Geoff Caldwell, another Globe blogger, just yesterday praised the newspaper for not publishing in its Sunday opinion section its usual “personalized attack piece,” in which, he says, the facts are “quickly lost in the diatribe.” Mr. Caldwell explains that such attack pieces are a “distraction” and put him “in a less than pleasant mood.”
Perhaps, being so sensitive, he shouldn’t read his own blog.
In one entry last Friday, the man who is distracted and distempered by attack pieces wrote this:
Tis that time once again when we take stock of the inane and foolish put upon us by those forced to navigate life with an amount of gray matter just slightly larger than that found in your average toad.
He also managed to wiggle into a sentence the phrase, “why won’t Darwin permanently evolve these idiots out of the gene pool?”
He used the words “thug,” “environut,” and “looniest.”
In another piece the same day, he made the usual but curious conservative attack on Obama and the “teleprompter.”
He said the new administration has “mastered ‘situational doom.’”
He said that Obama’s cabinet is a “basket of eggheads.”
But what must have really distracted and irritated Mr. Caldwell was his attack last Wednesday on Obama’s “performance” (as he called it) at his recent press conference. He wrote:
He talked about the Israeli/Palestinian mess, his video to Iran, and former enemies sharing a pint on St. Patrick’s day, but nary a word about Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terror. Oh that’s right, I forgot, now that Obama’s in the White House there is no more “war” on terror.
If Mr. Caldwell had just waited a few days before he leveled this particular attack, perhaps he wouldn’t have had “the facts lost in the diatribe.” On Friday, Obama announced his Afghanistan plan, along with his commitment to continue pursuing the Taliban and al-Qaeda, which even Joplin conservatives have to admit are terrorists.
The plan, no doubt, will soon be endorsed by nearly all Republicans. Maybe that endorsement will include Mr. Caldwell, if he can recover from the bad mood in which his own–completely unfounded–attack on Obama must have put him.
Now, sarcasm has been a part of writing at least since the Ancient Greeks, and there’s nothing wrong with Mr. Caldwell, who bills himself as, “A captious cynic with a heart of snark,” using it to voice his displeasure. But there is something wrong with criticizing other writers for doing what Mr. Caldwell has done for many years now.
Lest one think that his penchant for writing “attack pieces” is of recent vintage, here is a sample of Mr. Caldwell’s writing from 1994:
On the investigative side, it has been learned by this reporter that quality of education, safety, or class arrogance had nothing to do with Mr. and Mrs. Clinton’s decision to enroll their daughter Chelsea in a private school. An informed source has confirmed that the real reason, was the school’s policy of allowing no mirrors on campus. Apparently, Hillary felt it would be too traumatic at such a tender age to allow her little bundle of joy to see just how ugly she really is. In a private statement Mrs. Clinton was heard to vow that she would keep Chelsea away from all mirrors until such time as she could handle the emotional stress of facing the fact she was her mother’s daughter.
In his blog bio, Mr. Caldwell writes that he “longs for the America he once knew“:
A time when civility, respect, and common sense ruled.
Maybe “civility” and “respect” have more elastic meanings in Geoff’s World. Or maybe way back in his idealistic America, it was okay for grown men to attack 14-year old girls for being “ugly.” Or maybe because the 14-year-old girl was the daughter of the President of the United States, that made it okay. If so, maybe Mr. Caldwell will find some physical shortcoming, real or imagined, in one or both of the Obama girls and write a piece about it.
Who knows. Maybe the Globe will publish it in its Sunday paper.
Geoff Caldwell writes:
Monday, March 30, 2009, 05:45 PM
(That is of course if “well done” has now come to define distortion of fact and out of context quotes.)
I’d do your “line by line” but my back’s not what it used to be and to stoop that low would most certainly leave lingering pain.
No, you won’t see any of my sarcasm pieces in the Sunday opinion page. I don’t submit them for that as it wouldn’t be appropriate. (Something you might want to think about next time you submit one.)
BUT, on a positive note, I do absolutely, positively hope that someday you are able to write at least one original thought rather than just pulling out quotes and relying on others.
Thanks for checking out TheCorner, I can always use the hits!
You should note, Duane, that Geoff can’t be bothered with copping to the fact that his supposed longing for a return to a time of civility and respect is a sham.
You’re dealing with people who wouldn’t know either one if it bit them on the rear.
Nice try, but one cannot have “civil” discourse with those who refuse to acknowledge that 40 years of social engineering has not helped a soul in this great nation except for the politicians dishing out the dough. When I reflect upon that more “civil” time I reflect upon both sides compromising not one ramming it down the other for nightly news time or a few column inches. No this country was not perfect back then but we didn’t have the crime, disrespect and rampant stupidity that we do today.
So petty namecalling and childish attacks are OK then. Alrighty. Glad you stopped by to clear that up, Geoff.
Disrespect and stupidity abound on both sides of the aisle these days. You both should take a few moments to consider why you feel the need to perpetuate it.