The Balloon Juice Fallacy (Update and Bump)

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Here’s lefty blogger Roger Ailes, in a post that went up Sunday morning:

Libertarian Fonzie and his toadys [sic] haven’t weighed in on the DADT repeal either. Maybe they don’t think federal regulation of sexual orientation implicates liberty cocerns, at least when the regulations don’t interfere their patron’s anal sex film empire. Or maybe they’re still at Joe Manchin’s Christmas party.

For those of you unfamiliar with lefty blog code, “Libertarian Fonzie” is Reason.tv editor Nick Gillespie. “His toadys” I guess refers to the rest of us at Reason.

So there are a number of ways that you could ferret out where Reason and its writers stand on gay equality issues. You could, for example, do what Ailes did here, which is to set an arbitrary deadline in your head by which Reason must respond to a gay issue in the news and, if we fail to meet said arbitrary deadline, you conclude that we just don’t care very much about gay people. Or at least not as much as we do about whatever frivolous issue you think we spend too much time covering. (In this case, Ailes throws in the bonus ad hominem attack that we only cover obscenity laws because one of our donors, John Stagliano, was recently prosecuted under them.) Ailes’ deadline was apparently 7:30 am on the Sunday after a Saturday vote in the Senate.

But here’s another way you could find out where Reason stands on gay issues:  You could take 15 fucking seconds to use Reason’s search engine, where you’d find the thousands of words we’ve published in our magazine and on our website advocating the repeal of DADT. You’d also find the dozens of articles we’ve published advocating gay marriage, regular ridicule of homophobes, and support for gay adoption.

But then you wouldn’t get to make Fonzie jokes.

(BTW: This arbitrary deadline/”notice the silence from x” method of argumentation will henceforth be known as the Balloon Juice fallacy.)

MORE: Check out this response from John Cole at Balloon Juice. He runs off a list of Reason articles that allegedly commit the same fallacy I accuse him and Ailes of making, and adds, “Too funny.”

Hilarious. Except not one of the articles actually commits that fallacy. It looks like someone just did a search for the word “silence” on the Reason website. Which means Cole is either stupid, or he didn’t actually bother to read the articles before posting them to his main page. Here are the articles:

  • In this one, Jacob Sullum criticizes Elena Kagan for refusing to answer any questions about natural rights during her confirmation hearings. Sullum’s column is about how the confirmation process robs the public from getting a sense of a Supreme Court nominee’s judicial philosophy before before deciding whether she should be confirmed.
  • In this one, Matt Welch criticizes neoliberal Democrats for not opposing Obama’s profligate spending policies. John apparently doesn’t understand the difference between criticizing a website for not responding to a given issue within 24 hours and criticizing politicians for not standing up for their principles when their own party is in power.
  • In this one, Steve Chapman criticizes anti-gay marriage Republicans (yes, in all of this, John’s is using an example of a Reason article defending gay marriage to prove his point) who say gay marriage will lead to all sorts of other moral decay. Chapman actually called gay marriage critics up and asked them to go on the record with specific predictions of what moral outrages would come next. None of them would answer him. Again, this isn’t remotely similar to my complaint about Cole and Ailes. I mean, not even on the same planet.
  • In this one, Michael Moynihan responds to this exact variety of ad hominem attack. In this case, a New York Press editor criticized Reason for not addressing Naomi Klein’s horrible book about Milton Friedman, and tried to draw broad conclusions what our silence means. Moynihan chides him for it. At the end of the article, Moynihan turns the tables, and asks what we can infer about the New York Press silence about a libertarian book, but only to point out how stupid this sort of argument can be. Cole then uses this as an example . . . Reason making that sort of argument. Again, this either illustrates that Cole isn’t particularly bright, didn’t read the link before posting (which only bolsters my contention that he regularly makes sweeping accusations against Reason without bothering to check first to see if there’s any evidence for them), or he did read the link, knows doesn’t prove anything remotely like what he claims, yet posted it anyway thinking no one would call him on it. Which would make him a dishonest hack.
  • Finally, this article mentions Hugo Chavez’s silence after an opposition coalition won a majority of seats in the Venezuelan parliament. Again, not remotely similar to the way Cole draws grand conclusions about Reason’s “silence” on a given issue.

