Monday, March 12, 2007

Warren Kinsella: Onanist (that's fancy for wanker)

The National Post, a paper I wouldn't buy to fix a crossword jones, gives us a hatchet job by Warren Kinsella:

"The NDP's Blog Blow-Back"

Canada's No. 1 punk fan-boy takes us on a tour of Blow-Back Mountain, by way of Reach Around Ridge and a duet with Jason Cherniak. Now to set the hand wringing stage we need tears, good noble tears. Because if you can't manipulate grief and real emotion, you're not doing a Post-worthy job.

"One month ago, at an Ottawa gathering of the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA), Ed Broadbent stood before the hundreds of Jews in attendance, and wept. The former New Democratic Party leader was present to receive the first annual David Lewis Memorial Award on behalf of his deceased wife, Lucille. As current NDP leader Jack Layton stood by to give support, Broadbent cried, thanking CIJA for recognizing the work of Lucille on behalf of oppressed Soviet Jewry. He, and Lucille, received a long standing ovation."

My congratulations to Mr. Broadbent and my condolences on the loss of his wife. Ed Broadbent is one of a dying breed of politicians, a man who could be taken at his word, whose integrity is unquestioned. He fought long and hard for what he believed and earned every gram of respect that he is accorded across the political spectrum. He is one of our last elder statesmen. He deserves better than to be exploited as a prop in a hit piece.

"It was an extraordinarily emotional moment, and one that signalled -- some hoped -- the beginnings of a rapprochement between Canada's political left and those who support Israel."

That's a mighty big tarring brush you got there Warren. Canada's political left versus those who support Israel. And it is so sad that only "some" hoped that these two adversaries might come together. I wonder who those some were, those brave souls working day and night to bridge the gulfs of baseless assertion and the chasms of generality. Because this isn't about supporting Israel, it's about supporting Israeli policy and quelling criticism. Any criticism. Well, it's been almost two paragraphs, it must be time to play the anti-semitism card.

"In recent years, and as the National Post has reported many times, there has been an undeniable and yawning gap between Jews and the left. As prominent NDP supporter and lawyer Clay Ruby has observed, "Some critics of Israel conveniently focus on Israeli wrongdoings to mask their blatant anti-Semitism." Too often, these days, this sort of criticism has emanated from the left."

Oh, can you smell the credibility? Don't step in it. The National Post has reported many times, therefore is true, stupid good-lookings. So here I am in my left leaning chair denying the undeniable and the yawning. The left is not one thing of one mind. No more than Israelis are one mass with one mind. After all, in the first quarter of this very article, Kinsella gives us examples of two very prominent, lefties that support Israel, Broadbent and Ruby. As a celebrity litigator, Clayton Ruby is in the business of manipulation. The quote above, isn't his best work. The vague "some" make another appearance, like a ghostly Greek chorus, they focus on wrongdoings to obscure their true agenda. Jew hating. With all due respect to Mr. Ruby, bull shit. Some people are anti-semites. Most people aren't. Most liberal minded folks aren't. If their anti-semitism is blatant they aren't exactly masked. But we can forgive old Clay, he's just being a lawyer.

In fact, I'd be inclined to suspect that the most virulent anti-semitism is generated on the far right of the spectrum, over there in fascist town. And since Mr. Kinsella is such a punk rock archivist and historian, perhaps he should ask some skinheads if they fancy themselves as liberals. Valid criticism of policy and action does not equal anti-semitism. Criticism of Israel does not equal hatred of Jews. Where are Kinsella's dogged condemnations of the far right extremists that actually do profess their anti-semitism? I'm sure they're coming, get here any time now.

"That is why last month's presentation to Broadbent -- as well as Layton's unambiguously pro-Israel remarks -- was an important development. So, too, was the swiftness of the NDP in stamping out some vile anti-Semitism on the Internet, earlier this week."

You gotta love swift stamping. If Warren had a canoe he could go swift boating.

"Robert McClelland (if that is his real name) is a blogger in the London area. For years, McClelland has posted some of the most offensive -- and stridently anti-Semitic -- material in the Canadian blogosphere. He has repeatedly called Israelis "murderers;" and he has written that "Jews act like Nazis." McClelland has become notorious for his hateful views, and he clearly revels in it, on his own site and on a much-read group blog called "Blogging Dippers."

Okay. This is a national publication, The National Post, and Kinsella is using his column to make a personal attack on an individual. So much for journalistic ethics. McClelland has written some objectionable crap and courts controversy but I hope Kinsella has a little more context and a lot more evidence to support his claims. Seems to me that he could be wading into libel territory. I'll refer Warren "real name" Kinsella to Jane Espenson, where he can learn about clams.

"Despite his clear anti-Semitism, McClelland has somehow been permitted to promote the NDP for many, many months. His site features links to the official NDP Web site, photos of Mr. Layton, and even (ironically) a tribute to David Lewis. It has been long believed that he is a sanctioned online voice for the NDP."

