Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Glenn Greenwald update

Megan McArdle with the Best Line of the Day:
Mr Greenwald's anger at the establishment power structure seems to be rapidly transmuting into anger at the non-Glenn-Greenwald power structure.
Ah, the young lady has a point. To those not familiar with Greenwald's history, he became a laughing stock in July 2006 after Ace of Spades exposed him as a sockpuppeteer.

(For non-bloggers: To "sockpuppet" is to use a phony online identity to promote your own work, to dispute your detractors, or otherwise engage in deception.)

McArdle has laid her finger directly on the nub of Greenwald's deformed personality, namely his extreme narcissism. Greenwald expends 2,000 words in a response to blog posts by Dan Drezner (360 words) and McArdle (800 words). It's just like his sockpuppet episode. He hysterically overreacts to criticism.

This inability to deal rationally with criticism is a common narcissistic trait. Nobody likes to be criticized, and everyone loves to put down their critics, but Greenwald goes completely overboard:

I didn't expect that anyone would actually defend the media's conduct here because it's so self-evidently indefensible -- so ludicrous -- and because defending it would, by definition, require someone to spout rationale that is just inane.

The "points" they make along the way are just painfully self-refuting and outright false (self-evidently so) . .

There's no point arguing with Greenwald, you see, because he is self-evidently right and you are self-evidently wrong. Disagreement is impossible -- unless you're "completely ignorant of even the most basic facts," as Greenwald says of McArdle. And then there's this:
At bottom, both McArdle and Drezner are defending media fixations on the pettiest and stupidest of matters while ignoring the weightiest. . . . Does someone who defends that state of affairs -- who is incapable of recognizing why that's so destructive -- really merit any serious refutation?
Well, Glenn, if they don't merit serious refutation, why are you wasting 2,000 words on them?

As to the point of Greenwald's original argument, that the reason the American people aren't enraged about the things that enrage Greenwald is because the news media feed them trival pap -- sic semper hoc.

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