Time to get schooled
No, Rob, you are completely wrong
DOMENECH AND THE POST.
by Rob Anderson
. Rob Anderson is a reporter-researcher at The New Republic.
Actually, not quite. Last week, the Post breathed new life into those old stereotypes by launching Red America, a blog dedicated to offering "a daily mix of commentary, analysis, and cultural criticism" from a right-wing perspective. The liberal blogosphere did not think this was such a good idea; when the Post announced it had hired Ben Domenech, a 24-year-old editor with Regnery Publishing and co-founder of the popular conservative blog RedState.com, liberal pundits met the news with full-blown hyperventilation. Josh Marshall wrote that if the editors at the Post "want to make a blogger 'Crossfire' with a firebreather on the left and on the right, they should do it. It might even be interesting. But here they've just been played by bullies and played for fools." Criticism soon turned to scrutiny, and liberal bloggers gleefully discovered that, in the past, Domenech has had a penchant for plagiarism. Three days after publishing his first post, the Post's conservative blogger had stepped down.
Domenech deserved to be let go; but in the course of celebrating his demise, liberals have missed the real lesson of this entire episode. Instead of hiring a conservative, the Post hired a caricature of one; Domenech's blog would have been less a product of red America and more a product of what blue America understands red America to be. More than anything else, the sad saga of Ben Domenech reveals just how simplistic blue-state elites have become in their understanding of American conservatism.
What, exactly, did Brady see in Domenech? Certainly not a principled conservative journalist. Either Brady didn't read Domenech's blog posts, or he did, and they fit the ticket. If the former is true, well, shame on Brady. But the latter seems more likely. In other words, as far as Brady was concerned, Domenech--an angry, bigoted bloviator--was the face of true conservatism.
Brady isn't alone, of course. Ever since the 2004 election, liberals have been eager to confirm their stereotypes of conservatives as narrow-minded, self-righteous folk. It was only days after the election that the popular Jesusland map spread over the Internet; then came this strongly worded critique of the South. Similar, if more refined, sentiments popped up in print publications as well. The editors of Seattle's popular newsweekly, The Stranger, wrote:
One question still remains: Who will Brady pick as Domenech's replacement? He might want to take a look at these lists (here and here), compiled by Slate's Jack Shafer when The New York Times was looking for columnists to replace William Safire. For the most part, Shafer's suggestions include respected, or at least respectable, conservatives: Heather Mac Donald, Steve Chapman, John Ellis, Stuart Taylor Jr., Jonah Goldberg, Mark Steyn, and James Lileks. Then again, the Post will probably pass on all of them: Not one conforms to a liberal's caricature of what a conservative should be
Rob Anderson is clueless.
Goldberg and Mac Donald are as racist as Domenech, but just more clever about it. Mac Donald
'sspeciality is telling black people how wrong they are about everything. She made an ass of herself during the transit strike telling the workers how good they had it and how wrong their leaders were, that they should shut up and be happy.
Rob, Young Ben's sin was obviousness, not having views many conservatives shared. They all loved Red State and chortled at the crude racism, but it wasn't any cruder than what ran in NRO, which mocked black people drowing and questioned their self-control. But no one ever calls them race-baiters.
The fact was and is that any number of promient conservatives, with the right light and heat, would reveal themsevles in the same way. Young Ben was just first.
posted by Steve @ 11:28:00 AM