The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Fisking of @BrianBeutler: Obsessed Obsessive Obsessions and Stuff Like That

Posted on | August 25, 2013 | 90 Comments

A troll showed up in the comments of the previous post about Brian Beutler to say that the reason I didn’t do a full fisking is that I “have no argument more advanced than ‘Nuh-uh!'”

OK, fine then — we’ll do it from start to finish:

The right’s black crime obsession
Conservative media’s total fixation on black-on-black
and black-on-white crime isn’t going to end. Here’s why

(We may derive the intent from the headline: “The right” is conflated with “Conservative media,” because everyone who votes Republican does so because Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh have told them to. This is therefore the umpteenth journalistic reiteration of the Media Matters daily mantra about the illegitimacy of conservative media.)


(Prepare for deliberate dishonesty.)

There are a few black people up to no good in this country and Fox News is on it! So is Drudge Report. Vigilantly on the lookout, 24 hours a day, for stories about black youths behaving badly.

(Didn’t I warn you? Beutler starts lying right off the bat, assuming a liberal readership who never actually watch Fox News and who are too lazy even to bother checking the Drudge Report.)

This isn’t a particularly new phenomenon, but it’s intensified noticeably in the past year for at least two reasons. Conservatives, particularly white conservatives, feel a burning urgency to find a racial counterweight to the aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s shooting (including President Obama’s public comments about the incident), a logical response to the argument that things like background checks and an assault weapons ban are appropriate ways to reduce the likelihood of another Sandy Hook-style massacre, and anecdotal justifications for indiscriminate policing of dangerous neighborhoods.

(This has “intensified noticeably in the past year,” which means since August 2012. Is it true that “white conservatives” actually do feel the “burning urgency” Beutler attributes to them? Or is this just another tendentious assertion he pulled out of his ass? Certainly I feel no such urgency, but maybe someone else does.)

But these are hopeless pursuits. The incidents they draw attention to fail by definition to underscore the things they believe. They all require projecting motives or details or both into tragic events, to create false dichotomies between shootings perpetrated by whites and blacks. They have the unhealthy effect of creating dueling tallies of white-on-black and black-on-white crime. And ironically they all tend to underscore the argument that more “stand your ground” laws and more racial profiling are off-point responses to these incidents.

(Do you see how this is going to go? Brian Beutler asserts that conservatives hold certain beliefs, and then asserts that facts don’t support those beliefs. And notice Brian Beutler says conservatives are “projecting motives,” which Brian Beutler never does!)

The latest conservative cri de coeur is over the tragic shooting death of Chris Lane, a 22-year-old Australian attending East Central University in Oklahoma on a baseball scholarship. Two teen boys spotted Lane on a jog last week, trailed him in a car, and allegedly shot him fatally in the back (a third teen reportedly served as their driver). One of the suspects said the boys committed the murder out of boredom.

(This is merely the “latest” such incident — i.e., in which conservatives are alleged to have done what Brian Beutler says they do — but what was the one before Chris Lane? I don’t remember it, but maybe Brian Beutler could, if he chose, rattle off a long list of incidents like this which, so he says, “conservative media” have hyped for the reasons that he says they’re hyping such incidents. He doesn’t actually provide a list, however, so readers are supposed to take Brian Beutler’s word that this is actually a phenomenon.)

Word of the shooting spread quickly. And that’s when the right clumsily revealed that its obsession with gun violence reflects an obsession with racial score settling rather than with averting further tragedies. The conservative media, including Fox News, repeated the claim that the Oklahoma suspects were all black. But this turned out to be a toxic mix of racial bias and wishful thinking. You almost wonder whether the people whose ulterior motives led them into error like this actually lamented the fact that one of the suspects happened to be white. It would be so much more convenient if that weren’t the case.

(When did Fox News, or anyone else, do what Brian Beutler says they did, claiming that the “suspects were all black”? I mean, maybe they did — I haven’t paid any attention to this story — although I don’t see Beutler linking to a source, or quoting anyone. But once again, Beutler assumes a liberal readership that never watches Fox News, so he could say anything about the network’s programming and his ignorant readers would have no choice but to accept his assertions.)