I just love proof by repeated assertion and declared absolutes. All that yawning, undeniable, clear, notorious, strident, hateful anti-semitism. As far as what has long been believed, I suppose that if one was a complete knob, one would believe that the New Democratic Party would have an official web presence called the Blogging Dippers. But you'd have to be pretty stupid. Eagerly, willfully stupid. And one would have to eschew that one click on the Dipper's page that takes you to this:

"About The Blogging Dippers
The Blogging Dippers is an affiliation of bloggers who support the New Democratic Party or its issues.
The Blogging Dippers website is neither affiliated with nor endorsed by the New Democratic Party of Canada or any of the provincial/territorial parties."

Let's not let that get in the way of a good pantie twisting.

"Until this week, that is. On Sunday afternoon, there was a discussion on McClelland's Web site headlined: "When the State starts rounding up my Jewish neighbours, I'll speak up." McClelland's response -- which also caustically referenced this writer and a Liberal pro-Israel blogger, Jason Cherniak -- was as follows: "Not me? When next they come for the Jews, I doubt I'll even be able to muster up a 'what a shame.'"

That's a pretty ugly comment. Indifference to the plight of others is a sad human trait. Like when a nine year old Canadian boy and his family are imprisoned and Warren leads the charge to have his incarceration ended. I'm sure Google will show us the concern we seek:
"Your search - "kinsella national post hutto" - did not match any documents."
"Your search - "national post hutto" - did not match any documents."
All this faux outrage and a real outrage just slides on by. I mean why waste one's precious, self-righteous breath on the fate of a Canadian child when there's a political enemy talking shit?

"Within 24 hours, the blogosphere had exploded in outrage over McClelland's comments -- and not just from the right, either. On innumerable blogs, pro-NDP activists demanded that McClelland apologize, and withdraw his appalling statements. He adamantly refused."

Well, the belated apology has been made, McClelland has been banished by the Progressive Bloggers and Cherniak will continue to squeal and hyperventilate because that's what he does. And Kinsella and Cherniak deserve a little credit. They did feed the fires of outrage. Mind you, the blogs have also been lit up with people demanding action to free a Canadian child. liberal catnip has been one of those raising awareness of the plight of those locked up in Texas. Where is Warren Kinsella and the National Post? Well, they're busy. And the Post needs lots of room to advocate for poor, beleaguered Connie Black. No space for prison kids and brown folk. Would that failure to even cover a story indicate anything? An anti-Iranian bias? Maybe Warren and the Post just hate children. That is the logic we're working with, using the Kinsella example. Or maybe it's just good old fashioned human indifference to the plight of another.

"On Monday afternoon, Cherniak and I were contacted directly by representatives of the federal NDP. They were appalled by what McClelland had written, they said -- and by the notion that anyone would think McClelland is associated with the NDP. In a letter to the Canadian Jewish Congress, New Democrat party president Anne McGrath made clear that McClelland's comments were "highly offensive" and "repugnant."

Why are the NDP directly contacting these two? Hell, Cherniak runs Liblogs. Wouldn't be a hidden agenda in this show, would there? Nothing like a little partisan damage control to spice up the day. Cherniak and Kinsella are a tag team and they've contrived to blow this whole thing so far out of proportion as to be almost comic. My supposition, Kinsella and Cherniak have been gunning for McClelland and McClelland was stupid enough to light the torch they're using to burn him down.

"Wrote McGrath: "I want to assure you that the New Democratic Party of Canada, its provincial sections and local riding associations are not affiliated with Mr. McClelland and his independently operated blog roll, "the Blogging Dippers." McGrath revealed that her party was at work on developing its own group blog, one that better represents its own points of view."

I don't suppose that anyone mentioned to McGrath that "Mr. McClelland's independently operated blog roll" is populated by her own party faithful. When it comes to political strategy, it isn't a shock that the NDP are always fighting to come in third. If I was a Dipper I'd be mighty pissed off. In one fell swoop, this twit has characterized the entirety of the Dipper organization with one bad example. Talk about alienating your base. Where is the outreach to the people that have taken their own time and energy to support your party? Fuck that, they'll start their own version of a group blog with none of the freedom to stray from message that plagues the free exchange of opinion and healthy or unhealthy debate. Way to go panicked mice. I bet those leftie bloggers will be lining up to repeat your talking points.

"The McClelland incident is a cautionary tale, for political parties and the media alike: Each of these cases testify to the need for increased reputational vigilance. As the popularity of blogs has exploded, many corporations and political parties have scrambled to ensure their presence in the blogosphere. But they have not been as watchful as they should be."

Caution: selective outrage ahead. What is the media supposed to learn from this Warren? That an organized smear job can take down an opponent, that a national paper can now be used to launch personal attacks on individuals. Great lessons those.

