Paging DougJ, Master Better

DougJ, last week, in a thread on the attacks on the Frost family:

Anyone want to bet that Howie Kurtz defends this?

I responded:

There is no way I would touch that bet, not even with Graeme Frost’s billions.

Howard Kurtz, today, in an online chat:

Howard Kurtz: Libel and slander laws only come into play when you say something that is both inaccurate and damaging about someone. Whether or not the Frost family should be considered too well-off to qualify for federal health benefits doesn’t seem to fall in that category. When the parents agreed to make their son available to the Democratic Party as a spokesman for the program, surely they must have expected that their financial situation would become part of the debate. I am not, for the record, in favor of beating up on 12-year-old boys, but the family did willingly step into the political arena.

And no, I am not apologizing for the title of this post.

44 replies
  1. 1
    capelza says:

    Careful, that title could keep you off Southwest Airlines!

    Jesus..what part of crazy, stalker shit are these people defending?

  2. 2
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    Howard Kurtz is on Tucker Carlson’s show as I type. “Dumb and Dumber.”

  3. 3
    DougJ says:

    Even I didn’t think Kurtz would be this pathetic. I thought his defense would be more wishy washy.

  4. 4
    laneman says:

    Jesus..what part of crazy, stalker shit are these people defending?

    the normal curve is the the extreme asymptote. there is no longer any rational explanation.

  5. 5
    Krista says:

    When the parents agreed to make their son available to the Democratic Party as a spokesman for the program, surely they must have expected that their financial situation would become part of the debate the right, instead of actually debating the merits of SCHIP, would develop wild and uninformed speculations about a family with two injured children, resulting in thinly veiled accusations of fraud..

    Fixed for (depressing) accuracy.

  6. 6
    Ben says:

    Wow,
    He’s the glenn reynolds of “real” journalism. Link en mass, but don’t “approve” of anything you link to.

  7. 7
    Punchy says:

    Wanna apologize for not knowing how to freakin’ spell “bettor”, college professor? :)

  8. 8
  9. 9
    KCinDC says:

    Calm down, Punchy. Variants are not errors.

  10. 10
    jnfr says:

    QandO’s argument in that link makes no sense, Paul L., since hte Graeme’s also qualify under the present program, not under the expansion.

  11. 11
    RSA says:

    Only in wingnut world can the identification of one more family benefited by SCHIP be viewed as a strategic shift by the Democrats. Guess what? I’d bet there are three or perhaps even more families whose children have benefited.

  12. 12
    Jess says:

    I was just skimming through a book one my colleagues wrote on ethnic cleansing in modern Europe, and the rising tide of paranoia, sense of victimhood and betrayal, and hate directed towards the “enemy within”–i.e. your neighbors, co-workers, the parents of the kids your kids play with, etc.–leading up to such events that he describes is depressingly and frighteningly familiar. I’m hoping this is just the “last throes” of wingnut insanity, but the complicity of the MSM in all of this is pretty darn scary.

  13. 13
    Paul L. says:

    Pasted wrong link
    Here is the “swiftboating”of the progressive blogs.
    SCHIP histrionics

  14. 14
    ChrisO says:

    Jess, you’re not wrong. The same phenomenon happened in Serbia, Croatia and especially Bosnia, and we all saw where that led. And in that vein, take a look at this exceptionally deranged piece from RedState (was John Cole really a member of that crew once??) which drips with eliminationist sentiment:

    “In light of Erick’s recent (very fine) post, here is a potential strategy by which to recapture GOP unity:

    We should: (1) Shift the focus of what is called the war on terror, beginning with public rhetoric, toward the domestic front; take heed of the subversives and saboteurs in our midst; strike at them without apology.

    We’ve been here before. There’s even a term for it – Nacht und Nebel. Ask not for whom the oven doors clang – they clang for thee…

  15. 15
    Peter Johnson says:

    From qando:

    Now, I certainly would condemn any violent or vile rhetoric used against a kid, but that’s not really much of what Ezra and others describe. Most of what they describe is not vile at all. It’s pretty hard to see what’s wrong – much less “unAmerican”, “fascism”, “inhumanity”, and “soullessness” – with investigating a claim made publicly and for political reasons by the Democrats.

