Saturday, December 22, 2018

On Candace Owens As Not Nearly All That

Candace Owens’s not all that. 


One guy who espoused her says about this article:

....i'm supportive of this author's idea that IDW should be calm thoughtful intellectuals. and that candace isn't that smart/unique and is a very partisan political animal ...

but that said, her "lock every last single one of them up" tweet attack has some grounding in corruption facts and bias in the media, and is not at all analogous to "Imagine if a prominent left-wing commentator said a group of journalists at the Daily Wire or Fox News should be imprisoned for violating a few too many progressive taboos"

and candace's tweet "The plan you hatched to exterminate blacks via Planned Parenthood" i've now learned is based the fact that Sangers work was originally called "The Negro Project" etc (info you will not find on Wikipedia but only on other less mainstream sites). it took a lot of searching to learn about it, and also that Ben Carson, Herman Cain and Ted Cruz have also said this. it seems reasonable to me that a black woman would be totally outraged to learn this. but this article writer is certain there's no obviously no merit to this (without any factual investigation) and says this discussion without Rubin challenging Owens shows how uncritical Rubin is!

this article is not clear analysis in pursuit of truth, just persuasively written opinion...

To which I said:

...I appreciate your having read this article, researching some of the points and commenting on it.

What you support in it is my position for mild: at a minimum she’s not that smart and is utterly partisan politically. For mild, because she’s worst than that. She’s a flame thrower, who obstructs calm, thoughtful discussion, and whose extremism isn’t, imo, rescued by some points she makes that make sense.

For example, “Lock every every single one of them up,” is a terrible notion however rhetorical and rallying it’s meant to be and for all the grounding it has in examples of fake news. It suggests some arbiter on the right shutting down speech anathema to it instead of countering fake news with truthful news. It makes demonstrable Johnson’s thesis that in rhetoric the far right mirrors the sins of the far left. Plus, Owens does with this tweet even more than that: the left wants to silence oppositional speech, oppositional to its angle on things; she wants to criminalize oppositional speech. She’s too rabid with this tweet. It explodes the calm, thoughtful discussion that we applaud. That kind of discussion would in this example consider the 1st AM and weigh and balance its benefits, or more than its benefits, its fundamental importance to liberal democracy, against instances of freedom of speech turned into licence. 

I mean, really?


....In January, Owens called for the imprisonment of Hillary and Bill Clinton, James Comey, Robert Mueller, Loretta Lynch, George Soros, Jeff Bezos and “ALL compliant members of the fake news media.” Then she listed Jake Tapper, Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper and Jim Acosta, as if the secret police had asked her for a good place to start. It’s difficult to think of a more direct assault on free speech than a demand for journalists to be thrown in prison for criticizing the president. But instead of admonishing Owens for expressing near-total contempt for one of his most cherished principles, Rubin has defended her at every available opportunity....

I’m not sure of the history of Margaret Sanger’s project, the original intent of it and I’ll stipulate to your researched word on it. I also don’t recall the context of Owens’s tweet. Was she simply refreshing our understanding of the history and origin or was she making a point about the intent of Planned Parenthood today?


....Just take a look at a tweet she posted earlier this month: “Great news, liberals! The plan you hatched to exterminate blacks via Planned Parenthood is going well. 61% of us never made it out the womb. Bad news: I did make it out and I plan to be the loudest voice against the MURDERS you have committed.” During an interview with Rubin, Owens said Planned Parenthood was “literally built for the purpose—and it served its purpose, you know?—to decrease the black population by a lot.” A follow-up question would’ve been helpful here—e.g. “So you believe Planned Parenthood is a genocidal, racist organization?”—but Rubin just moved on....

I read her tweet as more than a refresher. I read it as saying, paraphrase, “the intent continues today—‘is going well’” Someone with a modicum of nuance would have drawn distinctions between historical and present intent and wouldn’t have conflated opposition to abortion—which I of course understand and  have come a long way over the years to agreeing with—and a racist, quasi genocidal project. It’s utter flame throwing. And it suggests either analytical ineptitude or, morally worse, if not ineptitude, then cynical race card playing of high proportion.

As a side note, I’m reminded in rereading Johnson’s essay of how astounding is Rubin’s “just moved on.” This is but one example I’ve seen of some of his guests saying outlandish things about which any competent, disinterested interviewer would ask further questions instead of simply leaving the most provocative assertions or insinuations to hang out there flapping in the turbulent hot air. I maintain he’s the pet poodle of the IDW and is tolerated by its “members” because he has a big social media presence that is of great use to them.

Finally, what can one say about your standard of “clear analysis in pursuit of truth”? Johnson’s piece isn’t a lab experiment or pure reporting. It’s an essay trying to persuade readers of his thesis, that in rhetoric the extreme right, take Owens for example, is much like the extreme left.  Can it be any more than being, do any better than being, persuasively written opinion? Of course opinion pieces aren’t the word of either God or irrefutable data. They’re born of an opinion and can always be critiqued, found fault with to some extent. But if Johnson here is persuasive, then hasn’t he pretty well accomplished what he set out to do? Respectfully, I think, as just noted, your standard for judgment of Johnson’s piece betrays a category error. 

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