Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Dog Bites Man

Eugene Volokh, to his credit, notices that the Moonies, David Horowitz, and their usual followers (gasp!) misquoted Cynthia McKinney and wonders why nobody got too excited about it. Well I think Mark Kleiman is right:

I would offer a different explanation, which I know to be correct in my case: the story wasn't unimportant, but it wasn't surprising either. My eighth-grade journalism teacher taught me that a dog biting a man isn't news; it's only news if a man bites a dog. Lying by David Horowitz and the Washington Times seems to me so routine as to hardly be worth any comment. (In my particular case there were the further considerations that I had nothing to add to the story -- except to say, for the thousandth time, that Eugene is a sterling fellow and much too good for the political company he keeps -- and that I assume that most of my readers check the Volokh site routinely.)

I would have thought that the natural interest in this story would be on the right side of the blogosphere, where the revelation of lying by the semi-official organ of the Washington Republican establishment might be expected to seem surprising. That means that the silence on the right is what calls for an explanation. One possibility is that Eugene's concern for truth-telling and willingness to call a foul against his own side aren't widely shared on the right.

The Moonie Times and the rest of the right wing press regularly lies, misquotes, and smears various Democrats. When the Big Cynthia McKinney Controversy came out awhile back, she was also being misrepresented and/or misquoted (it was possible to take issue with what she did say, but even that was being twisted). There are a steady stream of lies coming out of the right wing press, and the SCLM (see Howie below), and a smear like this is normal. Noticing that they're lying is like noticing water is wet, and McKinney, as a former Congresswomen, just isn't worth making a fuss about.

David Horowitz is a bomb-throwing propagandist. The Moonie Times houses neo-confederate revisionist bigots, as well as a steady stream of garden variety homophobes. The National Review keeps cute Uncle Derbyshire, proud unapologetic racist, around to push his 'racial realist' pals.

It should be a total embarassment to the respectable Right. If they gave a crap.