At Reason, Armin Rosen writes, “And the Award for Most Sanctimonious Non-Apology of the Week Goes To…” Rachel Maddow, for veering into, as I wrote on Wednesday, Oklahoma Federal Building Truther territory. But remember, it’s Fox who are the crazed extremists, not the wizened, nuanced sages employed by General Electric:
The real vomit-all-over-your-keyboard moment comes at roughly the 2-minute mark, where Maddow sarcastically frames her apology as a chance to congratulate herself on bringing the specter of militant right-wing politics to the public’s attention. “For all the conservative bloggers out there who are extremely angry at me for making that mistake” she said, “thank you. Thank you for signaling such enthusiasm for discussing guys like Steve Stockman, and for getting all the details right. If the country talked a lot more about the Steve Stockmans of the world and anti-government extremism and what the experience of having anti-government extremists in Congress was like for this country the last time we tried it, I think that would be good for us in this country, particularly before this round of elections.”
The Extremists are coming! Cue Andrew Klavan:
More from Reason’s Rosen:
So mistakenly accusing someone of being an accessory to the worst act of domestic terrorism in this country’s history isn’t really that bad, since it acted as a catalyst for what Maddow sees as a much-needed discussion? That’s not exactly a convincing argument, and not only because it’s the real-world actualization of liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias’s defense of lying in the name of some greater political good. It’s also further evidence for Reason Managing Editor Jesse Walker’s classic explanation of how the “paranoid center” operates
Read the whole thing; though as I noted before, while Walker’s essay is terrific, as is Andrew Ferguson’s more recent take, its headline cedes the center of gravity not to the center, but to an increasingly unhinged left. (See also: NPR’s near concurrent firing of Juan Williams; Obama’s ravings about half the country while on the campaign stump this fall; and Colorado Democrat John Hickenlooper’s own newly unearthed bitter clingers moment). I think Angelo Codevilla has a much better map of the terrain, though the newer works by Ferguson and Codevilla don’t invalidate the central points of Walker’s article.
Still though, maybe there is wisdom to be had from the media’s more unhinged elements — they’re definitely bringing rather disparate elements together these days.