re: ot and politics: getting back to aisling on mm

 Posted on 7/8/2004 by to

>But if you're going to argue for the value of dissent, then tolerance has to
>be equilateral. The alternative is the hypocrisy of "tolerating" those
>whose dissent you already agree with and rejecting dissent from those that
>you don't.

There's a misperception about how such arguments should be phrased in the
popular media, however. The problem is the attempt to create tolerance through
supposed balance...and they're not the same thing.

One person gave a great example...if Bush said the world was flat, the papers
would rush out and get other opinions, then run articles entitled "Bush,
Democrats Differ On Shape of World."

It's balance of a point of view, but it's not an accurate portrayal of the

I've seen Moore's film, and my sense of it is this: about 70% of the film
consist of very solid and well-researched facts that have been reported and
confirmed by a variety of respected sources, then further vetted by a battery
of attorneys.

The remaining 30% is the analysis of those facts. You may or may not agree
with some of those analyses.

But the facts themselves are damning enough. That 70% is one hell of a 70%.

And I'm sorry, but to argue about the merits about Moore's film without
bothering to see it is about as asinine and ignorant as anything I've ever
seen. You can't just cite his "prose" in an ambiguous way and come to
conclusions about something you haven't deigned to see.

As Harlan says, you're not entitled to your're entitled to your
INFORMED opinion. If you haven't bothered to be informed about something, to
be properly educated -- in this case by seeing the thing you're discussing --
then sorry, but your opinion is less than worthless. It may serve for your
amusement, but that's all.

There's the story of a group of philosophers who were sitting around debating
how many teeth were in the mouth of a donkey. A kid sitting nearby suggested
they simply go out and count the teeth. They booted him out and went back to
speculating in a vacuum because somehow that was purer.

But history has shown who was truly the ass in that discussion.


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