You are so dumb.
I’m not going to blame the actions of a nut on all lefties and environmentalists. I will, however, be sure to remind them of this the next time they pull that on the right. Which they do, merrily, at every conceivable opportunity.
Weigel then says:
The “so it’s only fair” reference referred to those last two sentences, which struck me as a very strong nudge — blaming the left without blaming the left. I didn’t click on it again and didn’t read the post later, but Allah updated it a few times to make it clear that he really, really wasn’t making that nudge.
I’m not sure what “blaming the left without blaming the left” means. Perhaps a little more clarity is in order? Allahpundit did not blame the left for the gunman. He did blame the left for blaming the right every time some arguably conservative nut does something violent. These are two separate concepts, and mushing them together under one giant “blaming the left” rubric serves to confuse rather than clarify. But let’s allow Weigel to continue:
This was all Wednesday. On Thursday blogger Patterico put up a post accusing me of an “appallingly uncharitable reading” of Allahpundit and demanding “some kind of apology and clarification.” He tweeted to get my attention, and I blew him off as an attention-seeker who was distorting what I wrote by implying that I considered Allahpundit one of the blame-the-left types. I thought it was clear I considered him part of a much smaller team — the I’m-not-going-to-blame-the-left-but-they-sure-blame-us types. Even then, though, there’s a pretty big difference between those teams.
The thing of it is that since I started appearing in more places to talk about my work, I’ve attracted a large number of critics. Some of them act in good faith and make smart critiques that improve my work. Some of them are, frankly, trolls. After I started to attract a steady stream of personal attacks I decided to institute a policy of 1) reiterating what I said and then 2) ignoring the critic. I originally misidentified Patterico as a troll, because the tone of the post made it sound like an assumed-guilty indictment and his demand for clarification came very late at night. It just didn’t strike me as a good faith criticism at first.
But the truth was that Patterico was trying to prevent a misleading reference from living on the Internet forever and portraying Allahpundit as saying something he didn’t say. I totally get that. I apologize to both of them. I always prefer e-mails about this stuff to blog posts and tweets, but forget it, Jake. It’s the Internet.
A few quibbles. First, I sent out my Twitter message at around 9 p.m. last night. How does the timing of that message have any relevance to my good faith?
Second, Weigel may think that he was clear that Allahpundit was one of those “I’m-not-going-to-blame-the-left-but-they-sure-blame-us types” — but in fact, he wasn’t clear about that, at all. If he had been, there would have been no need for my post. Instead, he seemed fairly clear that he was accusing Allahpundit of subtly hinting that the gunman was indeed representative of the left.
Finally, I’m a blogger. My criticisms tend to be public. If Weigel is going to lay out Allahpundit publicly (and unfairly), he can’t really complain when someone responds publicly.
Those concerns aside, I am happy to see that Weigel now sees that his post left an unfair impression, and I appreciate his issuing an apology. I accept it.
I’m not saying I am going to make it what you want it to be. Ultimately it will be what I want it to be.
But I’m curious what people think the site should be.
A place for like-minded people to hang out?
A place for people with a diverse set of viewpoints to debate issues?
I would like to hear from people who don’t usually comment.
UPDATE: I didn’t mean to imply I’m not interested in hearing from the regular commenters. I am, very much so. But I wanted to especially invite lurkers to comment — and I see that they are, which I think is delightful.
The background is found in last night’s post in which I showed how Weigel misrepresented a post by Allahpundit concerning the Discovery Channel gunman.
Briefly, Allahpundit said: “I’m not going to blame the actions of a nut on all lefties and environmentalists.” Weigel turned that into “I am subtly hinting that the gunman was representative of the other team.”
I thought that was bullshit and said so. I linked my post on Twitter. Hilarity ensued. In essence, I pressed my argument with fact and logic, and Weigel responded by accusing me of grubbing for traffic.
The transcript is below. (I have removed the places where we use “@patterico” and “@daveweigel” or otherwise use an “@” symbol to refer to each other or another Twitter user such as allahpundit. That’s a Twitter convention that confuses the reader when the conversation is shown in this format. Otherwise, what you see below is exactly what transpired.)
It’s a classic internet debate: content on one side vs. ad hominems and evasions on the other. Enjoy.
PATTERICO: daveweigel smears allahpundit http://is.gd/eSymo
WEIGEL: Pathetic. My reference was to “I will, however, be sure to remind them of this the next time they pull that on the right.”
PATTERICO: allahpundit said: “I’m not going to blame the actions of a nut on all lefties and environmentalists”
WEIGEL: If you’re desperate for HotAir traffic, just ask for it. Don’t pretend you’re doing journalism by misreading me.
PATTERICO: I’ll ignore the juvenile insult and simply ask you to explain how I am misreading you.
PATTERICO: You took an explicit refusal to stereotype the left, and called it an implied attempt to stereotype the left.
WEIGEL: Yeah, sorry, not going to indulge you. Pick a fight over something interesting.
PATTERICO: You’re the fellow picking fights with grade-school insults. I’m the one engaged in criticism of an unfair post.
PATTERICO: I’m perfectly content to let others decide why you’re not offering a defense of your smear of allahpundit
WEIGEL: If you think this is worth discussing, just email me. The post has been up for a day and Allah hasn’t complained.
PATTERICO: Two points. First: your post unfairly criticizing him was public; what’s wrong with noting its flaws in public?
PATTERICO: Second, allahpundit may not choose to publicly dispute every unfair criticism of him, but that does not mean it’s not unfair.
PATTERICO: The fact is, he updated his post to respond to (and correct) a criticism that was essentially identical to yours.
PATTERICO: So, to imply that his silence as to your post is somehow acquiescence to your unfair interpretation is unwarranted.
WEIGEL: You’re trying to grub traffic by starting a Twitter spat. I get it. I just find it uninteresting.
PATTERICO: You’re trying to mask the flaws in your post by making silly personal accusations. I refuse to descend to your ad hominems.
PATTERICO: I have defended you before. I have seen you be honest. This evasion-through-insult tactic does not become you.
PATTERICO: I doubt very much that allahpundit was going to link my post anyway, but let me make it clear: I don’t want a link.
PATTERICO: What I want is for someone I have respected at times to reflect on how he has mistreated someone.
PATTERICO: Real journalists respond to criticism with facts. By that measure, you have little basis to claim the title of “journalist.”
Remind me again why I ever defended this guy?
P.S. You could enjoy such goings-on routinely if you were only to subscribe to my Twitter feed.
UPDATE: Weigel has apologized to Allahpundit and myself.
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