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Monday, June 14, 2010

David Weigel meets Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg had a great description of a style of liberal journalism where Liberals go into the jungles, like Dian Fossey to describe Conservatives:
...whenever I read liberals reporting about the goings-on of conservatives I always get the nature-documentary vibe. A liberal reporter puts on his or her Dian Fossey hat in order to attempt to write another installment of Conservatives in the Mist. I've followed this particular brand of reporting for years, it's almost a fetish of mine. Most attempts fail. Of these lesser varieties, there's fear ("Troglodytes!"), mockery ("Irrelevant troglodytes!"), condescension ("I had to explain to them they're troglodytes."), bewilderment ("Why don't they understand they're troglodytes?"), astonishment (Dear God, they're not all troglodytes!"), and a few combinations of all the above.

It could not be more perfectly illustrated than this article by David Weigel describing an assault by Congressman Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) against a couple of young people who identify themselves a students with a project.

The dialog: 

[Congressman Bob Etheridge comes walking down the street:]

Student [dressed in coat and tie]: "Hi congressman"

Student: "How are you?"

Student: "Do you fully support the Obama agenda?"

Congressman: "Who you?

Congressman: "Who are you?"

[Sound of camera being hit, image from camera goes blurry.]

Student: "whoa!"  [2nd Student camera picks up the video]

Congressman: "Who are you?"

[Congressman reaches out to grab wrist of student, reaches for student's face.]

Congressman: "Who are you?"

Congressman: "Tell me who you are?"  [Holding student's wrist]

Student: "I'm here for a project sir."

Congressman: "Tell me who you are." [Still holding student's wrist]

2nd Student: "We're just here for a project sir"

Congressman: "Tell me who you are."  [Still holding student's wrist]

Student: "We're just here for a project."

Congressman; "I don't care for [indistinct]  [Still holding student's wrist]

Student: "Please let go of my hand"  [Still holding student's wrist]

Congressman: "Tell me who you are."  [Still holding student's wrist]

Student: "I'm just a student sir." 

2nd Student: "We're just students, that's all we are."

Congressman: "I have a right to know who you are."

2nd Student: "All we are are students."  [crosstalk]

Congressman: "So am I, who are you?  Who are you? Who are you?"  [Still holding student's wrist]

Student: "Please let go of my arm."

[Congressman reaches behind students head and grabs him by the neck, pulling him next to him and holding him by his side.]

2nds Student" "Sir, sir sir, please!"

Student::  "Please let go of me."

[Congressman lets go of student]

Congressman: "Who are your?"  Walks away with what appears to be student's cell phone in his left hand.

Here is how David Weigel, (the Post's designated Dian Fossey exploring the deepest wilds of Conservatism) describes the encounter.  Hitting the camera and smashing it to the ground is described as "pointing it down."  Grabbing the student by the wrist and neck is described as a "hug."  The students not wishing to reveal their identity to get the full "Joe the Plumber" treatment is - according the Weigel - the issue to be uncovered.  The actions of a (possibly) inebriated Democrat, not so much.  The video of a Democrat congressman roughing up a couple of kids on the street is not the opportunityfor Weigel to reveal to his readers that "the students have created the first conservative meme of the week."  Presumable they will be forewarned that Democrats assaulting people on the street is OK, if the victims desire anonymity.  

"Hi David. who are you?" 

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