Believe it or not, I’m pretty proud of the level of discourse on this blog. I don’t always agree with everyone but there are many people here — both on the FP and in the comments — where if they say something I don’t agree with, I try to read their arguments carefully to see what they’re getting at. What higher praise can there be?
(Just as an aside, I’m also proud of the diversity of the BJ community. It’s definitely informed how I see a lot of issues and I don’t think someone like Freddie would spend so much time mansplaining to women and defending Donald Sterling if he wrote for a more diverse audience.)
But the rest of the world is mostly not this way. Example: Jeffrey Goldberg says that if the NYT decided not to run Mike Kinsley’s sophomoric review of Greenwald’s book, that would be censorship on the same level as not running stories on Snowden’s NSA revelations.
.@JeffreyGoldberg One writer defends prior restraint. Another argues that idea isn't up to a paper's standards. Only the latter offends you?
— Radley Balko (@radleybalko) May 28, 2014
I don’t doubt that Golberg could pull some ridiculous rationalization for this out of his ass, but there’s no way you can convince me that he’s not governed primarily by his emotion and in-group mentality on this issue. So when I say the following, yes I am serious, but I don’t necessarily mean it about many of you.
Anyway, this is why I generally recommend ignoring the so-called substance of human beings’ arguments and focusing instead on the psychology that motivates their positions.
I think the question of how seriously to take “wonkery” is an important question. There are writers I respect immensely — Elias Isquith, Jim Newell, for example — who believe that Ezra Klein’s wonk shtick is Broderism 2.0. I don’t believe this, but I see their point.