Friday, June 15, 2012

No Respect

My latest piece for the Daily Banter is now up -- and it deals with a topic that's been discussed at length quite a bit at Banter over the past several days: Glenn Greenwald, the "professional left" and the progressive civil war they've been on one side of.

My column specifically focuses on one particular aspect of any left-leaning criticism of Greenwald -- and asks why it's necessary.

Here's the opening shot:

"So over the past week this site has turned into the 'Let’s Take a Few Shots at Glenn Greenwald' show, with two of its highest-profile columnists — Banter founder Ben Cohen and blogging machine Bob Cesca — penning pieces that take issue with Greenwald’s smugness and intransigence in the face of political reality. One of the essays that started it all actually quoted something I’d written months ago, but I’ve been loathe to step into the fray myself around here simply because these days I honestly regard Glenn Greenwald as a nonentity, having come to the conclusion quite a while back that the less I think about Greenwald’s insufferable sanctimony and ongoing propensity for childish tantrum-throwing, the better. I genuinely don’t read what he writes at all anymore; I see the headlines over at Salon, know in short order exactly what he’s going to say before he even says it, chuckle and shake my head for a second, then move on to something more informative, balanced and worth taking seriously.

With that in mind, though, I do think there’s one thing worth addressing when it comes to the discussion of Greenwald..."

Read the Rest Here


JohnF said...

I like your observation about "with all due respect." They seem to say that all the time on Law & Order, yet they never mean any respect at all.
Reminds me of Larry David's discussion of the phrase "having said that..."
And no, Greenwald doesn't deserve respect. Not anymore. He's a petulant buffoon.

Reilly said...

Yes, Chez, the obligatory praise offered as qualifier, pre-criticism, of Greenwald is more than a little annoying. (As is the deference he receives on the opposite chronological pole -- the undeserved apology after an argument. In both cases Greenwald gets better treatment than he gives.)
Greenwald has turned into a pundit -- with all the negative connotation that implies. He gets by on his fanbase's inability to bring critical thought to the arguments he makes, reacting instead to emotional markers they identify with, and the appearance of logic provided by a lawyer arguing a case un-rebutted, to a jury predisposed.
Since you mentioned Hitchens, I'm going to refer you to a post I wrote in answer to Greenwald's diatribe after Hitchens' death, in which I lay bare a multitude of Greenwald's excesses. You can read it here:
BTW, I was going to post this comment on The Daily Banter, but the Wordpress autobot never sent me a password.