Reason

Washington Post and Matthew Sheffield Dig a Deeper Hole While Grudgingly Correcting Clumsy Falsehoods About Reason (UPDATED)

Maybe the third time will be the charm for blaming Donald Trump on libertarians

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Metafiction? ||| Picador
Picador

When I dealt with corrections in my first journalism job 30 years ago, at UC Santa Barbara, we hippies used the then-industry-standard practice of quoting the original erroneous material, explaining why it was wrong, then appending at the bottom of every correction this phrase: "The Daily Nexus regrets the error." It may have been formulaic, it may have sounded just a wee bit like a hostage note, but the purpose of the exercise was to snip out the lie like the cancer it was, reinforce the empty space around it with the healing goo of truth, and continue our participation within a culture that holds as aspirational values basic veracity and honesty above all.

The Washington Post's "Post Everything" section, in rightly correcting Matthew Sheffield's embarrassingly inaccurate attempt to draft Reason magazine in a dot-connecting effort to argue that Donald Trump learned his racialized rhetoric "from libertarians," does so not with regret, not with the specificity of its own mistake, not even with a hint of self-reflection, but with a perceptible eyeroll and a willfully misleading sneer:

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described Reason's 1976 special issue on revisionism and its coverage of apartheid South Africa. It included articles about Holocaust revisionism, but was not entirely dedicated to the Holocaust. Also, while the magazine did run several articles defending apartheid, it did not editorialize in favor of the system.

Let us examine the howling beast that separates the mild wording of the correction from the grave accusations in the original:

There had always been some sympathy for racism and anti-Semitism among libertarians—the movement's house magazine, Reason, dedicated an entire issue in 1976 to Holocaust revisionism and repeatedly editorialized in defense of South Africa's then-segregationist government (though by 2016, the magazine was running articles like "Donald Trump Enables Racism").

So we have been downgraded from "dedicated an entire issue in 1976 to Holocaust revisionism" to "included articles about Holocaust revisionism." But even that latter, lesser formulation suggests multiple missives on a topic that Nick Gillespie in this space has claimed was "not the focus of any of the articles in the issue." Since two does not equal zero, even in DonHill ClinTrump's America, we shall have to go to the tape—or better yet, to the complete, searchable issue in question, followed by my editorial sound effects indicating whether the stories behind the headlines qualify for Sheffield's provocative description:

Squint harder, Matthew. ||| Reason
Reason

* "The Framing of 'Tokyo Rose'"–BZZZT!

* "FDR's Watergate: Pearl Harbor"–BZZZT!

* "The Pearl Harbor Cover-Up"–BZZZT!

* "The Sudetan-German Tragedy"–BZZZT!

* "U.S. Interventions: Aberrations or Empire?"–BZZZT!

* "Non-Marxist Theories of Imperialism"–BZZZT!

* "World War II Revisionism and Vietnam"–one paragraph on page 39 within a survey of current historical revisionism that begins on page 34.

Now look back at the Post's correction text again: It included articles about Holocaust revisionism, but was not entirely dedicated to the Holocaust. Nope, there was one paragraph in a 76-page issue pointing to works about Holocaust revisionism, you sarcastic, imprecise aspersion-casters. Using "not entirely" in this case is like saying Rocky was "not entirely" about loan collections. The Post has created yet another error while "correcting" the old, and should correct its correction to reflect that. It's really not that hard to click on the link, fellas.

UPDATE: And now the correction has been updated with a new middle sentence. Gone is "It included articles about Holocaust revisionism, but was not entirely dedicated to the Holocaust," replacing it is "The February 1976 issue included an article that discussed Holocaust revisionism, but it was not entirely dedicated to the subject."

