July 12, 2006

Lord of the Dunce

Poor Glenn Greenwald.

He tries hard. He really, really does. But no matter how he tries to rationalize it, hyperbole against public figures does not come close to equating to terroristic threats uttered against children.

Nevertheless, Greenwald, tries to make that exact case in this post, attempting to equivilate comments made by Misha of the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler with those made in the past week by Counterpunch-published liberal academic Deborah Frisch.

Gleenwald offers up this quote from Misha as evidence of equivalence as Misha talks about the Hamdan decision granting Geneva Convention rights to terrorists after the release of an al Qaeda video showing the bodies of two American soldiers captured, tortured, and murdered by terrorists:

Of course, this is the same Supreme Court that earlier decided in Kelo that private property rights only matter as long as a private company doesn't offer a better deal, above or below the table, to local authorities, so one shouldn't really be surprised. The unelected, black-robed tyrants have a long history of not giving a fig about the Constitution if they don't like what it says, not to mention a long tradition of usurping the powers of the legislative and executive branch by ruling by judicial fiat. . . .

Try doing anything to those mutilating darlings of the Supremes in order to extract life-saving intel from them, and then wait for the Supreme Whores to decide that you were "humiliating" them in doing so.

Five ropes, five robes, five trees.

Some assembly required.

Greenwald misrepresents the quoted section, as Greenwald bolded this text, not Misha, adding emphasis that was not there in the original. In his commentary immediately following, Greenwald goes on to state:

He's advocating that the five Supreme Court Justices in the Hamdan majority be hanged from the neck until they're dead. His homicidal formulation is a play on the more standard call of the Right for American journalists to be hanged -- "Journalists. Rope. Tree. Some assembly required" -- another death call which, it just so happens, Misha also issued just a few days ago.

Now, does Greenwald, in his wildest delusion, seriously think that Misha is advocating for the lynching of Supreme Court justices and journalists? What would a reasonable person determine? A reasonable person—which I've given up on Greenwald attempting to be—would realize that Misha has a long-running infatuation with the rhetorical device known as hyperbole.

Most adults understand that hyperbole is the deliberate overstatement or exaggeration, and yet, Greenwald exposes himself as the Amelia Bedelia of the American Left, unable to understand that Misha's use of language is anything but literal.

That is the only rational explanation for this graph:

What happened? They all seemed to find such disturbing rhetoric so upsetting, such cause for great alarm this weekend, when it came from an obscure person in some comment section, but they have not said a word of condemnation about these death calls from a prominent blogger on the Right. Nor have any of them condemned the calls by Misha's readers for Islamic countries to be turned into radioactive parking lots or for the death of the towel heads by other means. Why not?

Greenwald cannot differentiate between Misha's hyperbole, and Deb Frisch's physical and sexual threats made against a minor. How sad.

I'd tell him to take a long walk off a short pier, but I don't know that the poor man would survive the rhetorical drop.

Note:via Instapundit, Dan Riehl wasn't quite as pleasant in his criticism.

Update: It becomes even harder to take Greenwald seriously. He's written a follow-up post to the one discussed above where he flatly lies about things written by conservative bloggers. Patrick Frey demands a retraction, but I don't think he's going to get one. Greenwald doesn't seem to have that much integrity. I flatly called Greenwald a liar in his comments, and when I checked hours later, he had no response. I'll let that stand on its own. Notice I didn't link to Greenwald again. I got the memo from Rove, and I concur. He really isn't worth it anymore, even if he is a willing patsy.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at July 12, 2006 10:12 AM | TrackBack

Let me go on record and say that Greenwald did NOT threaten to molest or kill any small children. Give him that much credit.

Though doing so is a "mainstream" opinion and a valid way to "discuss" or "debate" an issue.

Posted by: Liberalism is a Mental Disorder at July 12, 2006 10:49 AM

Translation: when a conservative does it, it's totally hyperbole and not even worth condemning.

Thanks, guys; I think I understand this morality thing now.

