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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Extreme Blogging

Did the KOS Implicate Bush of Mass Murder?

The FISK likes to read extremist blogs for a good chuckle now and again. You know the ones I'm talking about -- the major players of course are the political blogs, the Instapundits and the Daily KOS et al.

We even like to link to them for easy one-click access, and because God knows they could use the pagerank boost. You will find them listed below under the appropriately named list "Fodder".

Well yesterday was no exception and the KOS did not disappoint. Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga writes (bad spelling and all) about ex-FEMA chief Brown's resignation and provides us with an excellent example of political extremeism at its best:

"But we can't allow this disaster to be framed in the context of a few incompetents and political hacks. Because ultimately, the federal (non) response to New Orleans went exactly according to the conservative playbook. And that's the biggest point in this whole mess.

Conservatives believe government shouldn't exist to help people. That everyone should be left to the wolves.

New Orleans demonstrated to us in vivid color what Republicanism is made of. New Orleans was, in reality, a crowning acheivement of conservatism. That is, until political pressure forced the federal government to lend a hand and those lucky duckies in the gulf coast began receiving "handouts".

Obviously KOS has been watching way too many Dean speeches. Yes, we all agree that Bush was slow to the draw with New Orleans. And yes, Brown was way in over his head and should have been removed.

I'm no Bush lover, but to paint him and all conservatives that way is irresponsible and quite frankly dumb. For to believe such rubbish is the same as saying that Bush and his party are complicit in mass murder. Murder? KOS fell just short of saying that but it is implied, or at the very least manslaughter or criminal negligence (do I hear negligent homicide).

Let me explain. If (according to KOS' logic) Bush had followed a game plan ("according to the conservative playbook") leading to the death of many people, then isn't that the same as saying Bush premeditated a crime against humanity. Move over Kosovo. Hello New Orleans.

The KOS claims to have the largest readership in the blogosphere, so obviously it appeals to a lot of people who lap up this stuff (scary isn't it). And maybe (just maybe) there could be another more sensible explanation. But what the hey, that's not extreme enough is it?

I also find it interesting that (some) of his liberal followers will be the first to shame anyone making characterizations (and rightly they should) about colour or race.

Yet (some) of those same people have no compunction to making scurrilous generalizations about conservatives. And of course a good old fashioned religion-bashing is another favorite sport of the left (just read some of the comments).

Hypocrites. Talk about extreme rhetoric. In fact this sort of diatribe only appeals to the worst in people and is more in keeping with propoganda than political extremeism.

That is part and parcel of what is good and bad with the blogosphere. On the one hand it is a strength of diversity that gives the blogosphere it's power. But unfortunately any whacko with a keypad can get published.

One finds it hard to imagine that anyone in their right mind could actually believe some of the crap the KOS disgorges. Crap is right, and right down the poop shoot it goes where it belongs. SWOOSH.

Mind you, upon occasion KOS is capable of making a sensible post. But if you have something to say then speak directly and spare us the inflammatory rhetoric that only appeals to smaller minds. It behooves you NOT. Then again, you are a great source of material for the FISK!

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16 Comments: 'Reach out and FISK someone'...

At 5:27 PM, Anonymous bill said...

Yeah, I don't take them all that seriously either. Maybe that's why his readership is so high. Just for the comedic relief.

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At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are exactly right. Those assholes will say anything to get ratings. Then again, that goes for most media doesn't it?

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At 9:13 PM, Anonymous saha said...

Thanks for such a great blog!

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At 7:32 PM, Anonymous mandrake said...

Perceptive post. I notice the mainstream media is starting to catch on. Perhaps they read the FISK? Good post.

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At 9:35 PM, Anonymous dazzle said...

Funny. The KOS writes inflamatory rhetoric, and Instadunce writes mostly one-liners like... "indeed".

I don't understand why they get so much traffic. Must have a lot relatives.

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At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KOS is on the money. I follow some forums with predominantly conservative members (knife and gun forums.) The overwhelming concensus is that people shouldn't rely on the government in times of crisis. When the #&*@ hits the fan, you're on your own. By this reading, New Orleans was a great example of people too used to government handouts to take care of themselves. So, yes, this is the natural outcome of the conservative philosophy of minimal government in times of disaster.

