Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Kleinheider Wrong in Quoting McGovern

A.C. Kleinheider at VolunteerVoters took umbrage at my criticism of his and others' use of an anti-Semitic source for the purpose of criticizing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield. Kleinheider was not alone in referring to Rumsfield's critic, Ray McGovern, only as a "27 year CIA veteran," ignoring his more recent history as a source of wild anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Kleinheider's defends of his use of the source as follows:
  1. His questioning of Rumsfield was "factual and on point."
  2. The fact that he is critical of U.S. foreign policy regarding Israel does not make him anti-Semitic. Kleinheider says that he is tired of the "political antisemitic thing." He then oddly says that no one knows if he is an anti-Semite and adds, "Nothing in his public statements would indicate anything that would have been called antisemitism until relatively recently." His colleague at WKRN, Brittney Gilbert, commented additionally that anyone criticizing Israel is accused of anti-semitism.

Until relatively recently? I suggest Kleinheider read more history.

I will make three points in response.

  1. I don't find McGovern's questioning to be nearly as enlightening as Kleinheider seems to think it is. His attack was more belligerent than "factual and on point." I particularly thought that after viewing the video of the entire exchange, which was more favorable toward Rumsfield than the snippet Kleinheider quoted in his earlier post.
  2. In arguing that McGovern's credibility was irrelevant, Kleinheider ignores the fact that the story would have not seen the light of day if not for the supposed credibility of the questioner. Every single blogger and news report I've seen that uses the story for the purpose of attacking Rumsfield begins by pointing out that it was a "27 year CIA veteran" that did so. Every one. It is not news that someone accused the administration of lying about WMD. It was supposedly news that a CIA veteran did -- except the CIA veteran turned out to be a nut.
  3. I don't accuse anyone who attacks Israel or American foreign policy regarding the same as being anti-Semitic. However, I do accuse those who claim Jews are guilty of wild conspiracies by which they control the world and use the leaders of nations as puppets of being anti-Semitic. I can only assume that Kleinheider did not follow my links discussing McGovern's wild theories. No less than Howard Dean distanced himself from McGovern for reasons of the latter's anti-semitism. If Dean and I agree on anything, it almost has to be right.
  4. If one wants to criticize Rumsfield, there are plenty of credible sources without having to resort to using an anti-Semite. David Duke may have at some point said something truthful about liberals, but no responsible commentator is going to use him as a source. One's choice of sources -- and I don't mean this about Kleinheider in this instance, as he says he was unaware of McGovern's record -- may say more about the quoter than it does about the subject addressed.

I guess this means I stand by my earlier criticism.

1 Comments:

Blogger Kleinheider said...

One's choice of sources -- and I don't mean this about Kleinheider in this instance, as he says he was unaware of McGovern's record -- may say more about the quoter than it does about the subject addressed.

Well, feel free to include me because I wouldn't have done anything different once I knew.

However, I do accuse those who claim Jews are guilty of wild conspiracies by which they control the world and use the leaders of nations as puppets of being anti-Semitic. I can only assume that Kleinheider did not follow my links discussing McGovern's wild theories.

I did click through to your links. I did then and I just did now.

I find nothing like what you're describing.

When did anyone accuse "the Jews" of anything? McGovern criticized the government of Israel not "the Jews."

You can't just make up stuff. Either critizing Israel is antisemitic or it's not. If it isn't, then I see no evidence of antisemitism.

12:34 PM  

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