, but to a different point.

What is this instinct to leap to the defense of the Right at every opportunity, "to be fair"? For how long have Bush and the Right been whipping the public into a frenzy of fear about Middle Easterners and making no distinctions at all - basically because they are brown. But something like this comes along that turns against Bush and people supposedly on "our side" are rushing in to say how wrong it is for us to assume that UAE would be any worse than anyone else at managing OUR PORTS??!! Maybe, maybe not, but SHUT UP!

Or I post something here about the Secret Service saying Cheney was drunk when he shot the guy in the face with a shotgun, and I get comments and e-mails about how no one should trust Capital Hill Blue. Well, The Drudge Report or NewsMax or the Moonies post crap every single day that you can't trust and IT gets repeated on local news broadcasts, radio shows, TV networks, you name it. And you don't see a lot of right-wingers complaining about how unfair that is, do you?

I follow a link to Yglesias today, and he's writing,

"To be perfectly fair, it's hardly all that unusual for an administration to deliberately mislead the public about matters of war and peace."
That's FAIR? The Republicans lie and intimidate and illegally start a war and kill hundreds of thousands of people, and risk setting the region into chaos, but you want TO BE FAIR and say that everyone does it? The last people who did that were ... well, Iraq invading Kuwait. And before that, the people who did that were hung at Nuremberg. So how about JUST SHUT UP instead of being "fair?" SHEESH.

Posted by Dave Johnson at February 24, 2006 2:43 PM

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Tracked on February 28, 2006 12:45 PM


Comments

I don't think anyone wants to be seen as unreasonable, so airing both sides seems like the most mature approach.

Always glad to help out.

Posted by: HappyOD [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 24, 2006 3:54 PM

Maybe we could get everybody lessons from Susie Madrak, she's been telling everybody to just belt it out for years now and she's right.

Wishy washy doesn't work, sometimes ordinary conservatives think you're hiding stuff when you hide it behind all those qualifiers. If you make a mistake, big deal and you may get called on it but that's fine.

If you get really lucky, the person who calls you on your mistake will be somebody who doesn't agree with you so you can check each other's facts and move on. Then you are engaged instead of arguing about Bill Clinton's penis for the gazillionth time

Posted by: grannyinsanity [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 24, 2006 4:00 PM

We should just be fair about the UAE taking over our ports? If this were a question of "fairness" instead of a matter of national security, would the Port Authority of NY and NJ be filing a lawsuit to stop the deal?

What we really should be talking about is why in Hell we aren't managing our own ports, considering the security risks we face.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 24, 2006 4:42 PM

Don't even say fair and UAE and ports in the same sentance.

What it is is shameful. We have very little industry left and we dismantled the systems to create and distribute it.

What was it that Kunstler said about having a railroad system that would embarrass a third world country? We don't have enough of our own ships to transport our goods and services.

We buy more than we sell, we borrow more than we earn. We are cannibalizing our assets at a frightening rate.

I live in Montana, we do not have enough capacity to store the grains that are still grown here and it is not easy or cheap to ship them out to markets. We somehow allowed our auction yard to be sold off and converted to a recreational facility.

The macrocosm and the microcosm are paralell.

Our food production system has been consolidated and isolated from our daily lives.

Six months after Katrina we still have 960,000 square miles of debri that has been left to rot. We haven't even started to deal with the trash, let alone all the hundreds of thousands of people who got out with nothing but the clothes on their backs and inadequate assistance to get them plugged back into society.The macrocosm and the microcosm are paralell.

Then Melanie at Bump pointed out this very depressing article from Wapo.

The question is do we have any pride in ourselves or not?

Posted by: grannyinsanity [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 24, 2006 7:25 PM

On the ports deal: It stinks six different ways including security. And I've posted "are you kidding me?" comments regarding stuff like that Kevin Drum quote or William Greider's Salon piece in a couple of places.

But I'm also the one that always tells you not to quote from Capitol Hill Blue (or Wayne Madsen) and that's a completly different issue than being "fair". They're never credible and quoting from them doesn't help advance the agenda of the reality-based community.

Don't get me wrong. Big fan. Daily reader. I love your passion and insight and pass along items from STF all the time.

Call me crazy, but I hate seeing BS passed around as credible information. The Republican's hate those "liberal", "biased" facts. They have created an industry of liars. Our weapon is supposed to be the truth. Facts, reporting, getting the media to do their job properly. Reality-based community.

I refuse to read and give credence to such sources not to be "fair" but because it would hurt my ability to form an accurate picture of things.

On the other hand, being "fair", as you criticize, is giving credence to the Republican take on things.

Well, same problem, they're an unreliable source for factual information with a track record of egregious lies. They should also be discounted out of hand and quoted only as a source of derision.

So criticize people who offer "fair" opinions all you want, but that's not an excuse to start passing on factually challenged reporting. Because ultimately, that road ends up where the Republicans are, believing their own propaganda.

Posted by: Dr. Laniac [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 25, 2006 6:44 AM

There were paragraphs in my original comment, but the paragraph breaks were eaten when posted.

Posted by: Dr. Laniac [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 25, 2006 6:45 AM

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