For the record, here is the one paragraph, by the odious Gary North (who was repudiated in the pages of Reason magazine in 1998), in its entirety:

Probably the most far-out materials on World War II revisionism have been the seemingly scholarly studies of the supposed execution of 6 million Jews by Hitler. The anonymous author of The Myth of the Six Million (whose writing style and use of footnotes internal to the text resembles Hoggan's The Myth of the "New History" to a remarkable extent) has presented a solid case against the Establishment's favorite horror story-the supposed moral justification for our entry into the War. (The Myth of the Six Million. [Hollywood: New Christian Crusade Church, 1969]) The untranslated books by the former Buchenwald inmate, Prof. Paul Rassinier, have seriously challenged the story: Le Mensonge d'Ulysse (1949), Ulysse trahi par les Siens (1960), Le Veritable Proces Eichmann (1962), and Le Drame des Juifs European (1964). A recent and very inexpensive book in magazine form, Did Six Million Really Die?, appeared in 1973, written by Richard Harwood. (Surrey, England: Historical Review Press) One thing is certain: 6 million executions or not, we did not intervene when the Soviet Union executed millions of kulaks—the private owners of small farms, prior to their expropriation and liquidation by Stalin in the late 1920's and early 1930's. The kulaks, unfortunately for them, had no supporters writing editorials in the New York Times.

Moving on to South Africa. As I pointed out in my original call for a correction, it wasn't just the assertion that Reason "editorialized in favor of [apartheid]" that was both wildly inaccurate and journalistically jaw-dropping, relying as it did on an accusation by conspiracy theorist Mark Ames, one of the single most discredited journalists working in the English language. It was the modifier repeatedly that Sheffield included in the original but didn't reference in the correction. Reason stood accused—falsely, despite readily available, link-rich evidence to the contrary—of "repeatedly" engaging in behavior it never once committed.

These are the types of errors that a conscientious writer and publication ought to truly regret. Instead, we're still being used to bolster's Sheffield's shaky thesis. Here's the re-written paragraph post-correction, and also post-post-correction (per UPDATE above):

There had always been some sympathy for racism and anti-Semitism among libertarians—the movement's house magazine, Reason, dedicated an entire issue in 1976 to "historical revisionism," including Holocaust revisionism. It also repeatedly ran articles in defense of South Africa's then-segregationist government (though by 2016, the magazine was running articles like "Donald Trump Enables Racism").

A reasonable reader could conclude from this paragraph that Reason went on a multi-decade jag running articles that defended apartheid, and then sometime recently decided that racism was bad, perhaps because it was associated with Donald Trump. In fact—as mentioned when I linked to and described everything Reason wrote about apartheid while that dictatorial system was still alive—South Africa's forcible segregation regime was described in Reason's pages as

"bigoted," "repressive," "thoroughly racist," an "absurd anachronism," "an anathema," "bad for business," and worse. Essayists wrote treatises on "how to dismantle apartheid"; feature writers celebrated developments they hoped "ultimately destroys…apartheid," Editor Robert Poole asked Zulu leader Gatsha Buthelezi questions like "What's the best thing the United States government could do to help end apartheid?", and on and on.

It's in there somewhere. ||| Reason
Reason

Those quotations come directly from 20 of about 24 articles in pre-'90s Reason that forthrightly assessed South Africa's domestic politics. The other four, which are the only possible materials supporting Sheffield's claim that Reason "repeatedly ran articles in defense of South Africa's then-segregationist government," came from a single author, South African Marc Swanepoel. Unlike Sheffield, who provides as source material a link to Mark Ames (which is considerably worse on the veracity scale than linking to Dan Rather about George W. Bush's Vietnam War experience), I will provide readers to the relevant Swanepoel hyperlinks, from 1973, 1975, 1976, and 1977. To save time for the tendentious reader, the 1975 piece is the worst.

I do not come here to defend Swanepoel, whose conclusions I find to be horrid. But since Sheffield again is making a claim about multiple Reason "articles" being terrible (acting "in defense of South Africa's then-segregationist government," in this case), it is worth pointing out that three of the other four pieces describe the apartheid government thusly: 1) "The less severe dictator"; 2) a "master" of "slaves"; 3) A system that the author "detest[s]." His was a least-worst argument, that—importantly for Sheffield's overall thesis tying libertarianism to racism—Swanepoel at the time acknowledged, rather defensively, would run counter to the prevailing mores of Reason readers.

