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Posted at 8:22 AM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Fox, like MSNBC, learns the hard way

By Jennifer Rubin

As other conservatives and I have written, whether on the topic of his inappropriate use of Holocaust talk or with regard to the many other instances of inflammatory language, Glenn Beck has proved himself to be a poor representative of the conservative movement. He provides fodder for the left, eschews substance in favor of vitriol and is often simply wrong on the facts. Unfortunately, many conservatives have largely ignored his behavior, just as those on the left refused to recognize that Keith Olbermann was a menace to the image of liberals.

Beck once again has proven how uncivil and unreasoned he is, this time going after Bill Kristol, whom Beck has not the decency to refer to by his real name. Bill took Beck to task recently for his hysterical language and reaction to the Egyptian revolution. And Beck proved Bill's criticism correct by unleashing a stream of insults. You don't have to favor Bill's approach to Egypt or anything else to realize an ad hominem attack without any intellectual argument is really not what conservatives should be all about. There has been plenty of spirited and collegial debate on the topic on the right, as I have explained. But Beck's spasm of bile does his network no favors.

The problem with ranting extremists is they usually wind up impaling themselves and their employers. MSNBC figured out that it could field liberal hosts who were as popular with its audience as Olbermann, without having to put up with the hassles. You wonder how long Fox will take to reach the same conclusion about its own unhinged screamer.

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 8, 2011; 8:22 AM ET
Categories:  Media  
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Comments

Totally concur
The media and the liberal politicians demonize Conservatives by focusing on Palin, Beck, Rush and the occasional racist alleged Tea Partier they find.

Interesting that they don't demonize, for the most part, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels or even conservative radio hosts like Laura Ingrham.

I look forward to a year's worth of good governing by the new crop of Republican governors and (hopefully) Congress to combat this ridiculous theory proposed by the left that Republicans are mostly represented by Beck and his ilk.

Posted by: jay22 | February 8, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I respect Bill Kristol for his outspoken and courageous defence of Conservative principles, but his support of the mobocracy in Egypt, I think he is hopelessly naive.

Posted by: Beniyyar | February 8, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Nice false equivalency, Jenn! Olbermann is not a lunatic who spews lies like Beck does.

Posted by: jillcohen | February 8, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"You wonder how long Fox will take to reach the same conclusion about its own unhinged screamer."

Hopefully, not long. His unhinged rants get in the way. But I do disagree with you about Olbermann. The longer that putz stayed in place the better for the conservative movement.

Posted by: gord2 | February 8, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I respect Bill Kristol for his outspoken and courageous defence of Conservative principles, but his support of the mobocracy in Egypt, I think he is hopelessly naive.
Posted by: Beniyyar

The NeoConservative philosophy,particularly the part about American Exceptionalism is hopelessly childish/niave/utopian.. Remember NeoCons are Trotskyites in drag. BK is just being consistent. His/NeoCons dream is utopian American Exceptionalism exported throughout the world,and the result will be a world infused with American values,Ruled by America. Marxism/Trotskyism in Drag.

Posted by: rcaruth | February 8, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

You are completely wrong.

The Leftover incumbatocracy, which now employs you, attacks Beck, and Sean, and Palin, and Rush (etc.) not for their failings, but for the fact that they are usually correct in their exposes of Leftover mendacity.

I am on this particular issue for once closer to Kristol than Beck, in that I think the Arab uprisings are genuine popular uprisings against the stagnation and civil liberties abuses of Arab socialism and its tyrants.

But the reason Beck is attacked by the Leftovers and Demwits is because he made "The Road to Serfdom" soar on the Amazon charts and he exposes the nefarious Soros funding of Leftover astro-turf sock puppets like the concubines at Tedium Tatters.

Posted by: BruceMajor | February 8, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Didn't see the show, only know the information provided by your link.

Frankly Jennifer, there was nothing in that column that was in any way worse than what you say about the President every day!

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 8, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The Road to Serfdom" soar on the Amazon charts

And how many of those Road to Serfdom books were actually read. Here's a True/False question for you. In RTS,Hayek supported a much larger social safety net than we currently have in the US?

