The CalPundit has a problem with fisking. Someone should tell him there are creams for that.

Oh, you mean that kind of fisking. Well why didn’t you say so?

In what Tapped seems to think is a triumphant “gotcha!” moment, CP takes a turn at fisking the Gettysburg Address, and reveals exactly how he doesn’t get it.

Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new Nation,

Jesus H . Christ, does Abe seriously think that our country got started by the Declaration of Independence? Since he obviously has trouble with anything that happened before he was born, I’ll clue him in: it was the constitution that got us started, big guy. That was 73 years ago, not 87.

Etc. etc. .. you get the idea.

Please. The fact that CP seems to imply here that the sort of commentary offered by Abraham Lincoln and Robert Fisk are somehow the same and equally worthy of massive dump truck loads of refutation and scorn heaped upon them (and that bloggers who fisk would be just as inclined to miss such a distinction) instantly shows that he has no idea what he’s talking about, and is creating a strawman which he then valiantly takes down. Bravo . He’s bravely slain the rhetorical equivalent of a newborn bunny rabbit that someone dressed up in a suit of armor so as to create the impression that their victory over the innocent cunnicular creature is something of worth.

I would be surprised if you could actually find 5 bloggers who ascribed to the sort of silliness he parodies. Certainly you wouldn’t find any whose stock was worth a damn in the blogosphere.

Lileks put it best when he described (I’m paraphrasing) quality fisking as a fun rhetorical romp wedded to serious, non-trivial points. Neither of those things is at all present in CP’s caricature . CP of course doesn’t point to any actual instances where people have committed such egregious snarking as the type he lambasts, but I sure can: at least 1 out of every 2 Maureen Dowd columns. The only difference is she often doesn’t follow the fisking format of offering quotes to what or whom she’s criticizing.

And that’s the real reason that CP’s contention is baseless, because he forgets that any fisker of even the barest quality will have his comments juxtaposed with that which he/she is refuting, and if his commentary is as silly and baseless as what CP apparently thinks it is, then their stupidity will be on display for the whole blogosphere to see.

So unless you’re willing to say that the entire blogosphere is made up entirely of people who cannot be trusted to read something blatantly wrong and notice it as such, your concerns hold no water.

I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if you did think that though, because it would jive perfectly with the progressive notion of an enlightened elite protecting the ignorant and base masses from themselves.

Do fiskers occasionally reach too high a pitch in their criticisms in order to be entertaining or otherwise to stand out? Perhaps, but those instances are few and far between (especially among bloggers of note), and at worst, all they will have done by constructing poor arguments and making trivial, pointless criticisms is to make themselves look stupid.

I trust reasonable individuals to be able to tell the difference.

last update : 19-4-2018

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