Tuesday, November 22, 2011

WHY ARE YOU MURDERING YOURSELF? James Fallows is appropriately outraged at the police violence at some Occupy sites. Here's how James Taranto plays it at the Wall Street Journal:
Fallows sees the Davis incident as a political boon for Obamaville...
This Occupy moment is not going to end any time soon. That is not just because of the underlying 99%-1% tensions but also because of police response of this sort--and because there have been so many similar videos coming from cities across the country.
Read the Fallows piece, or even Taranto's quote from it, and you'll see immediately how tendentious this interpretation is. But it doesn't stop there:
What Fallows is predicting--perhaps hoping for--
Oh Jesus Christ.
...is what PJMedia.com blogger "Zombie" calls a "Kent State moment." Kent State is the Ohio university where, in 1970, National Guardsmen fired their rifles at a mob of rioting student-protesters, killing four. "Why would these left-leaning pundits and activists hope for fatalities amongst the protesters?" Zombie asks rhetorically:
But that's not what they're hoping for. . . . When a leftist hears the words "Kent State," the immediate association is that fateful day when the media published an iconic photograph of an anti-war martyr that was the final tipping point that convinced the majority of Americans to oppose the war.
But wait. Let's say, heaven forbid, that the Obamavillians get their "Kent State moment"...
So, building from a bogus premise, Taranto gets another wingnut to say that "leftists" want a "Kent State moment," and then attributes the sentiment to the "Obamavillains."

And then he just keeps running with it: "if Fallows and other bien-pensant pundits think the Obamavillians will advance politically by seeking confrontation with the police..." and "If the American public has any sympathy at all for the Obamavillians, there is no surer way of squandering it than to follow Fallows's advice and pursue a strategy of confronting the police."

I know they try to fool their readers, but it's something to see one of them doing it in a major newspaper so badly, so transparently, and with so little hope of success. Do they even believe they have normal readers anymore, or is Taranto just hoping Jonah Goldberg will send him a nice note? And does Murdoch -- oh, hell, we all know what he thinks.

The blogging thing really has been a net loss for journalism; the race to the bottom has run so deep that we now have Wall Street Journal writers publishing stuff that would make Jeff Goldstein think of trying a second draft.

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