"Throughout this article I have remained uncritical of the apartheid situation and this may leave me open to some severe criticism from other libertarians," he wrote in 1973. "Readers of this magazine," he added in 1977, "may think me a racist because I seem to condone the actions of the white South African government. Far from it."

In other words, the expected norm within Reason and within libertarianism during the 1970s was to reject racism, in South Africa and elsewhere, a fact borne out by any fair reading through Reason's archive. As Ayn Rand famously said, "Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism."

It is undoubtedly true, and worthy of exploration, that a handful of people associated with libertarianism (though not at that time or since with Reason magazine) in the late 1980s and early 1990s thought that populist appeals to white working class anger could prove a viable future for certain libertarian ideas. But what's striking about 2016 is that even if those people's rancid electoral theories back then have been proven half-plausible, almost none of them are taking credit for it today. If Donald Trump and Ron Paul "speak the same language," as Sheffield claims, it's a language that doesn't include Paul voting for the GOP nominee. The delegates loudest in opposition to Trump at the Republican National Convention were precisely the most libertarian. And it is surely no coincidence that the nomination of Trump has occurred in the same year as unprecedented polling enthusiasm for the presidential candidate from the Libertarian Party.

Pinning Donald Trump on libertarians was always going to be a stretch. My suggestion to Matthew Sheffield, after he's done modifying his piece yet again, is to start by focusing on Trump supporters in 2016 who still call themselves libertarian, rather than squinting ever harder at some debunked Mark Ames interpretations of material Reason printed long before Sheffield was born.

NEXT: New 7% Showing in CNN Poll Almost Certainly Dooms Gary Johnson's Debate Chances

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  1. 30 years ago?!

    You look pretty good for your age Matt

    1. My brother’s friend Bryan showed me how I can make some cash while working from my home on my computer… Now I earn $86 every hour and I couldn’t be happier… Before this job I had trouble finding job for months but now when I got this gig I wouldn’t trade it for nothing. Start this website
      go web and click tech tab for more info work… http://goo.gl/AzTMwA

    2. You’re my new favorite commenter.

      1. Good Sod, you’re easy. That’s all it takes? Poor Mrs. Le Welch…

        1. In fairness, she doesn’t comment here.

          1. I commend your wife’s sensibility and good taste.

          2. Smart woman. Let’s hope she doesn’t lurk here, either.

      2. I just assumed there was a really rough looking painting stashed in a storage locker somewhere in the wilds of Tucson.

      3. And your already unusually long fingers have only lengthened with age.

        1. I don’t know why this grosses me out so.

    3. Too long, too detailed. I’m on your side and I couldn’t slog through this wall of text.
      You brought a knife to a gun fight, and a dull butter knife at that.

  2. FFS, must I do everything around here?

    Sheffield: Go fuck yourself you lying left-wing douche.

    Now you can go back to being ‘diplomatic’ with smug assholes who couldn’t care less about truth and accuracy.

    1. Sheffield is actually a lying neocon douche. So, yeah, left-winger that hates drugs and sex.

      1. So, yeah, left-winger that hates drugs and sex.

        Think that’s capital R Religion defined right there (secular delusions included).

        Close to the right hand of God you must be.

    2. Someday, GayJasy’s Troble is gonna write a song about this incident called Reasonable Post Hole.

  3. #SomeIdiotCorrectedThis

    Good on you for continuing to hold their feet to the fire over this, Matt. I don’t know if I should be encouraged that defenders of the establishment must increasingly resort to outright lies about libertarians (and others outside the duopoly) and take it as a sign that they are increasingly anxious about their own position, or disheartened that they are able to do it with so little in the way of repercussions.

    1. Look for a lot more lies and half-truths about libertarians in the coming months. Remember: first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they debate you, then they win. The interphase between laughing-at and debate involves ratcheting down from big lies to smaller lies.

      1. then they win

        Well, that’s a depressing variation.

