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Oh good a blogfight – and the liberals are loving it

December 16, 2009

I don’t really read Patterico’s Pontifications or Protein Wisdom but both blogs are considered prominent in conservative blog circles and they are at it like a mother and daughter fighting over the same man on Jerry Springer. I don’t really know what started this fight, it seems to have been simmering for a long time, but it seems to have been boiled over when Patrick Frey (patterico) launched a Charles Johnson-esque attack on Robert Stacy McCain, accusing him of racism while denying accusing him of racism. It was stupid and without purpose in my opinion and it launched this war. Anyway that’s the background – here’s the fallout –

Yes, while the rest of us were blithely going on with our Christmassy lives and preparing our aluminum poles for Festivus, an ugly blogwar broke out in the right hemisphere of Godzilla-versus-Mothra scope and fury, featuring volley after return volley of fiery halitosis and hair-splitting pedantry. Escalating a minor dispute into an all-engulfing shit fit, Protein Wisdom’s Jeff Goldstein and Patterico’s Pontifications’ Patrick Frey locked themselves in a mutual-destruction danse macabre that couldn’t be more gaudy and futile if I had scripted it myself, in my recurring role as Mischievous Trickster. The catalyst for this duel at Diablo was an inquiry into whether certain moldy comments written in the nineties by conservative journalist and carnival barker Robert Stacy McCain revealed telltale residue of racism. This evolved into a Goldstein tutorial on authorial intent full of jargon and bluster which was met by Patrick Frey in a tedious display of his own brand of bravado, with ratfucky posters rushing to and fro from the comments sections of the two blogs with pipsqueak Iago poisonings of innuendo and incitement to keep everything at full spite.

Of course at root this really isn’t about accusations of racism or authorial intent or who promised to delete which emails or who banned whom from commenting, this is simply a foam-rubber swordfight between two sore, angry egos too fatuously proud to stand down. Neither seems master of his own domain at this point, and it is a testament to Goldstein’s hothead immaturity that he thinks Buckley’s threat to punch Vidal in the face way back in 1968 was admirable and worthy of emulation. If you look at that famous clip from ABC’s coverage of the Democratic Convention in Chicago (I’m sure YouTube has it*), what ought to impress upon you is how regally cool Vidal remains in the face of Buckley’s bristling temper and physical menace. He doesn’t flinch, he doesn’t retreat, even when Buckley seems ready to uncork. Vidal has always been a very unfazable, formidable presence and he’s the one who emerges with dignity intact from this unhappy exchange. Vidal also knows how to ration and propel his words for maximum impact, something Goldstein and Frey ought to study in lieu of the projectile vomiting of loosely chosen words that is their current practice.

both have become something of a joke and the liberals are just sitting back and enjoying it.


Bring the Heat Bring the Stupid loads Heat on Christina Aguilera – I have to agree that when she does the retro-glam thing she is incredibly hot.

Congrats to Cynthia Yockey and Joy McCann

His Mother must be proud

Update – I think Little Miss Attila is agreeing with me here. This fight is ridiculous. Now Patterico is complaining that he can’t post at PW. Apparently reciprocal bannings are a no-no. Goldstein denies it.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2009 5:32 pm

    Well, I haven’t had a chance (and probably won’t anytime soon) to click through to read the originals, but I must say that it’s probably not a good idea to take anything Wolcott writes seriously. He’s little more than a well-spoken jackass.

    I like all three of the “conservatives” (Frey, Goldstein, McCain) to some extent but don’t read any religiously, and I often find myself disagreeing with all of them at times. But anything that makes Wolcott happy bothers me.

    • jenn1964 permalink*
      December 16, 2009 5:52 pm

      You misunderstand. It isn’t that Wolcott is a serious commentator, it’s that Frey and Goldstein both appear so childish at the moment. I can’t even identify anything else Wolcott has ever written so it’s not like I am endorsing some radical new economic theory that he has come up with or any thing. Just pointing out that a “prominent” liberal is pointing to this episode as something laugh worthy.

  2. December 16, 2009 6:06 pm

    Wolcott’s the one who sort of cheered on hurricanes in the wake of Katrina because humans are destroying the planet.

    Nah, I didn’t misunderstand, I just haven’t had a chance to read the primary sources to see how childish they’re being (I gather you have). I just meant that Wolcott’s description is not to be believed unless confirmed by several independent sources who testify on penalty of death or dismemberment. And even then should be taken with a grain of salt.

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