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August 01, 2003

DISGUSTING....Commenting on a news report that several black employees have filed an EEOC complaint against Radianz, an internet company co-owned by Reuters, charging that it "tolerated and encouraged a racist environment," Glenn Reynolds has this to say:

Just remember: one man's racist is another man's exponent of Aryan purity!

I think my many commenters who question why I still read Instapundit may be right. Is there nothing left that's too gratuitously offensive to be used as fodder for cheap shots against Reuters or the BBC?

UPDATE: Glenn says his remark is OK because of Reuters' official policy that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." No it's not. It's fine to give Reuters hell over their policy if you disagree with them, but it's not OK to make needlessly repulsive Nazi comparisons. He should leave that level of childishness to the LGF gang.

Posted by Kevin Drum at August 1, 2003 08:39 AM | TrackBack


Comments

I quit reading Instapundit about nine months ago. It wasn't just because the quality had declined (probably due to spreading himself too thin). It was the attitude. Got more partisan, more conservative, more snarky.

Posted by: Quiddity at August 1, 2003 08:45 AM | PERMALINK

Indeed. Heh.

Posted by: Randy Paul at August 1, 2003 08:46 AM | PERMALINK

Is there nothing left that's too gratuitously offensive to be used as cheap shot against Reuters or the BBC?

Trying to diminish the good news about the GDP, simply because good news could possibly help the 'wrong' politicians?

Posted by: RW at August 1, 2003 08:50 AM | PERMALINK

I just came from IP, where I read the remark, and I must say I interpreted it completely differently. I interpreted it as a slap in the face of racists- the way the neo-nazi skinheads and aryan youth an d kluxers always try to mask what is really just simple bigotry as some sort of higher issue- a call for white purity, etc.

I think you read this wrong.

Posted by: John Cole at August 1, 2003 08:54 AM | PERMALINK

Could Glenn have simply been writing in the ironic voice?

Posted by: Kenneth G. Cavness at August 1, 2003 08:54 AM | PERMALINK

It kinda makes sense if you factor in all there terrorist/freedom fighter BS.

Posted by: John Cole at August 1, 2003 08:54 AM | PERMALINK

Someone should set up a web site "InstaBloviator." Something like a SullyWatch

Posted by: raj at August 1, 2003 08:57 AM | PERMALINK

I prefer "Instanista".

Posted by: Steve B. at August 1, 2003 09:00 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, I guess irony is dead, huh?

Posted by: spc67 at August 1, 2003 09:04 AM | PERMALINK

John/Kenneth: of course it was meant ironically, but he was rather clearly trying to imply that this was the attitude of Reuters. That's disgusting.

Posted by: Kevin Drum at August 1, 2003 09:05 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin is correct when he interprets Instapundit's comment as a slam against Reuter's. The top editor of Reuter's, after 9/11, explained that they wouldn't use the word "terrorist" in their reporting because "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter," or something to that effect. So Instapundit was going after Reuter's, not racists.

With that said, I hardly find the comment that offensive. Instapundit writes many other shallow, biased posts that piss me off way more.

Posted by: Jim E. at August 1, 2003 09:08 AM | PERMALINK

Kenneth & John -

Haven't you read the comment section here lately, the point is Glen is a "cracker" (instacracker etc.) so it is not possible that he understands what "irony" is.

Get with the program.

Posted by: Tom N at August 1, 2003 09:09 AM | PERMALINK

On this we can all agree: Glenn's writing skills have atrophied through months and months of using an interjection as his only original comment in the average post. When he tries to write a whole sentence on an issue, the initial reaction from the readership is one of shock and bewilderment. When he tries ironic juxtaposition, all hell breaks loose.

Posted by: Norbizness at August 1, 2003 09:11 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Kevin, should we change the phrase Turnabout is fair play? It sounds like you would rather it be: Turnabout is fair play, except when it is used in a way I dislike.

Just curious.

Posted by: jb at August 1, 2003 09:12 AM | PERMALINK

Tom N (and, perhaps, others),

What's the deal with "Instacracker." "Cracker, as I understand it, is a derogatory term used for southerners -- generally to imply that they are rural, racist rubes.

While I've stoppped reading Glen because he's become to strident and simplistic, Glen is clearly not racist, homophobic, or rural. Is this "Instacracker" stuff just a gratuitous swipe at us Appalachian-Americans?

Posted by: Ted at August 1, 2003 09:19 AM | PERMALINK

Instapundit likes to take advantage of the fig leaf label of "libertarian" while consistently spouting the rightwing line.

Posted by: peter jung at August 1, 2003 09:23 AM | PERMALINK

Jonathan Swift would be shocked.

As far as I know 'one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter' is in fact the institutional judgment of Reuters.

Reynolds characterization isn't even as big of a stretch as eating Irish babies.

Posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw at August 1, 2003 09:25 AM | PERMALINK

Not really on topic, but I wanted to note that to native Floridians -- and Florida IS part of The South -- "cracker" is not offensive at all. I, for instance, am a proud Florida Cracker. I never understood what all the hubub over that "Instacracker" remark was.

Posted by: cerebrocrat at August 1, 2003 09:27 AM | PERMALINK

What exactly is 'disgusting' about this comment? He was merely mocking Reuters with regard to their, "One man's terrorist, is another man's freedom fighter" bullcrap when they announced they would no longer refer to suicide bombers as terrorists in their wires.

Posted by: Jay Caruso at August 1, 2003 09:28 AM | PERMALINK

....he was rather clearly trying to imply that this was the attitude of Reuters.

