Patterico's Pontifications

2/28/2007

Goldstein Deflates the Bag of Hot Air That Is (Among Others) Glenn Greenwald

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:57 pm

In recent days, Jeff Goldstein has employed several wonderful turns of phrase to poke fun at the vainglorious, self-righteous entity known as Glenn Greenwald (aka Ellison, Rick Ellensburg, Thomas Ellers, and many more). I thought I’d isolate a few of them for you in this post.

First we have this:

This guy is so full of himself it’s a wonder he hasn’t knocked himself up—or at least drowned himself in a flood of him.

and, from the same post, this:

Still, give the guy some credit: his self-righteousness these days is so freakin’ pure you need to cut it with corn starch just to keep it from killing you during that first warm hit.

Here’s my favorite. It’s a little less one-linerish. But it’s incredibly well-written, and deflates this pompous ass like nothing else:

Anyway, as I’ve pointed out before, this sanctimonious, bombastic blowhard has followed Sullivan’s blueprint for success—the “conservative,” turned reluctantly by a rogue President, who is then embraced as a “brave” dissenting voice by the left, which respects his maverick individualism—and he’s making his nut with it.

But the whole thing is a sham. This guy has been a manufactured cutout from the very beginning (not just anybody made Kos’ Townhouse list for orchestrating talking point campaigns)—and that he is able to land book deals and plum gigs at Salon after having been caught sockpuppeting all over the place just goes to show that, as with Marcotte, the anti-war crowd is only concerned with whether or not you are on message. They couldn’t care less whether you are honest, or whether your emotion-packed screeds are embarrassingly shallow and rhetorically transparent. They’ll pretend otherwise, for the good of the cause.

Indeed. This is well illustrated by the fawning comments at the bottom of his latest diatribe, the hypocrisy of which I illustrate in the post immediately below.

Nice stuff, Jeff.

UPDATE: I would be remiss if I did not note Allah’s description of Greenwald:

Hypocrisy, egomania, apparent deceit, and stupendous sanctimony, all served cold in turgid, humorless prose . . .

That about sums it up, all right.

38 Responses to “Goldstein Deflates the Bag of Hot Air That Is (Among Others) Glenn Greenwald”

  1. My favorite brand of Scotch is Glengreenwald.

    Rick Ellensburg (8f4cb7)

  2. People keep bringing up his pseudonymous past. I see the humor (say, like “hey, don’t shoot someone in the face.”) But really, sometimes it seems as if he’s been disquaified from public discourse as a result. Or people wish he had. Jeff seems to be making a point close to that. People try to blow off his points with this too. I really don’t see how that works.

    To me, its a humorous faux-pas by someone who clearly doesn’t understand the medium and its technical capabilities. And the lesson should of course be that we should be reading these pseudonymous comments and texts on their own, not on the basis of their provenance, their (claimed or unclaimed) authority. To me this is a feature, not a bug, of anonymous authorship.

    I can see if his past behaviour had some relevance — like if he’d previously said we should soon be pulling out of iraq but now is in favor of there being more troops. But thats relevant because its a change of mind. You can see the connection. I dont really see the connection between the pseudonyms and his latest arguments.

    As it is, I think his arguments can stand or fall on their own. Its a great point he made against lieberman, and its a great point to make about the use of anonymous comments of unknown provenance in arguments, about when and how to go about using them. Hell, I suppose a extreme argument connecting his anymous comments to present issues would be that it bolsters one of his points: anonymous comments can be quite self-serving and its hard to read much from them other than the plain content. Besides that, its hard to impute much meaning that is connected to a speaker/writer.

    whitd (5f8250)

  3. Whitd in post number two above is sort of torn between the legal latin “Falsus in uno,falsus in omnibus” and the good old down home Arkansas phrase “Even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while”.

    The “falsus” means false in one thing, false in everything. More simply put, the legal maxim can be applied to the testimony of a witness who, if he is shown to have sworn falsely in one detail, may be considered unworthy of belief as to all the rest of his evidence.

    I can’t begin to count the ways in which Glenn Greenwald and his sock puppet alter egos have lied. You know that at some point you look at folks like Greenwald and pull out another maxim. “Fool me once and that’s your fault. Fool me twice and that’s my fault. Fool me three times and I’m dumber than mud.”

    I think Greenwald and his sock puppets have gone so far ’round the credibility bend that they’re not even worthy of a hearing any more. Even if it does look like they found an acorn!