That’s zero for five, John. Too funny.

I’ve said this before:  I don’t expect everyone or even most people to agree with Reason. I do expect adults to make adult arguments. And to actually do some checking to make sure we’ve actually done whatever it is you’re attacking us for doing.

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85 Responses to “The Balloon Juice Fallacy (Update and Bump)”

  1. #1 |  Mattocracy | 

    Or could we call it the Balloon Juice Phallis? The means by which Balloon Juice tries to fuck it’s way through an arguement that is limp and without substance.

  2. #2 |  David | 

    I would be proud to be Libertarian Fonzie.

  3. #3 |  Tom Johnson | 

    Clearly, you don’t understand how this blogging thing works. If newspapers are the first draft of history, blogs are — in most cases — notes scratched on a bar napkin, the very beginning of a creative process that results, eventually, in something of value.

    Why would one risk offending the muse by engaging in rudimentary research?
    Draft and post, by God, and the truth will sort itself out later.

  4. #4 |  ClubMedSux | 

    I’ve always considered myself a libertarian Ralph Malph… Not as cool as libertarian Fonzie, but still a step up from libertarian Chachi.

  5. #5 |  Joe | 

    As Libertarian Fonzie would say: “Woooo.”

    So what the heck is Stick Up His Ass Potsie Ailes talking about?

    This repeal of DADT is long over due. Republicans if they were smart would have supported it in greater numbers. Stupid move giving this issue to the Democrats (who are rather craven in their support of gays). And the impact will be slightly positive for the military as a whole and very important to those directly impacted by it.

    As Barry Goldwater said: “All that matters is they shoot straight.”

  6. #6 |  Pete | 

    Listen guy, I want very very VERY much for this format, that many would consider ‘blogging’, to be accepted as real journalism.

    But this adds to your responsibility load – namely, the requirement that you do fucking research before you open your mouth. I just hit up Reason to search for myself, and they have weighed in frequently on the side of supporting the repeat of DADT, on supporting the right of people to marry no matter what their sex or sexual orientation, etc.

    I guess what I’m wanting to say here is, if you want to pick a fight, make sure you have bullets in your gun. All this article does is show your naked dislike of Reason and Nick Gillespie. (Which would be fine, if, you know, you had actual articulable reasons, instead of “THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT GAY PEOPLE BECAUSE I CAN’T SPEND A LITERAL EIGHT SECONDS TO SEARCH REASON.COM FOR THREE DIFFERENT SEARCH TERMS AND NOTE THERE ARE RESULTS FOR ALL THREE.”

    Good day, please do better with the format in the future.

    Love note I posted to him.

  7. #7 |  David Nieporent | 

    THE “Balloon Juice Fallacy”? Wouldn’t that falsely imply that there was only one?

  8. #8 |  chuchundra | 

    The old “you didn’t write about [subject], therefore it shows you support it/don’t support it/are a moral cretin” is pretty old sauce in blogosphere douchbag circles.

    That doesn’t change the fact that Gillespie is a joke and Reason.com is pretty much a cesspool except for Radley’s fine contributions.

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/80140/nick-gillespie-responds-and-his-point-i-have-no-idea

    Like I said, I obviously have different ideological preferences than Gillespie and other libertarians. But he isn’t serving his audience very well. He’s a pretty good writer, but he doesn’t understand these issues at all. He thinks he can make up for his lack of understanding by relying on a co-author who, by dint of her total fealty to libertarian dogma and the ability to throw around a few numbers, has him convinced she knows what she’s talking about. In reality she’s a total hack. I really advise Gillespie to confine himself to subjects he understands (motorcycles? picking up chicks with a snap of the fingers?) and find a fiscal writer who is able to make the libertarian case from factual premises.

  9. #9 |  boomshanka | 

    Ailes has it wrong – it’s the “Fonzie of Freedom.” Which is, whether you like Gillespie or hate him, an awesome nickname. He should embrace it.

