Please, someone, anyone, stop Mika Brzezinski before she kills journalistic integrity again. Ms. Brzezinski if you're reading this, I'm begging you, just google "false equivalency" and read some of the commentaries on the various blogs that pop up. It won't take you that long. And, joy of joys, you'll be able to read examples from the left and the right! That means it's valid, right?
Mika's tendency to posit that an issue is a problem with both liberals and conservatives, seemingly regardless of the issue at hand, is hardly a problem of her own making of course. But the co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe might just be the most obvious purveyor of this, one of the major reasons why journalists today enjoy public approval ratings somewhere below lawyers and just above pederasts. People like Mika make the rest of her journalistic tribe, of which I am, for better or worse, a member, look more like propagandists than truth seekers. And the truth is, after all, the only reason we do what we do. Or at least, it should be.
But if that's the case, and I'm pretty sure Mika would agree, at least in principle, with the notion that truth is the final goal of journalism, why does she insist on routines like that of this morning's episode of Morning Joe, in which the arrest of a man who threatened Eric Cantor prompted her to insist that contemporary political violence is a problem for both the left and the right?
The usual dog-and-pony show was there. The Washington Post's Gene Robinson, one of the few voices of sanity in the padded-room world of cable news, tried to explain that seeing no daylight between a threat on the left and the brick-throwing, loogie-spitting behavior of the right was perhaps not the proper conclusion to draw from all of this. Pat Buchanan -- a Nixon operative who, despite that pedigree, is still seen as a credible commentator for reasons that have never been properly explained -- tried to make the claim that the Black Panthers were the ones plotting to shoot police in the 1960s, so the left is just the same as those Hutaree asshats arrested in Michigan earlier this week.
Yes, Pat, it's a damn shame what the Panthers did in the 1960s. It's also a shame what Genghis Khan did to Samarkand. But neither of these, of course, are the point. Things that didn't occur in my lifetime (or anyone under the age of 40 for that matter) can hardly be considered contemporary political violence. Oh, and by the way, Pat, when you said this morning that there's no video of the spitting incident, you were wrong.
And even Robinson came up short when trying to define right-wing violence in America as different than anything coming from the left wing, citing only the recent behavior of tea-party protesters. But these acts of vandalism and assault against the property and person of Democratic congressmen are only the latest in a line of violent right-wing acts that began in the lead-up to Barack Obama's election.
When you begin with Jim Adkisson in July 2008, killing people in their own church because of their "liberal values;" carry on through the several right-wing crazies who actually managed to kill police officers before being taken out, unlike the Hutaree; recall the killing of George Tiller and a guard at the Holocaust Museum; and then look at the behavior cited by Robinson, it becomes all too clear that a brick thrown through Rep. Louise Slaughter's office window is only the latest event in a long line of right-wing attacks that have now taken the lives of at least 10 people and wounded just as many.
So, Mika, now that you're up to date, you still think a lone crank threatening Rep. Cantor is the same as all that? That political violence is a problem for the left and the right? People are dead, Mika, and it wasn't liberals who pulled the triggers.
Of course, it's not only Mika Brzezinski who has been making this claim, and I hate to pile it all on her. But this sort of ridiculous lie, this tearing-the-hair-out false equivalency, must be nipped in the bud before it becomes accepted as conventional wisdom. There are disturbed people out there whose violent tendencies are being egged on by politicians and pundits. They are dangerous, and they are conservatives. Period.
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