    Mike Myers (4e1716)

  4. Say, that reminds me: has Jerome Armstrong ever spoken about his run-in with the SEC? Back in the day Kos had this to say:

    “My request to you guys is that you ignore this for now. It would make my life easier if we can confine the story. Then, once Jerome can speak and defend himself, then I’ll go on the offensive (which is when I would file any lawsuits) and anyone can pile on.”

    Now Warner has dropped out of the race, and presumably Armstrong can speak freely about his days as a stock manipulator. Surely by now Armstrong has come up with a defense.

    Ernst Blofeld (352c23)

  5. I’m curious when you’re going to post about Dick Cheney’s meltdown. Who would have thought?

    The Liberal Avenger (b8c7e2)

  6. Troll blather Troll blather Troll Blather…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  7. Hey i ght the bag of hot air was AL GORE

    krazy kagu (05214f)

  8. Jeez Patterico, did Greenwald kill your firstborn child or something?

    Say what you like about sockpuppetry or whatever, I don’t think Greenwald would take the trouble to compile a whole post of vicious insults.

    Russell (a32796)

  9. Say what you like about sockpuppetry or whatever, I don’t think Greenwald would take the trouble to compile a whole post of vicious insults.

    No. He’s far too Civil. He leaves the nasty stuff to Ellers. Or is it Ellison? I always forget.

    Patterico (04465c)

  10. No. He’s far too Civil. He leaves the nasty stuff to Ellers. Or is it Ellison? I always forget.

    Need I remind you that you are talking about a man, nay a professor, who has built a blog with an audience of millions in only days, has had his works read on the floor of congress, and has written a score of New York Times bestsellers.

    Your transparent envy is only exceeded by the racist violence evident found in your blog’s comments section.

    Good DAY sir.

    wilson (93a23f)

  11. Patterico, I’m a liberal, and I read this blog often, because sometimes you have something to say from a conservative perspective that makes me stop and think. And even if I don’t stop and think, I get some idea of what conservatives think about current events. I pay attention most closely when you have something to say in your area of expertise, as an LA prosecutor.

    But, you are at your worst and most pointless when you get obsessed with blogo-centric controversies where you get cute about sock puppets attacking Greenwald, or where you expend effort supporting Malkin or Goldstein or whoever.

    I fully admit that Greenwald is at his worst when he descends to these depths, too, with the obsessive focus on who is responsible for what the idiots say on whoever’s blog. And to the extent that he sock-puppets, well that is stupid and lame too.

    But, sometimes Greenwald writes a really good piece that fairly and powerfully skewers his target, from his admitted point of view. Sometimes, you do as well, from your admitted point of view. I can’t think of one single post either of you have done that was really fair and powerful that involved a carping, quote-snatching, “your side sucks but ours is OK” type of internet mudfight between blogs.

    I’d be very happy if Greenwald stopped doing this, because I think he’s a pretty astute commentator when he doesn’t get dragged into this kind of thing, in that I often agree with him.

    I’d also be very happy if you (and people like Goldstein, Malkin et al.) stopped doing this too, so that the gotchas and such were minimized and people started talking about policy more.

    I think you have something to say. So why do you seem to spend so much time getting mired in inside baseball blogger feuds instead of saying it?

    aplomb (b1076c)

  12. I’m curious when you’re going to post about Dick Cheney’s meltdown. Who would have thought?

    Comment by The Liberal Avenger — 2/28/2007 @ 8:10 pm

    Perhaps you could googlebomb it?

    In before “manshake.”

    pbares (d22937)

  13. I’d be very happy if Greenwald stopped doing this, because I think he’s a pretty astute commentator when he doesn’t get dragged into this kind of thing, in that I often agree with him.

    aplomb:

    In what sense do you believe Greenwald gets “dragged” into this sort of thing?

    He transparently seeks it out, to raise his profile. It’s calculated. And it’s ridiculously sanctimonious. And it rubs quite a few of us the wrong way — and that, my friend, is a huge understatement.

    I appreciate your comments, and I like having liberals here — especially reasonable sounding ones like yourself. But I have no love for self-righteous (and dishonest) prigs like Greenwald.

    Patterico (04465c)

  14. I think Greenwald should set up a blogging school. To teach people like me how to write serious, analytical posts.

    Because right now all’s I have is the tuquoqueslapping to fall back on.

    Jeff G (6ce048)

  15. “In what sense do you believe Greenwald gets ‘dragged’ into this sort of thing?”

    In the sense that he drags himself into this sort of thing.