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At 1:32 PM, Anonymous bedazzle said...

I believe the point the writer is making is it is NOT necessarily what the KOS is saying.

It is HOW he says it using outrageous and inflammatory language that primarily appeals to far-left fanatics and to get traffic to his website.

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At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The writer could just come out and say that in plain English if that was what the writer meant.

However, "The Fisk" is clearly playing to his own right-wing fanatics to get his own page count up. The condescending tone, the talk of extreme rhetoric. The quote from KOS was quite simple. It is standard conservative philosophy that the government is too big, and that people should show more personal responsibility. If "The Fisk" disagrees with this, it would be easy to say. Instead, he states that saying the government let down the people of New Orleans is equivalent to negligent homicide. "The Fisk" said this! If he doesn't like the logic, he should say why it doesn't work, and not simply say he thinks it is extreme to accuse Bush of murder.

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At 10:50 AM, Anonymous FISK said...

"If he doesn't like the logic, he should say why it doesn't work, and not simply say he thinks it is extreme to accuse Bush of murder."

Umm... that was the point. The KOS' use of "extreme rhetoric" defeats anything of value that he might have to say. Fidel would have been proud.

Now, if he had used humour then all could have been forgiven.

BTW, the FISK is neither liberal or conservative. We don't discriminate.

If you read more of our posts you will note that we have probably fisked Instapundit more than we have the KOS.

Thanks for writing!

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At 4:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be plain. In the KOS excerpt quoted, there was no extreme rhetoric. In the fisk column, there was plenty of slanted writing. In the KOS excerpt, there was no mention of murder. In the fisk column there was.

In other words, the crap you spout masks anything you were trying to say. I'm still not sure what it was you were trying to say -- you agree with the KOS, but think he spouts crap? So you spout crap back?

It sounds to me like you're jealous of the attention KOS gets, and think you deserve it because y'all are so much cleverer. Is that the column in a nutshell? Perhaps content and ideas count as well, and simply slagging someone else isn't enough.

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At 11:51 AM, Anonymous tag, you've been fisked said...

It's always interesting to note that it is the malcontents who are the ones that don't have the courage of their convictions and hide behind anonymity. Nevertheless we allow anonymous comments here so that people like you will speak up, unlike other blogs that will remain anonymous (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

So let me be "plain" about this. I think that the KOS is capable of making some good points. It's when he starts the fanatical ranting where he loses it.

The fact is he did imply that Bush is guilty of murder, and/or one of the other crimes that were listed in the post. Many, perhaps even thousands of people died in the tragedy, and when he makes comments like "the federal (non) response to New Orleans went exactly according to the conservative playbook", he certainly does imply that a serious crime has been intentionally committed.

It's that sort of dumb rhetoric where he destroys any credibility that he may have. That is why the FISK recommends the use of humor when making a point. You sound less like an omnipotent potentate from a third world country off the coast of Florida.

You should also note that our mission states clearly in our FAQ file as well as the top header that we use various methods of humor such as satire, hence - "a humorous look at the news and opinion makers of our day".

The FISK recommends that smaller minds should make an effort to overcome the fanatic left vs. right mentality and look at the larger picture. But then again, if everyone did that there would be nobody left to pick on.

I'm sorry that you didn't get it "anonymous", but thanks for playing anyway.

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At 1:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take a look at your own FAQ:
"Fisking", or to "Fisk" is a term invented by the blogosphere that refers to a point-by-point refutation of a blog entry or news story. An act of critiquing, often in minute detail, with the intent of challenging its conclusion or theses by highlighting logical fallacies and incorrect facts. Stylish fisking is witty, logical, sarcastic and ruthlessly factual; flaming is considered poor form.
Really, you've pointed to nothing in the KOS that was factually incorrect. In fact, until Bush's recent admission of blame, the entire Federal governemnt claimed the Fed's response was exactly by the playbook. Remember "You're doing a heck of job Brownie!"??

And seriously, "malcontents" -- that's it, anyone who dares to disagree with you is a malcontent? "Small-minds"? Is that a back handed flame, or is that "satire" again?

