September 25, 2003

SPOONS THINKS that General Shelton should back up his charges against Wesley Clark:

I think it’s pretty clear that Shelton either said far too much, or far too little. If he wanted to be discreet, he could easily have brushed off the question. If, on the other hand, he wanted to tell why he thinks Clark is a bad guy, he could have backed up his statement with details and facts. Instead, he made a vague, ambiguous allegation that Clark lacked integrity and character.

I think, though, that Spoons is wrong to connect this with John Burns’ statements about Iraq. Shelton made an unspecified charge against a named person in the context of a converstation about that person. Burns made a specific charge against an unnamed person, in the context of a more general discussion of the media and Iraq. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think he should name the offender — I do — but it’s not the same thing. Shelton might be accused of character assassination, but Burns, not having named the person, can’t be.

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