October 31, 2006

Straight Outta Camptown

Filed under: Blogs Themselves, Laws and Sausages — tomemos @ 1:10 am

An open letter to Billmon:


Hey, I wasn’t going to comment on the minstrel thing (though I was bothered by it), but your arrogant response to your critics has drawn me out. You’ve discovered the favorite defense of those who cause offense by being insensitive: say that your critics are being insincere and (wait for it!) politically correct. You give no evidence that those on the left who were offended (every one of them, apparently) are insincere, and you are very cavalier in suggesting that those who complain are not “willing to fight for social justice or even lift a finger.” Well, people can walk and chew gum at the same time, and taking offense at the use of a racially charged image to comment on a resolutely minor news item is a sign of sincerity, not the opposite. To make things worse, your ridiculous, self-serving discussion of your own ideology and all the people who love to throw stones at you only makes you sound like the guy in college who won’t stop talking about how he’s figured it all out. Please stop preening and get back to what you do well.





  1. Not only was it a very ugly caricature, it was completely unnecessary. There were plenty of other ways Billmon could have taken aim against Wolf Blitzer. In a sense, you’re just so right here that the only question is whether you think you’re gonna keep checking future Billmon posts.

    Comment by Joseph Kugelmass — October 31, 2006 @ 11:57 am

  2. The thing is, there are two Billmons (Billmen?): the long ‘n’ thoughtful, and the short ‘n’ pithy, not to say glib. Both have their place, but it’s the short ones that get him in trouble: he just has to be as devastating as possible, in just one or two sentences, and that leads him to say unreasonable things, make inappropriate comparisons, that kind of thing. The pictures in particular end up seeming a little thuggish, since he has little mastery of visual nuance; there was one where he Photoshopped the Bush cabinet into the dock at Nuremberg. Nevertheless, a lot of his stuff is worth reading, and RSS feeds make it easy to read selectively. So as long as he doesn’t reach this level of ugliness again, I will (he would no doubt be glad to know) keep up with him.

    Comment by tomemos — November 1, 2006 @ 1:02 am

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