  10. #10 |  TomG | 

    Yup. Most of the folks at Balloon-Juice have already made up their minds about what sort of people libertarians are, and I have given up trying to disabuse them. Because we are all alike, you know, so once you read Reason and Glenn Reynolds, why, you need not look further !
    (And picking on Gillespie’s wardrobe style is perfectly fine, because he’s wrong about some things ! We don’t need to take arguments seriously around here when there are cheap laughs to be had ! What do you mean, that’s an ad hominem style of attack ?)

  11. #11 |  Marty | 

    I’m the libertarian Richie.

  12. #12 |  KristenS | 

    I’m the libertarian Pinky Tuscadero

  13. #13 |  Jonas Salk | 

    I’m the libertarian Samuel “Screech” Powers.

  14. #14 |  icr | 

    The point is to dismantle the machinery of Perpetual War-not to make it more inclusive.

  15. #15 |  Jennifer | 

    Damn! KristenS beat me to it. That’s ok, I’d rather bet he libertarian Leather Tuscadero anyway. 0/

  16. #16 |  Jennifer | 

    Man, I just all kind of messed up my comment. I’d just delete the damn thing if I could.

  17. #17 |  Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Wouldn’t It Be Nice | 

    [...] Radley would take a few minutes from defending the honor of Reason’s staff and teach his editor some basic [...]

  18. #18 |  SoupNazzi | 

    I think this thread is about to “jump the shark”.

  19. #19 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    They have a point. I have never written about motor-boating Selma Hayek.

  20. #20 |  El Tiburon | 

    “Yup. Most of the folks at Balloon-Juice have already made up their minds about what sort of people libertarians are, and I have given up trying to disabuse them. Because we are all alike, you know, so once you read Reason and Glenn Reynolds, why, you need not look further !”

    Yep, if you claim Glenn Reynolds, then there is no reason to look any further.

    But Tom G, please do make a stop over at the Balloon Juice because I would love to hear you ‘disabuse’ us a bit more on teh awesomeness of the libertarian. We’ll leave some milk and cookies out for you.

  21. #21 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    Libertarian Fonzie vs. the Jukebox of Government…oh, to dream…

  22. #22 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    I’m the libertarian Duke Harris….which may not be all that good in retrospect.

  23. #23 |  dsmallwood | 

    does it matter that the libertarian fonzie used to frequent a dinner owned by a hard working asian american? one who was then callously replaced with a bloated white man? where was Fonzie’s reaction to that? huh?

    nowhere, that’s where. man.

    and where are my karma buttons? there are some good ones here

  24. #24 |  FridayNext | 

    Can I be the Libertarian Chuck Cunningham? I tend to disappear for long periods and no one talks about me.

  25. #25 |  FridayNext | 

    And while we are at it would Radley be the Laverne and Shirley of Freedom? He has his own show, but makes appearances at the home show from time to time. But if the gender thing is distasteful, he could be the Mork.

  26. #26 |  Brian V. | 

    I don’t think it should have been repealed. Guess that makes me Archie Bunker.

  27. #27 |  Crusty Dem | 

    I think you’re actually referring to the Reason fallacy.

  28. #28 |  BillC | 

    I think Gillespie bears more resemblance to the brother on Everyone Loves Raymond.

  29. #29 |  Kino | 

    @ #14 winner winner chicken dinner

  30. #30 |  skunky | 

    it’s kinda like “well where are all the muslims who condemn the terrorists? i’ve never seen em!”

  31. #31 |  timb | 

    Is it okay if I think Libertarianism is pretty silly? Then, I see a purported thinker of libertarianism looking like a douchebag on Fox and think even less…

    You’re on TV, Nick, allegedly with serious ideas about liberty and letting the poor die in the streets while I get high and pay no taxes. Shouldn’t I expect the hero of my liberty to dress better than the alpha male quarterback dresses for an post-game high school dance?

  32. #32 |  RomanCandle | 

    If Nick Gillespie is as laid-back and cool as he appears on his various Freedom Watch appearances, then he probably approves of the nickname Libertarian Fonzie.

    And I guess that makes Matt Welch Libertarian Richie Cunningham. Does that mean that Radley is Libertarian Chachi?

    Let’s drop everything and get this thing straightened out.