Posted by: rcaruth | February 8, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Well said Ms. Rubin. However, I've learned that it's impossible to mention the names Beck or Palin and then have a reasonable discussion with many people on the right, or the left. In my opinion, what happened was that the Left has been so vitriolic in its attacks on Palin and Beck that there's been a counter reaction on the right defending Palin and Beck even if they say something indefensable. Kristol was 100% right on the substance (i.e., that the revolution in Egypt is not part of some move towards a global socialist caliphate, and the links between the Left and this are tenuous at best), although he may have been better served not mentioning Beck by name.

Posted by: *JRapp | February 8, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Jennifer I totally agree with you. There are a lot of smart conservatives out there and Glenn Beck is not one of them. I think his behavior is increasingly hysterical and misinformed and for that smart conservatives must call him out on that.

Posted by: Fitz157 | February 8, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

While I enjoy the spirited defense of conservative principles by Michelle Bachmann, Jennifer Rubin and Sarah Palin, I have to part company with her on this one. Rubin isn't stupid, she clearly knows the truth behind the effort by Middle Eastern Muslims, communists, Marxists, Van Jones, Code Pink, Frances Fox Piven and the Apollo Alliance to restore the Caliphate centered on ancient Babylon. Why do you think Herbert Walker Bush prohibited bombing of Babylon during the first Gulf War. Do the math.
Ms. Rubin, you can obfuscate, but you know what's going on.
Palin/Beck 2012!

Posted by: getjiggly2 | February 8, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

To Bruce Major:

Quote from Hayek,RTS:

“Nor is the preservation of competition incompatible with an extensive system of social services.”

Posted by: rcaruth | February 8, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Sorry rcaruth. The Hayek that has gone unread has gone unread by you. Hayek refuted all of the Obamanoid fantasies spun by ENRON economic advisor Paul Krugman long ago, and explained how your policies of expanding government predicated on pawning future generations to China and the Federal Reserve is what causes business cycles, inflation, capital malinvestment and hence poverty. (See Hayek, "Prices and Production.")

Leftover demwititude is so tragically boring. Living in DC is like being forced to work in a home for the mentally retarded.

Posted by: BruceMajor | February 8, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Sorry rcaruth. The Hayek that has gone unread has gone unread by you. Hayek refuted all of the Obamanoid fantasies spun by ENRON economic advisor Paul Krugman long ago, and explained how your policies of expanding government predicated on pawning future generations to China and the Federal Reserve is what causes business cycles, inflation, capital malinvestment and hence poverty. (See Hayek, "Prices and Production.")
Posted by: BruceMajor

All true Bruce except for the FACT,that Hayek supported a robust system of social support because he knew that was indispensible for a robust system of Free Markets.

Posted by: rcaruth | February 8, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I totally agree with the comments about Olbermann, however, on the conservative side, I would have to include Limbaugh and people like Coulter in the "rant" crowd. What concerns me is the following that Limbaugh has and his obvious influence in the Republican party. How can anyone really say he represents a fringe element within conservative ranks?

Posted by: MW11 | February 8, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

There's a report on CNN that Olbermann is moving to something called "Current TV", aka oblivion!

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 8, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Why couldn't Kristol disagree with Beck without falsely comparing him to Robert Welch, the former leader of the John Birch Society? Also, his offhand dismissal of the ties between Islamists and socialists which Beck has carefully described is uninformed. The Muslim Brotherhood was inspired by the European fascism (national socialism) of Mussolini, and it formed an alliance with Hitler during WWII.

Today, it is the left in the US and Europe that supports Hamas and the destruction of Israel. It is the left wing media that is downplaying the Muslim Brotherhood's ties to terror and it's unrelenting advocacy of jihad, sharia,and the abrogation of Egypt's peace treaty with Israel.

Posted by: eoniii | February 8, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Glen Beck like Keith Oblermann and Ed Shultz are gutter rats. Keith is gone, can't wait for Ed & Glen to follow. This garbage doesn't have a place on TV to Cable. Also, If Rachael Maddow doesn't starting reporting all the sides of a particular story, then her she should be next. Her and Hannity.

Watching Rachael last
night she pointed out a great piece in Egypt where Christians had form a circle around Muslims so they could pray and in turn Muslims did the same for the Christians. Then she blew it by saying.."all the talk about Muslims be the bad people" Well Rachael, look at the video from the Washington Mall of Muslims calling for the "Death of Israel" "Live by the Sword and di by the sword" Did Rachael cover that... Of course not.. She a liberal my way or no way... That's how liberals roll.