But let’s pretend for a minute that the suspects had all fit the stereotype the hosts at Fox and Friends wanted. Then the idea is that Chris Lane’s death should somehow offset Trayvon Martin’s, or that the people who sought to turn George Zimmerman’s actions into a national referendum on “stand your ground” laws are somehow hypocritical for having little to say when the races of the culprits and innocent victims are reversed. For reactionary Obama foes like former Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., the obvious question is, “Whom will POTUS identify w/this time?”

(The link to the Tweet by Allen West is THE ONLY LINK IN THIS ENTIRE COLUMN. Isn’t, y’know, one of those Internet kind of things, where political bloggers routinely link to their sources, so as not to give the appearance that they’re just pulling stuff out of their ass or, as some call it, “doing a Beutler”?)

I’ll give West, et al., this: If you ignore motive, circumstance, history and (likely ) outcome, then liberals, particularly black liberals, sure seem craven. By that standard, though, Jean Valjean and John, King of England are moral equals — just a couple of guy s with similar names taking other people’s property.

(Does that paragraph mean anything? Anything at all?)

So let’s review: George Zimmerman wouldn’t have shot Trayvon Martin if he hadn’t been profiling by race. And even if he had been, the shooting feasibly wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t been legally allowed to carry a handgun and didn’t think he was empowered by law to take matters into his own hands. The monstrous killing of Chris Lane has no such back story. The killers apparently had no motive whatsoever, were armed illegally, and certainly weren’t trailing Lane because they believed, based on his race, that he might be a criminal. They are, however, likely to face serious prison time for their crimes. Zimmerman walked.

(And here, evidently too stoned to realize it, Beutler actually proves a point — a conservative point — about crime: People get shot to death all the time, for all kinds of reasons, or for no reason at all, and no policy advocated by liberals is going to prevent this from happening. Zimmerman shooting Trayvon? You can call that “racial profiling” or you can call it a tragic misunderstanding, but exactly how do you propose to prevent it from happening? “Zimmerman walked” because he had a claim of self-defense sufficiently plausible to constitute “reasonable doubt.” Also, notice that, while admitting that the teenagers in the Chris Lane shooting were illegally armed, Brian Beutler assumes that if Zimmerman “hadn’t been legally allowed to carry a handgun,” Zimmerman would not have also illegally armed himself. Why assume that? And what about Trayvon’s “whoop-ass” beating of Zimmerman, which Zimmerman said he thought might end in his own death? Would Brian Beutler have been happy to have Trayvon beat Zimmerman to death?)

Put that all together, and it turns out these stories aren’t counter-parallel at all. And more to the point, the events don’t even anecdotally augur for policies the right supports. The kids in Oklahoma weren’t “standing their ground,” and a “stand your ground” law wouldn’t have saved Chris Lane. Neither would a stop-and-frisk regime — the killers were trailing him in a car. By contrast, a “stand your ground” environment and a stop-and-frisk mentality were instrumental in Trayvon Martin’s death. Take either away , and there’s a good chance he’d be alive today. Martin in fact personified the statistical folly of stop-and-frisk. If Zimmerman had yielded to real police, they would have, in absence of any suspicious behavior, stopped Martin, frisked him and found only the skittles and iced tea that made his death that much more tragically poignant.

(Again, it is only Brian Beutler’s assertion that the Chris Lane murder is being reported because “conservative media” believe the story supports a policy argument. My own guess is that after the incessant 24/7 media drumbeat about the Zimmerman trial, which liberals claimed was an event fraught with political significance, some “conservative media” basically decided, “Hey, we’re going to stop downplaying or ignoring black-on-white crime, just to make a point.” But that’s merely my guess. Unlike Brian Beutler, I don’t possess any clairvoyant mind-reading powers that enable me to know why Fox News producers or Matt Drudge do what they do.)

