I was curious as to how Neal Gabler would opine. Surely, there was no way the resident aggressive lefty at Fox News Watch would defend the odious statements of William Arkin, who in this column libeled the US military as "mercenaries" and claimed we treat them to "obscene amenities." As it turns out, Gabler didn't, even going so far as to call Arkin's statements "idiotic."
However . . . that doesn't mean that Gabler didn't find something to complain about in the way conservatives reacted to the column. Kvetched Neal:
"There are literally tens of millions of bloggers out there. Singling out this particular blogger is an instance of cherry-picking by Fox News, who've been on this story, by Rush Limbaugh. And what's worse, in my estimation, as idiotic as these words are, is then to ascribe these to ascribe these attitudes to the entire left, which O'Reilly has done, and which Rush Limbaugh has done, and that is idiotic."
View video here.
Jim Pinkerton pointed out that "singling out" is what media criticism is about, rightly adding that "if he had used the 'n-word,' people would have singled him out for treatment on this."
There's a larger point here. Arkin wasn't some UC Berkeley sophomore pounding out this libel at his "IHatetheMilitary.blogspot.com" for the delectation of himself and his fellow sociology-major roommate. This was a column at the Washington Post by someone to whom the Post has regularly accorded space to write on "National and Homeland Security."
Gabler chose to ignore that.
Mark was in Iraq in November. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org