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Intellectual Honesty

Many sites have commented on Mark Byron's bizarre fantasy post about a right wing justice force assassinating Democratic Senators in states with Republican governors.

John Hawkins at Right Wing News had the first notice I saw. I agree with his conclusion:

In short, Byron's post isn't a joke and it doesn't appear to be a "just off the top of his head," controversialist quip either. To the contrary, this sinister post looks to be something Byron spent a lot of time thinking about & planning which makes me suspect that he's a deeply troubled individual. Political opinions are one thing, but not so subtly suggesting that your political enemies be annihilated is another indeed.
My first impressions upon reading Byron's post was an immediate sense of deja vu. Earlier in the week there was this Ted Rall piece. There is no substantive difference between the two.

In my book it's intellectually dishonest to condemn one and not the other. Ideologically they may be polar opposites, but the rationales that supporters of each are using to defend the author (the "they didn't really mean it" defense) don't hold water unless the supporter applies it to BOTH. Fat chance of that happening...


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Comments (4)

Oh, for christ's sake. His ... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Oh, for christ's sake. His whole post is just semi-plagarism. The scenario he's talking about is basically the plot (very broad strokes) from a, very bad, Vince Flynn book called Term Limits.

Here's the book

Kevin,Your assertion... (Below threshold)

Kevin,
Your assertion makes no sense. Rall didn't offer any caveats or denials in his actual piece while Mark explicitly denied advocating what he was thinking about (however weekly and unclearly). What you and John are saying is that Mark's words don't mean anything unless I think they are good enough. Criticise the wisdom of the post all you want but to equate the post with advocating what he clearly has rejected is just plain dishonest.

Ted Rall didn't need caveat... (Below threshold)

Ted Rall didn't need caveats because it is obvious that he is not a commander in the insurgency force on the ground in Iraq***.

I found Bryon's denials to be more confusing and distracting than enlightening. Pehaps had he just marked the piece as fiction and gone with the post no one would have noticed (or cared). Had he just published with the fake byline, it still would have been vile, but it would have lined up pretty well with Ralls.

I take the stance that both were misguided, but I will defend both of their rights to make such posts. I still believe you cannot make a case against one of the two without including the other.

*** - At least until evidence to the contrary is found :-).

Umm ... "Turner Diaries" an... (Below threshold)

Umm ... "Turner Diaries" anyone?




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