Friends of Media Nation who are wondering about my sanity: not to worry. It’s kind of funny at this point. In that spirit, I want to share with you some casual slime that has been brought to my attention at the Daily Kos.
The Kos is one of several national blogs that are obsessed with the continuing fallout over the “Greater Boston” blogging episode of Dec. 8. I learned of this Kos post through Bob of Blue Mass Group, who thinks it absolutely kicks ass. After quoting from a few commenters, Bob ends with this: “And believe me there is plenty, plenty more, including a fair amount of back and forth about our very own frequent contributor Professor Kennedy.”
So I got myself over to the Kos and started reading. Soon I came across this, from one Jennifer Poole:
Dan Kennedy, media “critic” of the Boston Phoenix? one of the “liberal hawks” who totally believed Colin Powell’s speech about WMDs at the U.N.?
I remember emailing Kennedy at the time, telling him he hadn’t read the news he needed to understand that Powell’s “testimony” to the U.N. was not, in fact, all that convincing at all — with links.
I got a snarky email back re: “Oh you think there’s a cover-up?”
has Dan Kennedy admitted yet he was wrong to support the Iraq invasion, and to say that nobody serious could remain unconvinced by Powell’s testimony?
Not sure what the deal is with all those question marks, but I think a few of them are Firefox anomalies.
Anyway … did I write a snarky e-mail to Poole? Probably. Did I believe Colin Powell’s testimony at the United Nations? Yes, at least for a few days. Did I support the war in Iraq? No. Never. More in a moment. But first, a few words from Poole’s fellow commenters:
Chumley writes: “What a hack this Kennedy is. He should be cleaning toilets at Burger King, NOT a media critic. Better yet — get his ass over to serve in Iraq, and let him media criticize his way out of that.” (Make it Wendy’s, Chumley, and you’ve got a deal.)
Left in Lowell: “This Iraq lapse, I’d have to look back at what he said but he definitely has shown pigheadedness at times.” (Lynne! Come on! We survived the UMass Amherst cafeteria together last summer. Why not ask me where I stand on the war before making fun of my pigheadedness?)
Mogolori: “Kennedy’s self-correction seems to come in his April 16-24, 2004 Boston Phoenix book review of John Dean’s ‘Worse than Watergate,’ Ron Suskind’s ‘The Price of Loyalty,’ Hans Blix’s ‘Disarming Iraq’ and Richard Clarke’s ‘Against All Enemies.’ … [H]e sidesteps his own duping, which is so succinctly recounted in his email to you.” (Follow the logic: Because I was against the war in 2004, I must have been for it in 2002 and ’03.)
The truth, as I’ve already said, is that I’ve always been against the war. And I can prove it. Jennifer and friends, please pay attention:
Boston Phoenix, Nov. 28, 2002: “Yes, Iraq will fall if we invade. The gravest danger American troops may face is getting trampled by surrendering Iraqi soldiers. But after that, Iraq is ours, for a generation, if not longer. As a recent Atlantic Monthly cover story put it, Iraq will become, in effect, ‘the 51st state.’ Is that what we want? Can we really transform Iraq into another Japan or Germany? Or are we going to make the entire country — as opposed to just Saddam and his henchmen — despise us, and seek revenge for our arrogance and hubris?” (Gee, that stands up pretty well, doesn’t it?)
Boston Phoenix, Jan. 30, 2003: “More than anything, what Bush has failed to explain is why Iraq represents a real threat to us at a time when it is beleaguered by no-fly zones in the north and south, economic sanctions, and a couple of hundred weapons inspectors scurrying about the countryside. Containment has worked, but it’s not good enough for Bush, who is about to sacrifice the lives of Americans and Iraqis in order to accomplish his goal of regime change. With few exceptions, the media have let him get away with it.”
Boston Phoenix, March 20, 2003: “[A]fter the victory (raucous welcome from flower-tossing Iraqis optional) comes the hard part: the long occupation of a country whose people — no matter how happy they are to be rid of a dictator who models himself after Stalin but who seems equally inspired by Vlad the Impaler — will soon begin to resent us, then to hate us, then to demand that we get our hands off their land and their government and their oil and get out…. Just as the 1991 Gulf War led to the permanent US presence in Saudi Arabia that convinced the then-unknown Osama bin Laden to declare jihad against the United States, so will this war create monsters that don’t yet have a name.”
Boston Phoenix, July 25, 2003: “The Bush administration justified the rush to war by arguing that waiting was too dangerous — that Saddam’s terrorist ties and weapons of mass destruction represented an imminent threat. The result of Bush’s fear-mongering: chaos in Iraq; an open-ended commitment that is claiming American lives nearly every day, and that is costing some $1 billion a week; and no evidence of weapons.”
Jennifer, have you had enough? Can you bring yourself to take it back? To apologize? We’ll see.
Former Phoenix political reporter Seth Gitell, who did support the war, weighs in with a reality check, and says it’s time for the media to start scrutinizing blogworld as closely as they do politics, business and sports. “I hope the bloggers enjoy this next stage of development,” Seth writes. I don’t think he means “enjoys” like, you know, “having a good time.”
The Outraged Liberal comes to my defense with a good old-fashioned “Quod erat demonstrandum.” Too bad I’m too stupid to know what it means. Oh, wait — it’s Q.E.D. spelled out, and I kind of know what that means.
Bloggers don’t have to fact-check. While you’re expected to go over the New York Times and fact-check them, we can make stuff up about you in whole cloth. By the way, if you want to write again about the War in Iraq, we’d encourage you to fly over there to see for yourself that a war is actually happening, or indeed that such a place exists. Because if it turns out that you’re wrong about anything held to be common knowledge, it will nonetheless be your fault.
Funny stuff, but I am a blogger. I just think blogging ought to be about more than making stuff up about people.