Thursday, July 17, 2008

Advice for Popkey

Chris referred me to the piece by Dan Popkey about Fischer and Swindell feeding off the media, and vice versa. I'm glad to see Popkey, and perhaps the Statesman, wake up to how they're being used and how it benefits Swindell and Fischer.

Adam is pretty worked up over it, and rehashes the tired Ten Commandments monuments thing here and tries to take on Popkey here. Adam writes things like
The ultimate reason the city removed the monument was because it does not believe there is a place for the acknowledgment of God in the public square.
It can be hard to put yourself in a victim class if you’re a white male
liberal journalist, but Dan Popkey managed to do that today.
I'll give Adam credit for being diligent about having an opinion on everything, for being a prolific blogger, and for building what seems to be a much visited website. He certainly gets way more traffic than this site. What I won't give him credit for is thoughtful analysis. Hyperbole is more the order for Adam. Can you really say what motivated "the city?" Since the monument was moved to a much higher traffic area, is it really true "the city" thinks there is no place for God in public?

As I've written, I think Adam became politically aware at the zenith of the influence of the religious right, a group he is proudly square in the middle of. Part of their reactionary world view is that they are a persecuted minority - victims - that must battle the forces of secularism. He is young enough that he doesn't see the zenith as the peak; he doesn't have sufficient political experience to put it into context. Also, he's been raised in the hothouse environment, for reactionaries, of Idaho and until recently, Montana. So, I think that unless Adam develops more perspective he's destined to feel bitter and oppressed. He doesn't know he's had a great run and now it's time for the pendulum to swing back.

This shows up in his references to "liberals." That term is just code language that allows the right, or used to allow the right, to negatively define someone. However, it has become meaningless with overuse. Anyone who doesn't agree with a reactionary is a liberal. John McCain, fer crying out loud, is a liberal.

Popkey closed out his piece with this:
I'll try to pay more attention to those quietly occupying the middle ground and be more skeptical of those making the clamor on the fringes. If you have an idea for me, please let me know.
Okay, great. Here's my idea for Popkey. Read the Unequivocal Notion and the Mountain Goat Report and follow some of their issues. They might have some lefty positions on a few things, but it's mostly standard progressive issues.

Oh, and please, tell Kevin Richert that he ought to give Adam his own column or find somebody else to quote. Richert once said he quotes Adam so much because the Idaho right is a vast wasteland of rational thought, er, no, sorry, that's not it, it's because the right has such a small presence on the blogosphere and he has few choices. Well, the constant appearance of Adam on the Statesman's op-ed page is giving him credence (that I don't think he deserves) as the reporting on Fischer's and Swindell's activities is giving them.

Update: DFO at HBO also frequently, too frequently in my opinion, quotes Adam. If there are no other voices, maybe it's because he's a minority position. Such frequent quoting makes him and his views look more mainstream.


Chris said...

Nicely done Alan.

Hopefully, after Popkey's piece the Idaho Statesman's editorial board will have a "come to Jesus" meeting and realize they've been the ones feeding the Fischer/Swindell fire.

If you don't give them air time or print space they will eventually go away -- kinda like a child crying about not getting that sour apple lollipop.

Binkyboy said...

Actually the Statesman shouldn't publish Adam because he's just so dumb. His IQ is lower than his President's.

Kevin Richert said...


Binkyboy said...

Kevin, not to be mean, but do you really not understand how to embed a link?

Anonymous said...

Have you seen "Dangerous Radicals of the Religious Right" (by Dave MacPherson) on Yahoo? Paloma