This is especially ironic considering other posts about the body counts in New Orleans. I have relatives there. The place is f&##&'d up. People died. People's houses are destroyed. More refugees than any other time in our history. Bush has now accepted the blame for the inadequacy of the federal response. He appointed a horse show judge to head FEMA -- might this have played a part? Republican controlled congresses, responding to Bush's budget requests, have cut funding for flood control projects and levee maintenance around New Orleans for the last six years in order to send money to Iraq. All part of the conservative ideal of smaller government.

Perhaps it's time to just admit the KOS was right on this one.

BTW -- I could create a blogger account called "cutter_06" or somesuch, and link it to yahoo account -- I don't see how this gives me any more credibility.

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At 1:08 PM, Anonymous FISK said...

Dear "anonymous" ( you do have a name don't you). Perhaps if you provided some sort of pseudonym we could take you a little more seriously. And thank you so much for quoting our faq but it wasn't necessary 'cause we wrote it.

It's apparent that your having relatives in New Orleans has clouded your sense of reason. I repeat, our issue is NOT with the so-called "logic" of the KOS' argument. Nor is it with the sense of outrage because we at the FISk share that emotion. But remember, the FISK is about humor so don't take yourself (or us for that matter) all that seriously.

Our issue is with the irresponsible intimation that Bush is somehow complicit in a crime. Taking the argument that far is fanatical and sheer lunacy, and that is the point of the post. I would have thought that was clear by now.

We recommend taking two valium and call us again in the morning if you wish. Nice talking to you and have a great day.

P.S.: Seriously, we sincerely hope that your relatives are safe. And our hearts go out to all who have perished and are suffering there. And lastly, please lighten up a little. As long as we maintain our sense of humor, we'll never be poor. Keep looking up.

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At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your concern. Despite the positive accounts of New Orleans coming back to life, most of what I hear is about the stinking mud, dead bodies, and mold covering everything you once held dear. At least no one I know died.

I'll make this my last post. The one point I wanted to make this whole time is that what KOS said was not outrageous. Read it again. He never said Bush was complicit in a crime. Unless you think what happened was criminal. He simply said "Conservatives believe government shouldn't exist to help people." That's true in my experience. Maybe not all conservatives, maybe not all people (they do seem pretty good at passing money to their friends), but overall, this is a basic tenet of the conservative philosphy of small government.

It seems dishonest to say you're not against what he had to say, you might even agree with it, but you think it went too far -- when it was you yourself that made the leap to criminality.

I reposted your FAQ because it seemed time to review your mission statement. You seem to be missing the ruthlessly factual part, which to my small mind is a key part of "fisking" -- otherwise you are simply "carping".

And honestly, making fun is fine, but if that's all you aim to do, you should probably pick another subject than the politics of disasters. I can think of some good political humorists, but they all have a point of view at heart and use the humor as a tool to communicate that point of view. I don't really find your writing funny, more sarcastic . . . this tends to limit you to the role of a critic rather than a creator. Spread your wings and fly! :)

There's some sort of saying about "We learn the most from those who disagree with us . . ." So thanks for the chat.

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At 7:10 PM, Anonymous FISK said...

Thanks for the comments anonymous, but it is apparent that you are not familiar with the term to "imply", meaning to say something indirectly.

The fact is there is a point to this post which apparently flew right over your head. So for the last time let me attempt to explain in the simplest of terms possible.

KOS stated that Bush had followed a game plan ("according to the conservative playbook") leading to the death of many people. That most certainly implies Bush was complicit, and in fact had premeditated a crime against humanity. End of discussion.

At the very least I would call KOS' statements inflammatory rhetoric that only appeals to the fringe element of malcontents of which you seem to subscribe.

That should be obvious to any reasonable person, excepting of course certain die-hard fans of the Daily KOS Club whose names I will not mention here.

As far as your tastes in humor are concerned, please be advised that sarcasm is a form of humor (a form of verbal irony).

I have patiently tried to explain these simple truths to you, but as you say all good things must come to an end.

So please (I said please) by all means, if this blog is not your cup of tea then feel free to go drink elsewhere.

Happy life.

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At 7:44 PM, Anonymous don said...

FISK. Don't bother wasting any more time on this "anonymous" bozo.

It's probably the KOS, and he's embarrassed to admit how stupid he really is.

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