Er, no. Jim E. and Jay Caruso beat me to this, so I'll simply second their explanations. You're missing the backstory on this one.

Posted by: Tacitus at August 1, 2003 09:30 AM | PERMALINK

I'm with Ted. I find Glenn windy, tendentious, disingenuous, self-absorbed and a big egotist, but he is most assuredly not a racist and I find the use of the word cracker to be offensive regardless of who it's directed against.

Posted by: Randy Paul at August 1, 2003 09:30 AM | PERMALINK

The Genesis of the Southern Cracker

Posted by: Cobb at August 1, 2003 09:39 AM | PERMALINK

"The top editor of Reuter's, after 9/11, explained that they wouldn't use the word "terrorist" in their reporting because "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter," or something to that effect"

Well, I hate to tell you, but the word "terrorist" presents a value judgement. Query whether a news gathering and reporting operation should be faulted for trying to minimize use of words implying value judgements.

On the other hand, maybe the British should be labelled terrorists for their firebombings of Dresden Feb-April 1945. They were nothing more than terrorist acts. Ones for which they have consistently refused to provide the whole story.

Posted by: raj at August 1, 2003 09:41 AM | PERMALINK

I'm one of the those whose questioned your continued reading of Professor Reynolds, but this particular comment doesn't strike me as anything egregious. It's par for the course in its lack of insight, but that's never been his strength.

Posted by: Unlearned Hand at August 1, 2003 09:49 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry I veered off topic, the quality of Glenn's writing is certainly debatable, I like him as a link gatherer mostly.

And I did not mean to suggest that Kevin would invoke the "cracker" arguement but was trying to predict the way the comments would go. I haven't seen any the usual suspects like Rick yet.

Posted by: Tom N at August 1, 2003 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Raj, newsreporting is all about value judgments. You judge what to report, you judge how to report it.

A multi-year campaign of almost exclusively targeting civilians is properly referred to as 'terrorist'. A decision to report it otherwise should be mocked. The PLO and other terrorist organizations have made a concious decision to take on the Israeli military very infrequently. But they need to keep killing people, so they target civilians. That is the very definition of terrorism.

Posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw at August 1, 2003 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin-

Not having read the other comments...what's so offensive about that remark?

Posted by: theperegrine at August 1, 2003 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

And now that I have read the comments:

John/Kenneth: of course it was meant ironically, but he was rather clearly trying to imply that this was the attitude of Reuters. That's disgusting.

I didn't get that impression at all. He was making a point about the subjectivity of perception, not directly referring to Reuters.

Posted by: theperegrine at August 1, 2003 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

"Cracker" has always struck me as somewhat ambiguous. It does, I think, refer to poor southern whites, but is it insulting?

The old Southern League, (double A) had a team called the Atlanta Crackers, which incidentally dominated the league. So the term surely wasn't considered derogatory then, though possibly mildly uncomplimentary.

Posted by: Bernard Yomtov at August 1, 2003 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Glenn Reynolds is a cheap, poorly functioning filter. "Here's a chunk of text from a story. Read the whole thing."

Best to read the links and ignore him altogether - it's not like he ever adds anything anyway.

Posted by: jesse at August 1, 2003 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

What exactly is 'disgusting' about this comment? He was merely mocking Reuters with regard to their, "One man's terrorist, is another man's freedom fighter" bullcrap when they announced they would no longer refer to suicide bombers as terrorists in their wires.

This too.

I don't read Instapundit (I visited it one day and it was splashed pics of nearly-naked women wielding semi-automatic weapons...not my thing), but I read that comment not as implying that Reuters literally promotes Aryan purity, but rather that Reuters is simply chock-full-o-dipshits.

Which may or may not be true, but you know. First Amendment and all...

Posted by: theperegrine at August 1, 2003 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Is there nothing left that's too gratuitously offensive to be used as fodder for cheap shots by Reuters or the BBC? It's completely fair play.

Posted by: Crank at August 1, 2003 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

He was making a point about the subjectivity of perception, not directly referring to Reuters.

funny, that. seems to apply to the entire comment thread.

Posted by: jb at August 1, 2003 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, man. Don't forget about all those PC apologists confusing the issue by talking about "suicide bombers."

We all know the correct term is "homicide bombers," because they're like, committing homicide with bombs.

Posted by: Sven at August 1, 2003 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin writes, "Is there nothing left that's too gratuitously offensive to be used as fodder for cheap shots against Reuters or the BBC?"

Let's see...Reuters and BBS take the position that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." That's okay.

InstaPundit spoofs this, "one man's racist is another man's exponent of Aryan purity." That's terrible.

Sigh. I guess on CalPundit, consistency is considered a hobgoblin of little minds.

Posted by: RJGator at August 1, 2003 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I think that in context, it's pretty clearly ironic edging toward sarcastic. Just as I hammered Glenn for missing Martha Burk's obvious satire in her article, I've gotta think that you're missing his as well...

...altho it is funny to see him hoist on his own petard...


A.L.

Posted by: Armed Liberal at August 1, 2003 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Look, there's little question IP has a bit of the cracker mentality. Who can forget his jibe, last year, that the District of Columbia wasn't "ready for self-government" and was better off as a "colony"?

Posted by: Guy Cabot at August 1, 2003 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

RJGator: Not objecting to an editoral policy is not "inconsistent" with objecting to an offensive, scorched-earth rebuttal of an editorial policy, just because he uses some of the same words. How could you possibly think Instapundit's snarky comment is at all comparable to Reuters' editorial policy? For that matter, why do you think two wrongs make a right?