"For example, John Edwards' presidential campaign recently endured a withering blow when two women who contributed to the Democrat's campaign blog -- Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan -- attacked Catholics, and referred to opponents as "Christofascists." Unfortunately, Edwards did not ask for Marcotte and McEwan's resignations, although both apologized."

One good smear deserves another. While it seems Warren is just barely aware of the details in the Edwards blog fiasco, he won't let that stop him from throwing rocks. The criticism leveled by McEwan and Marcotte is characterized as an attack. Balance and journalistic ethics would indicate covering the other side of the story. That's too much bother for Warren, he's busy being a middle aged punk. Not a mention of the threats and personal smears that hounded two women out of their jobs. Not a mention of the orchestrated media hate blitz put on by the Catholic League. And gosh, Christofascists is such a hateful term. I expect Warren will soon be leaping to the defense of the good moslems being branded Islamofascists, regardless of their political views. Any minute now. Any fuck it. Consistency is for liberals and pussies. Kinsella's a self-impressed hack and whoever edits his pieces needs a refresher on research and ethics.

"So far, Robert McClelland has not apologized to anyone -- but that matters less. Robert McClelland is a nobody, and deservedly so. What matters, here, is that the left -- and the media which are associated with the Canadian left -- have seemingly started to recognize the need to exercise some restraint when commenting on, and criticizing, the Jewish state."

It is quite clear that Kinsella has a personal issue with McClelland. And that he is a no talent goober. His column is twaddle that wouldn't pass muster on a creditable blog. Warren Kinsella isn't a nobody. He's a political taint lick and he's spouting pre-digested talking points with not a second of reflection or critical thought. Hey jackass, you're cashing checks from a major, national media outlet. Take a fucking look around the office when you aren't in the basement reliving your glory days and have a sniff of that media. Real far left hive of revolution. Canadian media is increasingly being concentrated in the hands of the right. I'm sick to death of the left leaning media bullshit. It is a fucking lie. Bag handlers like Kinsella repeat the lie out of convenience and basic dishonesty or indifference to the truth.

As for restraint, Warren old boy, you can poke that restraint right up your punk hole. When Israel tosses cluster bombs into the streets of Lebanon, steals territory and kills to keep it, Israel is open for criticism. Current Israeli foreign policy is founded on violence and repression. Israel has spent a lot of lives and taken a great deal more to enforce a situation that will lead only to more conflict, more outrages and more unwarranted violence. It should never matter who commits an act of brutality. People of good conscience will decry human rights abuses and violent conflict. Israel's violent policies and actions deserve condemnation, not just criticism. The miracle in the desert deserves better from their leaders.

"It is long, long overdue. What is needed, now, is quite a bit more David Lewis and Lucille Broadbent -- and quite a bit less of the likes of Robert McClelland."

Long overdue my arse. Nobody gets a pass. When Canada does something immoral, Canadians should be the first to criticize and demand accountability. Allies or enemies, if we pretend to have a standard based on morals, human dignity and rights, then any and all who break those standards should be taken to task. The sad thing is that a fool like Kinsella doesn't even realize how much more similar he is to McClelland than either Lewis or Broadbent. McClelland has apologized for saying ignorant stupid things, I imagine we'll be waiting a good deal longer to hear an apology from this douche bag or the rag he works for.


the rev. said...

Warning CC, Kinsella has been known to sue first and ask questions later when his thin skin is pricked by point barbs of disagreement and derision.

thwap said...

And some people hide behind "anti-semitism" to justify their support for a murderous, racist, state.

Yeah, pretty cute how Kinsella doesn't equate "Christofascists" with "Islamofascists."

The day I give a shit about these hypocritical "defenders of Israel['s aggression]" is the day I ... holy shit! look at that word verification thingy!

Zorpheous said...

Very well said CC

Zorpheous said...

I mean PSA, got to remember that the two of you write here now. My Bad

Ti-Guy said...

Don't worry about Kinsella suing. He operates on the basis of intimidation.

The column itself was replete with glaring factual errors with concern to the original blog post. That alone should require correction and the rest of that egregious hit piece should be retracted.

In the years I've read My Blahg, Robert's *comment* in that blog post (it wasn't post itself) was the first time I've seen him say something I thought was objectionnable, and I said as much. But for Kinsella to imply that it is an established pattern is simply character-assassination and dishonest.

Jose said...

"I'd be inclined to suspect that the most virulent anti-semitism is generated on the far right of the spectrum, over there in fascist town"

They certainly are, you ocassionaly get "controlled by jews" conspiracy memes dribbling out of the mouths of the hard right's mouthpieces.

One wonders if the Jews who are critical of Israel's foriegn policy (including a lot of Israelis) are also anti-semitic.

Once again this is a case of hard right polemic that actually pertains to them. The hard right is by and large racist. They won't admit it of course, they aren't racist in their minds of course but everyone else is.