    One might very reasonably argue that children should be off-limits. I’d be sympathetic to that argument…but not from people who used the child in the first place.

    I also note with some amusement that Lefties defend their initial use of the kid by pointing out that Republicans brought out a kid to help sell the Social Security in 2005. Joan Walsh claims “Atrios notes that nobody went after nine-year-old Noah McCullough when Bush made him a poster boy for privatizing Social Security.”

    Well, funny you bring that up, because that’s not the way I recall it. There was…

    * Jesus’ General and TBogg, who made sexual references to the kid…

    * Kewpie, who called him “a budding young fascist” and “dumb”…

    * DadaHead, who said the kid was “in desperate need of a good ass-kicking…”

    * Democratic Underground, where commenters wrote quite a lot of things that I don’t care to reprint…

    * Salon’s What Would Dick Think, Daily Kos and Atrios, who called the kid “Cousin Oliver”

    * And, at Ezra Klein’s own blog, Melissa McEwan said his appearance was “indicative of a desperation reserved for policy proposals that are ready for the graveyard”…

    But other than that, they didn’t go after him at all.

  16. 16
    whippoorwill says:

    Jess say

    but the complicity of the MSM in all of this is pretty darn scary.

    A free unobstucted press is what holds this country and probably most democratic countries together. I think it was Jefferson who said something like he’d rather have a free press than a standing army.

    Right now all of the major news outlets, save a few ie..NYT’
    s, are owned by mega corporations dominated by republican ideals, and they’re currently working hard to corral the internet. Control the message, control the agenda and ultimately the levers of government.

    But, then again, maybe I’m a paranoid victim of betrayal. hee haw.

  17. 17
    Marc says:

    Keep stamping your little feet, Peter Johnson. It’s ADORABLE!

  18. 18
    whippoorwill says:

    * DadaHead, who said the kid was “in desperate need of a good ass-kicking…”

    Come on Johnson, everyone knows Dadahead is just a head and can’t kick anyones ass. Have you ever seen a head kick an ass. that’s what I thought. Even Dadahead himself admits this.

    I hear this entire operation with the 9 year old was dreamed up by a Tom Delay staffer. The same people who thought Stephen Colbert was a real conservative. Get a hold of yourself man and get better spoofer stuff.

  19. 19

    Stupid as hell, Peter Johnson.

    Criticism and mockery isn’t stalking and the personal attacks on the kid’s family that we saw from the right.

    Which is worse? Atrios calling a kid “Cousin Oliver” (assuming your quote is accurate, which is rather a huge assumption to make) or Malkin stalking the family?

    Make better excuses.

  20. 20
    John S. says:

    Shorter Paul L. (and his brother Peter):

    LIBERALS DID IT TOO!!

    If only there were a way to blame Clinton for all this…

  21. 21
    jake says:

    Shorter Howie Krutz: I’m a big ol’ puss.

    I am not, for the record, in favor of beating up on 12-year-old boys, but the family did willingly step into the political arena.

    How Biblical. The sins of the father etc. Beating up on 12 year olds is wrong but if mommy and daddy are foolish enough to stand up for something they believe is right, Stalkin Malkin has the right to run amok biting every ankle she can get her fangs into.

    We should: (1) Shift the focus of what is called the war on terror, beginning with public rhetoric, toward the domestic front; take heed of the subversives and saboteurs in our midst; strike snipe at them without apology as we tear into another bag of Cheetos.

    Fixed.

    These guys get funnier by the nanosecond. Do they really imagine Strike by FrIGHTIN KEYBOARDIST ranks above Direct Hit by Meteorite While Being Mauled by Sasquatch on anyone’s AnxietyMeter?

  22. 22
    Jon H says:

    The GOP is just looking for a Beer Hall. Then it’ll really get things rolling.

  23. 23
    jcricket says:

    I’d bet there are three or perhaps even more families whose children have

    These days a Republican admitting that the government can help people, and in some cases is the “right answer” to the problem, would be tantamount to a devout Christian denying the divinity of Christ (religious metaphor on purpose).

