Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
One thing I’ve not yet been able to figure out. Apparently, what caused the shock waves to reverberate was this sudden deviation from the carefully constructed paradigm that Weigel was the token conservative “blogger” at the Washington Post. But if that comes as such a shock — how come nobody was wondering what Weigel was doing on this “Journolist” in the first place? As the listserv’s founder says:
At the beginning, I set two rules for the membership. The first was the easy one: No one who worked for the government in any capacity could join. The second was the hard one: The membership would range from nonpartisan to liberal, center to left. I didn’t like that rule, but I thought it necessary: There would be no free conversation in a forum where people had clear incentives to embarrass each other.
Okay, so you have this forum for more intimate, carefree and candid chatter, in which the membership runs the gamut “from nonpartisan to liberal, center to left.” Which really means the membership ranges from extreme-left to extreme-left.
When extreme leftists get together and start talking about things like, oh…Dick Cheney…Sarah Palin…Hurricane Katrina versus BP Oil Spill…what do you expect to have happen? Is the scandal that Weigel failed to keep a civil tongue, or that his phony-conservative mask was torn off? Because anyone who’s applied a little bit of diligent thought knew what Weigel was already.
Best guess I can make is, the guy doomed himself the minute he decided to participate. “Free conversation” among hardcore leftists means talking smack. It doesn’t go on too long before there’s a dick-measuring contest about who can talk the most smack, the nastiest smack, the most toxic smack, the smack least fit for public consumption. And there’s no trophy for second-best.
Was Weigel supposed to possess the maturity to stay above it all?
That’s rich. When a stalker set up housekeeping right next door to Palin’s house, and Palin had the audacity to jot down a Facebook note about it, Weigel had this to say:
Can somebody explain to me how this isn’t a despicable thing for Palin to do?
The man has no credibility with me whatsoever. Anybody who sheds tears over his failed glory, has no credibility with me either. If he’s really such a hard worker, then he can apply himself someplace where integrity doesn’t matter.
But don’t go telling me he’s a man of principle who got a raw deal.
Why not? Bruce Kesler does as decent a job explaining it as anybody else:
Ezra Klein’s juicebox-level of Leftist propaganda-feed group-think journalism and the defenders of General McChrystal’s crew of wisecrackers as being abused by the Rolling Stone’s reporter have something in common: Neither are willing to stand in public behind the truth that anything that passes from one’s lips is public property.
Yes, if one explicitly says to another “Private” or “Secret” or “Do not quote”, that might be respected. And, it might not. If you don’t have discretion or maturity, why expect that of others who also may not or have interests other than covering up for your lackings?
And, if one says to oneself that anything I say should be properly stated and reflect my views, and I will either stand behind it or explain why and how I was wrong or off-mark, then one is acting with integrity to oneself and others.
To feel otherwise is immature and irresponsible. It is an abuse of one’s public position to not be forthcoming and transparent.
This is particularly so when entrusted with the ears of millions of Americans on important public issues, or the fate of millions of Americans and allies’ lives.
In my garage, I have boxes full of literally thousands of published pieces I’ve written during and since college. That’s 46-years of comment and analyses. Many, most?, are easily available on the web. I’m also surprised at how many correspondents have archived my emails, when I haven’t. If any want to publish them, have at it.
I said it. I stand behind it, or will answer for it.
But, I will not hide behind some notion that I can be allowed to deceive or excuse or cry when someone quotes me.
But, then, I am not a careerist feathering my nest by expecting tolerance for having a lack of respect for myself, for others or for my responsibilities and ethics, and thinking I have some sort of right to be deceptive or a manipulator.
Be an adult, be a professional, or get the hell off the stage, or be exposed for a child playing with other people’s lives and too self-concerned to admit it.
We need more public and private integrity, straight-talk and standing behind it, openly, not less or any more excuses for being immature kindergartners playing with other people’s trust or lives.
Weigel was let go so that the Washington Post could preserve its own credibility. My prediction is that this will ultimately fail. But said prediction depends on the character and integrity of those who consume the news; if they are what I think they are, the Washington Post will fare no better at the conclusion of this episode, as they would if they’d gone ahead and kept Weigel on. When real people learn about a real world through real reporters, there is no need to separate what the real reporters say in “private” from what they say out in public. It shouldn’t be necessary.
On the other hand, if these consumers of news disappoint me and show the attention span of a fruit fly, the experiment will have been a success. The Washington Post will have grown to accommodate the expectations of its readers, by thickening and fortifying that all-important wall between the fiction spread across the pages, and the reality behind it all.
The product will have been improved. And we will all come to a reluctant agreement that the product is falsehood. How can it be any other way, when the messengers who bring us the “news” only think themselves fit for continuing survival when their prejudices remain concealed?
Update: The Fox News “Unprofessional Comments” scandal needs to be attached to the end of Kesler’s list. It’s a fitting addition to this post because it’s precisely what I’ve been talking about:
The phony, forced laughter belies the social purpose: There is no need to announce the fact that such-and-such a person thinks Sarah Palin is a big dolt. The need is to announce the willingness to announce. This is the real reason why the credibility is taking a big hit. The news is being reported by people whose primary agenda, if you can call it that, is to maintain membership in an informal social circle. They have to show that they think jokes made at the expense of Palin, and those like her, are funny. They have to prove it over and over again or they might get drummed out. You can hear their fear of this in everything they say. Every syllable.
I must run some edits on the audio, try to isolate and clean-up that horse laugh. I can’t even tell if it’s one guy doing it or two. They all sound alike, these American Castrati.
Fascinating thing this is: When it’s really self-evident someone has an unappealing quality, usually it’s not necessary to point this out. Palin gets a special exemption from this:
They are loud, eager to get their opinion on the record, to the point of being obnoxious. Nobody seems to be sitting in a corner anywhere quietly thinking to himself “Wow I wish Palin would go away she’s so unqualified.”
– Item #13 from my list of things I Notice About Palin Bashers.
And of course, Thing I Know #347 is & has been for awhile:
Funny thing about people and the connections they feel with each other when they badmouth third parties: I think that guy’s a psychopath, you agree with me, we don’t bond. You and I may disagree about other things much more important to us. I think that guy’s a liar, you agree that guy’s a liar, this too has little or no effect on our relationship with each other. But if we get together and decide so-and-so is a dumbass — suddenly we’re blood brothers. Our disagreements on any other matter become trivial. We agreed some guy is stupid, and that makes us family. We connect.
Kesler nailed it. These are the juicebox set. These are mental kindergartners. Insecure children, bonding with one another, the way the immature do on the playground.
“Girls are stupid! Girls have cooties!” And these are the people bringing us “news,” so that we can “make up our minds for ourselves” what is going on in the world. Nice.
No wonder we’ve got a President who thinks the solution to an oil leak in the gulf, is to extort money from oil companies, ban offshore drilling, and pass a special energy tax while the leak is still leaking. We deserve this.
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