Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Smear Machine

Hearken to this beautiful bit of commentary from George Will:

Here's -- we know six things, Chris. We know first the targeting occurred.

Therefore, second, we know that this is worse than article two of the Nixon impeachment count, which said Nixon endeavored to use the IRS. The IRS back then resisted.

Third, we know that this became public in an act of deceit when Lois Lerner planted a question with a friend in an audience to try and get this out on her own terms.

Fourth, we know that she has taken the Fifth Amendment because she has a right to do this when she has a reasonable suspicion that there might be criminal activity involved.

Fifth, we know that from the timeline you put up today, that there has been 13 months of stonewalling on this.

And sixth, now we know that not only her hard drive, but six other people intimately involved in this suddenly crashed in an amazing miraculous coincidence. Religions have been founded on less, ten days after the investigation started.

Will is a master. For pure expressive skill, he's up there in the commentary pantheon next to Mark Steyn. Even when I disagree with the substance of his position, I can't help but admire his wordsmithing. He always manages to say exactly what he means, and so elegantly that to improve on his phrasing would be beyond me.

So the Left is determined to smear him:

Here’s the syndicated Will column that started this latest round of conservative headhunting. Will’s point was clear: the alleged “epidemic” of rape on college campuses isn’t—as illustrated by statistics from the Obama administration itself. The column began:
Colleges and universities are being educated by Washington and are finding the experience excruciating. They are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (“micro-aggressions,” often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate. And academia’s progressivism has rendered it intellectually defenseless now that progressivism’s achievement, the regulatory state, has decided it is academia’s turn to be broken to government’s saddle.

For this latest affront, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch announced they were dropping Will’s column. Said Tony Messenger, the paper’s editor: “The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it.” Messenger also said, as the backlash to the paper’s decision grew, reported here at the Wrap:

“We had a lot of readers very angry and very hurt,” Messenger said. “It caused us to go back and take a look at it, and it reinforced our previous decision that he had lost a little bit of speed off his fastball, and it caused us to make the decision a little bit more quickly than we would have otherwise.”

Speaking on CNN, Messenger said:

“A lot of the responses that were negative to our decision accused us of doing so for political correctness,” Messenger added. “That’s not the case. We believe that the column trivializes sexual assault victims.”

Please read the whole Spectator column, which is thorough and devastating...but wait: there's more! There are two slanders worthy of refutation and rebuke:

[I]f Katie McDonough, an assistant editor at Salon, finds herself feeling angry all the time, as I very much suspect she does, it’s not because conservative columnist George Will pretended “rape never happens,” because that never happened; it’s not because Will claimed that being a rape victim is a “coveted status,” because Will never did; it’s not because Will feels uncomfortable discussing sexual assault, because he very obviously does not; it’s because she’s ashamed of herself for deceiving her audience by distorting Will’s words, thoughts and intentions, as she very well should be. Shame and self-disgust sometimes make you lash out at other people to keep you from facing what you’ve done yourself.

What Spectator columnist Jeffrey Lord and PJ Media's Andrew Klavan are doing in the above is what all of us should be doing: counterattacking. Specifically, we have to go after the credibility, and beyond that, the character, of those who propagate such smears. It's simply not enough to refute them; we must punish them, and so severely as to sway opinion to our side out of sheer moral outrage.

According to the strategists, no one ever won a war by playing defense. Similarly, merely refuting the lies about our most prominent figures is insufficient. We have to get on the attack and stay there.

The moral rationale should be obvious. The practical rationale is equally simple: It's the main weapon in the Left's rhetorical arsenal, all the way from distortions such as that perpetrated by Salon's Katie McDonough to the simplistic shouts of "RACIST!" inevitably hurled at conservative prescriptions.

It's worked for the Left for fifty years, even though they've never had facts or logic on their side. It's time to make it work for us in the Right -- with the facts, and the words of the slanderers, as our ammunition.

Be not afraid.

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