    I think when he is paying attention to politicians especially, and media to some extent, he is pretty good at pointing out hypocrisy and illogic, from his own political perspective. His very best work never gets mentioned by the right bloggers because it can be pretty devastating and isn’t easily countered.

    He is at his absolute worst when he goes after right wing blogs, universally attributing fascist or violent objectives to either offhand statements by the blogger or idiot comments by the rabble, while downplaying or apologizing for similarly objectionable content from left wing blogs.

    It is his biggest fault, and I think you did a great job in tearing him down in your recently cited post. I think he deserved it, and I think you did it fairly. I’m just wondering why you thought you needed to do it.

    Sometimes, when he doesn’t do that, when he doesn’t try to show that somehow the leftist idiot bloggers and commenters are better than the right idiot bloggers a commenters, he often writes something quite good. He will go after, say, Cheney, or some Senator or Republican stategist, and marshal up some honest, cite-linked quotes that supports his opinion.

    As you do, when you aren’t in a mudfight. But here, you spent a lot of time calling a single blogger not one, but several of the most hypocritical people on earth. Is that necessary? Endless reminders and jokes that you caught him sock-puppeting and insults to the point that he is the single most hypocritical person on earth, times three or four? You may have got him, but is that time well spent?

    I’m suggesting that you have written some really insightful stuff that made me as a liberal think either, hum, he has a point, or, blah, at least I know where these nuts are coming from.

    When I see you or Goldstein or Malkin or Instapundit or whoever seem to spend so much energy and space debunking a single blogger, on the same day, in multiple posts, I just wonder if you think he is so bad why don’t you ignore him and rise above him and tell us how things could get better, in your view.

    Is there anyone on the left you can engage without tearing them down and just respond to in respectful discourse? Like Kevin Drum or maybe Josh Marshall or something? Why don’t you lock horns so intently with the ones you choose to? Or why don’t you ignore Glenn when he does something stupid, and engage him when he states something that merits a response? Why expend your time and effort down in what you perceive is the mud (which is 95% of the internet in my opinion) when you can just respond to the leftist arguments that actually engage you and inspire you to write something helpful to discourse?

    aplomb (b1076c)

  16. Because right now all’s I have is the tuquoqueslapping to fall back on.

    If you keep up with “teh funny” (as “teh kids” say nowadays) we’re fine with that, dude. You can tuquoqueslap until the cows come home. Hell, you can tuquoqueslap even after the cows are safely tucked in their cowbeds.

    Shit, I’m sneezing like a motherfucker. I am not kidding with this. Something like 12 sneezes in the past two minutes. I think I’m allergic to that bastard Greenwald. Did someone let him in here? Damn.

    Patterico (04465c)

  17. aplomb, you seem like a good guy, and I want you coming back here. So I’m going to try to answer your questions one and all, honestly.

    “In what sense do you believe Greenwald gets ‘dragged’ into this sort of thing?”

    In the sense that he drags himself into this sort of thing.

    Well, that’s honest. It does make we wonder why the fuck you initially portrayed him as this victim, getting “dragged” by the heels into these discussions. But now that I’ve called you on it, you’re forthrightly admitting that he is “dragging” himself in — which is to say, he is eagerly jumping in with both feet.

    I think when he is paying attention to politicians especially, and media to some extent, he is pretty good at pointing out hypocrisy and illogic, from his own political perspective. His very best work never gets mentioned by the right bloggers because it can be pretty devastating and isn’t easily countered.

    Tell you what. The very next time that happens, you send me an e-mail at patterico AT patterico AT gmail DOT com. I promise I will respond to his post, and I’ll link back to this comment to explain why I’m doing it.

    I’m pretty busy, so it may not be immediate. But I’ll do it.

    If he really has the conservative over a barrel, don’t be surprised if I agree with him and disagree with the conservative. Because, you see, unlike Greenwald, I’m not a dishonest partisan hack who comes up with transparently dishonest and hypocritical arguments to defend My Party, right or wrong.

    He is at his absolute worst when he goes after right wing blogs, universally attributing fascist or violent objectives to either offhand statements by the blogger or idiot comments by the rabble, while downplaying or apologizing for similarly objectionable content from left wing blogs.

    Indeed he is. And he first came to my attention by smearing me with a wide brush, in a situation where I did not deserve to be painted with it.

    I was pretty ugly in the way I called attention to his mistake, but even if I’d been nice, I doubt he would have admitted error.

