December 26, 2004

Splendid debunking!

Powerline has posted a devastating piece, a classic don't-miss blogpost tearing apart a Tom Friedman column...

"So what is the common denominator of all these news stories? Wait, wait, don't tell me. I want to tell you. The common denominator is a country with a totally contradictory and messed-up set of priorities."
There is a fundamental problem, however, with Friedman's attempt to show that our national priorities are wrong. The news stories he cites are largely either false, or mischaracterized by him. Let's take them one at a time...

Friedman is a guy capable of really brilliant work, but also of sinking to the depths of idiocy. This one's really the depths, quoting many news stories that I clearly remember bloggers showing to be false or misleading. And Powerline has some great graphs demolishing the notion that we don't spend enough on education...

Friedman concludes: "If we were actually having a serious national debate, this is what we would be discussing, but alas, 9/11 has been deftly exploited to choke any debate." Actually, Tom, there is a debate going on. The New York Times just isn't part of it, because it operates at too low a level of information to be useful to knowledgeable news consumers.

How I despise the sort of people who publish their opinions in the NYT and have the gall to claim that 9/11 is being used to "choke off debate." Conjuring up this image of coarse backwoods conservatives wrapped in flags bullyragging some sensitive plant who dares to suggest that our children need an education instead of being whipped to drive the devils out of them...

Pathetic. And one hears so much of it. I bet if you took all of the 60 or so anti-Bush books that were cluttering up bookstores only last October (and are probably now migrating towards the bargain tables) every damn one of them would include complaints about how dissent has been suppressed because of 9/11. Snivelers.

Same for the people who say we should have a "national debate" on such and such. Invariably the subject is in fact already being debated vigorously, and their side is turning out to not have much of a case.

Posted by John Weidner at December 26, 2004 8:18 PM
Weblog by John Weidner