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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Taki's Mag Joins the Smearbund!

'Paul, it must admitted, gave the “smearbund” an opening via what appears to be the only significant lapse in judgment in his career: his (probably absentee) editorship of a newsletter in which stupid and/or offensive racial jokes occasionally appeared in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Paul is fallible.'

This appeared in Taki's Magazine. Because Taki is on the 'right' side of the libertarian divide, and hires people like Raimondo, this will, I guarantee, raise no hackles on the LRC blog. But the exact same words mentioned in a Reason blog post would have had a swarm of bloggers using there oh-so-clever '[T]Reason' moniker and talking about how the poster was 'a total loser'.

9 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Fair enough, but you omit the next sentence: "But the gravity of this error pales in comparison to supporting the obscene Iraq War, as did every one of his opponents for the Republican nomination." Do YOU agree with this anymore? Do you deny that Reason has been extremely accommodating toward pro-war voices? Why have you gone so batshit over LRC but seem ho-hum about Michael Young, Cathy Young, Michael Moynihan, Jonathan Rauch, Ronald Bailey, and other bombs-away types at Reason (or Brink Lindsey at Cato)?

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  2. Yes, I do agree with that. Reason is more pro-war than I'd like, but the majority of the full-time writers are anti-war. In any case, that has nothing to do with whether the writers there are 'losers', 'not real reporters', or have committed [T]Reason'. What finally made me blow up at LRC -- after years of trying to reform their ridiculous cult-mentality in private notes -- was the vicious attacks on Sanchez and Weigel, both anti-war libertarians, because they dared to write about the newsletters. The LRC blog crowd went straight to personal smears against the writers themselves. I found it disgusting, and had to speak up publicly.

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  3. Gene,

    What Reason thing are you talking about? If you give me the link I'll show you why it was deemed more of an attack than Taki's thing.

    Of course that wouldn't prove anything; even if the pieces truly were identical, LRC people might have gone nuts over the Reason one.

    I'm just saying I bet I will find more hostility to Ron Paul/Lew Rockwell in an actual Reason posting that drew fire from LRC bloggers.

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  4. Try the original piece by Weigel and Sanchez.

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  5. Gene wrote:

    Try the original piece by Weigel and Sanchez.

    OK Gene, what we've got here is a failure to communicate.

    We almost came to virtual blows last time around, so let me be very clear: Some of the people at LewRockwell's blog are sophomoric in their attacks on Reason etc. I have urged people to be on their best behavior. OK? We are totally agreed on that.

    But you want to push it further. You want to maintain that there is absolutely no legitimate reason that LRC bloggers could have been upset at the stuff Weigel is posting. You're being like the war critics who are so mad at U.S. foreign policy that they become incapable of seeing anything wrong with Palestinians, North Korea, etc.

    Do you truly think it is hypocritical for LRC bloggers to not get upset at a post on Taki's magazine that doesn't contain the word "Rockwell"--go ahead and do Ctrl+F on it, it literally doesn't mention his name--and ends up saying, "What a shame this man [Paul] will not be elected president." ?

    In contrast, the original piece by Weigel and Sanchez starts with, "Ron Paul doesn't seem to know much about his own newsletters." Right off the bat, it is a critical piece, so the Paul fan's sensitivity would be up. Then the third last sentence is: "Ron Paul may not be a racist, but he became complicit in a strategy of pandering to racists—and taking "moral responsibility" for that now means more than just uttering the phrase."

    (Does it sound like Reason wishes Paul were the next president, as the guy at Taki desires? Still don't see just a smidgeon difference between the two treatments, and still think it is pure hypocrisy that LRC'ers probably weren't upset by the Taki piece?)

    And when it comes to the treatment of Lew Rockwell, the Reason piece is absolutely terrible, if you are a fan of the guy. Now you might consider this irrelevant, but I'm going to guess that people who post at LewRockwell.com tend to like Lew Rockwell. How biased those people must be!

    After saying that Rockwell had denied he authored the newsletters, the Reason piece then said:

    But a source close to the Paul presidential campaign told reason that Rockwell authored much of the content of the Political Report and Survival Report. "If Rockwell had any honor he'd come out and I say, ‘I wrote this stuff,'" said the source, who asked not to be named because Paul remains friendly with Rockwell and is reluctant to assign responsibility for the letters. "He should have done it 10 years ago."

    So do you still not see why someone who loves Lew Rockwell might get really really p*ssed off at that? It is saying (a) he is a racist, (b) he is a liar, and (c) he is personally responsible for hurting Ron Paul's chances.

    One final difference: The Taki piece said of the controversy that "stupid and/or offensive racial jokes occasionally appeared." That is WAY WAY less critical than the Reason stuff.

    In the Reason interpretation, nobody who wrote those passages had any business even being associated with libertarianism. In contrast, the Taki piece called them bad jokes.

    Do you honestly not see the difference between the two? Again, I'm not saying Weigel and Sanchez deserved the comments some LRC bloggers threw at them. But I can't believe you are walking around thinking, "Those LRC people just invent attacks when none are there."

    And you can't even say, "Well sure, they quoted some people hostile to Rockwell, so what? Aren't journalists allowed to do that, Murphy?"

    Yes, journalists are allowed to quote people. But the following was written by Weigel and Sanchez. If the following were in a NYT piece, would you consider it objective reporting?

    "[The paleos associated with Lew Rockwell] are less angry these days. Visitors to LewRockwell.com or Mises.org since 2001 are less likely to feel the need for a shower."

    Oh wait, don't tell me, Gene. You are going to interpret this as a compliment. "No no Bob, you dolt, they're saying people don't need a shower after visiting LRC. Duh! If they said people did need a shower, then I would understand if someone took umbrage. But why get upset about a compliment?"

    OK I won't post on this anymore since we are going to end up fighting. I don't know what else I could do to show you that the Reason posts on this were quite clearly and objectively full of hostility to Lew Rockwell and his contribution to the libertarian movement. If your point has been, "Well he deserves their scorn!" OK you can have that view. But please stop acting shocked that LRC people are getting upset.

    One last thing: I don't know either of these guys personally. I gather that maybe you are friends with one or both, and so that might be fueling your anger. But by the very same token, people who are friends with Lew Rockwell were furious at stories containing quotes attacking him. And for what it's worth, I really don't see how anybody except Lew Rockwell and/or the actual writer of those particular passages (assuming it could be somebody else) would know who actually wrote them.

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