    He’s alienated quite a few people with his rank dishonesty. You know, Jon Henke used to defend Greenwald. You should try asking Jon nowadays about Greenwald. I bet you’d get an earful.

    It is his biggest fault, and I think you did a great job in tearing him down in your recently cited post. I think he deserved it, and I think you did it fairly. I’m just wondering why you thought you needed to do it.

    Needed to? I dunno. He just pissed me off.

    I recognize he’s intelligent, and somehow that means I am pissed off even more, because I know he’s smarter than the bullshit he is writing.

    Sometimes, when he doesn’t do that, when he doesn’t try to show that somehow the leftist idiot bloggers and commenters are better than the right idiot bloggers a commenters, he often writes something quite good. He will go after, say, Cheney, or some Senator or Republican stategist, and marshal up some honest, cite-linked quotes that supports his opinion.

    Like I say, e-mail me when that happens. I don’t read the guy regularly.

    As you do, when you aren’t in a mudfight. But here, you spent a lot of time calling a single blogger not one, but several of the most hypocritical people on earth. Is that necessary?

    A bit o’ obvious hyperbole never killed anyone. Especially when it’s not so much hyperbole because of what a fucking sanctimonious bastard it’s directed at.

    Endless reminders and jokes that you caught him sock-puppeting and insults to the point that he is the single most hypocritical person on earth, times three or four? You may have got him, but is that time well spent?

    Felt like it. I enjoyed writing the post, and I looked forward to the comments — a pleasure that I was largely deprived of by the rude and incompetent people at my soon-to-be-ex hosting service. But that’s another story . . .

    I’m suggesting that you have written some really insightful stuff that made me as a liberal think either, hum, he has a point, or, blah, at least I know where these nuts are coming from.

    Thanks, I think.

    When I see you or Goldstein or Malkin or Instapundit or whoever seem to spend so much energy and space debunking a single blogger, on the same day, in multiple posts, I just wonder if you think he is so bad why don’t you ignore him and rise above him and tell us how things could get better, in your view.

    Do you spend as much energy lecturing this guy for his bullshit posts about anonymous commenters at conservative sites?

    Is there anyone on the left you can engage without tearing them down and just respond to in respectful discourse? Like Kevin Drum or maybe Josh Marshall or something? Why don’t you lock horns so intently with the ones you choose to? Or why don’t you ignore Glenn when he does something stupid, and engage him when he states something that merits a response? Why expend your time and effort down in what you perceive is the mud (which is 95% of the internet in my opinion) when you can just respond to the leftist arguments that actually engage you and inspire you to write something helpful to discourse?

    I have met and like Kevin Drum. You send me the post you want me to respond to, and I’ll do it, man.

    Stay in touch.

    Patterico (04465c)

  18. I too was looking forward the comment section after your magnificent takedown of Greenwald. Unfortunately, the time lag dilutes the impact.

    It’s lucky for everyone involved, I guess, that Glenn is such a big person and that his ego will allow him to put posts like yours, Jeff’s, Ace’s, Michelle’s and others behind him without a second thought.

    Yeah, right! You guys are all living in his head rent free right now and he’s trying to figure a way to get you out! Great post.

    daleyrocks (bbbd35)

  19. “sock puppets attacking Greenwald”

    I never liked sock puppets much. Particularly the totalatarian kind that engineer coups against their master. I suspect the involvement of one Rove, Karl.

    Maxwell Smart (5b0464)

  20. Salon’s golden boy is not so golden after all.

    Sister Toldjah (d81da5)

  21. Patrick,
    I applaud your above posts on geegee,for a couple of reasons.First,the attempt to make a victom of geegee is puke raising.The poor dear was caught being dishonest.Why should one believe himon anything.And the post/#2 by whitd about geegee not understanding the new medium reeks with such a stench it makes me want to ask if it’s sonn of geegee.Could he please amplify that;maybe I’m missing something about misrepre3sentation.Let me put it this way.Geegee has been caught lieing.Thus it’s hard to take him seriously.I’ll put it in something from science.Linus Pauling won two Nobel’s;one of which meant something.But,evertytime he spoke,one had to at least reflect on what he said,because he was an extraordinarily bright person.With geegee,he’s been known to be dishonest.Now,I don’t know if he sneaks into restrooms and writes,”That Glen is hung like a horse”,but that’s the level of the misrepresentation he tried to pawn.So,I take him as nonsense,and if wants to send you a picture of his wang,ask to have his face included as verification.
    Corwin

    Corwin (dfaf29)

  22. Goldstein is upset because, unlike Greenwald who got a nice gig at Salon, the only thing Goldstein got was a handful of shitty HotAir segments.