Posted by: dbonade | February 8, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

eonii wrote:

"Today, it is the left in the US and Europe that supports Hamas and the destruction of Israel"

No one has given Hamas more support than Bush when he supported essntially handing over Gaza to them in 2006.

You're more fair than that.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 8, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Glenn Beck should really have Keith Olbermann on his show as a guest commentator in a "Punch-CounterPunch" Crossfire (actual name of the book Stone's JFK film was based on; read it sometime for a snort)-type segment. Now That's Entertainment!

Posted by: aardunza | February 8, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"Today, it is the left in the US and Europe that supports Hamas and the destruction of Israel."

What evidence is there that supports this assertion? The left, in general, does not benefit financially from nor gets thrills vicariously through American participation foreign wars. To the extent that Israel is a part of that, it's the perception, not totally unjustified, that the US government is influenced by Israeli lobbying to participate in wars which are primarily to Israels benefit. That's not at all the same thing as saying they 'support the destruction' of Israel, merely that Americas concerns should come first.

Not just 'the left' thinks this either, Pat Buchanan started a magazine based on opposition to the Iraq entanglement.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 8, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

eonii wrote:

"Today, it is the left in the US and Europe that supports Hamas and the destruction of Israel"

No one has given Hamas more support than Bush when he supported essntially handing over Gaza to them in 2006.

You're more fair than that.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446
-----------------------
You're certainly correct. Condi Rice underestimated Hamas's ability to win a free election in Gaza, and we got the predictable "one man, one vote, one time" result. Not that the PA is that much better -- they're already a couple of years past when the next election in the West Bank was supposed to have been held. But at least this time we're not pressuring them to hold one.

Our biggest risk in Egypt is that the MB would win an election or else gain such a large share of the seats that they could then muscle their way to power. The Hezbollah lost the last election in Lebanon but won enough seats that they were able to murder and intimidate enough Christians, Sunnis and Druze to seize control. I don't think anyone can confidently predict that this wouldn't happen in Egypt.

The Bush administration, the Obama administration, the neo-cons like Kristol, and most liberals are equally naive about democracy in the Middle East. We should be focused on outcomes rather than process. Our interests in the region and the risk of a jihadist takeover should far outweigh our interest in the spread of democracy. An Islamist takeover of the most important Arab nation would be as momentous a defeat for America as the Khomenei takeover of Iran.

Democracy would be a great outcome in Egypt if institutions like political parties, minority rights, freedom of speech, assembly and press, the rule of law, civil institutions, and a tradition of settling disagreements by compromise rather than force existed -- but they don't. Therefore, a transition to democracy must be gradual and shepherded by the army or it won't happen. The army is the only secular institution that works and that is respected by most Egyptians. The strength of the army, it's monopoly of force, is a crucial difference between Egypt and Lebanon. Lebanon actually had a long tradition of parliamentary democracy and pluralism but no army that could protect the nation from the power of the Hezbollah militia.

Posted by: eoniii | February 8, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"Today, it is the left in the US and Europe that supports Hamas and the destruction of Israel."

What evidence is there that supports this assertion? The left, in general, does not benefit financially from nor gets thrills vicariously through American participation foreign wars. To the extent that Israel is a part of that, it's the perception, not totally unjustified, that the US government is influenced by Israeli lobbying to participate in wars which are primarily to Israels benefit. That's not at all the same thing as saying they 'support the destruction' of Israel, merely that Americas concerns should come first.

Not just 'the left' thinks this either, Pat Buchanan started a magazine based on opposition to the Iraq entanglement.

Posted by: jiji1
-----------------------------
OK, I should have said "the left and a few old-fashioned right wing bigots like Pat Buchanon".

Actually, it's not all of the left that supports Hamas but a very large segment of the left, especially radical leftists in the universities and in groups like Code Pink. The shift of the left from strong support of Israel to in many cases hatred has been dramatic in the last generation or so. The affinity of the left for jihadists who would liquidate them if given the chance is perplexing but analogous to the non-Communist left's behavior during the Cold War.

Posted by: eoniii | February 8, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"The affinity of the left for jihadists who would liquidate them if given the chance..."

That's really interesting. I've known a great many people over the course of my life who believe in collective bargaining, environmental protection, war as a last resort, industrial policy, managed trade, clean energy and participatory democracy by non-billionaires. I've never met a single one with an "affinity" for jihadists. Either 'the left' isn't what you say it is, or all these people are also closet terrorists who want to destroy Western civilization, and just never bothered to mention it to me.

