Patterico's Pontifications


Dean Esmay at War with Malkin

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General — Patterico @ 6:33 pm

Dean Esmay has “called out” Michelle Malkin. Michelle responds here.

It’s always distressing when two bloggers I like are at odds with one another. But, while I might not agree with every aspect of Michelle’s response, I don’t get Dean’s post at all. He seems to have a tremendous amount of anger at what he thinks are Michelle’s positions — but I don’t see a single link to substantiate anything he’s saying.

Usually when you “call someone out” in the blogworld, you provide a link to what you’re attacking — ideally with some quotes. When you don’t, you leave people in the dark as to what you’re upset about. Dean has done this here. I think he should revise his remarks and either 1) provide some examples or 2) tone it down and perhaps apologize.

Just some friendly advice, which may well be ignored, as advice often is. I still like both of them.

29 Responses to “Dean Esmay at War with Malkin”

  1. That was my first and last visit to Dean Esmay’s site. His rantings are indicitive of a disturbed personality. Malkin doesn’t deserve his over-the-top abuse, and it’s prety clearly a breakdown of some sort. I hope it’s temporary and Esamy can regain his balance.

    Black Jack (63943a)

  2. Esmay’s been a loon for some time now. Has he given up on his “I have 100% proof that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS” nonsense yet?

    Malkin is despicable too, of course.

    Geek, Esq. (44e08e)

  3. Mark me down on Michelle Malkin’s side.

    In an update to her reply Michelle Malkin links to her posts that Dean Esmay may have been referring to. Those are reasonable posts. So Michelle Malkin has nothing to apologise for, but Dean Esmay does.

    Dean Esmay earned a great reputation. The way he is acting is inconsistent with it. Bad as his initial post was, his remarks in the comments are worse.

    Michelle Malkin doesn’t like bad language, and neither do I. In this case I think she was right to quote Dean Esmay’s gutter talk. Pretending you don’t hear it or didn’t read it doesn’t work. It should be put on the record, as a measure of the civility and fair-mindeness of the person using those words.

    David Blue (a2a18a)

  4. Geek:

    I’m not sure I recall him claiming 100% proof, but of course you could prove me wrong with a link.

    I know you have a longstanding problem with Malkin, but you’re doing the same thing Dean did: attacking her without specifics. Not impressive.

    Patterico (de0616)

  5. I read Dean Esmay’s attack, and Michelle Malkin’s response.

    Esmay is unhinged. His attack on Malkin is both unfair and unwarranted.

    Desert Rat (ee9fe2)

  6. Check out Bryan Preston’s response to Esmay’s post over at Hot Air. It’s more blistering than Malkin’s response.

    Sean M. (db71f3)

  7. I’m not sure I recall [Dean] claiming 100% proof, but of course you could prove me wrong with a link.

    He could, but what for? Finding an individual entry can be difficult and time-consuming. If Dean thinks it’s OK for him to attack other people based on his own (in this case, faulty) memory, why should his critics be any more generous when going after him? Goose, gander, etc.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  8. Dean’s comments have gotten stranger, with him calling Malkin a “Woman of Color” and asking: “Should I just not link a girl blogger or what?”

    Patterico (de0616)

  9. I’m officially out of the Dean against the islamophobes battle, but as for this
    Has he given up on his “I have 100% proof that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS” nonsense yet?

    While I stay out of those too as I’m not a biologist of any kind, that’s not his position. He links to people who are skeptical or think that it doesn’t cause aids and attempts to get somebody to prove them wrong. Usually, all he gets is people either mischaracterizing his stand or attacking his sources on personal grounds, much like global warming proponents say the skeptics are in the pocket of “Big Oil” or something.

    It’s actually an interesing discussion. And I’m more on the “hiv doesn’t cause aids” side because of the responses he gets. It’s True Believers attacking the Heretics.

    Veeshir (5f9b87)

  10. Dean pulled the same stunt with Robert Spencer, marked by the same refusal to link a single quote that demonstrates what he’s purportedly condemning.

    But as long as he remembers, you can just take his word for it. Very bad form, Dean.

    Pablo (cb50c5)

  11. Malkin’s response to Dean basically says everything he’s criticizing her for saying is true. Why should he link to specifics to prove something she admits?

    Her attitude that Islam itself is the enemy pervades her entire web site. Whether you believe she’s right or not doesn’t change the fact that there’s certainly no question that she believes it.

    Phil (88ab5b)

  12. My opinion of Dean Esmay fell last month, as I was reading a similar comment thread to the one Patterico references in the post.

    Commenter X claimed, “The Islamic mainstream hasn’t renounced violence against infidels.”

    Esmay responded, “Of course they have, are you being stupid, or disingenuous? Two minutes of Googling brings up links like _this_ and _this_.”

