Auburn libertarians smeared by NY Times?

I read the article, and I don't see what the source of the supposed problem is.

Or rather, I think I do see: Rockwell and others have said some things in the past that they now regret having said. And they are mad that anyone brings these things up.

Can anyone who wishes to call this article a "hit job" point to any factual errors in it?

16 comments:

  1. Okay, so what we've got going on here with them is ideology blotting out reality. I think I get why this happens: People confuse formal statements about something with substantive understanding of what those statements are supposed to represent, carrying on without realizing what they've done. The difference seems extremely subtle, but it creates something like an untenable thought process. Is this then where rationalism comes into play (if so, then it should be called "navel gazing")?

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  2. If anyone should complain it,s Rand Paul, for being linked with the Rockwell universe! I don't know how fair the linking is, but those guys really did say all that crap. Or guys like tom woods jeez louise.

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  3. What's wrong with Rockwell's example of Tom Woods? If what Rockwell says is true, that is a clearly misleading sentence to use to describe the book about the constitution.

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  4. They were not describing his book about the Constitution. This was not a book review. The point was that "These people have some extreme views." And cricizing Brown is an extreme view. (Maybe correct, but Rockwell himself BOASTS about how extreme LVMIs views are.)

    This is just fund-raising on Rockwell's part.

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    1. Interventionist, if I give a very standard defense of the constitution, defend free speech, etc, and in it I defend the 3/5ths clause, then what is everyone going to note? Rockwell is not so naive to think anything else: he just uses this faux outrage to get $.

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    2. But that particular sentence leaves the implication that Woods was against desegregation when he would have simply cited another part of the Constitution. Don't you think this is malicious on the part of the authors? They're clearly trying to do the same thing to Woods that they do to Block. (I don't know enough about that quote of Block's to defend him, so not attempting to do that)

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    3. "But that particular sentence leaves the implication that Woods was against desegregation..."

      No, "Thomas Woods, lifelong segregationist" would do that.

      "Don't you think this is malicious on the part of the authors? "

      Nope. They could, for instance, have also noted how the first hit one gets when googling for Woods and 15th amendment and desegregation is to a white power site!

      Of course the press, in a brief article like this, is going to focus on your most dramatic statements! That's what the media does.

      In fact, this piece was mild compared to what they COULD have come up with if they really dug around LVMI!

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    4. It sounds like you're saying that because what they could have done could have been worse, what they did was not bad. Implying someone is a segregationist when he's not is wrong.

      Do you at least agree with me that it is possible to smear someone even while sticking to the facts, by implying conclusions that are false? If so, this certainly seems like a valid example of that.

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    5. "It sounds like you're saying that because what they could have done could have been worse, what they did was not bad. "

      No, no, no: what I am saying is the hardly even found the worst material about LVMI they could have found. There is nothing at all bad about what they actually did: they found genuine quotes from these people that show that many of them flirted with ugly views in their past.

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    6. Woods's most extreme statement to me is how he castigates Garrison, Philips, Douglass, Stowe as the real villains and hold up Calhoun as the hero.

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  5. Gene wrote: "Can anyone who wishes to call this article a "hit job" point to any factual errors in it?"

    I suspect you are just playing dumb here, Gene, but in case not: You seem to be denying the possibility of a hit piece in a major news outlet. After all, if the NY Times, or Fox News, etc. stated demonstrably false things about a major public figure, they would get in trouble.

    Suppose you come up for tenure, and I write a letter to the faculty who are reviewing your case, titled "The Mixed Intellectual Background of Gene Callahan." It is peppered with quotes from Stephan Kinsella, Marco De Whit, and others who have known you throughout your career in economics.

    You don't think I would be capable of writing something that would justifiably piss you off, even though it consisted of nothing but true statements?

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    1. Well, if *their* quotes were smearing me, you would be to by passing them on. But if they were accurate... well, your letter might not be friendly, but it is not a smear.

      Does the NY Times *like* libertarianism? Well, duh, no! Were they trying do a tribute to Rockwell? No, they weren't. These ideas genuinely seem weird and dangerous to them, and they were doing their best to show what they find weird and dangerous about Paul/LVMI/Rockwell/Block etc.

      But every quote as far as I can see is a real quote. Every position is a real position someone held. Unfriendly piece? Sure, the NY Times is left-leaning. Smear? Nope.

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    2. To an extent, I think we are debating what "hit job" and "smear" mean.

      So, once again: The NY Times is not a libertarian publication! They find libertarian ideas extreme and dangerous.

      But to me, a "smear" or a "hit job" involve falsehoods in some way. And I didn't see anything like that in the NY Times.

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    3. I think cherry picked half truths could count. But this falls short of that too. Its not like these are distorted quotes, or misspoken. They really reflect what these guys really said and think. Not like some of the bushisms or you didnt build that stuff.

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  6. Here is an interesting way to look at this: Who is fair to whom, The NY Times two Lew Rockwell.com, or LewRockwell.com to the NY Times?

    No contest: the NY Times is far, far fairer to the LVMI crowd than they are to it.

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  7. LRC/Mises are like the boy who cried wolf. Any media notice not relentlessly, adoringly positive in its portrayal is immediately, vehemently and repeatedly denounced as a "smear."

    It gets old, real quick, especially when -- as with the Ron Paul newsletters -- the purpose of screaming "smear" is clearly to distract attention from the facts.

    It also has negative side effects internally. Now every perceived putdown of Mises/LRC is greeted not only with "smear!" but with loving encomium to and praise of Rockwell personally. Between that and the disappearance of several big names from the Mises/LRC mastheads over the last couple of years, it's beginning to remind me of the stories about people at Stalin's speeches being afraid to be the first one to stop applauding, and of Bukharin pleadingly serenading "Koba" to reassure Stalin of his loyalty and hopefully save his own neck.

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