Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dear Greg: An open letter to The Politic's Greg Farries.


We need to talk. Seriously, we need to talk because you have a major credibility problem over there at TP and, you being the editor, I'd like to hear from you personally as to how you defend the rancid dishonesty oozing out of that site these days.

If one peruses your site, one eventually lands on the "About" page, where one reads (among other things):

Our intention is to provide an intellectually honest viewpoint on the topics of which we write, ...

The problem, of course, Greg, is that a large chunk of the dreck published at TP is anything but honest. So let's get started, shall we, since this is going to take a while.

Let's begin here, back in January of 2007, where regular TP poster Aaron Unruh actually had the lack of grace to make fun of female genital mutilation. Now, it's not Aaron's utter classlessness that's the issue here, oh, no, since Aaron has long since demonstrated what kind of loathsome misogynist he is.

No, the cute part of Aaron's post is that he originally had classified it under the label "Amusing" and only after he got his ass kicked from here to Beta Z did he quietly sneak back under cover of darkness and drop the "Amusing" label to try to deflect some of the criticism. (You can see what I'm talking about in comment #3 there, where an anonymous commenter clearly calls him out on that "Amusing" label.)

, Greg, is dishonest. When you've written a post, and commenters rip you a new orifice for being a vile cretin, it's totally unacceptable to tweak that post to remove the offense so that subsequent readers are confused by what the problem is. Quite simply, Greg, that's not "honest," and you know it, and I know it. But sit back and relax -- we're just getting going.

Aaron's dumbassitude and dishonesty picked up again here, where the homophobic Aaron tried to claim that:

According to the Cameron research, married gays and lesbians lived 24 fewer years than their conventionally married counterparts.

a bit of rancid, right-wing rubbish that I disemboweled here. But that's not the dishonest part. No, the dishonesty is Aaron's addendum to that post, in which Aaron wants the right to publish crap but simultaneously wants the freedom to disavow any responsibility for said crap:

But here’s the deal. I provide the link, you go read if you like, “refute” whatever you like, and leave me alone. How hard is this? And if you don’t like the articles I link, then treat the presence of my name at the top of posts as a warning: “Oops, my feelings are about to be hurt, had better not read.”

That's not exactly what you call "accountability," is it, Greg? Most bloggers, when they publish a piece, are prepared to stand by it and defend it. Not Aaron, as he flees in horror from the ass-kicking he gets, and takes the courageous position that, hey, that's not his stuff so don't bug him, OK? And this is your idea of "honesty," is it, Greg? Really? But now we get to the good stuff.

Yes, it's Matthew's turn, and we can start here, where Matthew embarrassed his species thoroughly and got savaged brutally for it. But it's not Matthew's level of stupid that's the issue here; rather, it's his obdurate refusal to apologize for having published something so unspeakably moronic. To this day, Matthew refuses to 'fess up to how asinine and misguided that piece was. And that's what you'd call "honest," is it?

And, finally, of course, there's Matthew here, where he engages in sleazy, ambiguous innuendo against one PZ Myers, only to finally come clean and admit that his controversial "tidbit" about PZ is something the rest of us have known for months.

Which brings us full circle to my pointed question, Greg -- given this level of rampant misrepresentation and arguing in bad faith, where exactly do you get the nerve to describe your site as providing "an intellectually honest viewpoint." What precisely is "honest" about any of the above?

Because (and you'll have to trust me on this one, Greg), no one with a functioning brain stem takes The Politic seriously. TP is not where you go if you want thoughtful, nuanced political discussion. Rather, it's where you might drop by if you want to see uneducated, petulant, hyperactive children flinging sand at one another and making asses of themselves.

So, really, Greg, I see that you have a couple of choices. You can either clean up your stable of mewling, ignorant fuckwits and demand that they write to a certain standard of integrity and accountability and take responsibility for what they publish. Or you can reword your "About" page and drop any pretense to serious blogging. Because, really, you just can't have it both ways. As long as Aaron and Matthew have the keys to the blog, you're going to be a laughing stock.