    I checked the links and they were, indeed, Islamic denunciations of violence. But reading further, both websites were run by Islamic sects that were far outside of the Sunni and Shi’ia mainstreams, and which are themselves considered heretical by most mainstream Muslims.

    I thought this was pretty disingenuous behavior on Mr. Esmay’s part.

    I didn’t anticipate the current blogspat and thus didn’t note the web-log where this transpired. Thus, take it in the spirit of “for what it’s worth.” When Mr. Esmay makes casual claims, check them–they might pan out and they might not.

    AMac (b6037f)

  13. BrianMacker said:

    This is like the tenth person that you mischaracterized their position and then attacked. You never provide specifics because if you did you couldn’t support your assertions.

    Dean Esmay then made a filthy reply that did not fill in the missing facts.

    I would have preferred Dean Esmay and Michelle Malkin to just get along. But after being called out, without factual basis, it’s not Michelle Malkin’s responsibility to make that happen. Having been unjustly attacked, her decision was not to take a backward step, and I agree with that.

    I would have preferred Dean Esmay and Robert Spencer to just get along. But Robert Spencer was right to defend himself when attacked without factual basis.

    I would have preferred Ralph Peters and Robert Spencer to just get along. But Robert Spencer was right to defend himself then too. Same problem.

    Dean Esmay has damned other people too.

    What’s happening is we’re having an argument about whether it’s acceptable to see Islam as dangerous and/or as the enemy (which in the interest of fair disclosure I do), in which one side is using vicious smears unsupported by facts.

    The solution is for them to back off and preferably unsay what they said.

    Until that happens, Michelle Malkin, Robert Spencer, Charles Johnson, Howie at Jawa Report and others who are being unfairly smeared have to defend themselves.

    David Blue (583ddd)

  14. Dean Esmay’s rhetoric has been uncharacteristically over the top, but he’s in the right on the underlying issue.

    There is, in fact, a growing body of thought to the effect that terrorist ideology is part and parcel of the Islamic religion, and that is an error.

    Given that our GWOT strategy is built around marginalizing Islamists in the Islamic world by supporting the normal Muslims in what Hitchens termed the Islamic Civil War, e.g. the Iraq War, seeing Islam as the enemy, which worldview includes the idea that Muhammad’s Koran is properly understood as sanctioning terrorism, is potentially horribly destructive to our war strategy.

    For example, Shire Network News, a podcast now affiliated with Malkin’s Hot Air, stars Brian of London, who characterizes the “core of the Islamic religion” as causing the problem, and says that he can live with terminology like “Islamism” only because it is a “step in the right direction.” That sort of attitude is the problem.

    The portion to which I refer runs a little over two minutes starting about 16:30 in.

    James M (bc1ca2)

  15. – I have a list of blogsites I do not visit based on link whoring, or jealousies, or both. Interesting Esmay choose’s a syndicated columnist, hi-powered writer, and notable TV figure to go after. Verdict: Hit whoring. There’s more ethical ways to bump up your hit rate if that’s your bag. Good writing, with interesting takes on the issues is a good way to start. Are you listening Esmay?

    Big Bang Hunter (9562fb)

  16. I don’t know if that’s fair, and Michelle’s accusation to that effect is one of the parts of her response that I disagreed with.

    Patterico (de0616)

  17. There was a time when I found Dean Esmay’s insights helpful to my understanding of both people and events. That was more than a year ago. No longer. He has gone far around the bend.

    I find his recent barrage of invective-laden attacks distressing and highly disappointing.

    One more thing, and more to the point here: Esmay’s arguments regarding “Islam isn’t the enemy” are unconvincing. When “moderate” muslims speak loud and long (YEARS long) denouncing the supposed extremists, I will then begin to listen. Their silence over the past 5 years speaks volumes.

    Count me in Michelle’s camp.

    idgit (aa2508)

  18. Malkin’s entire body of work and career repels me. Not sure how to link to that.

    As far as Dean Esmay is concerned, I give you Exhibit A.

    After hours of phone conversations with the insidious Harvey “Dr. Fu Manchu” Bialy, I’ve finally seen that there is a single damning demonstration that the HIV/AIDS hypothesis–the hypothesis that HIV is the casse of the AIDS epidemic–has, after twenty years, falsified itself.

    Just as I know that when Monty asks if you want to switch doors you should switch, I know that HIV cannot be the proximate cause of the AIDS epidemic.

    Mark my words: this story is going to blow wide open sooner or later. My gut says that by the end of this year, no one will be talking about AIDS the same way again. It’s not going to be pretty. There’s going to be screaming and yelling and finger pointing and denial. Congress may even get involved.

    But HIV cannot be the cause of the AIDS epidemic.

