by John Hawkins | June 30, 2010 8:16 am
On Monday, I smacked David Frum around on RWN, partially for being David Frum, but mostly for complaining about being denied a spot in the Blogads Conservative Hive.
David Frum did fire back, but honestly, just between you, me, and all the other people who will read this today, I initially wasn’t planning to respond because it was well…very weak tea. It was like Frum wrote the response while he was really sleepy or something. So, what’s the point of rehashing the same old argument, right?
However, something happened that turned me completely around on the idea of doing a post. Blogs started supporting Frum — but, not just any blogs. Andrew Sullivan from the Daily Dish, Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs and David Brock’s Media Matters all spoke up to defend David Frum.
Hey, wait a second. There’s something about those three websites….Let’s see, they’re all liberal. They all hate anything and everything conservative. They all stick up: for: Frum — which, and this is probably breaking some heretofore unknown corollary of Godwin’s law, but for a “conservative” to be defended by all three of those websites is like a liberal being praised by Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and Daniel Ortega. Gee, it’s almost like there’s something else. Oh, yeah — didn’t Andrew Sullivan, Charles Johnson, and David Brock all used to be on the Right before they flipped and started attacking everybody on their own side? Now, they’re all defending David Frum who’s making a name for himself by attacking people who are supposed to be on his side? Ah, that’s probably just coincidence. Still, maybe it’s just me, but isn’t it a wee bit odd that all of these websites that spend their days ceaselessly venting their spleen at all things conservative, are all sticking up for David Frum? Weird, isn’t it?
In fact, let’s do a little comparison. All of these websites are going all fuzzy kittens over David Frum, who has a gig at CNN. So, let’s see what they all had to say when another blogger, the much more popular Erick Erickson of Redstate was hired at CNN. David’s a “conservative” blogger and Erick’s a conservative blogger — so, I’m sure the commentary was compatible, right? Let’s find out!
Wow, how strange! Charles Johnson, in his own inimitable way, posted a Jon Stewart video attacking Erickson and wrote a single negative, rambling sentence about it. Media Matters pumped out 1420 words attacking the hire including a section called “Erickson’s history of violent incendiary, sexist, and racially charged commentary” which featured Erick going WAY OVER THE LINE by saying awful things like Michelle Obama is a “marxist harpy wife” (Snicker). Sullivan quoted some silly nonsense about the hire of Erickson “moving the center” to the right because Erick’s an “extreme partisan.” Lord knows we can’t have “extreme partisans” on CNN. We better just leave that channel to unbiased observers of the news like James Carville, Donna Brazile, and Paul Begala.
In any case, there sure does seem to be a big difference in the way those sites view conservative Erick Erickson and “conservative” David Frum, doesn’t there? Gee, there must be some kind of explanation for it, right? I mean, Erick Erickson is a conservative and David Frum’s also a “conservative,” isn’t he? He must be, right? He says so — just like Andrew Sullivan does. Whatever could be the difference between a conservative like Erickson and a “conservative” like Frum: : in the eyes of websites like Media Matters, Little Green Footballs, and The Daily Dish? If only we knew.
Well, perhaps someday, on a show like Unsolved Mysteries, they’ll figure out what’s really going on there. However, in the interim, let’s take a look at David Frum’s response to Monday’s post. Here’s point #1 from Frum:
1) Observe that Hawkins does not say, “We denied FrumForum admission to the conservative hive because they are not conservatives.” He did not say that because it would be too obviously ludicrous to do so.
Ehr…I kind of did say that. In fact, I said almost exactly that. When Frum’s representative emailed asking to include his website in the Blogads Conservative Hive, my response was in part,
I’m afraid that I don’t consider FrumForum to be a conservative website, so I’m going to have to decline to add you to the conservative hive.
Then, after Frum’s representative responded back with a lame threat from Frum…
I shared your e-mail refusal to add FrumForum.com to the Blogads advertising hive because you don’t consider it conservative to David and he said, “.. You may tell him from me that I consider this decision a fascinating news story in its own right.”
…again, I responded with an email that Frum was cc’d on,
I used to like and respect David Frum. Then, I guess he decided being a small fish in a big conservative pond wasn’t good enough for him. That’s when it appears to me that he made a business decision to trash conservatives for the amusement of the Left. Whatever his motives may be, that’s his decision.
But, if that’s what he wants to be known for, I’m certainly not going to do anything to help him stick a shiv deeper in the back of people who believe the things that I do. Maybe some people are willing to turn a blind eye because they know and like David personally, but I’m not his friend, I genuinely don’t consider him to be a conservative or even someone who’s friendly to the conservative movement, and I’m not willing to give him a pass for the way he behaves.×
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So, if you or David think it’s a “fascinating news story in its own right,” knock yourself out. Maybe David can write about it the next time he sneers at conservatives for Newsweek.
If somehow, Frum forgot all of those emails, they were also included in the post. But, since they didn’t stick, let me try repeating it slower. I. Do. Not. Consider. David. Frum. To. Be. A. Conservative. I. Also. Do. Not. Think. FrumForum. Is. A. Conservative. Website. Is that plain enough?