Posted by: neil at August 1, 2003 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Apparently, there are even some people who still read Mickey Kaus. Or at least he seems to think so.

Posted by: Hackenkauser at August 1, 2003 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

The BBC and Reuters are both sneering, "look-down-your-nose at Americans" agenda driven anti-Semitic organizations, and deserve being called on their racism.

Long live George Bush and Glenn Reynolds!!!!!!

I'm a Florida Cracker!!!!!

Posted by: Michael Strickland at August 1, 2003 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Obviously he's not a racist.
If I read it right he's saying Reuters defense could be:
"One man's racist is etc..."

As Reuters stated:
"One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter"

So he went over the top perhaps a bit childishly, however, the insinuation that its disgusting etc.. is a little much don't you think? We all know he's not a racist?
No?

By the way I like Instapundit so could you gusy provide me some examples of how its low quality or poor?

Curious and interested in your (a 2nd) perspective.
Thanks.

Mike

Posted by: Mike at August 1, 2003 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

John/Kenneth: of course it was meant ironically, but he was rather clearly trying to imply that this was the attitude of Reuters. That's disgusting.
Posted by: Kevin Drum at August 1, 2003 09:05 AM

Kevin, that's ridiculous. He doesn't think that's the attitude of Reuters! Give me a break! If that's what your criticism is based on than its pretty poor.
(I'm still not sure what your gist is 100%?)

He was mocking their post 9/11 attitude using this incident to mock them. He knows that's not Reuter's attitude but its a chance to mock their moral equivalence post 9/11.

Mike

Posted by: Mike at August 1, 2003 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Wait a minute. Why are you guys defending Reuters? Why is Glenn Reynolds not allowed to call them on their racist bullshit?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 1, 2003 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Cheap shots? Hell, the BBC and Roooters shoot themselves. I realize these simple truths make you angry. You need to open your viewpoint and understand the root causes of why these two
'news' organizations have lost credibility.

That is all.

Posted by: Dim Dong III at August 1, 2003 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

This is nothing but manufactured outrage.

Posted by: Bret at August 1, 2003 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Well, letsee...

There's the English version of 'Cracker', as in, very good at a task. Variants are Crackerbox and the american Crackerjack - I don't know, but there is a candy named after that.

In CA, Cracker usually means 'insane' or 'someone who perpetrates larceny', like 'safe cracker' or 'code cracker'. See: Hacker.

-Crissa

(Although, Hacker is usually the white-hate term and Cracker the black-hat, to borrow a turn of phrase)

Posted by: Crissa at August 1, 2003 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Cracker was from the "whip cracker" usually poor white southerners that managed a bunch of slaves on the plantation.

Posted by: dane at August 1, 2003 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Kevin, I don't see anything disgusting at all in that comment; he's just knocking Reuters in the same way that we all pointed out the irony of the Catholic Church talking about how gay adoption "does violence to children" yesterday.

As far his right-wing puppetry, I think Glenn devotes far more time knocking the Bush relationsihp with Ambassador Bandar, savaging the Homeland Security work, bashing Ashcroft and calling for gay civil unions than he does doing Cheney impressions.

Posted by: cure at August 1, 2003 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Just recently, Instahack ran an anti-BBC bit where he got an email from somebody claiming an instance of BBC bias.

The BBC used a photo of some Afghan girls as an illustration in a story about Human Rights Watch saying there's a climate of fear in the country now, thanks to the warlords.

The photo also ran, in an un-cropped version on Yahoo news in a recent story about a visit by Karzai to a province outside Kabul.

Reynolds' correspondent, and Reynolds himself, seem to think that the BBC cropped the photo to exclude smiling faces and make the group of girls seem more pensive.

But if you look at both photos, it's plain to see that the only faces that are even close to smiling are in the BBC's photo. NO smiles were cropped.

The only person with something that is probably a smile is looking right at the camera (in both pictures) and frankly looks to me more like she's interested in the cameraman or his camera equipment. It's that sort of curious/bemused/fascinated expression people get, especially kids.

Reynolds later updated, acknowledging that people had written that they didn't see any difference. He was clinging to it anyway, though he didn't specify a single instance of a smiling person who was cropped out.

Posted by: Jon H at August 1, 2003 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, do I lose my conservative card if I admit that I don't read Instapundit unless other people I'm reading link to him?

Posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw at August 1, 2003 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think "disgusting" means what you think it means. There is nothing "disgusting" about taking cheap shots at Reuters...why would there be?

Posted by: politicaobscura at August 1, 2003 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Shit or get off the pot Kevin. You think IP's posts are "disgusting", shameful and simplistic? Fine. Take him off your blogroll and don't comment on any of his posts anymore. Just please stop whining about him. You obviously can't stand the guy. Why do you waste your time and bandwidth commenting on his stuff?

Posted by: anon at August 1, 2003 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Evidently there's another class action suit 23 black people have brought against an AR Cracker Barrel. Denny's had trouble with this, and have done some real work making good. Instacretin can joke about racism all he wants, I won't be laughing.
A new poll in the UK shows that 54% trust the BBC most for news. 20% trust Blair's government, 13% trust Murdoch's Sky News. It reminds me of Instacretin's announcement that France "was in a world of hurt." O Instacretin fans pullulating in this thread, you're welcome to inhabit Instacretin's alternate reality with him, but don't expect the rest of the planet to join you.

