Friday, April 23, 2010


Wow, Mika Brzezinski really gives the game away in this inexplicable altercation with Joan Walsh. When Walsh asks an honest question—Which prominent voices on the left are comparable in extremism to people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck [and the list could easily be lengthened] on the right?—Joe Scarborough immediately tries to change the subject and Mika Brzezinski becomes what I can only call "desperately insulting":

MIKA: I think it's all very obvious.

WALSH: Is it obvious? Who on the left is comparable to Rush and Glenn on the right?

MIKA: Okay, Joan, if it's not obvious to you I'll talk to you off-set. I mean, my God! Alright so let's read from the Washington Post...

SCARBOROUGH: We'll talk off-set.

WALSH: Okay...

MIKA: Seriously, it's like BLIP... BLIP... BLIP... right in front of you and you're like [imitates willfully clueless Walsh] "I'm sorry, I don't see it!"

If I may be kinder than this irresponsible behavior deserves, I'd like to suggest that Mika's condescension (hey, wasn't that outlawed a while back?) stems from a confusion between the possible and the actual. It is undeniably possible for people on the political left to be violent, nasty, and extremist; there is nothing in being "on the left" that serves to inoculate someone against these vices. But something which is possible need not therefore be actual. It is possible that at this moment there is somebody standing atop the summit of Mount Everest, but all by itself, this is not enough to show that someone is actually there. The way to show actuality is to, you know, look and see. Similarly, the way to show that there are actually people on the left equivalent in violent, nasty extremism to the Limbaughs and Becks (and Savages and Levins and Ingrahams and Boortzes and Mancows and...) on the right is to show us the evidence. For people at a major news network, this should not be hard to do. It's therefore telling that, when asked to name names, Mika/Joe's response is to change the subject, imperiously declare "it's all very obvious," and resort to childish insults. They don't have the evidence of actual equivalent perfidy—and they either know that (and don't want to admit their dishonesty) or hadn't realized that they'd been confusing the possible with the actual (and are embarrassed to reveal that they haven't grasped a distinction which you'd think would be obvious to anyone practicing "journalism"). Either way, they owe both their viewers and Joan Walsh a serious apology.

As is often the case, digby has a great response when Newsbusters offers up a list of supposed equivalents:

What, no Dixie Chicks?

But hey, I'll bite. I hereby admonish Rosie, Mike (is he still around?) Bill "the bomber" and Mrs Bill "the Bomber," Van, Dylan, Rachel and Keith for their extreme rhetoric.

Now maybe The Left will disband all their militias, stop all their death threats, stubble the revolutionary rhetoric and accept the fact that democracy means they have to accept majority rule. In fact, now that I've called out our "leaders", I'll bet it will be as if all that stuff never happened.

Actuality, Mika. Ask for it by name.

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