Heck, I've never even met any American leftists who believed in the necessity of the forceful overthrow of existing conditions. Rather they believe pretty much mainstream American views of things, but with jobs & healthcare, and minus wars.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 8, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

jiji1, I can't speak to your personal acquaintances. I was referring to the Chomskys and such, including Obama's friend Rhashid Khalidi -- the academic left that despises Israel. Anti-Semitic hatred for Israel can be easily witnessed on any web site frequented by the left, such as Daily Kos or the NYT and WP blogs. I find it hard to believe that the increasingly open and widespread support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood among American leftists has escaped your notice.

Posted by: eoniii | February 8, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

“jiji1, I can't speak to your personal acquaintances. I was referring to the Chomskys and such, including Obama's friend Rhashid Khalidi -- the academic left that despises Israel. Anti-Semitic hatred for Israel can be easily witnessed on any web site frequented by the left, such as Daily Kos or the NYT and WP blogs. I find it hard to believe that the increasingly open and widespread support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood among American leftists has escaped your notice.”

Well, now we’re getting somewhere. Professor Chomsky is a supporter of Israel, so much so that he is willing to criticize the actions of particular Israeli governments whose conduct he believes is detrimental to the interests of Israel. He has explained this at length, particularly in an interview in Jordan with an Israeli news personality – it’s floating around out there, download it. When asked he says he doesn't believe that Israel should be a Jewish state any more than he believes that national identity and religion should be combined in any state, and that all states should allow whatever religions to exist. That is a perfectly reasonable sentiment, and even if you disagree with it, does not constitute anything resembling affinity for terrorists, anti-semitism, or anti-Isrealism.
I read some blogs and lots of news sites. I’m a supporter of a single-payer health system, industrial policy, managed trade and collective bargaining and war as a last resort, not a first one. I see no reason at all those views should somehow lead to support for terrorism. The suggestion is ludicrous.
I don’t assume that what ‘the left’ thinks can be determined by finding crazy statements on anonymous comment sections of blogs, and I find it very strange that anyone would resort to that kind of suggestion today (perhaps in bygone days when people didn’t understand what anonymous comment sections were).
I’ve seen people demonstrating in solidarity with the Palestinian cause, but that is not the same as advocating terrorism. The Palestinians are human beings who live in regrettable conditions, not terrorists.
Your questions and assertions just simply assume facts not in evidence.
There is plenty wrong with liberals, including timidity and incompetence. But being a liberal does not equal being a terrorist.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 8, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"I’m a supporter of a single-payer health system, industrial policy, managed trade and collective bargaining and war as a last resort, not a first one."

jiji1, Do you have any examples of anyone who supports war as a first resort?

Posted by: RitchieEmmons | February 8, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure whether I accepted the items laid out here as true. Olbermann was not some throw away that MSNBC decided to fire nor are his politics so extreme that other people wonder if his viewers do read history for themselves and know he is not keeping within a loose interpretation of facts.

As far as Beck is concerned, I haven't heard many groups call Olbermann an ANTI-SEMITE, a race baiter, or an intolerant person overall. When Keith verbally attacked people, he generally when after their statements, views or politics; Beck just goes for the social grouping and attacks.

It is understandable that you are trying to drum Beck out of the conservative mainstream, but it seems as if you don't understand the false equivalency argument well enough to give this argument a semblance of credibility.

Posted by: MGenna | February 8, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

More false equivalency. Rubin would otherwise deserve good marks for ring Beck up, except for the preposterous comparison of Fox and MSNBC.

MSNBC no doubt errs from time to time, but MSNBC does not make headlines every hour on the hour for falsehoods, disinformation, mendacity, distortion and deceit. Every day Media Matters documents – by reference to cited sources – the torrent of deceit and disinformation that spews from Fox News. That is what Fox News does. It exists for no other purpose. To equate MSNBC with Fox News is fatuous, and patently so.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 8, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Glenn Beck/Sarah Palin/Michelle Bachmann will push so many independents to Obama in 2012...it will be a bigger margin than 2008.

Posted by: danw1 | February 8, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

With regards to Fox vs. MSNBC, lets be frank. This is entertainment and Fox is entertaining where MSNBC isn't. Keith Olbermann was about the worst advertisement for being a progressive or whatever you want to call it imagineable.

