Clive Crook has always struck me as an establishment wanker, but damn:
The other day I said I thought Paul Ryan’s convention speech was politics as usual–evasions and misdirections rather than outright lies. Once, I’d have said the same thing about Romney’s speech too. I’ve changed my mind. I’m convinced that Republicans have crossed a line and are trashing the reputation politicians previously had for honesty and plain speaking. People are angry about this and I see now they’re right to be. From here on it’s zero tolerance for dishonesty wherever I see it. And I promise to amp up the indignation.
So I’ve got just one thing to say about Glenn Kessler. Fire his ass.
Of course I could criticize Kessler without calling him the filthy liar that he is. You know, exercise a little “restraint”. On the one hand, on the other hand, all that crap. But leading scholars have taught us that in politics things aren’t complicated, and when somebody builds a career on a lie, we need to say so. I try to be fair, God knows I try. Like Ezra Klein (what would we do without that impartial authority?) I strive to do justice to both sides. But here’s the thing. At some point, you can be fair, or you can seem to be fair, but not both.
When a fact is wrong, it’s not some number of Pinocchios, it’s just wrong..
I know Kessler’s a pretty good pundit–I never denied it. So what if he digs into things and his commentaries are smart. And I know calling him a brazen liar and wishing him to be set upon by ravening dogs isn’t going to open any channels of communication between us. Good. That’s just how I want it. You can be “civil” and have your nice debates, and that’s all fine and dandy if you want to be a filthy traitor in the war of ideas. But when you engage with liars, you validate their lies–lies, lies, lies–and you’re no better than they are.
Update. Now I’m worried that this is satire and I’ve been trolled.
Update. Almost certainly parody, but…honestly I was fooled by how poorly done it is. It’s clearly true that if something is wrong, it’s not some number of Pinocchios, it’s just wrong. Why mix cogent criticism of “fact checking” in with a parody rant?