Salon Editor-in-Chief Accuses Conservatives of Distorting Facts, Then Has to Apologize for Distorting Facts
Such is the case of Joan Walsh, Editor-in-Chief of Salon, who recently penned a piece titled, The Shame of Right-Wing "Journalism". The article includes the sub-heading, "Andrew Breitbart and Tucker Carlson distort facts to smear liberals, and it works. What liberals should learn."
Apparently, it didn't take long for liberals to learn at all, as Walsh was quickly called out by Chris Hayes of The Nation, feeling it necessary to make ‘a factual correction' in the piece.
Oh, sweet irony.
Walsh updates her piece with Hayes' response at the end, and admitting to the error, but it remains an amusing endeavor to combat alleged distorted facts with actual distorted facts.
The problem, as Hayes explains it to Walsh (emphasis mine throughout):
You write "And while I don't think anyone on the JournoList directly took Hayes' or Ackerman's suggestion that they call people who raised the Wright issue 'racist' ..."
That apostrophe at the end of my name creates a claim that I suggested people accuse those who raise the Wright issue of being racist. I didn't. Not in the thread or anywhere else, so far as I can tell. It's not really my style. If I had, I'd be happy to be whacked for it. But I didn't. That sentence is just factually wrong.
There are other questionable facts as well.
In the Salon piece, Walsh also contends that the Daily Caller was factually incorrect when it came to Spencer Ackerman's deplorable suggestion to randomly pick conservative pundits and label them as racists. The Caller says that others involved in the Journolist threads only complained about Ackerman's suggestion for tactical reasons. Walsh contends that this is untrue, as "several people are quoted strongly disagreeing with the feverish suggestions of Hayes and Ackerman, on grounds that were moral and factual, not merely tactical."
Problem is, there were no moral counterpoints to the Ackerman tactic. Mark Schmitt responded to the suggestion saying, "Calling Fred Barnes a racist doesn't further the argument, and not just because Juan Williams is his new black friend, but because that makes it all about character". A moral argument would have simply read, ‘Accusing Fred Barnes of being a racist is wrong and reprehensible.' But beyond that, Walsh leaves out a very key element of the article - a side note that said: (In an interview Monday, Schmitt declined to say whether he thought Ackerman's plan was wrong. "That is not a question I'm going to answer," he said.) Is that really such a difficult question to answer, Mr. Schmitt? Morally speaking, a 'yes' would have been the proper argument.
Walsh then goes on to make the laughable statement that, "Beyond the bounds of the Journolist, the Caller strives mightily to make the case that there was a generalized liberal media conspiracy to ignore the Wright issue - but I can tell you from personal experience, there was none." Forgive us for not going on your word. Perhaps you missed the ‘Wright-Free Zone' that the media was constructing in the fall of 2008. In case you missed it, Ed Driscoll reminds us with a video clip that shows CNN commentators praising Reverend Wright, and shortly thereafter pretending that everyone had moved on.
Next up is a seamless transition from an argument about calling conservatives racist, to Walsh actually calling conservatives racist.
"... in the spring of 2008, I was called "racist" so often the word lost its sting. I honestly believe that the wanton use of that terrible term to defend Obama is part of why today, when there is genuine racism against the president from the right and within the Tea Party, it's sometimes hard to get anyone to pay attention."
We're all still anxiously awaiting proof of that ‘genuine racism'.
And that's a fact...
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