Sunday, February 04, 2007

I will defend to the death your right to say it

"I disapprove of what you say,
but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

It is commonly believed that this a quote from Voltaire. However, as it turns out, the quote is more correctly attributed to Evelyn Beatrice Hall, who was writing under the pseudonym of Stephen G. Tallentyre in The Friends of Voltaire.

Hall was attempting to paraphrase Voltaire's attitudes, based on his Essay on Tolerance where he asserts:
"Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too."

I greatly appreciate the resource of
Wikiquote for this interesting bit of information and the ability to correctly attribute this quote to Evelyn Beatrice Hall.

During this past week, controversy raged in half of the blogosphere (only the conservative half) over Washington Post Reporter/Columnist William Arkin's unbelievably stupid, self-centered, hateful, inane, vapid, ugly, mean-spirited, tasteless, insipid, ill-informed, prejudiced, and ego-driven

"So, we pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?"

This past week I considered what I might write in response to his columns. In the end I felt the very famous quote at the top of this page, as inspired by Voltaire and written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, was all I needed to say. Anything more would be simply a waste of time and cyber-keystrokes.

For those who want more, here is
a link to Michelle Malkin's first article on Arkin with numerous links to other bloggers and other media reactions. Once on Malkin's site you can search and find much more.

I am disappointed at my fellow bloggers on the left who are quick to condemn similar hateful prose from columnist Ann Coulter, but who are notably silent on the now, multi-column horror being spewed by Arkin.

As Arkin hit full speed in his diatribe,
Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person of the Day" was not Arkin, but a minor "Fox Noise" reporter who incorrectly identified the network that had employed Peter Jennings. WOW! That was bad!!

Keith, if you're going to make a reporter who makes a very minor mistake your "Worst Person of the Day," your colleagues on MSNBC can fill your top spot for the next year, with the AP, Reuters and New York Times reporters waiting in the wings.

Hell, I'm certain I can fill the top spot occasionally.

But, as a news show host who has correctly lampooned conservatives Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin in the past, I'd like to think you could find a spot for Arkin, too.

Likewise all you writers over at The Huffington Post who are absolutely
obsessed with Ann Coulter. You would think you could spare a thought for William Arkin.

But, alas, that is the current state of political blogging and commentary today. Harpoon your enemies for the errors of their ways, but ignore the same sins from your friends.

In that regard, these are sad times, indeed.




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