January 25, 2011

Quote of the Day

Bret Stephens, giving props to Keith Olberman:

All this matters in an era in which the greatest threat to public discourse isn't "incivility," as was so preposterously claimed after Tucson. Just compare the tedium of U.S. congressional debate with the rapier exchanges in Britain's House of Commons, the catcalling in Israel's Knesset, or the fist-fights in Taiwan's parliament.

Rather, the real threat is Good Morning America-style niceness, USA Today-style consensus-seeking, all-round squeamishness when it comes to words like "Islam," the political masquerade of "news analysis" from papers like the New York Times, and so on. In today's media landscape, audiences are being presented with a choice between voices who are honest (at least about their biases) but not objective, and those who claim to be objective but are rarely honest. Not surprisingly, Americans increasingly prefer the former.


Media and Blogging Posted by John Kranz at January 25, 2011 10:27 AM

Interesting take on this: niceness gets you killed, but on the other hand, Cloward-Piven (Piven being in the news this week for favoring violent uprisings of the indolent class) is pragmatically effective. That old football saw about "the best defense is a strong offense" brought to life, as it were.

Yes, I'm aware the quotation is about offensive words rather than offensive action, but just carrying that out to its logical extreme. How about a bumper sticker that says "Niceness Kills"?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 25, 2011 12:49 PM

...then ThreeSourcers will all live a long and healthy life!

Put me down as a No for the new civility. We differ. We have a Constitution that allows us to differ. Let us disagree without being disagreeable. I dread the SOTU more than usual tonight (I might go fishing with Justice Scalia).

Let them sit in opposition to collective ideas. I got no problem with that.

Posted by: jk at January 25, 2011 1:13 PM

Would it be uncivil of me to refer to it this year, as I did last year, as the STFU address?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 25, 2011 7:54 PM | What do you think? [3]