Posted by: John Isbell at August 1, 2003 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

cure,
Saudi Arabia, Homeland Security, and gay civil unions (of which Cheney is likely in favor of,at least privately, BTW) are not exactly partisan issues, so those don't exactly make your case. He has made a few (very few) jabs at Ashcroft, but not many for a guy who claims to be a libertarian.

Reynolds may very well be a libertarian, but his infrequent critiques of the Bush administration seem half-hearted in comparison to his continual ripping of the Dems. He is clearly a Bush partisan, even if he claims not to be. (Just in the same way that Andrew Sullivan claims not to be a Republican, it is clear that he too is a Bush partisan.) Also, Reynolds spends a good chunk of his blog acting as media critic and all he sees (shock! surprise!) are examples of liberal bias. He's apparently never encountered a report which was biased in favor of guns, Republicans, Bush, or the war. Imagine that. It's hardly a stretch to consider Instapundit as leaning conservative.

Posted by: Jim E. at August 1, 2003 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

I also think Instacracker is an inappropriate name for that f**kwad, as you see.

Posted by: John Isbell at August 1, 2003 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

In the sixties the left lost their principals; in the seventies, their integrity; in the eighties, their honesty; in the nineties, their humanity; and after 2000, their sense of humor.

Posted by: Dugger at August 1, 2003 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know if Reynolds is disgusting, but he is an obnoxious hypocrite. He demands that everyone else adhere to his blanket definition of terrorism, yet decries the left's expanding definition of racism:

..."[R{acism" now has nothing to do with race. It's just a catch-all term for things that some people don't like, sort of like "fascism" used to be before its overuse became such a joke that even its enthusiasts mostly gave it up.
Posted by: Sven at August 1, 2003 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

In the sixties the left lost their principals; in the seventies, their integrity; in the eighties, their honesty; in the nineties, their humanity; and after 2000, their sense of humor.--

So, in the 2030s or so, we'll have dropped to the level of the right? Let's enjoy the next 27 years, folks! According to this schmuck, it's all we've got left before TAXCUTS!!! have it any more.

Posted by: jesse at August 1, 2003 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

anon: because he deserves it?

Caruso et al: Sorry, but I don't buy the equivalency here. Yes, the "freedom fighter/terrorist" thing deserves criticism, because it glosses over the importance of ends and means; that being said, it also contains some level of historical veracity, and "terrorist" is a deeply contested word for everybody but those trying to push an agenda redefining words.

(Just look at the South African case for an example of the lines blurring; were the ANC the terrorists they were labelled by the U.S. and S.A. governments at the time, or the freedom fighters we think of them as now? Or were they both?)

To equate this sort of thing with racism, however, is simply ignorant. Even if it was a backhanded attack by Glenn, it's unacceptable. Kevin's right... it reaches Godwin levels of offensiveness, and the fact that it's a cheap shot doesn't justify it in the slightest. On the contrary, it just makes it that much worse, because the offensiveness was in the service of a lame attack.

(Not that that's a surprise... Glenn's one of the weakest popular bloggers out there. Even Misha is better, and he's just nuts.)

As for Cracker: personally, I've always preferred "Hillbilly". It's just a more interesting name. Cracker's simply lame; might as well be the singularly unimpressive "whitie". (Which is the lamest racial nickname ever... why not play off the endless possibilities of the word "Caucasian"?)

Posted by: Demosthenes at August 1, 2003 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian,

You lose intelligence points for suggesting that newswriting should be inherently biased. That's a Fox news attitude and it's crap. When you study journalism in college you are taught which words are value-judgement driven words and you are taught to avoid those words. "Terrorist" does carry a specific value judgement. Like it or not, that's a fact.

You'll notice that the state department defines a terrorist as anyone who illegally uses violence or threats of violence to accomplish a cultural or political end. Thus, by that definition, America is a terrorist state as we threatened Iraq with war unless Saddam did things our way: seeking a political end through the use of a pre-emptive doctrine declared illegal by international law. This same definition can be applied to abortion clinic bombers, bikers who descend and attack a peace rally, and Israel's flouting international law in the treatment of Palestinians (such as bulldozing homes of the families of suicide bombers). Likewise, the same can be said for Palestinians who blow themselves up on schoolbuses.

By use of "terrorist" accurately, the Israel/Palestinian situation would have to be described as two warring terrorist organizations.

You may not like this, but it's inarguable logic. The choice for Reuters, a global news outlet, is to opt for language that does not reflect a particular bias so as to retain the greatest number of global subscribers. Take it or leave it, but it's a principaled commercial decision backed by Journalistic Ethics 101.

Posted by: j at August 1, 2003 01:01 PM | PERMALINK

And my 2 cents on the southerner slang:

I'm white and I'm from West Virginia and I find all slang names for southerners or whites simply hysterical.

Honky. Love it.
Cracker. Sure.
Whitey. Not terribly great, but why not?
Ofay. Dig it, very outre.
Hillbilly, oh my gosh yes.
The Man, good and bad.
Bread. Knee-slappingly good.

Posted by: j at August 1, 2003 01:10 PM | PERMALINK

Well, we did lose some principals in the sixties - JFK, MLK, RFK.

And about the integrity in the 70's - was Nixon a leftist?

And who was dishonest about Iran-Contra? All those Republicans so heavy on accountability when it comes to poor people but so ready to claim they were "out of the loop," on a matter of national policy.

Humanity in the 90's. I'd say the right lost it with its fanatical hatred of the Clintons and willingness to promote any accusation at all against them.

As for the 2000's , you're partly right. Bush is a farce, but it's just too hard to laugh.

