Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Chequerboard of Nights and Days

I enjoy reading a good argument as much as the next guy. Thus, when the name Conor Friedersdorf popped up over at Stacy McCain's it caught my eye, as those two have had many an interesting row. What I stumbled into was definitely good fun. Apparently a man by the name of Pejman Yousefzadeh, an excellent writer who can make a very clear argument, was picked out by Mr. Friedersdorf as a blogger gone amiss for his supposed misguided criticism of Friederdorf's penchant for citing conspiracy theorist and anti-Israel agitator Philip Giraldi.

To this Mr. Yousefzadeh offered this opening to an excellent response:
"I really have things I would prefer doing this evening instead of engaging in yet another blogfight with someone at the Atlantic, but..."

Those of you who enjoy a good argument should give him a read.


  1. Well, I finally sat down and read the whole shebang. I did not Schmoogle any of the parties involved, as I wanted to consider all points raised based only on their own merits, and not risk disincentivizing myself. ;)

    (I am so glad this is all electronic; I hate to think of the forest that would have gone into hard copies of all this back-and-forth.)

    It's really too serious for it to be truly funny, since (if you'll pardon the mixing of maxims) he who lives by the pen may well die by the pen, and everyone is working so very hard to establish his credibility. But, boy, can these guys talk!

    However, "Joe" offers a well-earned punch-line, including in his comment at "The Other McCain" a link to an Abbott and Costello bit that explains you have to join the union if you want to get paid to loaf. (It's short; go watch!)

  2. "But, boy, can these guys talk!"

    They certainly can. My read was that Conor was too quick to criticize Mr. Yousefzadeh, and then was unwilling to concede that was the case. Conor is an interesting fellow that I think is both a talented writer and a man gifted at argument, but he is sort of a McCain version of a right wing pundit, often criticizing his own side for being too strident to be effective. I don't agree with that position, and wonder if his criticism is truly meant to advance the right or is it an effort to gain a position as a 'preferred' right wing commentator.

    Loved the link though. It is fun to laugh at stuff like that again!

  3. My read was that Conor was too quick to grab something, about which he knew little, by someone about whom he knew nothing, to fill a quick couple of inches. Or, maybe he was just thinking out loud.

    And I loved the closing on the A&C scene:

    Costello: "What makes a balloon go up?"
    Abbott: "Hot air."
    Costello: "What's holding you down?"