I watch Fox sometimes and it's fun. I don't view it as the end of the world. Anybody who watches will be entertained from either side, just like a football game, even if your team is losing.

Only an extremist would rely on Beck and Hannity etc. for actual hard news. It's opinion, and they have some good guests like Bolton (my enemy in policy, but overall a good guest), and then some like Malkin who doesn't have any idea what she's talking about, but states it in a very forceful way.

The only people who would actually BELIEVE Beck you've known all your life. They were the dumb kids in the 1st grade, and they stayed that way through the next 11 years of school.

So put Roger Ailes in charge of MSNBC, and about 18 months from now the ratings will have flipped entirely because the man knows the medium!

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 8, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

johnmarshall5446:

Your feelings about Olbermann are certainly understandable. Show me a Fox viewer who would disagree.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 8, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I offer the following for the consideration of this blog’s hostess and the conservatives around here.

I have done the dirty work and watched Glenn Beck’s shows for the past week or two, thanks to an offspring’s acquiescing to my request to “Record / Tivo / DVR or whatever” his 5:00 PM EST show on FoxNews. That in itself, the acquiescing, is amazing, an event I will remember until I can’t. I did watch tonight’s show in real time.

Rather than listen to the Left’s characterization of Beck’s show and ‘tude, I suggest that you watch an episode or three before coming to a conclusion. He makes serious charges but provides video and sources to back them up, at least from what I’ve seen so far. I do have past shows that I’ve not yet viewed (the hard drive on our DVR is quite large and I did make the request some time ago, so I’ve quite an archive to wade through should I decide to make the time available).

This appears to be a Reuel Marc Gerecht and Bill Kristol versus Glenn Beck and David Horowitz cage match, the latter seem on stronger ground based on the data (see this for more: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/02/08/the-brotherhood-amongst-us/ ). Gerecht has a strong argument based on his observations, but it’s speculative, based on his assessment of where the Muslim Brotherhood is going, with Kristol following his lead. The problem is that the MB’s history (the data) is not reassuring, so I’m still in the Horowitz / Beck camp of being deeply suspicious of anything and everything they are involved in. (Watching the MB guys’ lectures in Arabic on Beck’s show is not reassuring to say the least, but I don’t want anyone to invoke Godwin’s law.) So far too I have to agree with Horowitz that Kristol’s attack on Beck is unwarranted, especially since Beck has done so much for the conservative cause.
http://www.newsrealblog.com/2011/02/08/glenn-beck-bill-kristol-and-the-unholy-alliance-of-radical-islam-and-the-american-left/

For those who believe Beck has damaged conservatives, read Horowitz’s blog. And give this a listen; it’s by no means time to do a Pat Buchanan on Beck. http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/47605/

Diversity is the conservatives’ strength!

Posted by: SCMike1 | February 8, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

SCMike1:

Obviously you take seriously the claim that Presidents Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. ordered protection of “Babylon” in bombing orders issued to the US military, and thus that both the Bush administrations were complicit in the conspiracy to replace Western culture with a “global, evil empire.” That pretty much says it all. I suggest you no longer bother to continue to pretend to that you are evaluating Beck. You long ago drank the cool aid. I am sorry for you.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 8, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Fine post, SCMike. I watch Beck fairly often, and he is not the "screamer", bigot, or kook that his opponents try to caricature him as. I don't agree with all his conclusions, but he uses facts and reason to make his case. He raises critical issues that media organs such as the WP and NYT avoid altogether, and he makes people think about the big picture. He also constantly refers his viewers to his sources, such as books and internet sites, and -- what I appreciate most -- he has a broad interest in history.

While not an intellectual, Beck is a deeper, more nuanced thinker than most credentialed intellectuals I know, who tend to be small-bore specialists and ignorant of how the world works. I wish those who disagree with Beck would engage his ideas instead of just taking cheap shots at him, but that's not our culture today.

Posted by: eoniii | February 8, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

eoniii:

You believe – because Glenn Beck told you – that President George Herbert Walker Bush and President George W. Bush conspired to replace Western culture with a “global, evil empire.” You believe this because, according to Beck, both presidents ordered the preservation of ruins of Babylon, 40 centuries old, during the military operations in Iraq.