        1. Dammit. Thanks. You know what I meant.

          1. En vino, veritas?

            1. Nope, too early for that.

              1. It’s never too early for a nice glass of wine.

        2. Honesty is the best policy.

      2. Debate? No, they’ll just go back to ignoring, and then win.

  4. “When I dealt with corrections in my first journalism job 30 years ago, at UC Santa Barbara, ”

    Holy shit you’re old.

    1. UC Santa Barbara admits 3rd graders. I’ve seen them partying all over Isla Vista.

  5. You cosmo fucks convinced me to vote Trump

    1. Cool story, bro.

      1. I’m trying to figure out what his comment has to do with the post. Usually he includes language to at least tie it in to the subject at hand.

        I do admire his dedication to the joke. I really do. I wish I could have pulled it off like that.

        1. It helps that he is the joke.

        2. Why would you even care?

        3. Hey, it’s quality, not quantity. Your trolling was of much higher quality. The flame that burns twice as bright and all that.

        4. We are watching the deterioration of a beautiful mind. Yeah, none of the words in the previous sentence are true.

          1. More like watching a turd laid in a ball cap slowly cool down.

            1. Strangely specific. Who shat in your hat?

              1. The cat. The cat shat in my hat. I don’t like that.

                1. Sounds like something Mike Meyers would do.

        5. If Reason had only editorialized in favor of Apartheid and Holocaust denial, he wouldn’t have to support Trump now. Duh.

        6. Hey, your euphemisms are supposed to be more esoteric.

        7. I’m surprised I didn’t see him orgasming right at the top of the comments of the poll thread.

    1. And yet Oberlin is still cranking out idiots with toilet paper diplomas.

    2. I thought that going to be the link of irony to the “1st Day of School” plump grammar school teacher who is more tone deaf than Helen Keller.

      1. There is a difference between merely predatory and genocidal.

    3. Obviously, they’re not teaching anything that’s in demand. All those students left in the lurch can now join a real school teaching gender theory and race awareness.

      1. ITT’s curriculum could may have well been completely shitty. But what seems to be getting everyone in a huff is the fact that they dared not organize themselves as a non-profit. As if filing certain paperwork with the IRS has anything at all to do with educational quality.

        1. Well if they’re non-profit, then they won’t be scamming students to make big profits. Duh.

          1. Certainly no state-run institutions of education would ever engage in a vendor-financed scheme for getting its customers to mortgage their future to pay for four years of social justice and grievance studies pap with no clear route to the jobs market…

        2. Profits, like guns, are magical.

    4. Makes me wonder if predatory Zen master is a thing in Japan. You know, a guy that jumps out of the bushes to whack you on the head, hoping you will reach satori.

      1. A monk asked Baizhang, “So what is amazingly wonderful?”

        Zhang said, “Sitting alone on Daixiong Peak.”

        The monk ceremoniously bowed.

        Zhang then hit him.

        Blue Cliff Record – Case #26

        1. *gaze, narrowed toward infinity*

  6. The Post has created yet another error while “correcting” the old

    Gee, who could have seen that coming?

    Regardless of what you do or say, regardless of how many anti-trump articles you write, no matter how many times you remind them libertarians were for gay marriage decades before the rest, no matter how many times you point out that Reason was on the forefront of ‘criminal justice reform’ and reporting on militarized policing, no matter how often you speak out in favor of liberalized immigration, no matter how hard you caveat your defense of free speech with denunciations of hate-mongers, no matter how ardent your anti-war stance, no matter how often you defend ‘the little guy’ against the oppressive forces of the state and its corporate-union cronies…

    ….no matter what you do, they will still demonize you as racists, apologists for fascism, shills for bazillionaires, and ethical inferiors.

    And no matter how often you try and gracefully, “be the better person”, and respond to their cheap shots with maturity and professionalism?

    they’ll just hit lower and harder the next time. and it will never stop

    1. What are you, some sort of wizard?

      1. I have been known to wield a magic staff

        1. Is there such a thing as a single entendre ?

        2. But does your staff have a knob on the end?

          http://www.lspace.org/fandom/s…..aff-2.html

    2. Shorter =

      Stop pretending they’re intellectually honest, and will be shamed by their “mistakes”.

