Wednesday, June 18, 2008

As'ad AbuKhalil...

and Sinan Antoon, [not Charlie Rose] 

or Josh Marshall and Matthew Yglesias?

Tell me it's a hard choice.
Just to make it harder I'll add in Henry Farrell and Dan Drezner.

Watch them all as performance. It's not that Marshall, Farrell et al. are unaware of being on stage; self-consciousness is the baseline. But for all of them self-consciousness is connected to the fact that they're posing for and with their friends—literally "narrowcasting" their opinions to a small community—and the poses and the friendships are more important than the issues being discussed. They may as well be apes picking lice out of each others' fur. But unaware that social roles are constitutive, for them as well as others, they imagine themselves very serious people. Turn the sound down and watch. Then compare any of them to Antoon and AbuKhalil.

We pay lawyers to be biased. A self-important press is not an engaged one. Claims to objectivity become the rhetoric of narcissism.

"And for the record (don't post this), Yglesias as an individual has a great, self-aware sense of humor
and is much more starkly honest (if also unapologetic) about his own elitism
than most liberals. Take him out for a beer and I think you'd find that."

And Marshall and Yglesias started out pro-war.

Marshall in Salon, Nov 11, 2002.  "Democrats: Wrong in Iraq: The opposition party not only failed to articulate a good case against war -- it ducked the hard question of what to do about a dangerous dictator."

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