Monday, October 03, 2005


This is just too much. David Frum on the Bill Bennet flap:
... my heart goes out to Bill Bennett this week. All of us who speak and write for a living have the experience of saying something less perfectly than we might later wish. If only life were like the Congressional Record, and we were all free to revise and extend our remarks. Still, even so, it seems to me almost incredible that anybody could have construed Bill Bennett's now controversial words about abortion and crime as anything other than a statement of his commitment to the equal value of all human life.


I never did quite see the point of organizing an elaborate and lavishly fund website just in order to mobilize angry emails to conservative writers who would promptly delete them. I get it now, though: The real value of Brock's site is that it can invoke the values of honesty and integrity in media and then go on to damagingly distort the words and beliefs of its conservative targets. It seems a lousy way to make a living - but there's no denying that after a decade in the wilderness, David Brock is once again exerting his special and inimitable influence on American politics.

As I'm sure Frum knows, David Brock began his career as a tambourine player in the right-wing noise machine funded by cranky conservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, the main purpose of which was to damagingly distort the words and beliefs of its liberal targets, precisely what Frum accuses Brock of doing now to conservatives, though I'm pretty sure Frum didn't have any problem with Brock back then. (Scaife's smear operation also is responsible for Ann Coulter's career as cable news' go-to shrew, among other egregious offenses.) Focusing on Brock and ignoring the broad and diversified right-wing propaganda operation of which Brock was only one part is like blaming Nicolas Cage for National Treasure, never mentioning Jerry Bruckheimer.

As for Bill Bennett, I don't think he deserves to be condemned as a bigot. He deserves to be condemned, as always, as a sanctimonious, hypocritical blowhard.

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