You could twist that into a claim that stop-and-frisk might have saved Martin’s life. But that gets the onus backward. Proponents of profiling policies need to do better than argue we have to violate the civil rights of minorities in order to protect them from hair-triggered vigilantes.

(The “stop-and-frisk” thing is strictly an issue in New York, because of an NYPD policy that was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge. It has nothing to do with Oklahoma and even less to do with Sanford, Florida. Why Brian Beutler keeps bringing it up, I don’t know. Has the “stop-and-frisk” issue has been discussed by anyone at Fox News in the context of the Chris Lane murder? If it has, then why doesn’t he quote that discussion? In general, why are there no links or quotes in this column? Why can’t Brian Beutler be bothered to provide actual evidence of the phenomenon he presumes to critique? Why do liberals think it’s acceptable to assert controversial claims that they don’t bother to prove? How many bong-hits does Brian Beutler usually do before writing his columns? Seven. That’s  now an established fact — because I just asserted it, see?)

What might well have stopped both killings, though, is making it harder for people, legally or illegally, to come into possession of handguns. That’s a conversation the right is less obsessed with.

(Again with the assertion: People who Brian Beutler doesn’t like are “obsessed,” or they ” feel a burning urgency,” or have an “obsession with gun violence” and “an obsession with racial score settling,” or are motivated by “racial bias and wishful thinking.” Over and over again — pausing only to take another bong hit — Beutler attributes irrational motives to antagonists for doing what he asserts they are doing, although he merely asserts this without providing any actual evidence of it. There are no quotes from Fox News broadcasts in Brian Beutler’s column, no links to transcripts. It’s just a straight-up rant that was written only because Brian Beutler is supposed to write a certain number of columns per week for Salon and, because he never does any reporting or, for that matter, much of anything that could be called “research,” he just sat down, toked up a few bowls of sinsemilla and let it rip, right off the top of his head.)

Brian Beutler is Salon’s political writer. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @brianbeutler.

(Or you could also block him on Twitter. Or say rude things about him on Twitter. Certainly there’s no reason to follow him, unless you want him to hook you up with some weed.)

Copyright © 2011 All rights reserved.

Fuck you. Fair use. Sue me, you bastards, I double-dog dare you.



90 Responses to “The Fisking of @BrianBeutler: Obsessed Obsessive Obsessions and Stuff Like That”

  1. MrEvilMatt
    August 25th, 2013 @ 1:49 am

    The Fisking of @BrianBeutler: Obsessed Obsessive Obsessions and Stuff Like That: A troll showed up in the comm…

  2. Lockestep1776
    August 25th, 2013 @ 1:49 am

    The Fisking of @BrianBeutler: Obsessed Obsessive Obsessions and Stuff Like That: A troll showed up in the comm…

  3. CHideout
    August 25th, 2013 @ 1:49 am

    The Fisking of @BrianBeutler: Obsessed Obsessive Obsessions and Stuff Like That: A troll showed up in the comm…

  4. Citzcom
    August 25th, 2013 @ 1:49 am

    The Fisking of @BrianBeutler: Obsessed Obsessive Obsessions and Stuff Like That: A troll showed up in the comm…

  5. jwbrown1969
    August 25th, 2013 @ 1:49 am

    The Fisking of @BrianBeutler: Obsessed Obsessive Obsessions and Stuff Like That: A troll showed up in the comm…

  6. rsmccain
    August 25th, 2013 @ 1:52 am

    The Fisking of @BrianBeutler: Obsessed Obsessive Obsessions and Stuff Like That #tcot

  7. Finrod Felagund
    August 25th, 2013 @ 2:08 am

    Unless he’s getting the super grade medical marijuana stuff (in which case he’d be too baked to type), there is no amount of pot that could produce this level of delusion. I figure he’s on crack or smack, myself.

  8. rmnixondeceased
    August 25th, 2013 @ 2:15 am

    Worse. He’s high on Liberal hypocrisy.