      They’re not. They won’t be. They know exactly what they’re doing.

      1. ^This. Remember they are scared shitless that Gary Johnson could “steal” enough votes from their preferred candidate to cause her to lose.

      2. Indeed. Sheffield did his duty like a good little solider.

    3. That’s good, Gilmore. What we are witnessing in the decline of journalism is a new phenomenon. Yes, bias was always there. However, it is so blatant and in-your-face now that the whole profession has become a total farce. Just look at the headlines that WaPo peddles. This isn’t reporting. This is the screeching of a deranged priest class, the baying of beta beasts at the other pack, the bleating of intellectual scrapie.

      1. Journalism has always been about advocacy. The only difference between now and the past is their current insistence that journalists are impartial.

        1. Um, no. Journalism is about reporting events. What you are thinking of is the editorial content, which used to be reserved for the editorial page and identified as such. No one is saying journalists are impartial. But they should at least strive for that goal or abandon the profession and go into persuasive writing.

          1. It’s a modern-day fallacy that Journalists are these truth-seeking Knights of justice, or that they ever were.

            Seriously, that’s not how it has ever worked and if you think it did you’re remembering one person or one story, not the institution of journalism as a whole.

            Consider that papers all over the United States only exist right now because they were literally purchased whole-hog by a Billionaire of one stripe or another to be a vehicle or companion for their own national lobbying efforts.

            If you think this is cynical, it’s because you have no idea how media works. There is this loose amorphous idea out there that Journalists should be the way people think they are but in the long run if you want to stay employed you stick to what your editor wants and your editor wants what the owner wants. Otherwise you’re a statistic on the U2.

      2. The elite media doesn’t just practice journalism with mere bias — either veiled or blatant in-your-face.

        Instead, it engages in intentional deception.

        That’s an entirely new category, and quite different from the way journalism was practiced even twenty years ago.

        1. It’s not at all. Do some blasted research. Journalism has always been advocacy, either all the way into propaganda or slightly softer and we have always engaged in it here in the U.S. in greater or lesser extents depending on the period. Recall that ‘Yellow Journalism’ has been around for over 100 years now but hasn’t changed a bit since going digital.

          Find me a person without bias and I’ll show you a liar. There is no such animal, and to pretend otherwise gives you a massive blind spot and todays insistence that they give you ‘just the facts’ is such a banal lie that everyone apparently either believes it or doesn’t even give it a second think.

    4. they’ll just hit lower and harder the next time. and it will never stop

      Good… good. Maybe if they hit low enough this will happen. (warning: NSFL)

      1. Not Safe For Libertarians?

        1. Not really safe for anyone.

  7. They should blame Trump’s rise on toxic leftism that some feel requires a brutal response and mainlstream Republican pols who ignore their base and collude with the Dems on a regular basis. Libertarians have as much to do with Trump’s rise as they do with Hillary’s which is very little.

    1. That’s not how it works from their perspective. They believe those votes belong to Hillary and Gary Johnson is stealing them. Therefore, if Trump wins, it’s all the fault of libertarians.

  8. You’ll deign to employ “odious” as the praenomen of Gary North, but the best you could do for Ames is “conspiracy theorist”? Not “Self-Admitted Child Rapist Mark Ames”?

  9. If I understand what Matt’s saying, and I think I do, we should all go over there to troll right now?

    1. Don’t be Balloonjuice, dude.

      1. Sorry- already banned at Ballon Juice…

    2. I skimmed the piece, saw “libertarians at Reason are racist” and drew my own conclusion, because I read the Washington Post.

        1. When the walls fell at Harambe.

          1. The zoo, when Harambe fell.

            Also, 5/17, when the links were not there.

            1. Robby, when the hair took over.

        2. Libertarians hate Harambe?

          1. Only because he’s black.

    1. Joe Sloan
      That, Virginia Postrel, is because neither you nor Rick Henderson were sufficiently Pecksniffian to draw accolades from the likes of Rothbard or Rockwell. Pecksniffian, by the way, is my word of the week and I’ve eagerly awaited the opportunity to put it in play. How did I do?

