Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Eric Alterman Watches Jonathan Rauch Jump the Shark

Too bad. I thought Rauch used to be an honest and interesting guy. But I won't think so if he keeps going down this road:

Altercation: Tricks of the trade - Altercation - MSNBC.com: One of the many, many problems with journalists’ attack on bloggers for lacking professional ethics is not only that many journalists lack any professional ethics—see under “television news, cable, entire,”—but that even when journalists at the top of their profession do their job entirely professionally, their practices often lead us no closer to the truth, and often mislead us away. For instance:

The Phony Comparison With Someone or Something Insane to Make the Otherwise Outrageous Appear Sensible:

In The New York Times Book Review, Jonathan Rauch writhes:

This “party of death” — “those who think that the inviolability of human life is an outdated or oppressive concept” — is not perfectly congruent with the Democratic Party, but in Ponnuru’s words, it has made the Democrats a “wholly owned subsidiary.” That distinction may seem less meaningful to many readers than it does to Ponnuru, who has been accused by his critics of political partisanship, and whose title and subtitle do their commercialistic best to give that impression. He is, however, the soul of fair-mindedness compared with many of his fellow pundits. (For instance, the conservative writer Ann Coulter, in her new book, “Godless: The Church of Liberalism,” distinguishes Republicans from Democrats this way: “We’re the Blacks-Aren’t-Property/Don’t-Kill-Babies Party. They’re the Hookup party.” Now that’s partisanship.)...

Now you see the service that Coulter provides to conservatives and that network brass provide to them by giving her a platform. It’s impossible to be considered beyond the bounds of sensible discourse when your only standard is a screaming, hysterical dishonest lunatic, but that here, is what appears to be Rauch’s only allowable standard.

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