If you’re the sort of person who lets others lie without responding, this post is not for you. If you believe that people should be able to tell falsehoods without being corrected, you should skip to the next post. Right now. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Still here? Good. That means you believe in my right to stand up for the truth when someone says things that are false.
Now, I have in the past participated in blogger wars with the best of them. I have grown tired of them. I have recently taken positive steps to get out of the cycle of attack and counterattack. I sent Jeff Goldstein a note seeking to bury the hatchet. I have directed people to his fundraising drive, as he has directed people to mine. I unbanned him and every other person I have ever banned, hoping to undo the grudges that often come with banning.
I’m not a perfect man and will never claim to be, but I’m sincerely weary of Internet spats that are personal and nasty. I’m still willing to debate ideas with vigor and passion, but I am not interested in bashing people personally.
I didn’t go looking for a nasty personal interchange with Mark Levin. I wrote a post that corrected several factual inaccuracies he had made about Paul Mirengoff. I hoped he would correct the inaccuracies with class. Instead, he has now written three separate Facebook entries about me, each one containing new falsehoods, and each calling me names such as “jackass,” “moron,” and “idiot.”
You are welcome to read my responses to determine whether you think I have responded in kind, or whether I have instead concentrated on the facts.
Levin has another Facebook post about me today, titled Patrick Frey’s infirmities, and it contains more falsehoods. Part of me just wants to ignore it, because I’m bored by the whole thing. But ultimately, I don’t think he should be able to say things that aren’t true and get away with it. The fact that you’re reading this should mean that you agree.
So let me correct the new falsehoods. I’ll try to keep it as short as I can. As before, I will refrain from calling him names.
On another matter, Frey has posted that I said Castle voted to impeach Bush.
False. My actual quote:
Dan Riehl was pushing this crap for much of the day. He now has updates to his posts, that pretty much negate the entire substance of his posts. . . . Riehl says it all may have started with Mark Levin: “I believe Mark Levin may have broken this on his show.”
I did not say Levin made the claim. I said that Dan Riehl had made the claim that the false accusation may have originated with Levin.
Indeed, if you listen to Levin’s original audio, you can see why Riehl believed that Levin had said Castle voted for impeachment. Levin’s presentation — in which he read the text of the resolution, noted Castle’s vote, and called it “stunning” — was designed, through half-truths, to suggest to his audience that Castle truly sought for Bush to be impeached. I will have more details in a separate page, for those who want to get into the weeds.
I asked him to provide evidence for this stupid comment, since I never said it. He doesn’t [link] to any original source because he can’t.
False. In a September 15 update to this post, I linked to the audio. As with his attacks on Mirengoff, Levin is leveling charges that the facts don’t cash. Back to Levin:
The website that originally falsely stated my position has since retracted their statement and corrected it. Frey refuses to correct himself and blames it on Dan Riehl. Like I said, he’s a jackass.
False. I did “correct” Riehl’s mistake the very moment I learned that Levin denied it (even though the audio tends to undercut his denial). Here are my updates:
Riehl says it all may have started with Mark Levin: “I believe Mark Levin may have broken this on his show.”
Levin? Engaged in falsehoods? I refuse to believe it! (But then, I am a jackass and a moron, according to Mark Levin. So why listen to me?)
[UPDATE 9-15-10: Levin, in his trademark sneering style, implicitly denies Riehl’s charge. Hence, I am correcting Riehl’s mistake here. This is how it’s done, Mr. Levin: you correct the error in the original place where it was made.]
[UPDATE 9-16-10: Here is the audio where Levin talked about Castle voting to allow the impeachment resolution to go to the committee. Levin calls the vote “stunning.”]
As you can see, Levin accuses me of failing to make a correction. But he didn’t go back to check to see if I had — because I did, two days before he made the false accusation this morning.
You want to see a refusal to correct? We’ve had a long interchange, and each and every time I have pointed out that Levin said Lindsey Graham is Mirengoff’s “brand of Republican” when Mirengoff has said Graham is his least favorite Republican senator. Levin has not acknowledged this error, once, in any post he has written during this exchange.
You want to see a refusal to correct? Here is a screenshot I have taken of Levin’s original post about Mirengoff:
The circled parts are false. They are still there, uncorrected, ready for anyone to stumble across on Google.
You know, I have been correcting people on errors for years, and have made a virtual second career out of obtaining corrections at the Los Angeles Times, where I have obtained over 40 printed corrections on matters both large and small. I don’t think I have ever had the target of my posts respond in the way Levin has. Imagine if someone from the L.A. Times were to get caught with their pants down, in several successive pieces, on numerous different points . . . and responded to the criticism by doubling down on the falsehoods and labeling their critic a “jackass” and a “moron.”
That person would be the laughingstock of the blogosphere.
I wonder what makes Levin think he can get away with distorting the truth in such a serial fashion? Has he gotten too “big for his britches” (as they say in Texas)? What makes him think he can bully a relatively minor blogger, by mobilizing his army of 200,000+ Facebook fans to swarm said blogger? Why does he think that people won’t notice his numerous errors . . . or that they will give him a pass when he refuses to correct them, and instead attacks the messenger?
It’s a rhetorical question, but bat it around anyway. When you come up with the answer, you might just see some irony in Mr. Levin’s pose as a common man who rejects the Ruling Class.
P.S. Thanks to Foo Bar for the link to the audio and the Mirengoff quote showing his contempt for Graham.
UPDATE: Levin has written a fourth Facebook entry attacking me, mostly consisting of what psychologists call “projection.” I think someone has taken him aside and told him how this is all making him look. Details here.