      Very well, Joe. Very well indeed. [goes back to browsing women’s foundation garments section of Sears catalog]

      1. Pecksniffian — luv dat wurd

        1. I know, right? It sounds so dirty…

      2. Did his furniture start screaming and celebrating because he used the word?

      3. Pecksniffian means faking benevolence or high morals.

        I don’t usually think of Rothbard or Rockwell, especially, being Pecksniffian or requiring it of their supporters.

    2. Is “us” supposed to be… murray rothbard? How, exactly?

      1. Just participating in the meme.

        *drinks*

      2. The commentariat, Gilly, Postrel does indeed hate us. I apparently bear a large part of the blame for that.

    3. I like that dame Pat Wagner’s explanation of the Four Murrays.

    4. I may not be 100% on the Rothbard train, but I have learned way more from him than the style-over-substance, mental bean flogging, self-important show about nothing, that is Postrel’s neural spaghetti. The hate is mutual.

    5. Wow. I found REASON in the Postrel era to be incredibly boring, bloodless, and wonky. But now I think she’s despicable.

  10. And once again, it doesn’t matter.

    They got their message out.

    Maybe 1% of the people who read the original article will note the correction. That number is probably way higher than it actually will be.

    1. ^Sadly, this. And they know exactly what they are doing with this, too. Most people never follow up on corrections.

  11. How about that libertarianism’s house magazine once spent a solid week on endless online postings about the Ground Zero Mosque? That’s the publication’s real shame and that’s what Sheffield needs to be hitting them over.

  12. I would suppose that they, in fact, do not regret the error.

  13. Matt, you’re presuming that Sheffield actually gives a shit about the truth, rather than churning out a hit piece for his DNC handlers.

    1. I actually do not make that presumption, FWIW.

    2. For the record = Sheffield is an ostensible conservative.

      *albeit one which seems to represent some novel purist conservatism… which seems to disavows everyone else called “conservative”, including the Buckley New Right, Alt-right, Neocons… and i can’t really tell where he stands on Paleos, but i also don’t care because the guy appears to be a complete fucking idiot to begin with.

      Its also interesting to note that he’s written about “Trump and Libertarians” before… only his conclusion the first time around was that Trumpism reflects the Failure of Libertarian Ideas

      IOW, his WaPo proposal that Trump owes a debt to Libertarians for his racist appeal… seems to contradict prior arguments that he’s made, suggesting that Trump is actually a “backlash” against libertarian influence in the GOP

      e.g.

      The absurdity of an economically conservative Republican elite continually promising the moon to Republican voters who are not particularly libertarian simply could not last forever. That something is Donald Trump, a man whose wealth and fame make him completely unbeholden to the libertarian billionaires who have set the American Right’s policy agenda for decades.

      Either way he’s wrong. But he seems willing to be flexible about “how”

      1. For the record = Sheffield is an ostensible conservative.

        XNC might be more accurate. Saves the time of figuring out which cola company they work for.

      2. suggesting that Trump is actually a “backlash” against libertarian influence in the GOP

        Which makes a lot more sense than blaming libertarians for Trump.

        1. I think his argument is that its not an either/or thing, but rather “both”.

          1. Where ‘argument’ = ‘incoherent babbling’.

      3. libertarian influence in the GOP

        Assumes facts not in evidence.

        1. Could you say it begs the question? I’m still confused about how that phrase is supposed to work

      4. Is he one of those “conservatives” who keeps saying “as a conservative, I deplore” [the latest threat to left-wing orthodoxy]

  14. This is like someone who imagines he has principles being startled when he stumbles into people who actually have principles.

    Keeping America safe from Trump isn’t really a principle, but I suppose the noble lie might be. The problem is that there’s no principle behind doubling down on a lie (noble or otherwise) once the truth had been revealed. Why’d they do that?