  9. RMNixonDeceased
    August 25th, 2013 @ 2:16 am

    “Unless he’s getting the super grade medical marijuana stuff (in which case he’d be too baked to…” — Finrod Felagund

  10. RMNixonDeceased
    August 25th, 2013 @ 2:16 am

    “Worse. He’s high on Liberal hypocrisy.” — rmnixondeceased

  11. robertstacymccain
    August 25th, 2013 @ 2:24 am

    Are you disputing the FACT that Brian Beutler does seven bong hits per column? Because I asserted that and therefore it is a fact.

  12. rmnixondeceased
    August 25th, 2013 @ 2:25 am

    Per column or per column inch? After reading the twaddle he peddles, I’m more inclined to believe the latter …

  13. BobBelvedere
    August 25th, 2013 @ 2:27 am

    RT @rsmccain: The Fisking of @BrianBeutler: Obsessed Obsessive Obsessions and Stuff Like That #tcot

  14. Finrod Felagund
    August 25th, 2013 @ 2:32 am

    Oh, I’m sure he does. I just don’t think the bong hits alone are sufficient to produce quite that level of delusion.

  15. SwiperTheFox
    August 25th, 2013 @ 2:33 am

    These need to be screamed into every single Beutler type person’s ears, maybe with a bull-horn:



    Zimmerman followed Travyon, according the trial’s results, because the young man was on illegal drugs (a factually accurate view, since he was). And Zimmerman defended himself when another person was on him when he was lying on the cold, hard concrete with no ability to do anything but fight back.

    And, for the love of God, Zimmerman was not a police officer and couldn’t stop and frisk anyone anymore any more than he could put on a freaking robe and declare himself the bloody Queen of England.

    I would call this columnist retarded, but that’s an insulting comparison that would be unfair to the mentally challenged. I would compare him to bags of scum, but at least bags of scum are useful… in holding said scum. I’m at a loss.

  16. SwiperTheFox
    August 25th, 2013 @ 2:34 am

    If only ‘liberal hypocrisy’ was something bottled, because then one of us could break into his apartment and replace them with a nice merlot.

  17. rmnixondeceased
    August 25th, 2013 @ 2:39 am

    I think perhaps a full bodied red, like a Châteauneuf-du-Pape would clear his head.

  18. robertstacymccain
    August 25th, 2013 @ 2:41 am

    This is something liberals do routinely: Grab hold of some incident and say it is “about” their pet issue and then, if you deny that the incident proves whatever they say it proves, they accuse you of malicious motives. Liberals told us the Kate Hunt case was “about” anti-gay discrimination and, when the facts showed otherwise, the people who proved liberals wrong were accused of homophobia — simply for proving liberals wrong!

    It’s like, for example, you were a warmonger if you didn’t accept any particular anti-war argument made by liberals.

    Liberal: “War for Oil! Bush lied, people died! Halliburton! Fire can’t melt steel! Inside job!”
    You: “None of that makes any sense.”
    Liberal: “Fascist.”

    And on the basis of such profound arguments, liberals congratulate themselves on being smarter than everybody else.

  19. SwiperTheFox
    August 25th, 2013 @ 2:45 am

    This very much reminds me of J. Goldberg’s “Tyranny of Cliches” book– the association fallacy plus slippery slope fallacy seem to be a core part of all this garbage.

  20. Finrod Felagund
    August 25th, 2013 @ 2:49 am

    I love to quote the line about how the 21st century definition of a racist is anyone who’s winning an argument with a liberal.

  21. slp
    August 25th, 2013 @ 4:05 am

    How does the beating death of an 88-year-old WWII veteran, Delbert Belton, in Spokane fit into Beutler’s argument?

  22. Pablo
    August 25th, 2013 @ 7:31 am


  23. RMHBiscuit
    August 25th, 2013 @ 7:39 am

    The Fisking of @BrianBeutler: Obsessed Obsessive Obsessions and Stuff Like That : The Other McCain

  24. NeoWayland
    August 25th, 2013 @ 8:18 am

    I’m trying really hard to bite my tongue here and I am not succeeding.

    Two points and then I will shut up.

