Thursday, June 18, 2009

Conor Friedersdorf: Small-Minded Narcissist

I'd be charitable to say that Conor Freidersdorf's comment at my post last night was "odd." To say it was "egocentric" would be closer to the mark, and "narcissistic" also comes to mind.

The post was about the debate on the right between traditionalists and those who I've identified as neoclassical conservatives, or "
neoclassicons." I mentioned Friederdorf and his debate with Dan Riehl. The exchange has been covered at The Other McCain. But the Friederdorf/Riehl debate was simply a pointer to the larger schism that's been roiling the conservative waters since at least the election of President Obama.

But Friederdorf wants folks to make it
all about him:
I haven't any desire to purge social conservatives. I spent 14 years attending a religious private school ... I mean, how inaccurate! In a post ostensibly about me, you get most of your facts wrong, and spend most of your time talking about Andrew Sullivan.
Oh, poor, poor baby!

Actually, no, I don't get the facts wrong, Mr. Friedersdorf.

The post isn't "ostensibly" about you. And indeed, as for Andrew Sullivan, my point is precisely that we have a clique of Sullivan myrmidons that's emerged from various perspectives on the postmodern right - folks who I've loosely lumped together as neoclassicons. But it's by no means just you. So, once more, I'm struck by how you think its "odd" that I wrote primarily about Sullivan! You tender little attention-whore! "Oh, Dr. Douglas, you nasty!" You spent "most of your time talking about Andrew Sullivan." How dare you, you cad!

And, of course, the facts in question aren't wrong. At your original post I cited weeks ago, "
A Question for War on Terror Hawks," you assert moral equivalencies between a lone U.S. murder suspect and the untold number of violent jihadists within the global terrorist network - including many, of course, who were captured on the battlefield and held as enemy combatants in a real war on terrorism. Your post, as it proposes partisan payback for the robust anti-terror policies of the Bush years, basically endorses an Obama administration policy of declaring domestic anti-abortion terrorists as identical enemy combatants; you also deploy taunting language in saying, "I wonder how 'War on Terror Hawks' would react" if President Obama had the "prerogative to order the waterboarding of the uncharged, untried detainees." The scenario is not simply a hypothetical. It's transparent advocacy in furtherance of ideological retribution. Most of all, your post is dishonest hackery, and your defense of it is peurile idiocy.

And that brings me to something else: It turns out that Dan Riehl points to
your underhanded attack on Mark Levin and conservative talk radio. Interesting how Dan refuses to mention you by name, better not to besmirch his page it turns out:
While many people may have taken exception to some of Andrew Sullivan's Palin posting at The Atlantic in the past, I find it somewhat troubling that they would hire a blogger who seems to have a serious problem understanding blog ethics, if not journalistic ethics, as well. Frankly, this is unethical and lazy blogging at its worst. So much so, one almost wonders if it isn't by design.

Their newbie blogger has spent the last two days presenting extremely small snippets of text to represent Mark Levin's broadcasts, almost to the point of obsession - see
here and here. Along with being unethical, this makes no sense.

He links to Talk Radio authorities, David Frum and copiously back to himself. I thought blogging was about both documenting one's source material - and sharing same with your reader whenever possible? ....

It isn't simply unethical, it's poor blogging and bad etiquette, to boot. Assuming they are paying this guy money for his blogging, one would think an organization such as The Atlantic could do much better than that.
It's my hunch that the endless attacks on Mark Levin are not just about "improving" talk radio. They're about "improving" (purging) right-wing ideology - which you allege is a system that's "damaging to public discourse" - in favor of Sullivan-styled neoclassical conservatism (which, don't forget, is really a euphemism for the right's postmodern program of marching with leftists on social issues, civil liberties, and foreign policy). So, yes, Mr. Friederdorf, you are attacking social conservatives. These are exactly the "Rovians" and "theocrats" that you and the neoclassicals are out to destroy.

God have mercy on your soul, son.

P.S. Don't miss Jimmie at Sundries Shack as well, "Conor Freidersdorf is Not Ready to Take on Mark Levin."


Conor Friedersdorf said...


It's quite a paranoid theory you've developed. But it is unsupported by any evidence. Should you take the time to converse with me like a gentleman, I'll happily engage your substantive arguments, and I think you'll find that your wrongheaded assumptions about me will change.

Or you could keep engaging in juvenile ad hominem attacks. But what's the point of that?

JBW said...

Appreciated the shout out at my place, Philippe.

Conor, have you read Don's stuff at all? Good luck wringing gentlemanly conversation and substantive arguments from this site.

And now, of course, I'm a nihilist troll for having said this...

repsac3 said...

"And now, of course, I'm a nihilist troll for having said this..."

But of course, so is Conor, more'n'likely, so it really doesn't matter.

I have no dog in this fight--and I'll admit that there's a part of me that enjoys watching the right fracture like this (shades of that "enemy of my enemy" thinkin' perhaps)--but I have to say that these "neoclassicons" that Dr. Douglas is on about do tend to be a whole lot less personally vicious to the people with whom they disagree, both in & out of their chosen ideological cohort, than the good professor's bunch. That in itself, says something...

(To many here, probably, it says they're pussies, just like President Obama, & the rest o/ them nihilst, bareback lovin', licentious liberals... But to the extent that that's true, it's just further example(s) of what I'm sayin'.)

I don't know about who is & isn't a neocon, but 'round here, the real slogan is, "They're all pussies and nihilsts now."