Posted by: Jeff Fecke at July 12, 2006 11:55 AM

"My friends, each of you is a single cell in the great body of the State. And today, that great body has purged itself of parasites. We have triumphed over the unprincipled dissemination of facts. The thugs and wreckers have been cast out. And the poisonous weeds of disinformation have been consigned to the dustbin of history. Let each and every cell rejoice! For [t]oday, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directive! We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology, where each worker may bloom secure from the pests of contradictory and confusing truths. Our Unification of Thought is a more powerful weapon than any fleet or army on Earth. We are one people. With one will. One resolve. One cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death. And we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!""

Posted by: Mantra of Moderate Leftists at July 12, 2006 12:22 PM

I'm still waiting for CY to describe what's the difference between "terrorist threats" and the plain, old "generic threats".

Now someone is misrepresenting a quote if they "bold" a portion of the quote? Look no bold --> Five ropes, five robes, five trees. Yep, that is interpretted entirely differently now...Can't wait claims of misrepresentation because someone used the wrong font or point size in a quote reprint...

Anyone who advocates violence against others who don't share their POV whether its SCJs or children is the real threat as it doesn't contribute to the solution but rather just becomes another problem...

Posted by: matt a at July 12, 2006 12:40 PM


I can sorta see what Greenwald is getting at, but it boils down to sophistry; when you talk about hanging/shooting/beheading judges/presidents/etc i.e. adult authority figures, it's generally received as overheated venting.

I mean, when a Leftist is marching around with a "behead Bush" sign, there isn't much more reaction than a snort and maybe inclusion in a "deranged lefties" album.

So why the reaction to Frisch? Because it's a threat - a very detailed and sexual one - against a child. That gets people at a much more personal and visceral level.

Even saying it wouldn't bother you if someone's kid was harmed is going to provoke some deep anger, but then going on to actually make lewd sexual remarks about a little boy is inviting hostility of the most furious and personal sort.

So yeah, people on both sides of the aisle do and have been spouting fanatasies of harming prominent public ~adult~ figures, but this is about someone's kid, and the fact that Frisch's supporters skip this as irrelevant is very telling.

Posted by: Scott at July 12, 2006 01:10 PM

What about the radio host - I believe her name is Randi Roads or somthing like that - basically saying she wanted to shoot the President? I don't remember a lot of outrage on the left over that. Of course, since Air America gets almost no ratings, it could be that no one heard it.

Leftists, go ahead and write about how terrible the "Five ropes, five robes, five trees." I agree that it is a stupid statement. But, it's not quite as bad or outrageos to write a inflamatory stuff about a public figure as writing on someone's blog that you want to sexually assault the person's 2 year old and would basically like to see the 2 year old dead, but moral equivalence is what the left is all about. And, the left rose up in support of Frisch, rather than any of them decrying her. And, she refuses to even acknowledge that she wrote the stuff or that writing the stuff was bad.

So, I'm happy we have the left starting to believe that some forms of arguing are bad. Maybe this is the path toward their rejoining civilization and rational debate. It starts with them trying to prove hypocrasy of the right, but maybe they will internalize it and say - yeah, you know what, rather than becoming unhinged, I'll try to actually make logical arguments using the facts.

Naaaa. never happen

Posted by: Great Banana at July 12, 2006 02:01 PM

The sad thing about Greenwald is that he thinks he's clever with his B.S. Is he oblivious to the fact that everyone can see through him and just rolls their eyes laughing at him? Does he think he draws any blood with these asinine, tediously longwinded, and hysterical posts? He does succeed in being annoying, that's about all I'd grant him. He's a crashing bore and a liar, and he's done so much damage to his credibility in recent weeks that he'll never be taken seriously again.

Posted by: LoafingOaf at July 12, 2006 03:02 PM

Jeff Fecke said it all!!

Posted by: Robert at July 12, 2006 03:10 PM


Posted by: me at July 12, 2006 06:01 PM

Why do I find it no surprise that conservatives go into a feeding frenzy over Deb Frisch, then attack me when I call them and some of their moronic ramblings what they are, and then find out that people like you are using the Ad hominem about Greenwald? The study that showed those who were whiners as children grew up to be conservatives was absolutely correct and people like you are proving it. FYI, I did not then, and do not now support anyone threatening anyone in person, on a blog, in a movie theater, etc. For all you thick skulled individuals, that means I did not and do not support any of Frisch's comments, though, unlike any of you, she acknowledged her mistake and apologized. Let's see how many Ad hominems I get.