    1. People are not labels.
    When you say “liberals told us” it is not every liberal who said that, or even every liberal who believes it. What’s more, many gay groups dropped their support of the case once they saw what the Hunt family and some supporters were doing.

    2. We all have our own obsessions. Granted, I don’t think I am as plugged into the “gay community” as I am some other groups, but I have not seen another site with 40+ articles (and hundreds of comments) on Kate Hunt except for the FreeKate Facebook site.

  25. FishFearMe
    August 25th, 2013 @ 9:03 am

    “The killers apparently had no motive whatsoever, were armed illegally, “…..

    It’s time for a strongly worded letter to all the gang bangers in South Central and in Chicago telling them that the weapons they own are ILLEGAL and we are gonna tell on them if they don’t disarm immediately!

    THAT kind of “armed illegally” ?

    Just askin’.

  26. robertstacymccain
    August 25th, 2013 @ 9:14 am

    As to the “no motive whatsoever” — does Brian Beutler think this makes the victim any less dead?

  27. rmnixondeceased
    August 25th, 2013 @ 9:16 am

    Stacy is responsible for the lack of MSM coverage how? It is a disgrace that this story has been ignored except of twisted, deceptive stories, supportive of pederasty and Kate’s soi-disant lesbianism.
    As to your point 1: No, labels are what the progressive left wants to hang on all of us in order to further pigeon-hole and control all of us. Our use of these labels is always contingent on the old saw “if the shoe fits …”. Don’t want to be lumped in with all the other liberals? Throw off you emotional and intellectual chains and be free. If the label of “liberal” doesn’t fit, don’t wear it.

  28. thatMrGguy
    August 25th, 2013 @ 9:23 am

    The Fisking of @BrianBeutler: Obsessed Obsessive Obsessions and Stuff Like That

  29. Mike G.
    August 25th, 2013 @ 9:38 am

    Some of that medical marijuana is really potent stuff, “Train Wreck”, “Purple Haze”, “White Widow”, ect. and you may still have the ability to type, but just not in any coherent manner. (It’s what we used to call “Trippin’ Weed” back in the day.)

  30. Mm
    August 25th, 2013 @ 9:55 am

    1. Falsely labeling people who disagree with them has been an effective tactic for the left. Correctly labeling the left should, therefore, be an effective tactic for the right.
    2. What Mr. Nixon said. Stacy is doing the job NBC won’t do. Plus, again with the moral outrage over exposing the crime, but none over the commission of the crime itself.

  31. Mm
    August 25th, 2013 @ 10:09 am

    On another note, I find myself cussing more lately. I blame RSM.

  32. JoNobody
    August 25th, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    I find most of leftist commentary to be nothing more than word salad, as RSM so thoroughly demonstrates with this fisking. Frequently, whole paragraphs of words are strung together that have no meaning. Very funny read today.

  33. ChandlersGhost
    August 25th, 2013 @ 10:29 am

    Far, far worse. He’s high on self esteem.

  34. Joe Dokes
    August 25th, 2013 @ 10:35 am

    “1. People are not labels.”

    It is precisely the liberals/leftists who have reduced all people to various labels (class, political views, belief/nonbelief in God, who they penetrate/are penetrated by, etc) for the sole purpose of doling out government favors to the favored, denying them to to the rest and – come That Happy Day All Leftists Anxiously Await – enslaving or liquidating everyone they don’t like. The Left’s cleansing of Western society by invisible forehead Dymo labels which only they can see has already begun, haven’t you paid attention?

    “2. …but I have not seen another site with 40+ articles (and hundreds of comments) on Kate Hunt except for the FreeKate Facebook site.”

    Having trouble discerning whether you say that’s a bad thing or a good thing.

  35. RS
    August 25th, 2013 @ 10:38 am

    So, let me get this straight. [A completely fabricated White Person, who in real life is more black than Homer Plessy, shoots a black person, thereby necessitating a national conversation on race. Black teenagers kill a jogger and a WWII vet but do not necessitate a national conversation on race because “that’s different.” He camouflages it neatly but the stated difference is in the former case, we impugn a motive where there is no evidence of same. In the latter case, we impugn no motive, even if there is arguably evidence. Why the difference in view point? Alas, we are left to divine that ourselves. What he hates is that we’ve drawn the correct conclusions.

