Obsession 101

I've said it in a number of posts, and I hate to be a broken record, but once again, it is illogical and unfair to hold A responsible for something said by B.

In yet another classic example, Glenn Greenwald takes this error a step further, this time attempting to hold Glenn Reynolds responsible for a post he didn't link, written by a blogger he never linked, simply because the post appeared at the same blog as the post he did link!

Hey, M. Simon writes posts here, and I don't always agree with him. I have no editorial control over his content.

For example, Simon prefers Hillary to Obama, and I prefer Obama to Hillary.

So, does that mean I prefer Hillary to Obama?

If someone agrees with or links one of my anti-Hillary posts, is that an endorsement of one of Simon's anti-Obama posts?

By Greenwald's logic, apparently yes.

The details of today's Easter rhetorical assault are here, and here. Also, Tom Maguire documents Greenwald's attempt to change the word "blogger" into "blog" -- presumably in the hope that no one would notice. (Geez, doesn't he know the coverup is always worse?)

Mark Kleiman summarizes the obvious unfairness:

...when reynolds sends an item link to a posting of the easter poem "dulce lignem dulce clavo" by instapunk contributor "chain gang," i don't see where glenn greenwald is justified in tying reynolds to the racist rant posted on the same site by a different contributor, "old punk."
And finally,
...i thought our side tried to be above guilt-by-association
Excellent point! And while Kleiman is on the left, it is echoed by Dan Collins on the right, who raises questions about a double standard:
.... I wonder what Gleen(s) make of some of the organizations who have specifically praised Barack Obama, and whose endorsements were, until recently, proudly displayed on Obama’s official website? I only bring it up because a candidate’s ties to religious extremists–especially those who accuse the US of genocide–ought to be examined in detail. Some of them might be race bigots.
And what are we to make of Greenwald's citation and interview of an anti-gay bigot (by his standards) in support of his claim that John McCain was responsible for the views of an anti-Catholic bigot?

Guilt by association (without regard to whether A agrees with B) is bad enough logic, but when it's guilt by associations that simply aren't there, it's not guilt by association, but guilt by non-assocation.

Hell, linking a post is not necessarily an endorsement of what that post says, much less what the blogger says in other posts. (As I explained here, I often link bloggers I disagree with.) The idea that a link to post by blogger A is in any way endorsement of what blogger B says in another post is simply outrageous.

But that's nothing new for Greenwald, who also damns Reynolds for the crime of being read by Karl Rove! (A blog is to be judged by its readers, natch.) This fits the Greenwald narrative of "the Right" -- which is that a Rove is a Limbaugh is a Savage is a Coulter is a Reynolds.

And earlier this month, Greenwald charged Reynolds (for linking Jennifer Rubin's opinion that Hillary is tougher on war than Obama) of being "the most masculinity-obsessed and gender-insecure commentator in America." A fascinating assertion, and it raised in my mind the question of just who is really obsessed, and with whom.

It amazes me that today, on Easter (when presumably there are other things to do), Greenwald has struck again with the most overwrought piece of Reynolds-obsessed, dishonest hyperbole I've seen from him since... well at least since the "most masculinity-obsessed and gender-insecure" tirade.


I don't want to repeat what I've said countless times, but I do think there's possibly a lesson here for the obsessed.

If you're obsessed with someone, accusing the target of being obsessed makes things a little too obvious.

posted by Eric on 03.23.08 at 08:16 PM


If you can keep the bacon and beans in the pot while saying any outrageous thing that comes to mind..... Why Not

dorf   ·  March 23, 2008 8:58 PM

Karl Rove reads Greenwald. Pass it on.

M. Simon   ·  March 23, 2008 10:04 PM

Karl Rove writes Greenwald. It's the only thing that makes sense.

Roy Cohn   ·  March 23, 2008 10:10 PM

Eric - there ya go making sense again. And you know what that does to your blood pressure.

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  March 24, 2008 11:04 PM

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