    Remember, “Government is always the problem, never the solution.” or the whole “most dangerous words in the english language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help'” or “drown the government in a bathtub”.

    This is the fundamental flaw in the Republican party. They have whole-heartedly embraced the idea that the very government they participate in is incapable of doing good. And they do a very good job of proving themselves right when they’re in charge, don’t they.

  24. 24
    borehole says:

    I still can’t believe that guy is considered the nation’s ombudsman. If Kurtz was my plumber, and we got to talking about the news media, I would think, “wow, for a plumber, this guy’s pretty fucking stupid about the news media.”

  25. 25

    Unfortunately, there’s a gap between what’s fair and decent, and what is legally permissible. In a strictly legal sense, Kurtz is right. The Frosts’ beneficiary status is a matter of public record. Their agreement to let their son participate in publicizing the need for SCHIP put him and them in the public eye.

    Saying that doesn’t detract one iota from how despicable it was of a lard-ass pill junkie with a microphone, a shrew and an oozing pus pocket of a Senate leader to go after them in a vicious and dishonest way.

    Interesting side note. I went looking for hard-news stories on this outrage at Yahoo! News a few days ago. I was amazed at the lack of mainstream wire service and/or newspapers’ stories. Lots of blog posts, a good Baltimore Sun story and almost nothing else.

    That’s what Kurtz ought to be writing about.

  26. 26
    whippoorwill says:

    s.w. Anderson says

    nteresting side note. I went looking for hard-news stories on this outrage at Yahoo! News a few days ago. I was amazed at the lack of mainstream wire service and/or newspapers’ stories. Lots of blog posts, a good Baltimore Sun story and almost nothing else.

    I checked this out too, and not a peep from the major network news services. And yet Mitch McConnell’s office stated they were glad they didn’t pursue it. MMmmmm, wonder what made republicans change their minds when they were getting ready climb onto this horse when there was silence from the MSM. Could it be… naw.

  27. 27

    That’s out of bounds, SW Anderson. Don’t do that here, or anywhere.

  28. 28
    Peter Johnson says:

    I still can’t believe that guy is considered the nation’s ombudsman.

    Kurtz is not an ombudsman for the Post. He is the media critic.

    Maybe get your facts right next time before attacking one of the few guys in national media who isn’t a card-carrying liberal.

  29. 29
    whippoorwill says:

    From NY Magazine

    We guess Michelle Malkin won’t be coming to town to guest-host for Bill O’Reilly anymore. She just quit forever, after a three-way conservative-pundit street fight that has left our minds reeling a little bit.

    Michelle take ball go home.

  30. 30
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Interesting, is it not, that Qando manages to dredge up quite a few individual commenters that insulted Bush’s own Social Security Kid personally (as there are always a small number of fruitcake commenters in any ideology who are willing to do such things), but not a single actual political blogger who did so — or who accused his parents of deliberate fraud? (Note, for instance, that all Melissa McEwen did in her 2-26-05 comment was to point out that the White House was actually shipping the kid around all over the country to present him — or his parents — as an “expert” on Social Security policy.)

    In connection with that last point, let us keep our eye on the sparrow here. The outrage about Malkin’s mob is not that they accused Graeme Frost’s parents of dishonesty — it’s that they did so as a result of ridiculously hasty and inaccurate “investigation”. (As Hilzoy pointed out on “Obsidian Wings”, they never even bothered to ask tiny questions such as whether the Frost’s kids might have gotten into that school on scholarships, or whether their house might be mortaged.)

    Presumably we’re going to have to put up with such premature screechings for as long as Internet political bloggers exist — that is, forever from now on — but that’s just another reason to conclude that the Big Press has some reason to exist after all: they filter out the more obvious twaddle generated by political bloggers before it can spread very far. Which is why not one American in 50 has probably even heard about the Graeme Frost “controversy”, or ever will. I think the real major lesson to be derived from L’Affaire Frost is that political bloggers in general still tend to ridiculously overestimate their own importance.