  33. #33 |  Dal | 

    Balloon Juice has responded with a post pointing to a number of “Balloon Juice fallacies” committed by Reason itself, and this is surely a commonly committed sin by political bloggers of any stripe. I’m sure Radley feels compelled to come to the defense of his Reason “family”, but this sort of lefty/righty catfight bullshit is always a major disappointment to me, and detracts from this blog’s other admirable work. I would think that, of all people, the gang here would’ve figured out by now that this conservative/liberal division is largely an artifice of the political class and its media minions, to keep us occupied with mudslinging over petty issues, or – more sinisterly – supporting the authoritarian measures used by our “side” just for the sake of a “win” for the “cause”. I find it frustrating that libertarians so often have a huge blind spot to the abuses and threats to personal liberty frequently committed by business (presumably because being rabidly and irrationally pro-capitalism in all forms is part of the “conservative” dogma)..as if private property rights and the holy sanctity of the contract supersede all other freedoms (the prevalent defense of draconian HOA policies comes to mind as an immediate – if somewhat minor – example). To me, it doesn’t much matter if its the gubment or my boss telling me what I can and can’t put into my own body in my free time..the end result is the same.

    But I digress. My point here is that the real political dichotomy is between the defenders of liberty and the authoritarians (of whatever flavor). It’s time for us to rise above this red/blue puppet show crap already and unite against the common enemy…

  34. #34 |  Crusty Dem | 

    So the Balloon Juice Fallacy is only relevant when specifically discussing Reason magazine? Got it.

    Of course, I do notice the silence about Gillespie’s math illiteracy. Would that qualify?

  35. #35 |  David Nieporent | 

    “I’ve said this before: I don’t expect everyone or even most people to agree with Reason. I do expect adults to make adult arguments. And to actually do some checking to make sure we’ve actually done whatever it is you’re attacking us for doing.”

    Adults?

    By the way, Cole clearly didn’t read any of the links; he copied that list from one of his commenters lower down in the thread.

    Then again, since he’s doubling down on his inability to understand how the government granting a service provider a monopoly is a monopoly, what can you expect?

  36. #36 |  4jkb4ia | 

    Somewhere, because I visited Sully to raise the standard of blogospheric discourse I was reading, I got involved in writing this comment.

    John Cole is the only person who knows if he read any of the linked articles. But Roger Ailes’s point wasn’t John’s point in the original post IMHO. John’s point was to say that Balko should use the energy to rebuke Gillespie on a totally different topic, the federal budget. I think I get to add here that Nate Silver has owned de Rugy in the past.

  37. #37 |  Guile Honda | 

    I’m so over being libertarian fonzie. Now I’m a reformed Costanza. Festivus lives!!! Now not just for prisoners: http://lawblog.legalmatch.com/2010/12/17/a-festivus-for-the-rest-of-us-in-prison/

  38. #38 |  delta | 

    Link to Washington Post article on “Monitoring America” and so-called “fusion centers” around the country with untrained workers:

    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/articles/monitoring-america/print/

    I couldn’t read all of it. Right at the end there’s a doozy — Memphis Police Chief now considers any killing to qualify as terrorism. “We have our own terrorists, and they are taking lives every day,” Godwin said. “No, we don’t have suicide bombers – not yet. But you need to remain vigilant and realize how vulnerable you can be if you let up.”

  39. #39 |  Radley Balko | 

    So the Balloon Juice Fallacy is only relevant when specifically discussing Reason magazine? Got it.

    No, it’s only relevant when you’re drawing conclusions about a blogger or media outlet’s positions based on what they haven’t written about, or haven’t written about in a manner timely enough for you.

    That’s not at all the same thing as criticizing a politician for not standing up for his principles, or asking a Supreme Court nominee to actually articulate her philosophy so the Senate can have an informed vote on her confirmation.

  40. #40 |  4jkb4ia | 

    Link to Nate

  41. #41 |  Crusty Dem | 

    Got it, only applies to individuals. Keep those goalposts are quite moveable.

    BTW, what’s your favorite post authored by Roger Ailes at Balloon Juice?

  42. #42 |  schooner | 

    Ooh. Sounds great. Can we also have a “Reason Innumeracy” to cover the crap written by Gillespie and Suderman.

