|Man Without Qualities|
Friday, July 26, 2002
FURTHER UPDATE: Mr. Frantz may use the language and his intelligence as he sees fit. But most thoughtful people would not consider evidence that (rather weakly) suggests Howard Kurtz may be somewhat conservative demonstrates, or is even particularly relevant, to pegging him as a Republican National Committee "shill." Nor does evidence suggesting that Mr. Kurtz has more conservatives than others on his shows support such a thesis. Of course, Messrs. Frantz and Atrios are free to use "RNC shill" to mean someone who generally agrees with the RNC, or is simply generally more conservative than Messrs. Frantz and Atrios - which seems to be about the way they are using this word.
A demonstration that the New York Times editorial page, or its op-ed page, more often sides with the Democratic National Committee would not show those pages to be DNC "shills." Other examples among the liberal media and academics are so abundant there is no need to cite them. Not that Mr. Frantz's efforts should be called a "demonstration," and it is not necessary to discuss his more general "methodology" here.
Nor is it necessary for Mr. Frantz to broker Mr. Kurtz's views. Mr. Kurtz's writings are there for the reader to review every day. An archive of them may also be reviewed. Indeed, Mr. Kurtz will communicate with the reader in real time. The Man Without Qualities does not believe Mr. Kurtz is a "shill" - I don't even think it's arguable by reasonable people. That I leave the reader to her own intelligence to decide whether she agrees with me is not "assuming" anything other than that the reader has considerable intelligence. This appears to be an approach Messrs. Frantz and Atrios find baffling.
But as the great ancient South Asian mathematicians would demonstrate what we now know as the Pythagorean Theorem: "BEHOLD!"
UPDATE: Well, Atrios confirms that he does, in fact, literally thinks that Howard Kurtz is a National Republican Committee shill. And all the little Atriettes in the comment box agree with him, too. Better that they do. Otherwise, Atrios would be labeling THEM RNC shills. Gotta keep the prols in line!
And, no, there appears to be no trace of irony in the Atrios remarks. Perhaps it's just that the Man Without Qualities couldn't locate the trace. Maybe other people with sensitive irony geiger counters could scan the Atrios post.
Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post, a noted National Republican Committee shill, writes:
Should [Robert] Rubin's conduct be carefully scrutinized? Sure. Enron had plenty of help with its shell-game accounting, and the companies that helped the Houston energy giant fool the public should be held accountable. The deals are incredibly complicated, but it's time to unravel them.
Watch out, Howard. Atrios and Counterspin may come gunning for you, you old party hack.
Link from InstaPundit.
And, if you adjust for tone and style, Mr. Kurtz in substance is beginning to sound a little like Andrew Sullivan on this point.
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