Witchfinders-general

by Henry on August 16, 2005

I’ve gone through the “comments”:https://crookedtimber.org/2005/08/12/trahisons-des-clercs/#comments to my previous post, and found a quite considerable number of people who appear to have made egregious claims about opponents of the war rooting for the other side. I’ve excluded people who don’t fit the criteria for being well-known etc (including a couple of bloggers). I’ve included both Glenn Reynolds and Hindrocket of Powerline, who both seem to me to qualify as well-known individuals beyond the blogosphere. Where there’s some real degree of ambiguity, I’ve not included the links; where (as with the _Wall Street Journal_ editorial board’s slur-in-passing), I think that any reading other than the obvious one is simply making excuses for the inexcusable, I’ve included them. Which is not to say that I don’t fully expect some of our regular commenters to engage in aforementioned excuse-making, special pleading etc. The links are below the fold.
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Those capering Watergate pranksters!

by Ted on August 16, 2005

Good catch from Tristam ShandyBob Dole’s tears for the persecuted journalists, and his grave concerns that “dozens of whistle-blowers [won’t be able to] share information about government wrongdoing”, are of quite recent vintage. (Apparently, the term “kerfuffle” hadn’t yet been adopted by Republicans when Dole made his Watergate speech.)

Geras and Hitchens join the slime campaign

by Chris Bertram on August 16, 2005

Not being an American, I’ve followed the whole Cindy Sheehan thing from afar. I’d been noting, with growing disgust, the whole slime-and-defend operation mounted by O’Reilly, FrontPageMag, Michele Malkin and points rightwards. Now I see that Christopher Hitchens “has joined in”:http://www.slate.com/id/2124500/fr/nl/ and that his invective against Sheehan has been “endorsed by Norman Geras”:http://normblog.typepad.com/normblog/2005/08/ventriloquizing.html . I guess there are two views on this kind of thing. There’s the view that citizens, whatever their background, are fair game for personal attack as soon as they open their mouths and should be treated in the same hardball manner as any machine politican or professional pundit. And there’s the view that grieving mothers should should be shown consideration, kindness and respect. Geras and Hitchens clearly take the first of these views.

Just over a year ago “I posted”:https://crookedtimber.org/2004/06/26/katharina-blum/ about Schlondorff’s film of “The Lost Honour of Katherina Blum”:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073858/ and commented:

bq. What is different today, of course, is the way that the blogosphere serves as an Insta-echo-chamber for tabloid coverage of such stories. One imagines the “Heh”s and “Readthewholethings” that would accompany posts linking to a contemporary Die Zeitung’s online coverage of events.

[There’s good coverage of earlier episodes of the anti-Sheehan slime campaign at the Media Matters site: “here”:http://mediamatters.org/items/200508100009 , “here”:http://mediamatters.org/items/200508110002 and “here”:http://mediamatters.org/items/200508120006 . ]