Posted by: Bernard Yomtov at August 1, 2003 01:12 PM | PERMALINK

I am sorry but instapundit's comment is funny. Get a life.

Posted by: A.W. at August 1, 2003 01:15 PM | PERMALINK

One word - sarcasm.

Posted by: Robert Cecrle at August 1, 2003 01:19 PM | PERMALINK

Just remember: one man's idiotic inflammatory right-wing bullshit is another man's lame excuse for humor.

You're right. It is kinda funny.

Posted by: Sven at August 1, 2003 01:23 PM | PERMALINK

There is nothing wrong with fisking Fisk, dowdifying Dowd, or, in this case, reuterizing Reuters. Anyone who takes offense at Glenn's analogy has probably fallen into the sarchasm.

Posted by: Xrlq at August 1, 2003 01:52 PM | PERMALINK

Theperegrine wrote:

"I don't read Instapundit (I visited it one day and it was splashed pics of nearly-naked women wielding semi-automatic weapons...not my thing),"

Note to self: must bookmark Instapundit, if he makes Bikini Girls with Machine Guns a regular feature. Especially if he provides a .mp3 of the Cramps song.

Posted by: Tom at August 1, 2003 02:06 PM | PERMALINK

Remember, your readership today would be much smaller without the link from IP. Of course, you may like it better preaching to the choir.

I don't agree with IP on a lot of things, but on this his satire is spot on. You need to get out more.

Posted by: AST at August 1, 2003 02:07 PM | PERMALINK

Come on, guys. Does ANYONE, other than Kevin, find this "disgusting"? It's this kind of "manufactured outrage" and idiocy that made me give up on any real solutions, other than these stupid complaints, coming from people from the left.

Posted by: MATT at August 1, 2003 02:27 PM | PERMALINK

Why would anyone "read" Instapundit. The guy is a jag off. I consider it the same as people who are still on AOL. Coming in late, and totally clueless. Though it works for them, and it's got all of their links and address books.

Forget Glenn. He's a small fish, swimming in big water. Because he got there first. It won't be long until he gets swallowed up by the alphas.

Posted by: freelixir at August 1, 2003 02:39 PM | PERMALINK

And here i thought this blog wasn't a just a bunch of lefty credentializing. Ugh. Kevin, you have no sense of humor. But you've got a nice little I hate Glenn club. Junior high.

Posted by: rds at August 1, 2003 02:40 PM | PERMALINK

dane wrote, Cracker was from the "whip cracker" usually poor white southerners that managed a bunch of slaves on the plantation.

Actually, no. In the days when all housewives baked their own bread, rather than buying it from a store, those whose families grew wheat had to take the harvested grain to the local mill to be made into grist. A "cracker" was anybody whose family was so poor that they couldn't afford the miller's fee, but had to crack their wheat and make do with it in that form (as in the Middle Eastern dish called tabouli).

On the matter of Reynolds' comment per se, I would concur with Xrlq that those who decry it "have fallen into the sarchasm." And I congratulate Xrlq on figuring out how to make a pun that has eluded me for more than a decade.

j. wrote, You lose intelligence points for suggesting that newswriting should be inherently biased. That's a Fox news attitude and it's crap.

Well, j., all these purportedly unbiased news outlets don't seem to be achieving objectivity, either -- they're just more subtle about their biases than FOX is about theirs.

Having briefly worked as a reporter some *cough* years ago, I venture to say that objectivity doesn't really exist. Humans make the decisions about what goes where, and what doesn't go, into a newspaper or broadcast, and every human decision is motivated by a judgment call. And though I've never worked in a big-city newsroom, I can say bluntly that the small-town ones I knew were hotbeds of not only opinions, but "opinionation."

As far as your equivalence of Israel and the Palis go, j., countless bloggers have pointed out the difference between a standing army that conscientiously tries to avoid harming civilians, and a violent group that deliberately targets women, children, and the elderly. But I'm not sure it's worth arguing this point with someone who is OK with the definition of America as "a terrorist state."

Take it or leave it, but it's a principaled [sic] commercial decision backed by Journalistic Ethics 101.

[snort] I attended J-school. I'll decline to dignify the above comment with a reply.

Posted by: Reginleif the Valkyrie at August 1, 2003 02:44 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin apparently just had a funny bone-ectomy, because his sense of humor seems to have been removed.

And, folks, it is the leftists' princples that were lost in the '60s - not their principals.

Posted by: Al at August 1, 2003 02:44 PM | PERMALINK

But over-authoritarian principals might help make for leftist principles. :)

Posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw at August 1, 2003 02:57 PM | PERMALINK

It's fine to give Reuters hell over their policy if you disagree with them, but it's not OK to make needlessly repulsive Nazi comparisons.

Since when did "needlessly repulsive Nazi comparisons" become taboo on the 'Net?

...the fact that it's an accurate slam is just icing on the cake.

Posted by: CleverNameHere at August 1, 2003 03:12 PM | PERMALINK

Look, I have a real dislike for the large majority of what Instapundit writes, but he is

1) not a racist

2) being sarcastic in this case.

Posted by: SamAm at August 1, 2003 03:18 PM | PERMALINK

The difference between the old and new south...

In Florida it is a hate crime to call someone a cracker. And in Georgia it is a term of endearment.

(BTW Instacliche gets very upset when called a cracker- whatever it means to him)

The best critique comes from the blog of the
very clever Roger Ailes (not the fat f--- who works for Rupert Murdoch.)
"Instapundit is nothing more than a right-wing clipping service, with the proprietor endorsing, without thought, whatever half-assed statement some other wingnut blogger makes at the moment. He's also lead man in the circle jerk. Life's too short to waste your time on such crap."

