Monday, April 24, 2006

Arguing the Unarguable, and Getting Away With It

Major Mike

Competitive debate is judged. It is the responsibility of the judge(s) to consider the presentation made by both sides, and determine whose arguments… based on logic, reasoning, coherency, supporting evidence, significance, and myriad of other factors… carry the day. It is the responsibility of these judges to clear their mind of their own prejudices, track the flow of the debate, weigh the persuasiveness of each side, and decide which side has established the most credibility for their arguments, and determine a winner.

Typically this is done millions of time a day without judges…at home, in business, in politics, in the newspapers, and regrettably, by the pundits on TV. I’ll get back to that. But people make logical, coherent arguments everyday. Persuasive and logical arguments move businesses, run households, and are the basis for all rational change in the world. But rarely do people argue the unarguable.

There was a time when right was right, and wrong was wrong. The “wrong” was unarguable. Lying is wrong. Stealing is wrong. Stealing classified documents is wrong. Having sex with an intern in your office is wrong. Releasing classified documents to the press, breaking your oath of office, for partisan and individual political gain is wrong.

But, I guess that was before the Les Mis age, before the age of moral relativism, before the politically induced class war we now have here in America. And, well before we had to actually argue about the meaning of the word “is.”

Taking ones’ property without permission used to be called stealing, and it used to be wrong. But in today’s age of moral relativism, we now find ourselves defending this black/white view, against the Les Mis crowd, who would argue that it is perfectly okay to steal if you are hungry, and trying to feed your family. There may be myriad of other good reasons to steal private property…to overcome poverty, to balance the inequities in our capital based economic system, and for simple personal gain that may help you skip several rungs of the ladder…on your way to the top. All enticing…all…wrong

So what prompted this short dissertation? Not simply that Mary McCarthy, a partisan political player and former CIA employee, who intentionally leaked potentially damaging classified documents to the press, but it was Juan Williams’ impassioned defense of her actions on Fox News Sunday that made me apoplectic.

Although I have yet to find the transcript for that portion of the panel discussion (with Brit Hume, Mara Liason, and Bill Kristol), Juan’s impassioned defense of the indefensible was a thing of beauty. At one point the camera cut to Brit Hume who had one hand over his eyes, as he couldn’t believe what Juan was saying.

I’ll have to paraphrase, but I think I have earned the trust of our readers to do so, also…any other Fox News Sunday viewers please back me up…Juan was clearly saying that it was perfectly okay for this sworn CIA employee, who had signed dozens and dozens of confidentiality agreements, covering myriad of classified programs, to violate those oaths … “if she felt the administration was wrong, and if she felt it was the right thing to do.” Or words to that effect.

I believe this was the exact moment that Brit was closely checking the lines on the palm side of his left hand. Juan had come unglued in his defense of the indefensible. This is what caused me to pause. Juan Williams came out his chair to make the point that it was perfectly okay for a politically connected, Democrat contributing, oath taking, CIA officer to leak classified material to the press if they “felt” it was the right thing to do. He was arguing the unarguable, and he plainly was comfortable with doing so.

There is no scenario in which the illegal leaking of classified material is defensible, regardless of the recent spat of Pulitzers rewarding such behaviors. And it is this turn in the MSM that most clearly highlights their liberal bias. When an officer of this nation steps out of the bounds of their office, there is no argument about the right or wrong of it. It is wrong on a hundred levels, but when the press uses their access to the airwaves to defend the indefensible, simply to damage the Administration, they have gone (further) beyond the pale. Juan Williams is just showing us the way of the rest of the MSM. He is showing us that the MSM has clearly taken itself out of a position to judge, they are now arguing on their own.

Let us get over this pretense of neutrality and impartiality, Juan Williams put these notions to rest this weekend. The MSM is moving closer and closer to becoming the communication arm of the Dem Party, and Juan Williams provides us the evidence. When it becomes impossible for reporters to easily distinguish between right and wrong, it is time for them to cease being reporters...if they truly ever were.

Update, 1636 PST: Found Fox News Sunday transcript, and the Juan Williams inanity...HT Grandaddy Long Legs who found it at NewsBusters.

I have bolded the points that make my case...enjoy the defense of the indefensible...

BRIT HUME: That is not an exercise simply of First Amendment rights. This was a violation of her oath and her responsibility.
CHRIS WALLACE: All right. I'm going to...
JUAN WILLIAMS: Let me -- no, let me...
CHRIS WALLACE: No, no, no. No.
WILLIAMS: Let me just quickly respond.Brit, she took a risk. She was very aware of what she had signed. She is now bearing the cost of having broken that pledge.
WALLACE: So this is an act of conscience?
WILLIAMS: And so in that sense, yes, I do believe it's an act of honor.
WALLACE: And if it's an act of conscience, then why did she do it surreptitiously?
WALLACE: Why did she do it surreptitiously?
WILLIAMS: She did it because she wanted to get the word out.
HUME: Why didn't she just walk out, stand on the street corner, and pass it out?
WILLIAMS: She could have, but she had a reporter...
HUME: But she didn't.
WILLIAMS: ... that she had a relationship with.
HUME: I know why she didn't. She didn't because that way she would have become known. She wanted to do it and not get caught. That's why.
WILLIAMS: The United States should not be engaged (my emphasis...Williams' personal beliefs showing through here) -- I mean, you can have the argument about what we need to do to combat terrorism.But the establishment of secret prisons -- and if she felt that this was a violation of our principles as a country and was untenable in terms of her conscience working for the U.S. government, why shouldn't she act?
WILLIAM KRISTOL: She should quit.
HUME: Well, she should quit, then.
WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know what she did -- what her decision was...
HUME: She didn't quit. She just got canned.
WILLIAMS: It doesn't have to be that she could quit. She could say you know what, I just want to get this information out any way I can. And she did, and now she's in trouble for it. She's bearing the cost, there's no question.
WALLACE: Please address all of your letters to Juan Williams.

Wallace gets it...he doesn't want to jump on that grenade for Juan.

Update: Great Mark Levin piece at NRO. HT Michelle Malkin.

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