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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Going Way Too Far - Stooge Edition

I know some people who respect talk-radio co-host Craig Silverman. I find the guy's nasally voice irritating to listen to, but that's aesthetics. What about substance?

As this rambling piece on Huff Post shows, he's little more than a right-wing stooge.

Take this line:
Paul Krugman and Clarence Dupnik went way too far, but Sarah Palin was inevitably going to be discussed.
Yes, I understand it's a given that both Paul Krugman and Clarence Dupnik "went way too far" when they brought up "political rhetoric" in the context of the Tucson shootings, but did they? Did they really?

Going "way too far" is a subjective thing, of course, but I wonder, how exactly did Krugman go "way too far?" Well, let's consult Krugman.

This, I believe, is the piece Silverman is talking about. Is this going "way too far?"
We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was.
Considering the context, that's an eminently reasonable first take. An attempted assassination at a political event? Yeah, might be political. Kind of like how a Muslim blowing shit up might be Islamic terrorism.

But maybe that's not where Silverman thinks Krugman "went way too far." Maybe it's this:
You know that Republicans will yell about the evils of partisanship whenever anyone tries to make a connection between the rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh, etc. and the violence I fear we’re going to see in the months and years ahead. But violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.
Again, I can see how you may disagree if you're on the right, but what part of this is going "way too far?"

As for Dupnik, his remarks were emotionally charged, but again, how did they "go way too far?"

In his press confernce, Dupnik said, among other things:
"There's reason to believe that this individual may have a mental issue. And I think people who are unbalanced are especially susceptible to vitriol," he said during his televised remarks. "People tend to pooh-pooh this business about all the vitriol we hear inflaming the American public by people who make a living off of doing that. That may be free speech, but it's not without consequences."
Yes, this is the kind of thing that Craig Silverman, who's not a stooge at all, thinks goes "way too far."

What kind of spineless, flimsy creature is going to put any of this in the "too far" category?

I think what's happening here is that Silverman is so used to speaking to a right-wing audience that he doesn't even have to worry about justifying the "way too far" stuff. It's part of the meme, so it must be repeated. And repeated and repeated.

I guess there's another possibility that may be somewhat more redemptive of Craig "The Stooge" Silverman. He really does believe Krugman and Dupnik's not-very-inflammatory-but-certainly-disagreeable remarks went "way too far." This would merely mean that he's thin-skinned but not stoogey.

But I don't believe for one second that people on the right genuinely think Krugman or Dupnik went too far. What, you can tolerate talk of Obama's birth certificate, death panels, socialized medicine, Real Americans, watering the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots, you can listen to all this stuff with no problem whatsoever, but when Paul Krugman says "it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers," it's somehow out of line?

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