    Tomorrow, Dr. Bialy will show you why.

    Dean would fit right in over at DU when they talk about how there was no plane that hit the Pentagon.

    Geek, Esq. (acf34a)

  19. – Pat, I hadn’t read either side of this “controversy for controversie’s sake”, when I made that observation. I’m from the old school of keeping your eye on the donut, and not the hole. I only have so much time each day to devote to reading. Personal vendetta’s, no matter the reason, are not productive, and tediously boring to readers, particularly when the issue at the heart of the dustup is sophomoric.

    – Islam certainly has elements of preditory preaching, much the same as Christianity, as practiced in the middle ages, and at other times, did. Arguing that back and forth is largely academic, and certainly does not constitute a viable reason for a flame war.

    – As to that issue, I would echo idgit’s comments. Islam has had ample time for moderate voices to rally to the defense of their “hi-jacked” religion, and we’ve seen very little public display’s thereof. In fact there’s much more evidence that, while moderates do not openly support the Jihadist’s, they wouldn’t be all that unhappy to see the Celiphate win out over the West.

    – I’m suspicious for the simple fact that Muslim leadership doesn’t even seem to mind that many more of their own people are dieing in this so-called Jihad, than anyone else. That speaks loud and clear to the idea that whatever hates and avarice that exists among the various sects, as a group they hate the Western culture even more.

    – But again, when people are trying to kill and subjigate you, its a distinction without a difference. Their motives are pretty clear from their own words and acts.

    Big Bang Hunter (9562fb)

  20. Fair disclosure. I read Dean Esmay a few times a year; I read Michelle Malkin (and Patterico) a few times a week. I am mildly pro-disposed in Michelle’s favor, and appreciate her providing links to the infamous cartoons. I don’t agree with everything she says.

    There’s more ethical ways to bump up your hit rate if that’s your bag.

    I thought he was going for hitcount too at first. I changed my mind. Here’s a set of thoughts that may bore some. Sorry.

    A blogger’s ultimate stock-in-trade is credibility. No, not rage, not frothing anger, not invective, not even posting clumsy photoshops of Eric Muller in a bikini. (Caveat: some bloggers do very well by ‘preaching to the choir’, but at least they remain credible to their core audience, if no one else).

    Indeed, that’s a big reason why I read this blog. Our host lays out his case rationally, and (as far as I can see) refrains from angry attacks on people. In my view he can be both curt and wrong (though far more often both pleasant and right), but pretty much the toughest language I’ve seen from him is to call a commenter a troll, and to say that a commenter challenging his ethics/suitability for his job isn’t acceptable. And he’s not usually wrong.

    Now, let’s say Patterico posted something tomorrow, calling out Glenn Reynolds on… let me manufacture something out of whole cloth… implications that because Glenn doesn’t support Dershowitz’s putative torture warrants [does Dershowitz anymore?] and does pro-bono stuff for the ACLU that Glenn Reynolds may be a little too cozy with enemies of the United States.

    Then Patterico froths at a poster who mildly questions this, calling him a ‘traitor’ and spitting upon him.

    Those of us that read Patterico regularly are going to say “Whoa, this isn’t Patrick. Maybe Glenn blended his puppy or something.”

    But the flood of new (and very casual reader) traffic that will come into Patrick’s blog will simply see Patrick making what appears to be a dubious, poorly founded allegation and then going thermonuclear.

    All those extra eyeballs will be convinced Patrick Frey’s an idiot.

    (I apologize to our genial host for using his name, hypothetically, in vain.)

    And that’s where I am with Dean Esmay. I think the man is incredibly angry, irrational, and, I hate to say it, unpleasant. I may be wrong to think this, judging by the good people I’ve seen saying they like him, but I think he utterly destroys a useful argument through extreme anger.

    This is ultimately why I don’t think Dean Esmay could have possibly intended to drive traffic to his site so he could look foolish.

    I’d say (perhaps arrogantly; though that’s not my intent) that this is a lesson for bloggers: Credibility matters. Having thousands of new/uncommon eyeballs viewing your site as that of a frothing loon — even if that’s a very unfair view — do considerably less than nothing for you.

    Contrary to the left, courtesy, civility, and even rationality matter. I appreciate that we have it here.

    Thank you, Patrick.


    Holmwood (76cebf)

  21. Not boring in the least Holmwood. well said, and I concure.

    Big Bang Hunter (9562fb)

  22. I appreciate that, Holmwood.

    Though I’ve flown off the handle before. You just haven’t seen it. The worst has been in comments on other blogs. I’m trying to follow a modified version of Ace’s Rule #1: don’t post comments on nasty lefty blogs. Those are the venues where I have embarrassed myself most with my anger.