Posted by: A. Patriot at July 12, 2006 08:45 PM

Hey, "A. Patriot," how many blogs are you going to publish that exact same comment on? I just got done responding to you over at Sister Toldjah's post on the Misha/Greenwald kerfluffle, and here you are...

"A. Patriot?" Bullpuckey. More like "A. Spammer."

Posted by: Wes S. at July 12, 2006 09:58 PM
Incidentally, Tim? I touched your sister in her secret places. Lots.

Posted by: Jeff G at November 17, 2005 10:42 PM

You guys, as usual, have no footing to stand on... dont get all pink in the face because you were taken to the woodshed...once again.

Posted by: Fred at July 12, 2006 09:58 PM

Oooh Timmmm. He talked about your sister. You gonna get him after school?

Posted by: Barney15e at July 13, 2006 12:33 AM

what a great site! you get to make up words, like "equivilate"! You get to talk drivel and hurl insults around and pretend it all constitutes thoughtful analysis! You get to dress yourself up in the garb of half-formed ideas and pose handsomely as an expert! I'll be back for more. not.

Posted by: george 3rd at July 13, 2006 03:28 AM

even better: CY himself, on his "about" page, identifies a class of people " who cannot compete with me in intellectual arguments". Quite apart from the breathtaking egotism of this analysis, he accuses these poor inferiors of resorting to ad hominem attacks. And yet, this blog seems to be all about ad hominem attacks, baseless insults, geeneral slurs. Look at the sub-head of the blog, for heaven's sake. Snarky, insulting, superficial. The attitude that pervades the whole shebang.

Posted by: george 3rd at July 13, 2006 03:40 AM

george 3rd,

People make up or redefine new words all the time (blog, email, troll, etc), but "eqivilate" is hardly new, if still uncommon. Perhaps you should expand your vocabulary.

And yes, I find it quite amusing that the troll who said "I'll be back. Not." came back not once, but twice to leave further comments.

Not exactly a man of his word...

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at July 13, 2006 07:47 AM

Just keep lining 'em up and smackin' 'em down huh CY?

george 3rd - would you mind answering a question next time you don't come back? Just what the heck is a:

geeneral slurs

And as long as I'm following your lead and being picky (which is normally not done in the blogosphere), the following is not grammatically correct. It is not a sentence and therefore should either be set of from the previous sentence with a semicolon, or created as a sentence with a proper subject/verb arrangement. But to just leave it sitting there with a capital at the beginning and a period on the end is very insulting:

Snarky, insulting, superficial.

Not ad hominem - just the plain truth.


Posted by: Specter at July 13, 2006 09:33 AM

Forgot to add:


Posted by: Specter at July 13, 2006 09:40 AM

The bottom line is that Greewald just doesn't get it. He is getting slammed from all over the place for supporting "frisching" and saying that it is the same thing as some rather dumb comments about the justices and journalists.

The reason that the Frisch incident is different is wholly obvious - justices and journalists are adults and can take care of themselves. A 2 year old cannot. With all of the nut cases on the web, who was to know whether Deb was serious or just over-the-top drunk? Personally, if someone threatened my kids I would get a subpoena for an IP trace back to the ISP (even if they used masking) and then get them arrested. I think Jeff G. showed admirable restraint.

Posted by: Specter at July 13, 2006 10:03 AM

Patterico, (AKA) Patrick Frey, as I KNOW, is one of the ALL TIME Cowards of this Millenium. He says I'm "STALKING " him on this website:

protein wisdom
The �yes, I have no bananas post� post (from the protein wisdom conceptual series).
Sorry. But feel free to help yourself to a slice of leftover Little ... - Cached

on this thread:

Monday, July 10, 2006
So long, and thanks for all the Frisch
Nothing to see here. Just felt like using that title, is all. And you gotta admit, it was almost worth it.

update: Count Cockula Rules!

Posted by Jeff Goldstein @ 06:30 PM
Blogroll me
251 Comments • 4 Trackbacks • Email this

~~~2nd Page, near the Bottom.


I blog about him and more items here:

Mario George Nitrini 111


The OJ Simpson Case

Posted by: Mario George Nitrini 111 at July 13, 2006 06:50 PM