Tuesday, September 14, 2004

This is the Smart Side of the Left?

Last time I went to Keegan's, I spoke to a number of other bloggers and blog readers, and when asked, pretty much all of them told me Matthew Yglesias is a good example of an intelligent, reasonable lefty blogger.

I've kept an eye on his site on occasion as a result, and today he comes up with this little gem:

I'm not quite sure I grasp all the blogosphere triumphalism surrounding the Killian memos. After CBS ran the story, the conservative side of the 'sphere came up with dozens of purported debunkings of their authenticity, almost all of which turned out to be more purported than debunking. Then after a few days of back-and-forth, traditional reporters at The Washington Post came out with a more careful, more accurate, more actually-debunking story. The folks at PowerLine and LGF are, at best, Gettier cases, they didn't do any of the actual debunking. Instead, it was done by reporters working for major papers. And good for them. And shame on CBS. But I don't really see what the blogs had to do with it.


This is their smart guy? Not smart enough to click a link apparently. If he was he would have discovered a couple of things:

A. The blogosphere uncovered everything the WaPo did with both greater speed and in greater detail.
B. The WaPo ignored a large number of additional experts, examples, and evidence which are readily available in the blogosphere.

So the "smart" leftist:

A. isn't smart enough to follow the links (which are all over the place, and if he started with Powerline and LGF he'd find all of them).
B. Isn't smart enough to understand what he reads, or ...
C. He's pulling a tiny "Rather" of his own, and pretending to be more gullible than he actually is. That makes his bias plausibly deniable.

I suppose being willing to admit the memos are fake does put him head and shoulders above the vast majority of his left-partisan fellowship. But he just can't quite bring himself to embrace the whole truth.

Smart, reasonable leftist? Maybe so. But seems like "leftist" and "honest" are still rather difficult to capture in a single fellow these days. I should have made my criteria more clear when I asked around at Keegan's.

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