    The Liberal Avenger (b8c7e2)

  23. Oh look its the “liberal” caped crusader coming to greeny’s rescue.

    /rolleyes

    EllisonEllenbergGreeny (4f4ebf)

  24. LA: the voice of mendacity speaks! Rather, the voice of a particular lying, prevaricating scumwad. Slither away, worm.

    JSinAZ (9e2136)

  25. Are you forced to give Goldstein props because if you don’t he will slap you with is dick?

    [This is another comment from the UCLA IP address that left a (likely phony) assassination threat against Hillary and Obama earlier. — P]

    coronet (0ce116)

  26. Goldstein is upset because, unlike Greenwald who got a nice gig at Salon, the only thing Goldstein got was a handful of shitty HotAir segments.

    I think he’s upset because he lost all that “manshake” notoriety to you, LA.

    Silly stalker, Trix are for kids!

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  27. Phony or not, it deserves investigation by the Secret Service. They treat any and all threats as credible until they prove otherwise. I say hand it to them, and wish them happy hunting.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  28. I mean, lets say that Greenwald had in the past been a drunk cokehead partying well into adulthood. Does that mean we can no longer trust him to, say, be pro or anti a war? I think not. I think we’re still capable of evaluating his words as what htey are, and determining whether he is full of shit or not independent of his past.

    whitd (1175ab)

  29. Sorry, whitd, but we’re holding him to the same standards he seeks to hold others to, only we’re being more principled about it.

    Dan Collins (1e2e08)

  30. What are those standards? That if you’re for one policy, you can’t be against it later, without some explanation? Makes sense to me. Whats that got to do with cokeheads?

    whitd (1175ab)

  31. No, whitd. He claims that people who’ve misled in the past don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. He believes that people ought to cop to their past dishonesty. He does it even as he abuses materials that he claims are probative of guilt–as in the Lieberman instance. He does it even as he complains about others’ use of sources when it’s much more transparent than his performances. He does it even as he refuses to cop to his absurd fiction of the Magic Boyfriend. And all the time he’s pointing to someone else and moaning that whatever they just said is proof positive that our nation has gone off the rails.

    So, not to put too fine a point on it, but fuck him.

    Dan Collins (1e2e08)

  32. I thikn he sticks to the topic of iraq. At least, where I have read. I mean where does he make the general claim?

    Magic boyfriend? Where can one find one of those?

    But i’m not so familiar with his oevre as his other fans, so i really don’t know what you’re talking about. I just read a piece here and there. The lieberman one? That one was good. I don’t like the lieberman flip-flop. Do you?

    whitd (1175ab)

  33. I guess it’s not so flippy-floppy, though. And that’s really only scratching the surface.

    Dan Collins (1e2e08)

  34. It seems then, that glenn just doesn’t know how to be right:

    “Mr. President, I personally hope, as I am sure all members of the Senate do, and I believe, that we will be able to withdraw a significant number of our men and women in uniform from Iraq by the end of this year and even more by next year.”

    Too bad.

    whitd (1175ab)

  35. Dear Mr. President:

    Until you have withdrawn the troops from Iraq, I want you to know that everything and anything that I or anyone else might do that is wrong or bad is justified.

    Including the lamp that I broke while chasing my baby brother-cum-Magic-Boyfriend.

    (signed)

    Glennie (age 6)

    Lurking Observer (781772)

  36. Possible Greenwald Sock Puppet Alert on Pandagon:

    http://pandagon.net/2007/03/01/the-curious-pro-life-support-of-rudy-giuliani/#comment-370614

    Comment by Rol — 3/1/2007 @ 12:23 pm

    Interesting find. It certainly does read that way. Starts by noting that Greenwald “nailed this a while a go” or something. Lots of “use of quotes” within the post. Articulate post. Closes with “As Greenwald points out” which GG uses to refer to commenters on his site (see updates I and II here)And Greenwald just happens to have grown up in New York city in the 70’s / 80’s during that time.

    Wait, did you post that and then post the link here, just hoping someone would take note and accuse Greenwald? Are you a sock pupped cum sock puppet Rol?

    carlitos (b38ae1)

  37. “Hypocrisy, Egomania, Apparent Deceit, And Stupendous Sanctimony”

    Hey! You could make a pretty good acronym from that!

    MrJimm (404ba7)


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