Friday, May 05, 2006


Finally! Proof that "Truth" = "Liberal Bias"

Worst. "Debunking". Ever.

Another one of those Bozell-lite critics of the dread Liberal EMM ESS EMM tries to turn this WaPo article noting the egregious flip-flop involved in Bush's recent demagogic rhetoric about the national anthem , with even more embarrassing results than usual for such an outfit. What exactly is the evidence that pointing out the comically transparent inconsistency of Bush's recent claims that makes the WaPo a liberal newspaper? It all comes back, of course, to the Clenis:

Do we have any doubt that when John Podesta was Clinton's Chief of Staff aide in the White House from 1998 through 2001, that the Washington Post wouldn't be pestering them over whether Jon Secada (or Julio Iglesias, or whoever) sang the National Anthem in Spanish at the White House?

Yes, I don't think they would. For the entirely obvious reason that Clinton never said that "I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English," and many of his prominent supporters weren't making it an issue. Graham's answer to this obvious point? "...Bush's and Rice's remarks were both drummed out of them by reporters." Oh, I see--so if the President makes an argument in response to a reporter's question, than noting its egregious inconsistency with past practices is ipso facto proof of liberal bias! (I assume that Graham also believes that this applies to "I did not have sexual relations with that woman"--after all, since it was "drummed out of him," its accuracy is completely off-limits, and newspapers who don't accept that must be "conservative!") A fascinating conception of journalism.

I have to think that this is just bad faith hackery. Nobody could possibly be this stupid.

...Amanda explains in handy chart form.

It’s really quite simple. In order for something to be considered hypocrisy, it must have two features:

  1. Claiming one thing
  2. Doing/being another

Both elements are important. You can’t just have one there and actually detect hypocrisy. Thinking that you only need one element and it’s safe to call someone a hypocrite is a painfully common wingnut mistake. Oftentimes you will see a wingnut attack a liberal for hypocrisy by detecting a behavior and feeling that is sufficient evidence without actually demonstrating that the liberal ever said he/she felt otherwise. A very recent example includes a series of wingnuts declaring that they had super-special evidence that I was a hypocrite for not being in the military. This did indeed fulfill the behavior requirement, but without the necessary stated belief that I was behaving differently from. Remember, it’s a two-point requirement.

Scott at LGM found another good example today of some wingnuts claiming that it’s no big deal if Bush had been caught singing/enjoying the national anthem in Spanish, because Clinton did it, too. This is truly confusing situation, of course, since both men have the same behavior, but the important thing is both men did not make the same claims.

President Claimed that the anthem should be sung in English?
Enjoyed/sang it in Spanish Hypocrite?
Bill Clinton
No Yes No
George W. Bush
Yes Yes Yes

As you can see from the chart, both elements have to be in place for an actual act of hypocrisy to form.

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