Public Nuisance

Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.

The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

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Wednesday, June 05, 2002
You Can Lead a Horticulture...

Glenn Reynolds today praises a new blog dedicated to attacking Media Whores Online, suggesting that it raises serious doubts about the factual reliability of MWO.

I'll put in a link to MWO Watch because this is a blog and that's what blogs do, but I'll put it in with a warning: I've read at least 60 blogs and likely more, dozens with an aggressive right-wing tilt that I completely disagree with. I've blogrolled and/or linked to quite a number of them. But I can't recall ever seeing one less worth your time than this.

MWO Watch copies the loud, in your face attitude of MWO, but it doesn't copy their interest in actual facts. It prefers insults and sneers to troubling exercises like research.

Of the articles presently on the site, the top one attacks an article in Salon written by Jean-Charles Brisard apparently suggesting links (I don't have a Salon subscription, so I can't see the full article) between pipeline negotiations with the Taliban, the 9/11 attacks, and the attack on Afghanistan. To refute this claim, they cite a Nation article by David Corn which does have a few paragraphs challenging Brisard's accuracy, but is primarily concerned with debunking the entirely different 9/11 conspiracy theory that the US government ignored specific, detailed prior knowledge of the attacks. MWO Watch also mentions the crackpot theory that there was no Pentagon crash, just to associate the people they're criticizing with an obviously nutty claim that they have never endorsed. The link of all this to MWO is that "the Horse will go nuts over this later today, I'm sure."

The next item criticizes MWO for using the term 'fathead' for Rush Limbaugh, saying, "MHO desperately hangs onto their ad hominem attack... Or, you know, you could criticize people based on the merits of their arguments."

The third shows the MWO Watch watchdogs following their own advice with their critics: "Hey guys, when you stop sniffing your fingers after having them up your rear end, try and actually thing[sic] of something original to say "

To support Glenn's claim that they've challenged the accuracy of MWO, they put up a link to what they themselves cite as their best proof that MWO is unreliable. It's an article on the Florida 2000 mess that brings nothing new to the table

I could convert this blog to only arguments about the Florida election/recount and have enough items to go on blogging for months. But it's a dead issue, and I wouldn't convince a single person who disagrees with my take on it; pretty fast I wouldn't be read by one. So I won't go there. I'll just say that the MWO Watch article on the topic will convince you if you already believe that Bush's 'election' was clean, it won't if you don't. And if you followed the controversy closely from either side, it will tell you nothing you don't already know.

It doesn't prove that MWO is unreliable about facts, only that there is a vast chasm between the interpretation of the Florida recount as seen by highly partisan Republicans and highly partisan Democrats. And at least some Republicans assume that anyone who doesn't see things their way is deliberately lying. None of this is news.

I feel pretty confident that I could turn in work far better than the junk on MWO Watch to Professor Reynolds and in return, get a shining new 'F' along with a firmly-worded recommendation that if I'm really determined to follow a career related to law, I should look into current openings in the highly competitive courthouse janitor job market. Obviously the standards for a blog and a law school paper aren't the same, but good writing and good argument are reasonably constant factors whatever the medium. Since the Instapundit endorsement is probably the most influential in the blogosphere, it should be reserved for more worthwhile material than this.