  43. #43 |  RomanCandle | 

    “Keep those goalposts are quite moveable.”

    Indeed. All your base are belong to Reason.

  44. #44 |  Crusty Dem | 

    Indeed Roman, I Am In Your Base Killing Your D00ds.

  45. #45 |  Irving Washington | 

    At some point, Radley, you’re only dignifying Balloon Juice by noticing it.

  46. #46 |  SideShow Bob | 

    I like how your ‘patron’s anal sex film empire” was casually dismissed. I guess you know which side of your bread is buttered.

  47. #47 |  Jennifer | 

    Screw adult arguments, I want more Happy Days jokes. And soupnazi had me spewing water on my keyboard.

  48. #48 |  JOR | 

    “Got it, only applies to individuals. Keep those goalposts are quite moveable.”

    It’s a fallacy. It applies to statements.

    Shit, I don’t even particularly care for Reason, but nothing in that list is an example of the BJ fallacy.

  49. #49 |  random guy | 

    If anything Radley should stop linking to Ballon Juice for the simple reason that their readers come back here and make inane comments completely devoid of substance or logic.

  50. #50 |  Juice | 

    Well, at list the hit counters at both websites go up, eh?

  51. #51 |  Gideon Darrow | 

    @ #49 random guy:

    Agreed.

  52. #52 |  Mike | 

    Not to belabor the point (4jkb4ia seems right to me), but I’m curious whether Reason folks hold themselves to the same standard they have for others: “I don’t expect everyone or even most people to agree with Reason. I do expect adults to make adult arguments. And to actually do some checking to make sure we’ve actually done whatever it is you’re attacking us for doing.” So, while I do not attribute your silence on the issue of Fonzie being mathematically challenged to mean you agree with him, I am somewhat concerned that you expect liberals to make adult arguments, but not your colleagues. Too funny.

  53. #53 |  Mike | 

    Incidentally, I “came from” Balloon Juice, but think John’s examples were not the equivalent of what Balko was complaining about.

  54. #54 |  Buddy Hinton | 

    I’m the libertarian Buddy Hinton.

  55. #55 |  Mattocracy | 

    #33 | Dal |

    “Balloon Juice has responded with a post pointing to a number of “Balloon Juice fallacies” committed by Reason itself”

    Looks like someone made a comment without actually doing any research…

    “I would think that, of all people, the gang here would’ve figured out by now that this conservative/liberal division is largely an artifice of the political class and its media minions”

    Get the fuck over yourself. You obviously don’t come here very often if you think that about the commenters here.

    “I find it frustrating that libertarians so often have a huge blind spot to the abuses and threats to personal liberty frequently committed by business (presumably because being rabidly and irrationally pro-capitalism in all forms is part of the “conservative” dogma)..”

    You have no idea what libertarian economics are. Conservatives aren’t capitalists. They’re corporatists. There is a huge difference and the fact that you don’t see that or know the difference shows your own irrational beliefs and ignorance about libertarianism.

  56. #56 |  Psion | 

    I call dibs on “libertarian Mork”! Na-noo, na-noo!

    Which is about as insightful a post as I make, sometimes.

  57. #57 |  Highway | 

    Mattocracy:

    People never *ever* make the connection that when abuses by corporations and businesses have happened, they’ve done so with at least their friends in government looking the other way, if not actively involved in helping the business commit those abuses. Whether it’s extremely favorable laws pushed through by the pocket legislators of those companies, assistance from the police in committing those abuses (or not coming to the assistance of the people being abused by hired thugs), or blessing discriminatory practices, they’re usually not a case of those corporations actively opposing the government, like those folks who have some fantasy image of government think it is. It’s business and government working hand in hand to screw the rights out of powerless folks.

  58. #58 |  t1 | 

    What started this little internet pissing contest?

    Was it Balloon Juice noting that Reason editor Ed Gillespie (or whatever his name is) can’t add?

  59. #59 |  Brandon | 

    Why do the BJ commenters keep sticking to the “Gillespie can’t add” crap? Read his actual posts, not the garbage that Chait keeps repeating. Gillespie is right about the math. That much is inarguable.