  36. RS
    August 25th, 2013 @ 10:42 am

    Regarding number 2., my guess is the amount of coverage here is attributable to the early embracing of the “gay teen love punished by icky society and parental bigots” narrative pushed by the MSM over a period of a couple of weeks, and the failure of same to retract the initial favorable coverage when the facts came out. Someone has to speak for the victim, and the Hunt family brought all of this on themselves.

  37. Professor_Why
    August 25th, 2013 @ 10:45 am

    The Fisking of @BrianBeutler: Obsessed Obsessive Obsessions and Stuff Like That

  38. rmnixondeceased
    August 25th, 2013 @ 10:47 am

    A sad consequence of Liberal Derangement Syndrom.

  39. rmnixondeceased
    August 25th, 2013 @ 10:53 am

    Heh. When tempted to curse outrageous fortune (or a particularly foul or idiotic comment) just say “Heh” …

  40. rmnixondeceased
    August 25th, 2013 @ 10:58 am

    Assclowns are perpetually hating truth. That’s part of the reason so many are Godless scum, children of the Evil One, denying that truth is immutable, not situational, morphing to suit their current narrative. When all is delusion and deception the fools cannot even see truth much less honor and faithfulness.

  41. RMNixonDeceased
    August 25th, 2013 @ 10:58 am

    “Assclowns are perpetually hating truth. That’s part of the reason so many are Godless scum…” — rmnixondeceased

  42. RS
    August 25th, 2013 @ 11:03 am

    As a corollary to what I said above, it is apparent that Mr. Beutler and his ilk see absolutely no relevance to the identity of an innocent victim. Rather it is only the identity of the perpetrator which is an issue. If the perpetrator is black, the crime is ignorned or minimized, regardless of the identity of the victim: WWII vet, baseball player, black child in South Chicago. If, however, the perp is white, then the victim becomes important only if s/he is one of the less favored racial groups. For this reason, white on black crimes receive much public outcry, while black on black and black on anybody else do not.

  43. tlk244182
    August 25th, 2013 @ 11:18 am

    Normally I dont laugh at the f word, but when used sparingly, with the proper timing, it can be wickedly funny. Im still chuckling over Mr. Akbar’s opener in “Pundit Syndication’s Troll Policy.”

  44. Josh_Painter
    August 25th, 2013 @ 11:28 am

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM The Fisking of @BrianBeutler: Obsessed Obsessive Obsessions and Stuff Like That #TCOT

  45. tlk244182
    August 25th, 2013 @ 11:33 am

    Yes. While I’ve merely browsed in Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” Im confident that he himself agrees that labeling is an effective tactic for the left to use to destroy the civil society. The tactic could be used by anyone, but Leftists are the ones who use it to destroy things.

  46. Da Tech Guy On DaRadio Blog » Blog Archive » Salon and the Dishonorable Dim Witted left
    August 25th, 2013 @ 11:49 am

    […] 3:  Stacy Fiskes them, hard. […]

  47. Matt Damon Proves He’s No ‘Good Will Hunting’… Again | Regular Right Guy
    August 25th, 2013 @ 12:16 pm

    […] The Fisking of @BrianBeutler: Obsessed Obsessive Obsessions and Stuff Like That […]

  48. richard mcenroe
    August 25th, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

    Applied smartly behind the ear, maybe.

  49. Delaney Coffer
    August 25th, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

    Alas, writing stupid shit is what this hack was hired to do. He’s simply doing his job. Better to recognize there is no honesty on the left and avoid their content. You’re better off reading Mad magazine or the National Enquirer.

  50. rsmccain
    August 25th, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

    RT @LeatherPenguin: Never say “post it tomorrow” when @rsmccain is mining the same vein; 2 hours worth of fisking rage just went down… ht…