Give it some thought, Greg. I'm right here if you need any more advice.

P.S. By the way, Greg, it's also worth pointing out the utterly unacceptable way Aaron and Matthew deal with commenters who sincerely and politely try to engage them on the actual issues. Rather than address those issues, both Aaron and Matthew show nothing but contemptuous dismissal for anyone that brings actual facts to the discussion. They dodge and weave and tap dance and move the goalposts relentlessly until heretofore well-meaning commenters finally lose patience and call them out for the douchebags they are, at which point Aaron and Matthew promptly declare victory due to others' lack of civility.

At this point, no one has any obligation to treat either of those two with anything resembling respect. They're infantile, dishonest hacks but, sadly, it's pretty much what we've come to expect from that cesspool of a website of yours.

So the decision is yours, Greg. Clean up your blog and make at least a minimal attempt to be taken seriously, or keep publishing Aaron and Matthew, at which point you'll be good for nothing but entertainment value as I stop by on a regular basis and hold those two up to mockery and ridicule.

For most people, that wouldn't be a tough call, Greg. For you, though, ... grapple grapple ...

Welcome, Politic readers. And once you're done here, feel free to pop over here to see why Aaron is still a total douchebag for pathological dishonesty. Quelle surprise, eh?


Charles Anthony said...

Hey! What about me??

Red Tory said...

I think you maybe have Greg confused with someone who gives a shit.

CC said...


Greg may, in fact, not give a crap, but he can't say I never made the invitation.

And ... um ... what about you, Charles? Is there something on your mind?

Ti-Guy said...

I think this is The Politic's actual "about" page.

"For more information on this particular hive (FAQ, membership requirements, etc) please visit this page or contact Greg Farries directly, (403) 634-8888,"

An advertiser providing content in order to generate advertising revenue. It's not necessarily a morally bankrupt business model, but as we see, it appears to have to rely on an alarming degree of duplicity. I used to think that was anathema to conservatism but that was a long, long, looooong time ago.

CC said...

Try again, Ti-Guy ... that link is bogus.

thwap said...

You mean that blog is the product of more than one brain?

That's really fucking depressing.

E in MD said...

You mean that blog is the product of more than one brain?

That's really fucking depressing.

By Blogger thwap, at 7:44 AM

No, not really.

Ti-Guy said...

Try again, Ti-Guy ... that link is bogus.

Red Tory said...

Our intention is to provide an intellectually honest viewpoint on the topics of which we write, in order to nurture public discourse and the free flow of information which all of our contributors cherish as the foundation-stones of a free society.

That's pretty laughable. I seem to recall Spanky telling Mr. Erl (back when he was still drinking the KoolAid®) that if he had his druthers, he'd shut off the comments altogether at Duh Politic. So that shows you how much he wants to "nurture public discourse." Not that I'm suggesting he's a lying douche or anything.

CC said...


I'm not sure what that page has to do with The Politic, but I'm going to stick with my original link as the canonical description of that site's philosophy.

Ti-Guy said...

It's a link from The Politic...from its ad under "Conservative Conservative Ad Network" at the bottom right. The reason I bring it up is because Greg Farries has always stuck me as a pretty candid, sensible I've been wondering what other benefit there would be to having a stable of cretins writing on that blog.

It's something I think about quite often with regard to the other Blogging Tory luminaries who I don't consider outright cretins...Steve Janke, Stephen Taylor, even ol' KKKate herself, once in a while.

Cui bono? other words.

Ti-Guy said...

...s.b. "Canadian Conservative Ad Network."

Red Tory said...

It doesn't seem to be a very successful venture from what I've been able to tell. It's been a while since I checked, however.

Ti-Guy said...

Maybe it's part of a consortium of business endeavours? A diversified portfolio, in other words.

I don't know, since I have no more information than what's publicly available. I just know, from the amount of junk mail and tele-marketing calls I receive for all kinds of hair-brained commercial ventures, that an entrepreneurial trend these days seems to be focussed way more on advertising than on the actual provision of goods and services of any meaningful value.