Posted by: laria dalton at August 1, 2003 03:23 PM | PERMALINK

What I find fascinating is the belief that Glenn is an administration shill, despite the fact his blog has, over the past few days:

- Condemned the Bush administration for its cosiness with the Saudis.
- Repeatedly condemned the performance of the Homeland Security department.
- Linked to a Doc Searls post in which Searls indicates the White House has no clue when it comes to the Internet.
- Assaulted the Pope's position on gay marriage (a position shared by the administration)
- Condemned the CIA for its failure to effectively gain HUMINT on Al Qaeda, despite the fact Americans seem to be readily accepted into the group with enough "hail to Allah!"s.
- Editorialized against prison rape.
- Complained about the possibility of election fraud with electronic voting apparatus.

That's just what's currently on his front page. Except the last two items, all of them are not in lockstep with administration policy. I guess this is just another example of only perceiving the political bias of information when it is inconsistent with your previous worldview.

Posted by: Chris Lawrence at August 1, 2003 03:42 PM | PERMALINK

Incidentally, by y'all's standard, I guess I can start calling Kevin a Howard Dean shill. After all, he agrees with Howard more often than not, right? Or at least he does in his true heart of hearts, although he tries to look more "balanced" when posting here. Right?

Posted by: Chris Lawrence at August 1, 2003 03:44 PM | PERMALINK

To Chris Lawrence:

Even a broken clock is right twice aday.

What about all the times he linked to stories that have been shown to be false and failed to correct because it sustantiated his position.

Instapundit is a contratrian who rails against authority but when push comes to show he is a proud neocon flying under the colors of a BOBO.

Posted by: lariadalton at August 1, 2003 04:14 PM | PERMALINK

When you study journalism in college you are taught which words are value-judgement driven words and you are taught to avoid those words. "Terrorist" does carry a specific value judgement. Like it or not, that's a fact.

This is precisely Glenn's point. Using the word "terrorist" implies that killing innocent civilians is wrong. Glenn and many others believe that any major news service ought to be able to agree with that.

The word "Holocaust" also implies a value judgment -- that killing innocent Jews is wrong. I forget who it was who said that some arguments only have one side, but it's too bad you didn't learn that in J-school.

Posted by: Ryan Booth at August 1, 2003 04:19 PM | PERMALINK

You know, it's funny how the Instadittos find overt racism so amusing, white supremacy the rhetorical vector of such profound irony & beliefs in aryan purity the sarcastic equivalent of a merely debatable editorial decision. Heh, hardy, heh. Can anybody tell me what in the name of Alfred Rosenberg was IP's point here? Really. So Reuters decides that given the historical fact that one man's terrorist has countless times been another's freedom fighter (ed. Indeed.), they would refrain from using such terminology. IP then oh so cleverly turns the table on them--and Kevin, in the UPDATE--by (presumably...that's just it, I can't tell) suggesting that they wouldn't dare use kooky revisionist claptrap, which they don't believe and which hardly anyone else does either, as a legal defense. That's not irony, that's ignoramy.

Posted by: David Rudolf Weber at August 1, 2003 04:22 PM | PERMALINK

"In Florida it is a hate crime to call someone a cracker."

It is? I don't recall any such legislation.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 1, 2003 05:22 PM | PERMALINK

"his infrequent critiques of the Bush administration seem half-hearted in comparison to his continual ripping of the Dems. He is clearly a Bush partisan, even if he claims not to be. (Just in the same way that Andrew Sullivan claims not to be a Republican, it is clear that he too is a Bush partisan.) "

Apparently your definition of a "Bush Partisan" is anyone who doesn't use the words "Bush is worse than Hitler" at least once per paragraph?

Posted by: jsr at August 1, 2003 05:30 PM | PERMALINK

You know, it's funny how some CalPundit followers can be so smarmy with their posts (and with their "look how smart I am" language and syntax). Bypassing the crux of the IP post intention and use of irony (to expose the very REAL problem of overt racism at Reuters) you instead attack the debatable THEORY that one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter (instead of a "fact", list for me the "countless" times this has happened, especially in relation to Al-Qaida).

Posted by: JFH at August 1, 2003 05:43 PM | PERMALINK

jsr,

No, that's not my definition.

Posted by: Jim E. at August 1, 2003 06:06 PM | PERMALINK

It's SATIRE...a la Swift.

Get a sense of humor.

Reuters judgement on terrorist is no less offensive and that is Glenn's point.

Posted by: CBK at August 1, 2003 06:17 PM | PERMALINK

Woo-hoo! I've just read a whole bunch of what Instacretin's fans evidently have to contribute to the universe.
Now, I'll go about my business. Bye guys.

Posted by: John Isbell at August 1, 2003 06:27 PM | PERMALINK

seems to me you all are just jealous because you didn't think of it first, quit whining! why continue to read something you don't agree with?!

Posted by: Norm at August 1, 2003 06:28 PM | PERMALINK

This is absolutely ridiculous. Sure, sometimes one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter (and it's not like the two terms are even mutually exclusive). The fact remains that today, here and now, we have a definition of terrorism, and we can make objective judgments as to whether Hamas or other groups are terrorist. If you want to call the firebombing of Dresden a terrorist act, too, go ahead. As long as you used a consistent, accepted definition and could back up your point, you could probably persuade me and quite a few other people.