    Certainly, the Cold War against totalitarian communism made foreign policy arguments complicated, but I don’t suppose it ever occurred to this guy that libertarians might be principled in their opposition to whatever he regards as holy.

    And in his mind, it’s probably noble to misrepresent those who disagree with him on those questions, too.

    I bet Reason hasn’t been the only victim of this guy’s intellectual dishonesty. If it’s okay to misrepresent Reason to go after Trump, why wouldn’t it be okay to misrepresent other people, too?

    Ever heard of the Peter principle? This guy seems to have risen to his own level of incompetence already. There must be someone else out there they can hire to write under the Washington Post masthead that isn’t likely to embarrass his bosses further or, God forbid, subject them to a lawsuit.

  15. Reason, dedicated an entire issue in 1976 to Holocaust revisionism

    Dedicating an entire issue to the *topic* of holocaust revisionism would not be a big deal; one could easily see the Nation doing such a thing. However, if the issue was dedicated to denying or refuting the holocaust, that would be a big deal.

    Sloppy wording, or intentionally misleading?

    1. Sloppy wording, or intentionally misleading?

      Yes.

  16. The droning clunk of words stabbed blindly and furiously into a forehead… this is modern media mostly. I fucking do not envy our man here having to defend the rag from fatuous scorchers.

    1. Not quite sure on this one… Either you just got through viewing Scanners, or someone’s ladyfriend has a rather wicked case of burning herpes.

      1. Just combine the two and assume Videodrome.

  17. the purpose of the exercise was to snip out the lie like the cancer it was,

    The lie is merely a symptom of the cancer that is political journalism.

  18. Pinning Donald Trump on libertarians was always going to be a stretch.

    I was not particularly politically aware at the time, but even I noted the inherent contradiction of Perot signs side by side with Libertarian Party signs in 1992. That made perfect sense compared to claiming any sort of libertarian underpinning to Trump’s jumbled up pronouncements.

  19. Makes me wonder if predatory Zen master is a thing in Japan. You know, a guy that jumps out of the bushes to whack you on the head, hoping you will reach satori.

    Holy shit. My dream job.

  20. “One thing is certain: 6 million executions or not, we did not intervene when the Soviet Union executed millions of kulaks-the private owners of small farms, prior to their expropriation and liquidation by Stalin in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. The kulaks, unfortunately for them, had no supporters writing editorials in the New York Times.”

    In some ways, that statement doesn’t go far enough. It shouldn’t be read as an indictment against Jews for screaming bloody murder about the holocaust; it should be read as an indictment against “useful idiots” at the New York Times and elsewhere who whitewashed Stalin’s crimes.

    1. Here’s Christopher Hitchens in The Atlantic responding to being likewise excoriated by his friend Martin Amis in Koba the Dread–for being willfully blind to the crimes of Stalin (because they shared Stalin’s Marxist worldview).

      “Again to cite Orwell, there is a tendency for all stories of cruelty and atrocity to resemble one another. For this reason some overfamiliar or recycled accounts provoke boredom or disbelief, and can be made to seem propagandistic. (The classic example is the way the British fabrication of German outrages during World War I had the paradoxical effect of turning skeptics into cynics when they heard the initially incredible news of Nazi innovations in that terrible sphere.)

      Christopher Hitchens
      “Lightness at Midnight”
      Stalinism without irony

      http://www.theatlantic.com/mag…..ht/376642/

      Am I to take from that sentence that Hitchens was a defender of ignoring the plight of holocaust victims because their stories may have been exaggerated?

      Of course not!

      Hitchens was simply making a point that the early reports of atrocities by Stalin weren’t necessarily equally credible to all ears at the time (as they should have been).

      That observation doesn’t make Hitchens a supporter of the holocaust any more than pointing out that the New York Times failed to denounce Stalin’s war crimes as they were happening means that Reason denied the holocaust (or supported apartheid in South Africa).

  21. These are the types of errors that a conscientious writer and publication ought to truly regret.

    Ah, ok, I think I see your problem right there…

  22. To save time for the tendentious reader, the 1975 piece is the worst.

    Huh. I just read it, and it seemed pretty even-handed.

