A cautious welcome to the new blog over at Media Lies, who have been kind enough to link back to the Virtual Stoa. The people over there say they’re going to be putting the arguments of people like Harry and Norm under scrutiny, and scrutiny is generally a good thing, and that’s why they’re welcome.
So why the caution? Well, the site doesn’t seem to have got off to an especially good start. If they call themselves “Media Lies” — and I’m assuming here that the title isn’t meant as an accurate description of the contents of the blog — then they’d better have a scrupulous regard for the truth themselves. (Much as a blogger who calls himself The Thinker had better have more respect for Thought than that evinced by Paul “The Thinker” Richards: see the Virtual Stoa, passim.) Yet no evidence is presented to justify the assertion paraded in the first headline (“Harry’s Compulsive anti-Stopperism Loses Readers“); rather, they just link to Harry’s own report that “some readers appeared to be irritated by some of the more strident criticisms of the anti-war movement on here”, which isn’t the same thing at all. And the, um, lack of precision in the remarks that follow do tend to suggest that it’s this site that’s going to be the chief home of “compulsive” and “hysterical” commentary on the war and its aftermath. We shall see if things get a bit better as time passes. Let’s hope so.
A very interesting set of writings on the war, incidentally, exists over at the See Why? blog, which seems to me to deserve more attention than it gets. The Chris who blogs over there has written a fine take-down of the silly and overhyped piece by Paul Berman in Dissent magazine, and sensible commentary on some of Norm’s blogposts, most recently here.