Wednesday, July 21, 2010

David Frum's Strange Attack on the Right

In the wake of the Shirley Sherrod incident, David Frum has written an article called, "Shirley Sherrod and the shame of conservative media." Unlike many on the right, I respect Frum and often agree with his political analysis. This time, however, he's way off base. Maybe his association with Andrew Sullivan is affecting his normally strong reasoning capacity. Here's Frum.
By the evening of the 20th, however, conservatives were backing away, acknowledging that an innocent women had been defamed.
He provides links, pointing out that most in what he calls the "conservative media," other than Andrew Breitbart himself, quickly realized that Sherrod had been smeared by a clip out of context, and wrongly fired. So what's Frum's problem with conservative media?
you’ll never guess who emerged as the villains of the story in this second-day conservative react. Not Andrew Breitbart, the distributor of a falsified tape. No, the villains were President Obama and the NAACP for believing Breitbart's falsehood.
I know Frum isn't anywhere near that clueless. The reason Obama and the NAACP are being bashed by conservatives is because they acted rashly -- and shamefully in the case of the NAACP. The NAACP had the full tape of Sherrod's speech, yet they chose to throw her under the bus without bothering to check the accuracy of Breitbart's take. The administration, which at least had the excuse of not having the full story, jumped on the bandwagon and pushed for her firing without making the minimal effort required to ascertain the facts. There's a reason Robert Gibbs had to apologize today on behalf of the administration. The criticism of Obama & the NAACP is completely justified. Frum should be joining it, not pretending is represents some sort of malfeasance by conservatives.

I'm not sure what right-wing media Frum is reading that he thinks Breitbart isn't getting criticism. Even Breitbart's friend, Jonah Goldberg said he should apologize. Many on the right recognize that Breitbart ran a misleading piece that not only undermined his own credibility, but which reflected badly on conservatives by association. Frum seems to believe that if the right doesn't drop everything else and bash Breitbart -- and I'm not sure how much bashing would satisfy him -- then it's somehow evidence of being "narrow-minded."
When Dan Rather succumbed to the forged Bush war record hoax in 2004, CBS forced him into retirement. Breitbart is the conservative Dan Rather, but there will be no discredit, no resignation for him.
Another idiotic argument. Dan Rather worked for a major news organization, supposedly devoted to objective news reporting. Andrew Breitbart is the founder and owner of his own openly, politically-biased media operations. Is he supposed to force himself to resign? David Frum's entire argument ranges from weak & unconvincing, to outright ludicrous. It's articles like these that give credence to his rabid critics on the right.


  1. Something happened to Frum. Perhaps he has been a leftwing plant all along...?

  2. I wouldn't go that far. He's reliably conservative on many issues, and is quite capable of skewering the left. I think he's let some praise about being a principled critic of his own side go to his head, and he's now looking for things to jump on.