  60. #60 |  Episiarch | 

    I’m impressed at the level of density of the Balloon Juice commenters. Combined, you guys are probably dangerously close to having an event horizon. But unfortunately, stupid can still escape at this point.

  61. #61 |  t1 | 

    Brandon – Did you watch that Reason TV video?

    You see if you have big ol piece of pork and you want to cut it into 10 slices and then cut progressively 3.6% off of each slice, you got to first cut 3.6% off of __all___ of the slices. Then you cut 3.6% off of the the remaining 9 slices. And so on.

    I guess Gillespie tried to make it really, really simple because he knows that most of his viewers don’t process complexity very well. (That’s inarguable, as some might say.)

  62. #62 |  Dal | 

    Mattocracy:

    “Looks like someone made a comment without actually doing any research…”

    TY for the abusive and condescending response to what I consider to be fairly reserved comment. First, I merely pointed out that BJ had posted a response to Balkos post. Did I assume there was some validity without thoroughly researching these specific examples? Guilty. Some of us have jobs and shit to do. But I have read enough of Hit and Run to know that they do plenty of the “where is the lefty objection to such and such” that is the core of this “BJF”. Regardless, it hardly diminishes my point that there are far more important issues than this petty blogosphere mudslinging – that the diversion of these manufactured partisan disputes contributes to the public impotence to affect any real change in the system.

    “Get the fuck over yourself. You obviously don’t come here very often if you think that about the commenters here.”

    Actually I read The Agitator daily, but rarely comment…and responses like yours are precisely why. And your kneejerk defensiveness kind of defeats your intent, which I infer to be that the Agitator commenters already see though the partisan theater…and yet here you are jumping my shit for a perceived insult to your sacred cow (but note that I said “this gang of all people” which is intended to be compliment..that I have higher expectations from the Agitator readers..).

    “You have no idea what libertarian economics are. Conservatives aren’t capitalists. They’re corporatists. There is a huge difference and the fact that you don’t see that or know the difference shows your own irrational beliefs and ignorance about libertarianism.”

    I’ll admit to being less than fully versed on the intricacies and variations of libertarian philosophy…which is why I read blogs like The Agitator and H&R…to get a measure of the current living state of the ideology. What I’ve observed is alot of self-identification with conservatives, alot of sophomoric belittling of anything perceived to be liberal, and alot of kneejerk defense of almighty capitalism. There’s much more I could say on that subject…but having a life and all, I haven’t the time for that at this moment…

  63. #63 |  David in Balt | 

    Wow, those guys from BJ are really, really childish.

  64. #64 |  Jonas Salk | 

    I posted a very brief comment which pointed out exactly what Radley did on John Cole’s post. My comment is still awaiting moderation, despite another comment already approved below it.

    Obviously, Cole doesn’t like to be proven to be an idiot.

  65. #65 |  Coyote | 

    lol @ “self-identification with conservatives.”

  66. #66 |  Episiarch | 

    What I’ve observed is a lot of self-identification with conservatives

    Then “You obviously don’t come here very often if you think that about the commenters here” needs to be repeated to you, again.

  67. #67 |  bjRules | 

    Gillespe can’t do math ://

  68. #68 |  David in Balt | 

    @ Jonas Stalk,

    Fascism is the natural outgrowth of leftist ideology. Is it really any surprise that they knee-jerk to censorship and shouting down their opponents? Make no mistake, if they were not so cowardly, they would resort to violence as well.

  69. #69 |  James J.B. | 

    Just so we are clear… “Libertarian Fonzie” is also the title of my next reason fan fic

  70. #70 |  Thyrezene | 

    In a discussion between two people, where one takes the argument seriously and the other only speaks snark, the latter will always win. Y SO SRS?

  71. #71 |  Paula | 

    I read both blogs daily. I am not interested in this kind of back and forth: who has the bigger dick.

    Please stop this back and forth and get back to the reasons why I read your blog: the thoughtful and witty posts!

  72. #72 |  Jon Gray | 

    @dal

    You twice make reference to your life/job interfering with your ability to devote time to posting here. However, you currently own the two longest posts. Odd.

    Aside from

  73. #73 |  Jon Gray | 

    Aside from the snark, you bring up a valid points despite yourself. Were you to pay attention to the comments here you’d see brevity and not having a stick up your ass is valued.