  23. What is the worst thing it’s possible to be in 2016? A racist, of course. Just like there are no curse words anymore except for nigger, etc., the lazy man nowadays doesn’t need any insults besides “racist!”

    In a previous age, this guy would have been calling you a Catholic or an octoroon. You should be thrilled to have such boring enemies.

  24. “It included articles about Holocaust revisionism, but was not entirely dedicated to the Holocaust. ”

    I’m sure it could also be said that “The Washington Post included articles of robed Ku Klux Klansmen, but the paper was not entirely dedicated to white supremacists.”

  25. They didn’t lie and they won’t repeat the lie, either!

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  27. There had always been some sympathy for racism and anti-Semitism among libertarians

    Don’t go wobbly. Fundamentally this is true. That is because, in a Libertarian society, people have the right to free though, free speech and freedom of association. To assume those freedoms will not be used in service to racism and anti-semitism is naive. But a free, libertarian society has to respect and protect racists and anti-semites just like everyone else.

    1. Some sociologist should do a comparison study of how many people believe in holocaust denial in countries where holocaust denial is against the law vs. countries where holocaust denial is perfectly legal.

      I suspect holocaust denialism has move believers in countries where it’s a criminal offense.

      In the United States, you’re perfectly free to indulge in holocaust denialism–and almost everyone in the United States indulges is laughing at your for doing so. In the United States, is there anyone with less credibility with average people than holocaust denialists?

      Those people are worse than the Westboro Baptist Church. And that’s probably a great example. The more the Westboro Baptist Churhc exercises their right to free speech, the less credibility they have with average people.

      If right wing movements have more credibility seemingly everywhere in Europe, maybe that’s in part because they’re prevented from saying the truly stupid shit that they would say otherwise that would make them lose credibility with average people.

      I don’t believer free speech rights should only be respected if doing so is in the net best interests of society, but, that being said, giving an idiot the freedom to speak has never made one seem smarter than he would seem otherwise.

      What was it Mark Twain said?

      “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt”

      Censorship on that issue may be giving the fools false cover.

  28. Damnit.

    I was planning on devoting an entire thread to antisemitism and apartaid.

  29. Also, the idea that libertarians today might be somehow tied to support for apartheid or holocaust denial is ridiculous.

    Those are just fundamentally authoritarian practices, and there aren’t any libertarians anywhere espousing support for these things.

    Also, Reason’s coverage, in the eyes of plenty of regulars around here, has been roundly anti-Trump.

    I don’t really understand whether this guy was trying to smear Trump with the accusation of libertarianism or whether he was trying to smear libertarianism with being pro-Trump. Either way, it’s a fail on its face.

    The Washington Post presumably has editors that actually read this stuff before it’s printed under the masthead, right?

    Maybe the editors at Washington Post are just clueless about libertarians. I mean, this is the same bunch that hired The Weigel to explain the Tea Party to their readers, presumably since he was supposed to be an expert on libertarians. I’m sure to them, everyone who isn’t a Democrat is a militia movement racist.

  30. Matt, did you actually expect journalistic honesty from WaPo?

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  33. There is no point in responding th the Washington Post about correcting the propaganda they produce. The thing to remember is that the Washington Post is a hobby for Mr. Bezos (who really does want to, and might, rule the world) to further his own interests.

    It is also way past time for Libertarians (which includes many of the Reason crew) to recognize and embrace the fact that real Liberty includes the right to unfettered free association, and all that is implied by the term. Not government ordered segregation, but free association.

    Don’t apologize for the right of the people to associat anywhere and with (or without) anyone they see fit to associate or not with. That will cost the Libertarians a lot of their Liberaltarian supporters, but those mutts are not real believers in Liberty anyway. To Hell with them.

  34. before I saw the paycheck which had said $4647 , I have faith that my mom in-law woz like they say realie taking home money part-time at there labtop. . there moms best frend has done this less than six months and just now repayed the mortgage on there home and got a great new Ford Mustang . more tips here ..
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