Ace fisks Frum on the strained nature of the “Tu Quoque” Fallacy.

These are the same points I brought up earlier, when explaining that I did not care about Limbaugh’s outburst. But as Frum points out, Letterman did apologize for what he said about Willow Palin, as did Ed Schultz when he called Laura Ingraham a slut. And he concedes that Bill Maher did not apologize, but doubled down.

So far, so good. If Frum had stopped there, he would have the better of the argument, if the argument was about why Rush should apologize (which he has done, and which I seemed to bemoan in the comments of my earlier thread, having forgotten that Letterman and Schultz did apologize). The fact that Maher refused an apology does not give Limbaugh a pass, merely underline Maher’s degeneracy.

But Frum does not stop there. He tries to fashion out of straw and manure some manner of contention that Limbaugh’s act was different, a “new low”. He tries to assert that Schultz and Letterman and Maher are unimportant, whereas Limbaugh is the Right. All of which makes his preceding fairness a weak, old rhetorical trick aimed at smearing everyone on the Right with Limbaugh’s words, while simultaneously absolving the Left of everything Bill Maher says.

I haven’t listened to Rush Limbaugh in years, because I work for a living, and have better things to do ‘twixt one and three than be told things I already agree with. When I was a young fellow, Limbaugh’s mix of iconoclasm and populism set me free to say things already in my head. I don’t need that anymore. He’s not the entirety of the Right. He wasn’t even the entire Right in 1994, at what was perhaps the height of his influence. He’s even less so today.

It would be better if we could just police our own, and trust that the other side would police theirs. To the extent that I implied that Letterman et al. got off scot-free for their calumnies, I was in error with my earlier post. To the extent that Frum pretends that one side’s calumnies don’t matter, he remains in error, and complicit in the error of others.

 

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