    Patterico (de0616)

  23. Who is Dean Esmay, and why should I care? For that matter, who is Glenn Greenwald, and why should I care about him…? ;-}

    Perhaps this is a good time to bring up the obvious, something that Michelle Malkin herself alluded to as “traffic bait”.

    For some time the Kos Kids have been touting how much traffic their blog generates. But the truth is that for a year now too much of that traffic was generated by Conservative bloggers tsk tsking over the venomous poison spewed there, and posting a link for their readers to follow to have a looksee, which only contributed to the traffic numbers.

    But the traffic has been in steady decline now at the Kos blog, partly because of moderates being turned off by the sewer-sludge dialog, and partly because readers of this and other Conservative blogs, like me, finally got a clue and realized that all those people are about is having hissyfits to attract attention.

    Dean Esmay is no different, as witnessed by his bi-polar episodes from insightful posts to bottom-dweller crassness.

    As long as he gets the attention (traffic/hits) he craves, he’ll continue taking potshots at people, especially high profile writers and bloggers and journalists, without justification nor foundational links supporting his accusations.

    Time for Conservative Bloggers and their readers to start boycotting people like Esmay and Kos who can’t keep the level of discourse on an amicable, reasonable, rational and intelligent plain, IMHO. Just don’t link there any longer, and don’t even mention them in posts for any reason whatsoever.

    CayuteKitt (c0f183)

  24. Dean’s been blogging for a while now. I don’t see him as pulling a stunt like that. I think that was an unsubstantiated comment by Michelle. But I thought his criticisms were unsubstantiated too.

    Patterico (de0616)

  25. Charlotte Church is a foul mouthed moron, slutty perhaps, but in an especially sad way… as if she’s betrayed her own deepest principles and now she has to betray them more so as not to appear inconsistent to herself.

    But what’s Michelle Malkin’s problem with sexuality in general?

    She seems really down on it somehow. Was it a Catholic/Filipina upbringing or some other reason?

    I ask this in all seriousness. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect Michelle Malkin greatly. I even think she looks sexy.

    But does it make me a bad person to say that here? Is it wrong to tell my girlfriend that I love her above all, but Malkin’s hot?

    No, I ain’t got no crush/stalker thing going on… I respect her mind and courage most. But I criticize liberally when she’s wrong in my opinion.

    Just like I criticize Patterico, Bush, and my older opinions.

    Seriously, though, I notice that if you criticize Michelle Malkin in a general sense, she responds cooly if she does at all.

    But if it’s someone alleging that perhaps she wore a bikini at some point in her 20s, she goes all apeshit.


    The bikini picture, if it had been her, would have been entirely appropriate. A young woman, with a nice body, getting a friend to shoot her picture in all her feminine attractiveness before they head out to the beach most likely.

    What on God’s green Earth is wrong with that?

    I’m of the school of thought that says the Song of Solomon is one of the most beautiful parts of the Bible. There are other lessons equally or more important, granted. But our Creator created beauty… including immense sexual beauty.

    Why not acknowledge/enjoy it?

    Take our finest fighting our wars in Afghanistan and Baghdad. If I know anything about soldiers, and I do, male or female… the vast majority of them love sexuality… and their country… and even more their buddy whom they’re fighting alongside that they didn’t even know two years ago.

    Are these not the most noble people we have?

    Christoph (9824e6)

  26. If Michelle Malkin chose to do bikini shots, it would be fine. She chose otherwise. It’s her choice what to give away and what not to give away.

    She gets unrelenting unwanted attention from people with sick minds who define her totally as a prostitute because she is Asian in appearance. She chooses not to feed that. I think she’s right – and even if she wasn’t, it would still be her right to choose.

    David Blue (b5bed4)

  27. But if it’s someone alleging that perhaps she wore a bikini at some point in her 20s, she goes all apeshit.


    It doesn’t seem to be the Photoshop that offends, but the declaration that it proves she’s a hypocrite. “Look at this fake proof of what a piece of crap that Malkin is!”, as if that photo suggests something. It wasn’t Michelle that made that connection. In fact, she’s made the same point about the photo.

    I’d take offense to a slur based on a lie. Given the amount of “vile yet tolerant” leftist smear job nonsense Michelle takes from the usual knuckle dragging goons, it’s particulary distressing to see a law professor doing it.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  28. My point, Pablo, is the opposite. Michelle Malkin seems to react calmly to insult and criticism, unless it is even vaguely sexual in nature… i.e., alleging she may have actually allowed herself to be photographed wearing a bikini.

    Then she goes apeshit. That’s my point.

    Christoph (9824e6)

  29. Christoph,

    People have had the habit of making truly disgusting sexual slurs against Michelle Malkin based on her ancestry.


    Wince and Nod (e49fe7)

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