I know that you are sincere in your allegiance to Glenn Beck, but intellectual honesty demands that you seriously consider the possibility that Beck is either a garden variety con or a first class lunatic – on the order of a person who believes that he is a poached egg. The former seems most likely to objective observers, but it is a certainty that one or the other is true.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 8, 2011 11:57 PM | Report abuse

JBA, don't tell me what I believe. You have no idea. I don't have an "allegiance to Glenn Beck". I think for myself. I have nineteen years of education, a lifetime of experience in the real world, and I'm well-read. I don't agree with everything Glenn Beck says. I don't agree with everything anyone says. Unlike you, I've actually watched Beck, so I know the caricature is false.

Spare me your brain-dead liberal condescension.

Posted by: eoniii | February 9, 2011 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: eoniii | February 9, 2011 1:19 AM

“I think for myself. I have nineteen years of education, a lifetime of experience in the real world, and I'm well-read.”

Thanks for the comic relief eonii. Tell me, how many foreign countries have you visited?

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 9, 2011 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: RitchieEmmons | February 8, 2011 3:50 PM

“Do you have any examples of anyone who supports war as a first resort?”

Do you mean, examples of anyone who will admit they do?

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 9, 2011 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: eoniii | February 8, 2011 2:35 PM

“Anti-Semitic hatred for Israel can be easily witnessed on any web site frequented by the left, such as Daily Kos or the NYT and WP blogs.”

So Jennifer Rubin is an anti Semite is she? What other anti Semtic blogs are there on WP eonii?

“I find it hard to believe that the increasingly open and widespread support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood among American leftists has escaped your notice.”

Most American Jews are leftists, so how does your theory explain that?

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 9, 2011 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: eoniii | February 8, 2011 1:49 PM

“The shift of the left from strong support of Israel to in many cases hatred has been dramatic in the last generation or so. The affinity of the left for jihadists who would liquidate them if given the chance is perplexing but analogous to the non-Communist left's behavior during the Cold War”

What about the shift of the anti Semitic right from hatred of Israel (and Jews in general) to in many cases blind support since the 1967 war? Hasn't that been dramatic?

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 9, 2011 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: eoniii | February 8, 2011 1:38 PM

“The Hezbollah lost the last election in Lebanon but won enough seats that they were able to murder and intimidate enough Christians, Sunnis and Druze to seize control. “

Rubbish. Hezbollah won the support of the Christians and some Sunni factions after the 2006 War when they kicked Israel out of Southern Lebanon. In the elections, the Hezbollah coalition won a majority of votes 55%, but not majority of the seats. Hariri's faction won with a little help (^60 million) from Washington

“I don't think anyone can confidently predict that this wouldn't happen in Egypt.”

What business is it of yours what happens in Egypt?

“The Bush administration, the Obama administration, the neo-cons like Kristol, and most liberals are equally naive about democracy in the Middle East.”

While I agree, I can't help but laugh. What vast experience of the ME makes you an expert and less naïve, other than a pathological disdain for Muslims?

“An Islamist takeover of the most important Arab nation would be as momentous a defeat for America as the Khomenei takeover of Iran.”

Only for those who love empire. Let';s be reminded that Iran has not attacked or invaded any country since 1979, or even the last 270 years for that matter.

“Democracy would be a great outcome in Egypt if institutions like political parties, minority rights, freedom of speech, assembly and press, the rule of law, civil institutions, and a tradition of settling disagreements by compromise rather than force existed -- but they don't.”

That's a circular argument. Your arguing that Egypt cannot be allowed to be democratic because it's not already democratic. The reason is because Egypt has been under emergency law for and the thumb of a ruthless dictator (who we kept in power) for 30 years.

“The army is the only secular institution that works and that is respected by most Egyptians.”

The army only exists because like Indonesia, it ridiculously corrupt. The army is not independent of the current Egyptian government, therefore it cannot mid wife a democracy.
“The strength of the army, it's monopoly of force, is a crucial difference between Egypt and Lebanon.”

False. The Lebanese and Hezbollah military forces played no role in the change of government in Lebanon. The government of Lebanon was never under threat from Hezbollah's military forces.

Not surprisingly, it turns out you're not that well read.

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 9, 2011 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 8, 2011 12:40
“No one has given Hamas more support than Bush when he supported essntially handing over Gaza to them in 2006.”

And before that Israel, when they invited Hamas into Palestine and supported them.

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 9, 2011 2:00 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: eoniii | February 8, 2011 12:00 PM

“Today, it is the left in the US and Europe that supports Hamas and the destruction of Israel.”

