Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wanker of the Day

Jon Chait:

Relatedly, Jon Chait got very upset yesterday with some people for attacking TNR's defense of Coulter. He singled out Atrios, my TAPPED colleague Charles P. Pierce, and other "partisan hysterics," saying: "They cannot imagine the notion of measuring a piece by any criteria other than ideological correctness." Chait almost certainly knows that this is false. But he wrote it anyway, probably because he'd fallen in love with his own loathsome "ideological correctness" formulation, and couldn't bear to part with it.

The obvious truth is that the objections to the TNR piece were mainly substantive, not ideological. Pierce, for instance, specifically faulted the piece for saying that it's "a little absurd to hold up a person as an expert judge of the 9/11 Commission Report...just because she lost a loved one," when in fact the "Jersey Girls" are held up as experts on 9/11 because, well, they are experts on it. Again, that's a substantive objection, not an ideological one. What's more, Pierce also linked to another piece making a long and detailed substantive case against the TNR defense of Coulter. Why Chait felt the need to mischaracterize the arguments against his mag's piece is beyond me, but he no doubt had his reasons.