Also, Frum quotes me…
[T]he mainstream media loves “conservatives” and “Republicans” who will trash whomever the Left hates most. So, if you’re willing to talk about how Sarah Palin is a hick, Glenn Beck is a crank, Rush Limbaugh is bad for the country, and the Tea Party is bad for democracy, the mainstream media will reward you…
Hawkins does not argue that these statements are false – that e.g. Glenn Beck is not a crank.
I’ve never considered David to be a dumb guy; so I’m a little surprised that he’s this obtuse. On the other hand, maybe David’s used to saying things he doesn’t believe to get a paycheck; so he’s surprised that everyone else doesn’t do the same thing. Whatever the case may be, if David is having trouble keeping up, I will spell it out for him: Sarah Palin is not a hick, Glenn Beck is not a crank, Rush Limbaugh is good for the country, and the Tea Party is good for democracy. In fact, let me go one step further: If I were forced to choose a GOP presidential candidate for 2012 today, it would be Sarah Palin. I watched Glenn Beck’s speech at CPAC and loved it. Rush Limbaugh is one of the people I most admire and I have attended and spoken at Tea Parties.
2) Here’s point #2 from Frum,
Observe next Hawkins’ suggestion as to WHY we do the things we do. It’s not to be considered that we might be trying to solve important problems, even possibly in a wrongheaded way. No – we are total cynics motivated by greed for liberal $.
…Now this is really amazing. We live in a world in which conservative radio hosts actually tape commercials for everything from gold coins to adjustable mattresses. Rush Limbaugh frankly acknowledged to an admiring Zev Chafets: “First and foremost I’m a businessman. My first goal is to attract the largest possible audience so I can charge confiscatory ad rates. I happen to have great entertainment skills, but that enables me to sell airtime.” Sarah Palin deserted her elected office before her term to cash in her economic opportunities. And yet it is I who am supposed to be prostituting my principles for money?
The truth, of course, is just the opposite. A lucre-seeking cynic would do much better to conform to conservative groupthink than to challenge it.
As I said in the last post, I don’t begrudge people: : on: the: Right making a living in politics. I’d be pretty foolish if I did, given that I’m a professional blogger. However, I do draw the line with — let’s use Frum’s word here — political prostitutes who label themselves as conservatives while being continuously rewarded by the mainstream media because they’re willing to trash anything and everything that excites people on the Right. In all honesty, I have more respect for people like Kos, Michael Moore, or Paul Krugman than I do for someone like David Frum. At least they don’t make any bones about the fact that they want to kick us in the behinds. Guys like David Frum will kick conservatism down the stairs, happily collect a check from a liberal organization for doing it, and then turn around and say, “It’s outrageous that you don’t trust me! I’m on your side, but you’re just too dumb to know it!”
Let me also add that Frum’s last line there is particularly funny — “A lucre-seeking cynic would do much better to conform to conservative groupthink than to challenge it.” Really? Because it’s no surprise that an unaccomplished airhead like Meghan McCain has a column in the Daily Beast. David Brooks? He’s a very fuzzy thinker — so why does he have a gig at the New York Times? How is it that Kathleen Parker of all people is getting a new TV show on CNN? David, why do you think you have a column at CNN? Do you think Newsweek would have given you a cover story if you were going to say nice things about Rush Limbaugh?
If you were going by talent, personality, or ability to hold an audience, none of the people I’ve just mentioned, including David Frum, have the ability to claw their way up the conservative food chain like Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, and Mark Levin have. So, to use David Frum’s word again, they’re willing to prostitute themselves (If Meghan McCain happens to read this, I don’t mean that literally — like a street walker. It means you’re selling out your principles. If you get confused, ask your daddy to hire someone to explain it to you) to the liberals in the mainstream media who want “conservatives” who are willing to tell liberals what they want to hear. This is no secret to David Frum or anybody else who works in this business.
3) Last but not least, from Frum,
Hawkins seems to be suggesting that we go on TV not as individuals, to express our own ideas as best we can, to offer the most useful information we can discover. No – people should appear as representatives of pre-existing tribes: conservatives, liberals, blacks, whatever, to engage in a ritual of synchronized repetition of pre-existing phrases. You are a conservative? You must say THIS – and never that. You must approve THIS – and never admit to doubts about that.
Actually, I, like most conservatives, do not advocate groupthink or demand people rigidly stick to the “company line.” We actually have a simpler request: We just want people who are billed as Republicans and conservatives to actually be on the same side we are. The editorial pages in the newspapers slant liberal. The columnists slant liberal. Even the news in the newspapers slants liberal. Hell, even the TV shows and movies slant liberal. So finally, after all that, you run across a “conservative” in the mainstream media giving an opinion and guess what? He’s been given a platform to speak because he agrees with the liberals. That’s what people like David Frum get paid to do, I’m sick of it, and I’m not doing anything else to reward people like him, including allowing them to get into the Blogads Conservative Hive.
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