Do you support the destruction of Islam eonii? After all, criticism of Israel means calling for it's destruction (in your eyes) therefore the reverse must surely be true.

"It is the left wing media that is downplaying the Muslim Brotherhood's ties to terror and it's unrelenting advocacy of jihad, sharia,and the abrogation of Egypt's peace treaty with Israel."

Apart from the fact your statement is false on all counts, what concern is it of your what happens to Egypt?

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 9, 2011 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Beniyyar | February 8, 2011 9:45 AM

"I respect Bill Kristol for his outspoken and courageous defence of Conservative principles, but his support of the mobocracy in Egypt, I think he is hopelessly naive."

Bill Kristol is no conservative.

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 9, 2011 2:06 AM | Report abuse

“Do you have any examples of anyone who supports war as a first resort?”

Do you mean, examples of anyone who will admit they do?

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 9, 2011 1:42 AM"

No, simply anyone who does.

Posted by: RitchieEmmons | February 9, 2011 8:28 AM | Report abuse

FALSE EQUIVALENCE BETWEEN MSNBC AND FOX


ACTUALLY JUST ABOUT EVERTY 3RD WORD UTTERED BY CHRIS MATTHEWS - THE VERY EMBODIMENT OF "MAINSTREAM RESTRAINT" ON MSNBC CONTAINS MORE INVECTIVE, CONSPIRACY THEORY COOKINESS AND VERY FREQUENTLY ALMOST IMPLICIT INCITEMENT TO VIOLENCE THAN ALMOST ANYTHING THAT HAS BEEN ATTRIBUTED TO BECK.

JEN IS ABSOLUTELY WRONG TO DRAW AN EQUIVALENCE BETWEEN OLBERMAN AND BACK SINCE PRETTY MUCH THE ENTIRE MSNBC LINE UP IS SIGNIFICANTLY MORE DELUSIONAL AND HATEFUL.

TO BE CLEAR, this is not intended as a defense of Beck and most of the criticism of him on the right seem reasonably well founded. Just because the ratio of worse offender on the left at at least 7 or 8 to 1 does not mean that conservatives should not aspire to much tougher standards in respect of fact based, logical and yes, CIVIL argument. When people who proffer themselves as conservatives fail to meet those standards they SHOULD be called out and Jen is right to do so. Analogizing a Beck to a Matthews, much less an Olbermann is both factually problematic and morally misguided.

Posted by: cavalier4 | February 9, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

eoniii wrote:
Unlike you, I've actually watched Beck, so . . . . spare me your brain-dead liberal condescension.
______________________________

Bill Kristol is no liberal. Nor is Jennifer Rubin. Perhaps they are trying to tell you something that, from your vantage point as a Beck viewer, you cannot know. Perhaps they are trying to tell you that the rest of the world regards Beck to be a clownish con and his followers – including the most educated – to be manifestly delusional. Sorry for the bad news.

Posted by: J_B_A | February 9, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I am tired of all the Beck bashing. Have any of you watched an episode of his? You should. He never claims to know it all, or that he is correct about anything. However he does continually urge everyone to do their own homework... to research it for yourself.

Is that what you do? Try it, you will be surprised by what you find.

Posted by: icer86 | February 9, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Shingo, you seem like a fairly smart, well-read person, but I wish you could understand the difference between glib, snarky taunts and actual rebuttal.

BTW, to answer your question, I've never lived abroad, but I've traveled a fair amount on business and for pleasure -- to most of Europe, China, Japan, South Africa, Canada and the Caribbean. Still, most of what I know about foreign countries comes from reading rather than my personal experience. I've never been to the Middle East, but I've been very interested in the area for decades. I know better than to view alien cultures through the lens of our American political dogmas.

I don't claim to be an expert or to know how the Egyptian public would vote in a free election. I do know the polls show widespread hostility toward the US and strong popular support for sharia law and terrorist organizations such as Hamas. I do find instructive Hamas and Hezbollah's respective rises to power through a combination of democratic elections and the intimidation of their opponents, reminiscent of Germany in the 1930s. I do take seriously the Muslim Brotherhood's charter and its recent statements in support of jihad, Sharia, and a Caliphate. I do think their adoption of democratic means is only a transparent tactic to achieve their totalitarian goals.

Posted by: eoniii | February 9, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

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