At different times and places throughout history, one man's racist has been another's Civil Rights activist, and one man's murderer has been another's self-defender (or abortion doctor). That should not preclude us from using the term "murderer" or "racist" when it is clearly appropriate.

Reynolds' comment was hardly funny, but I think he was attacking Reuters for a legitimate reason, and I hardly think it was disgusting.

Posted by: Blogician at August 1, 2003 07:01 PM | PERMALINK

In Florida,under hate speech laws calling someone a cracker during the commission of a crime makes it a hate crime. At least two black men are facing murder charges as a result.

Posted by: laria dalton at August 1, 2003 07:08 PM | PERMALINK

In Florida,under hate speech laws calling someone a cracker during the commission of a crime makes it a hate crime. At least two black men are facing murder charges as a result.

Posted by: laria dalton at August 1, 2003 07:08 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, I don't get what's offensive here. Glenn is clearly turning Reuters' own sick world view in on itself in an ironic manner. At the same time, he's slamming the racism described in the story. A rather neat two-for-one deal.

What I don't get is why you're wasting your own breath defending Reuters. Glenn's skewering of them is well taken in and of itself, and the story of their racist practices is even worse. There's nothing defensible.

I like InstaPundit (and CalPundit), but if you don't, I'm sure you've got you're own good reasons. But this sure is a piss-poor example to use against him.

Posted by: Laurie K. at August 1, 2003 07:19 PM | PERMALINK

Manufactured outrage looks cheap on you, Kevin. My theory: This is a huge gaffe because you missed the Reuters terrorist/freedom fighter reference when you first read the item and are now too embarrassed to admit it.

If you are really going to perfect this see-racism-in-every-corner thing, you need to go study at the feet of MacDiva. Hey, wait, she sort of implied you were a racist, too. Is this Instapundit thing your idea of atonement?

As long as you don't stoop to spittle flecked screams of "Brown Shirt" or "Bush Fedayeen" you will likely maintain the coolest-head-in-the-room centrist image you so carefully craft, but Tacitus is going to pull ahead in the overall centrist competition.

Finally, does the LGF reference invoke Godwin's law? Just checking.

Posted by: Marko at August 1, 2003 08:10 PM | PERMALINK

One can either agree with Instapundit's (or anyone's) postings or not, but failing to comprehend them (by choice or otherwise) is another matter entirely.

Posted by: Chris at August 1, 2003 08:59 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian says

"A multi-year campaign of almost exclusively targeting civilians is properly referred to as 'terrorist'."

Oh, thank you, Sebastian, for telling us what is proper. Maybe the French Academy--which recently determined what the proper word for email in French--might consider hiring you to assist them in determining what verbiage is "proper." I'm sure you would do a bang-up job.

In point of fact, as I'm sure you are well aware, "terrorist" is an emotive word. A news media outlet can provide the facts concerning an incident while minimizing use of words that are designed to elicit particular emotions from their readers.

On the other hand, a news media outlet can ignore the story altogether.

Which would you prefer?

Frankly, the "auseinander" between the Israelis and the Palestinians has gotten boring. It's like gang warfare in South Central LA. From outward appearances, neither side in the Israeli/Palestinian "auseinander" really wants a compromise. Maybe it's time for the news media to ignore it completely. I have.

Posted by: raj at August 1, 2003 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Raj what is your position on reporting "British intelligence has discovered...." as a lie. Is that an emotive word?

Posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw at August 2, 2003 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

Wow. I'll say this for Reynolds: He has legions of devoted fans who spring to his defense at the slightest whiff of criticism.

I have never seen such a freep display on Calpundit since I've been coming here. *shudder*

Well, I guess you know how to pump up your hits now, eh Kevin?

Posted by: epist at August 2, 2003 01:55 AM | PERMALINK

JFH:

I'm sorry my style is so convoluted, and actually, I was trying to be snarky. I'm usually only smarmy with the ladies. Posting comments is difficult for me, you see.

As an infant, I lost my tongue in the bombing of Dresden. It was an air raid whose rough aim appeared to be the indiscriminate destruction of everything and everyone below. Yes, innocent civilians, too. Thence rendered mute--not from the trauma of living through a fire storm, I simply have no tongue--I do tend to overcompensate by gushing on to the page. Luckily, subsequent tragedies have left me able to gush only so much.

When I was still quite young, my right arm was blown off by a bomb-blast in Palestine, carried out against the British by a future PM of Israel. Next, I lost my left arm and ear in Tibet, and not from frost-bite, if you know what I mean. In the late seventies, I had the toes of my right foot hedge-trimmed in Guatemala; the Contras finished chainsawing the leg off at the knee. I received third-degree burns over two-thirds of my body in Northern Ireland, an Ulsterman blast, I was later told. Or was it the IRA? Thereafter, scarred but smarmy, I hopped the globe on my remaining extremity, one day coming to rest on a landmine in Afghanistan, American-made if I remember correctly.

But don't pity me, please, my eyes and right ear function properly, and my nose is perfect. I'm using it to peck out these comments, with great effort and apparently little appreciation. And since this is money point, I'll try to make it clear:

Look, Dude, Instalinknwink's post had almost nothing to do with "the REAL problem of overt racism at Reuters," except his glee at having another stick to whip them with. Their bias is his obsession, and this from a guy who continues to regard the indisputable deception that led this country to war as mostly a media creation, which he rarely backs it up with anything other than one-sided links and grunts.

And while I have no problem characterizing Al Quaeda as terrorists, rather than freedom fighters (sometimes like pornagraphy, you do know it when you see it), your broader point that the existence of a relative distinction in other cases is a "debatable THEORY" is simply wrong. That's like debating the existence of different opinions.