  31. 31
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    EXTRA! Exactly one of the bloggers that Qando linked to — namely, Kewpie — DID insult the kid outrageously. “DadaHead’s” tongue was so far in his cheek in his entry that its tip could be seen waggling out of his nostril (I mean, “He’s in need of a good ass-kicking becaues he’s visited the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library 27 times”?), and not one of the others insulted either the kid or his parents at all. (Qando’s accusation that Jesus’ General and TBogg “made sexual references to him” is particularly hilarious when you read what they actually said.)

  32. 32
    The Other Steve says:

    And in that vein, take a look at this exceptionally deranged piece from RedState (was John Cole really a member of that crew once??) which drips with eliminationist sentiment:

    I didn’t quite understand that piece. The initial part about how the Swiss are talking about banning the practice of islam is interesting.

    I’m curious if the poster understands that Switzerland is wholeheartedly a Christian nation.

    If one has any doubts, look at the cross on their flag.

  33. 33
    The Other Steve says:

    I’m generally amazed at how utterly stupid Kurtz is. I don’t even understand the purpose of this answer.

  34. 34
    John's Minions says:

    Against DougJ, bugger! That would have been a bitter bet against a better bettor, and blowing a better bettor’s bitter bet is bitter batter indeed. I say we butter up the better bettor, banish the bitter batter and make or debaters badder and bigger!

  35. 35
    John's Minions says:

    or = our

    Crud. So much for being english nerds.

  36. 36
    Mr. M'Choakumchild says:

    Don’t bother pursuing a link into QandO territory. Utter, complete, and pure dishonesty is the norm there.

  37. 37
    merlallen says:

    Liberals have cards?

  38. 38
    grandpa john says:

    Liberals have cards?

    Yeah just another archaic reference back to the wingnuts era of time most want to bring back, the golden age of McCarthyism when ever liberal was supposed to be a card carrying member of the communist party
    Part of the joy of conservatism is being able to consistently live 50 years in the past

  39. 39
    Paul L. says:

    Bruce Moomaw Says:
    Qando’s accusation that Jesus’ General and TBogg “made sexual references to him” is particularly hilarious when you read what they actually said.)

    Tbogg

    On the other hand we look forward to Noah’s first press conference when Jeff Gannon asks him:

    “Noah. As you seem less divorced from reality than the Democrats regarding Social Security, I was wondering: have you ever seen a grown man naked?”

    Don’t bother pursuing a link into QandO territory. Utter, complete, and pure dishonesty is the norm there.

    I am guessing the blogs such as Crooks and Liars, Firedoglake, Juan Cole and the fem-blogs who delete comments that disagree with them are your paragons of honesty.

  40. 40
    Andrew says:

    Kurtz is not an ombudsman for the Post. He is the media critic.

    Maybe get your facts right next time before attacking one of the few guys in national media who isn’t a card-carrying liberal.

    Not only is Peter Johnson annoying, he’s also quite stupid.

    We all know that the utterly useless Lil Debbie is the WaPo ombud. But as the most prominent media “critic” in the country, Kurtz is widely seen as the nation’s ombudsman.

  41. 41
    Dreggas says:

    Paul L.,

    C’mon man even you aren’t dumb enough to not get the reference in TBogg’s post. Or are you?

  42. 42
    Jess says:

    On the other hand we look forward to Noah’s first press conference when Jeff Gannon asks him:

    “Noah. As you seem less divorced from reality than the Democrats regarding Social Security, I was wondering: have you ever seen a grown man naked?”

    Paul, you’re right! That is pretty damn funny!

    Oh, wait…you were the one trying to take it seriously. Never mind.

    (I hate the tedious exercise of explaining jokes, but this was a dis on the GOP, not the kid–get a clue, dude!)

  43. 43
    Tax Analyst says:

    Peter Johnson Says:

    Kurtz is not an ombudsman for the Post. He is the media critic.

    Maybe get your facts right next time before attacking one of the few guys in national media who isn’t a card-carrying liberal

    Does anyone out there where I can get my “Liberal Card” renewed? I didn’t think I really needed it anymore, but I’d like to have something to categorically state and separate me from the Peter Johnson’s of the world.

    What a MOH-RON…

  44. 44
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    “C’mon, man, even you aren’t dumb enough to not get the reference in TBogg’s post. Or are you?”

    Well, yes, he is.

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