On The Huffington Post, Cowardice, And The Ad Hominem Attack
After a brief but apparently loud “protest” of sorts, The Huffington Post caved to the extortionist tactics of Van Jones’ Color of Change organization. It seems the organization had people make 43,000 phone calls to HuffPo headquarters. Color of Change has 43,000 members? Who knew?
Of course, the HuffPo couldn’t just come out and admit they’re cowards. No, they cited Andrew Breitbart’s “ad hominem” attacks on Van Jones. This is what HuffPo Spokesperson Mario Ruiz wrote to Greg Sargent:
The Huffington Post is committed to fostering a lively and often provocative debate about the issues of the day and encourages a wide range of voices from all perspectives to participate. Andrew Brietbart’s false ad hominem attack on Van Jones in The Daily Caller violates the tenets of debate and civil discourse we have strived for since the day we launched. As a result, we will no longer feature his posts on the front page.
He is welcome to continue publishing his work on HuffPost provided it adheres to our editorial guidelines, as the two posts he published on HuffPost did — guidelines that include a strict prohibition on ad hominem attacks. Our decision today recognizes that placing posts on the front page is an editorial call that elevates some posts over others, and is an indication of how seriously we take these judgment calls.
See? No mention of the thousands of phone calls. Andrew Breitbart was taken off the front page for being mean to Van Jones. He was even put on notice of being permanently banned from posting if he does any “ad hominem” attacking in the future. They go even futher and imply that this a stated guideline. I’m assuming it applies to everyone who posts at HuffPo.
This, of course, piqued my curiosity. How strict is this newly revealed policy? Off to the front page of HuffPo I went. My eyes settled immediately on a familiar name: Ed Schultz.
Now, before we jump to conclusions, let’s look up the term “ad hominem attack“, shall we?
1: appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect2: marked by or being an attack on an opponent’s character rather than by an answer to the contentions made
Okay, so I guess Brietbart calling Van Jones a “commie punk” and “cop killer-supporting, racist, demagogic freak. And a commie. And an eco-fraudster” would fit the definition. We’ll set aside the part where all of that is true.
If that was an ad hominem attack on Van Jones, wouldn’t Ed Schultz’ little tirade be an ad hominem attack on Republicans? We’ll set aside the part where Schultz was also wrong. It seems to me that the HuffPo needs to remove Ed Schultz from its front page, no? And if consistency matters, Ed Schultz should also be on notice that any more ad hominems will result in him being banned from posting on the site for good. Am I missing something here? (That’s a rhetorical question)
After finding the glaring hypocrisy in having Ed Schultz featured on the Front Page, I decided to pick someone else. Ooh! There’s Jason Linkins! I’ve seen his stuff before and remember that he has an “irreverent” style. Could it be that Jason has avoided the dreaded ad hominem attack since his time as a featured writer on the HuffPo? Impossible. I decided to check his Twitter account. It took me five minutes to find a couple of examples.
That’s Jason calling Ann Althouse’s husband and idiot. Ad hominem? You betcha!
But Ann’s husband isn’t a political figure, he’s just a blogger, so maybe there are guidelines to the guidelines or something.
Oh! That’s an ad hominem. And Sam Arora is a politician. He’s definitely a political figure like Van Jones, but clearly not as well known. Should Jason be taken off the front page of the Huffington Post and be put on notice of a potential future ban?
If consistency mattered both Ed and Jason should be in the same boat as Breitbart. But we’re dealing with the Left. Consistency is only required of conservatives. Leftists can get away with nearly anything except maybe irrefutable evidence of cheating on your cancer-stricken wife or being caught utilizing the services of a call girl while Governor of New York. Wait, scratch that last one. That dude has his own show on CNN now.
You get the point. The Huffington Post, despite their statement, didn’t take Breitbart off the front page and put him on probation because he insulted Van Jones. They did what they did because hypocritical Leftists launched a protest and the cowards caved.
The totalitarian Left doesn’t care about free speech. They don’t want the free exchange of ideas. Color of Change knows full well that Breitbart never lied about Shirley Sherrod (I’m assuming they actually read the article where the Sherrod tapes first appeared, of course). They got their “scalp” and are now emboldened to go out and try to silence the opposition.
What a joke.