  74. #74 |  Kevin Carson | 

    Sounds about like the level of argument among the “reality based community” at Daily Kos. There’s a unit of measure — I call it the Markosecond — between the time someone first mentions libertarians and the first person drags out the phrase “pot-smoking Republicans” like it was some brilliantly original bon mot they’d just thought up.

  75. #75 |  BoogaFrito | 

    Which means Cole is either stupid, or he didn’t actually bother to read the articles before posting them to his main page.

    Those aren’t mutually exclusive, you know…

  76. #76 |  mdb | 

    Why bother?

  77. #77 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Holy cow. This blogger war has all the makings of a Jets/Sharks musical except the BJ guys don’t know, like magnets, how logic works.

    Again, as a lazy man who isn’t very smart I missed my calling in journalism.

  78. #78 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    #62 Dal

    but having a life and all, I haven’t the time for that at this moment…

    Dude posting on Internet defends himself by claiming to have a life. Will possibly follow up with “I have a sex partner” comment if all goes well.

    As Gray and Carson point out, pretty damn tired shit. If posts like that aren’t a “tell”, I don’t know what is.

    And, when did you have to be a libertarian to read/post on Agitator?

  79. #79 |  Bill Beyer | 

    “Libertarian Fonzie”… Thank you so much! That was the best belly laugh of the day, and heck- it’s good to see the too often humorless leftists come up with something kinda cute. And lets face it, Nicks ‘sartorial choices’ have been lampooned before. Personally, I love seeing someone not culturally wedded to the uniform- suit, tie, …corporate cutouts. As a ‘child of the 60s’, I find I don’t really care about the uniform as much as the message, and Nick’s usually right on. But if you can’t counter the message, it appears you need only mock the messenger.

  80. #80 |  albatross | 

    There’s a common phenomenon in net.argument here that is worth pointing out. You start out as a speaker who believes group or person X is evil, stupid, worthless, etc., with readers who mostly agree. Now, laziness, confirmation bias, and the availability heuristic have their way with your brain.

    Suddenly, even the flimsiest bits of evidence for the evilness of group X seem rock-solid. And you write arguments along these lines, and most of your readers/commenters never even notice, because their pre-existing assumptions about the world make it very easy for them to accept your weak arguments and flimsy evidence.

    In the worst cases, this becomes crap like the “Where’s the ACLU” nonsense–they don’t even bother searching, assuming that they’d have heard about it if the ACLU were involved in defending some white Christian kid. More often, it involves flimsy evidence like “well, I’ve never seen prominent member Y of group X talk about this issue, he must not support the side of it I oppose.” Or something ambiguous that turns, in the mind of the partisan, into rock-solid proof that group X are all racists, anti-American, or whatever.

    This is one danger of the kind of ideological self-selection that the net encourages. If you’re not reading a substantial amount of stuff from perspectives you don’t agree with, and at least an occasional piece that really p-sses you off, you’re making yourself dumber.

  81. #81 |  Afternoon Links: December 21, 2010 | OpenMarket.org | 

    [...] Radley Balko has a back-and-forth with Balloon Juice’s John Cole on Reason, DADT, and “the Balloon Juice [...]

  82. #82 |  Balloon Douche | 

    John once linked to a list of Google search results to prove an assertion that people on the “professional left”, or “manic progressives”, or whatever his term for people on his left currently is, were calling Ezra Klein some unfair epithet. As it turned out, the whole first page of results showed nothing of the sort; in fact, one of the links was in praise of Klein. So yeah, thoroughness (or basic literacy) is not Cole’s strong suit.

  83. #83 |  Flight 741 | 

    Can I be the libertarian Charlie Day? I’d also settle for being the libertarian Frank Reynolds.

  84. #84 |  The Balloon Juice Fallacy | The Agitator | 

    [...] Cole commits the Balloon Juice fallacy once again. Jason Kuznicki responds [...]

  85. #85 |  The Balloon Juice Fallacy | Mohawk Political | 

    [...] Cole commits the Balloon Juice fallacy once again. Jason Kuznicki responds [...]

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