Nor am I personally disgusted by IP's comment. I just think it's a lame analogy and therefore hardly ironic. Terrorist and freedom-fighter are distinct notions that may well depend one's perspective. Racist and exponent of racial purity are essentially the same thing regardless of one's perspective.

Now excuse me while I rest my neck.

Posted by: David Rudolf Weber at August 2, 2003 03:09 AM | PERMALINK

Apparently, the far left considers anybody that agrees with George Bush on some issues a right wing shill. Instapundit does lean to the right, but he criticizes the administration often on different issues.

Posted by: Mike at August 2, 2003 04:40 AM | PERMALINK

I've been linking to InstaPundit for about a year now. He's been my introduction to the blogging universe. He's been pretty reliable, concise and a great hub to news and blogs of all kinds. I haven't found anyone better at this hub position.

There are many kinds of bloggers, and the critique leveled against G.R. has usually been the kind that either intentionally or unintentionally misapplied another blogger standard for his, what I call, "hub" type. Another misapplication is the political type.... apparently, he's too far to the right for those who are too far to the left. I would consider him squarely in the center, a large grey zone that is an complex interpolation of both ends, left and right. Most of the negative criticism can be best applied to the twisted critics who are finally, simply clumsy.

Thanks to InstPundit for linking me to this site, evidence of his generousity and his willingness to absorb critique.

Posted by: Dennis at August 2, 2003 04:54 AM | PERMALINK

I think you protest too much. Your post reflects more your contempt towards Glenn than an objection to what he wrote.

Some of you are arrogant pricks. If you don't like what he writes you can stop reading it, just like I refuse to read this pseudo-intellectual slop anymore.

Slop? Now there's a real cracker term for you.

Posted by: Bob White at August 2, 2003 05:44 AM | PERMALINK

Emotive or not, raj, a person who blows himself up in a crowded area and indiscriminately murders nearby civilians is a terrorist. That's a fact, not a 'value judgment'. That's why the Reuters 'news service' deserves the derision it gets.

Posted by: Bird Dog at August 2, 2003 06:55 AM | PERMALINK

"why continue to read something you don't agree with?!"
Now there's a dumb comment.

Posted by: John Isbell at August 2, 2003 07:08 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, keep defending the racist, terror loving Reuters. Your true colors are coming out. Regardless of their policies and lies, they report a left leaning point of view, and therefore they can do no wrong in the eyes of the Democratic party.


Oh look, your hypocrisy is showing.

Posted by: Bildo at August 2, 2003 07:55 AM | PERMALINK

This is all much ado about nothing -- seems like a bunch of people just want to ventilate about IP and are using this as an excuse.

I am curious, though: "needlessly repulsive Nazi comparisons"? Isn't "needlessly," well, needless? Besides, which, the partisans hurt most by draining rehtorical swamps of comparisons to Nazis would be those on the left.

Posted by: wm. tyroler at August 2, 2003 08:07 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, the US subscribes wholeheartedly to the idea that one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. If the irony is directed on Reuters, the joke is on Reynolds. I mean, the Mujahadeen were freedom fighters. Now they're terrorists. The IRA managed to play the plucky freedom fighter card for a long time but nobody in the UK bought that story. The list of terrorists/freedom fighters is countless, and it's not just the US that decides arbitrarily who the good and the bad guys are. Every country does. Does that mean that were are all terrorist lovers?

Rather than inflame various sides with every news report by pointing out the obvious - that Hamas the Palestinians and the Israelis both employ repressive and terroristic tactics in what is a circle of violence, Reuters aims for a more neutral tone. It doesn't mean they don't believe anyone is a terrorist, but rather recognise that use of emotive terms in a highly emotive conflict neither furthers the debate nor promotes good journalism.

Posted by: Ben at August 2, 2003 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Ben

The Mujahideen, to my knowledge, weren't going around blowing up innocent, non-combatant children when the US was supporting their efforts to drive the Soviets from Afghanistan.

And the Israelis, now, aren't intentionally targeting women and children in hopes of causing a maximum number of casualties.

The tactics are the defining characteristic here, and any objective observer can see when one side aims for maximum-casualties, maximum-terror of noncombatants (Hamas, Fatah, IRA) and the tactics of a military (IDF).

The two kinds of groups are not morally equivalent, and attempts to relativize the word "terrorist" out of existence is disingenuous.

Something tells me that if Reuters were to cover the firebombing of an abortion clinic, the story wouldn't be about a case of "pro-life 'militancy'".

Posted by: CleverNameHere at August 2, 2003 03:46 PM | PERMALINK

It's actually rather increadible how Glenn exposed liberal fallacies. They're more obsessed with race than one could ever expect. Glenn exposes Reuter's bias regarding Al-Queda, but he's called a racist, because Al-Queda members (apart from Dean supporter John Walker Lindh) have brown skin color. Also, apart from Robert Byrd and Al Gore Sr., who would describe the Klu Klux Klan as as freedom fighters? Anybody? Certainly not Reuters or the BBC.

Look. Just pretend that Al-Queda is composed of white Christians that drive SUVs and then liberals will be inclined to call them terrorists.

Posted by: Arunabha at August 2, 2003 07:40 PM | PERMALINK

Shouldn't showing one's opposition to racism show, well, opposition to racism? So how exactly does mocking Reuters' racism a demonstration of racism on Glenn's part? I think you guys just made yourselves either a bunch of idiots or a bunch of hardcore anti-Glenn ideologues or both.

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