Saturday, May 29, 2004

Time for a rousing game of "Follow the Links"!

Something I've noticed about Instapundit is his careful construction of his posts to reflect the fact that not that many people are actually going to follow all of his links to see if he's actually being accurate. A case in point: following a link in this Matthew Yglesias post to this Insty one, I see that Reynolds says this:

"Yglesias omits any mention of journalistic admissions (some collected or linked here) of delight at problems in Iraq, or even hope for a U.S. defeat."

Even though I very rarely read Insty, I figured, Hey, why not follow the links? That link leads to a second Insty post, which in turn presents a lengthy quote from a London Spectator article (that I couldn't in turn read, because I'm not registered with them), in which the correspondent reports a discussion with an unnamed "American magazine journalist of serious accomplishment and impeccable liberal credentials". Well, OK, I'm no journalist myself, but I realized in seventh grade that "someone said something mean about you but I can't tell you who said it" is pretty much a waste of time.

But anyway, soldiering on in that same Insty post, I see that he provides yet another link to yet another older post in which he promises "other admissions of that sort" -- i.e., journalists hoping that the US gets defeated in Iraq. Finally, we get some actual quotes, first one by Salon editor Gary Kamiya, whose article really isn't the type of "I hope we lose!" thing that Reynolds is trying to decry in all this linking. (Reynolds actually admits as much, so as to make me wonder why he bothered linking it in the first place.) But notice! In the paragraph in which Reynolds leads into his already cherry-picked Kamiya quote, he derides ANSWER as "the essential core of the anti-war movement" -- a claim which is not only false, but also clearly intended by its placement here as to imply that Kamiya has some connection with ANSWER. (Maybe he is, but a Google search of the ANSWER site turned up nothing with Kamiya's name on it.)

Then Reynolds provides links to an article written by everybody's favorite left-winger, Ted Rall; some article that novelist Tom Robbins wrote (and not even an article, just a short statement); and to something that rock singer Chrissie Hynde said. (Oh, wait, he doesn't even link the Hynde quote, he just presents someone's account of it.) So, what started out above referring to "journalistic admissions of delight in problems in Iraq" boils down to not much at all, really.

All that link following, and so little payoff. Which is why I've never bothered with Instapundit.

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