I am informed that Mr. Eric Boehlert has (for the third time) referenced this post in his unending series of rants about rightwing “warbloggers” and their supposed irresponsibility in (gasp!) questioning the Associated Press about a report and it’s source. At least this time he has quoted me correctly, so that’s a nice change from earlier.
Boehlert uses the quote to huff that I think there is no need for a press (!) and cites the The Iraq Study Group Report (that bastion of enlightenment I do believe he is the only person still referencing) as evidence that, indeed when it comes to the US Military it might be best to take the uncorroborated word of Iraqi locals and stringers who lack evidence over our soldiers. Raise your hand if any of that surprises you.
Let’s test that logic with a syllogism, shall we?
Major Premise: The AP reported four mosques burned down and six people were murdered, and their source was Jamil Hussein.
Minor Premise: Jamil Hussein exists.
Conclusion: Therefore four mosques burned down and six people were murdered.
No, that doesn’t work. The logic fails.
It seems odd to me. How does someone being extant automatically mean his uncorroborated story is simply true? Why are people in a free country not allowed to question the press without having to face the rambling wrath of Eric Boehlert?
These seem like simple questions and yet the answers are slow in coming. Seems strange.
Whatever. I’m bored, and this will be the last time I write about this issue or Boehlert’s columns, at least until we get some more information (something beyond “Jamil Hussein exists”) on the initial AP report, which has been changed (four mosques are now one, etc) but never corrected. All of the ranting and railing against “right wing warbloggers” has not managed to provide any sort of verification of the incident – but it has thrown up a nice smokescreen, and for some it has managed to obfuscate those questions we keep asking: What really happened? Is the report real? Four mosques or one? Six people burned alive or none? Where is the evidence, pictures, interviews? This story went around the world!
I did have to chuckle when I read this line of Boehlert’s:
To date, the warbloggers’ admissions of errors have been grudging and brief, despite the fact they wrote enthusiastically and freely while lodging their nasty allegations..
Heh. Where to start? Given his singularly cranky and ungracious acknowledgement that he’d um, selectively quoted Seedubya, and his complete inability to admit that he also – by omitting part of one of my sentences – mischaracterized my meaning, I’m not sure Boehlert has room to talk. He also implied that I hold “contempt” for the first amendment, a charge to which I do not take kindly.
And does Boehlert really want to talk writing “enthusiastically and freely while lodging…nasty allegations?” My sides hurt.
And I’m still not a “warblogger.”
Meanwhile, Curt is wondering if the AP’s man is the right man. This thing goes on and on.