Friday, August 03, 2007

On Beauchamp, Sanchez, & Some Self Righteous Chest Thumping.

For what it's worth, let me weigh in on the whole Scott Thomas Beauchamp controversy. If you need the background just paste his name into google and read away.

I find it instructive that the right wing blogosphere would source criticism of Beauchamp to Matt Sanchez. While most of the raised eyebrows from my side of the political divide have to do with Mr. Sanchez' participation in gay porno, that titillating detail is not the source of my bemusement. I wonder how the conservatives think they would ever get a fair assessment of Beauchamp's claims by having his work researched by a far right wing mouthpiece like Mr. Sanchez.

Now on the one issue which Sanchez has given his opinion on, Beauchamp has admitted to erring with the location of the event. However there are several independent witnesses to the event, wherever it happened, so the only error by Beauchamp is the location. Beauchamp admits this error, which is more than can be said for those who have savaged him from the right when proven wrong time and time again. The worrisome part of this going forward is that Sanchez promises to "verify" other parts of Beauchamp's story going forward, and I don't consider Sanchez a trustworthy agent to carry forth this mission.

If I were to look for a fair take on a person who I don't agree with politically, I'm not silly enough to go to someone else who already holds my opinion to get their assessment and then hold that affirmation as proof that I was right the entire time. I read people I agree with to get their perspective, and look at their sources... but I'm not silly enough to actually believe that because I interpret the facts like one of my liberal buddies interprets the facts, that that is proof of our infallibility on the issue.

These conservative bloggers had a fit over Beauchamp posting from Iraq because he was liberal. If he were conservative and posting rah rah puff pieces, the conservatives would be holding Beauchamp up as an example of how correct they are about the war. We know this because these same people routinely send forth emissaries from their ranks who are given tours of the Green Zone and various other secured and heavily guarded areas of Iraq so that they may report back to their kool aid drinking audience about how wonderful things are in Iraq.

So now they rely upon Matt Sanchez to debunk the liberal soldier blogging from Iraq. The same Matt Sanchez who has made repeated appearances on Fox News, was given an award at this years CPAC conference, and has a picture of his beaming self getting all huggedy with Anne Coulter. Oh yeah... also he has a sketchy past in gay porn. But the gay porn thing isn't what calls his report on Beauchamp into question. It's his obviously biased outlook on the subject he's supposed to be verifying.

If anything this reliance by the conservative blogs on an obviously biased source regarding a subject that is so very important to them should demonstrate the manifest dishonesty with which they approach nearly any issue they pontificate upon. When these conservatives are flat out caught with their factual knickers around their ankles, they can be counted upon to change the subject or insist that they were right the entire time while obfuscating the issue.

One of the biggest jumps in traffic Club Lefty has ever experienced was when I posted a story titled "Who is Jamil Hussein and why you should care." I found out that typing Jamil Hussein into google right at that time brought up that post, and that alot of koolaid drinkers were finding Club Lefty by linking into that story. Several of them claiming to be from the military left comments on that post derisively telling me what a moron and idiot I was for posting that. The entire right wing blogosphere was in an uproar for well over a month on Jamil Hussein. Yet when it was eventually proven that they were flat out wrong, and that Club Lefty and the rest of the blogosphere defending the news media in Iraq was actually correct... was there a whisper of contrition from the wingnuts? Was there any admission of being wrong. An apology? Anything at all? I think you know the answer to that query. The closing paragraph of that post turns out to have been well considered:
"Which should lead us who are interested in accuracy and truth in the opinions we spew forth on a daily basis to wonder, when can we expect all the right wing bloggers who castigated the A.P. on this one to issue corrections? Suffice to say that I will not hold my breath waiting for that to occur."
It seems to me that being willing to admit error should be the lowest standard by which anyone offering opinion for the masses should be judged. Just type the word crow into this blogs search feature and the first two posts have admissions from myself that I have erred in judging a particular issue. I search for occasions to admit such error, because in being able to demonstrate the ability to acknowledge my own shortcomings and attempting to correct them, I think I am trying to satisfy the basic level of trust which anyone who wants their opinion to mean anything should demonstrate.

I look forward to this lesson being learned by my counterparts on the right. Again however, I will not hold my breath waiting for them to see the light.

By the way... in case you were wondering when you read the title, the reference to self righteous chest thumping was an afterthought, because of the self centered and overly pious tone I've taken throughout this post. Sometimes I'm just insufferable!

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