The Atlantic’s Newest Useful Idiot
The Atlantic’s newest useful idiot, Conor Friedersdorf, was elevated despite a lack of talent, intellect and readability. He is either too self-unaware or dumb to know what he is politically—or he’s willfully deceitful, content to mislead to advance his career.
Take his opposition to radical Islam, revealed in May of 2006. Friedersdorf’s concern is to protect a progressive and decadent Europe that he sees as a positive, not to protect a conservative America. The motivations behind his position on domestic illegal immigration also reveal his leftist thinking even as he is labeled a conservative.
One’s ideology may be best defined by what primarily motivates one’s thinking in arriving at conclusions. While all should be concerned for the mistreated, in April 2006, Friedersdorf demonstrated he’s not driven by respect for a lawful American society; nor is he invested in preserving traditional American culture. His motivation is how best to accommodate illegals. A good liberal, he is deeply invested in the culture of victimization.
Friedersdorf is more concerned over protecting a progressive Europe from Islam, than protecting America from illegal immigration. That’s typical liberal thinking and it defines Friedersdorf.
He wants American law changed to accommodate illegals, not see current laws upheld. That is, by definition, progressive. A mid-sized left-leaning blog wouldn’t hire a progressive with his boorish writing style. As a conservative, Friedersdorf becomes marketable as a useful idiot.
More troubling and misguided, if not dangerous, are his tactics. Mislabeled as conservative, he repeatedly attacks and tries to undermine the right.
Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit is a temperate, meticulously accurate libertarian. Evidently, even he is too aligned with the right to escape attack from Friedersdorf. And that wasn’t his only attack on Reynolds.
He’s attacked Mark Steyn, forcing Steyn to request a correction, though dismissing him for his lack of talent as a writer. All conservatives see from the untalented Friedersdorf are attacks, while he rarely if ever criticizes the left and is usually pro-Obama. That he’s a talented, genuine conservative worthy of elevation is nonsense.
A favorite target of Friedersdorf’s is Mark Levin. One attack against Levin was over climate change. He relied entirely on arguments destroyed by James M. Taylor, senior fellow for environment policy at the Heartland Institute, in an article titled “NRO’s Manzi Mischaracterizes Global Warming Debate.”
But Friedersdorf tells people he’s winning, relying on left-leaning media outlets to do it. From Mediaite’s recent interview with him, “His take-downs of Mark Levin and Andrew Breitbart … have given him a major following and reputation.”
Only a sad lack of character and integrity would allow such bald-faced lies to stand in an interview. Honest conservatives know Friedersdorf has never taken down anyone and has few friends, let alone a following and positive reputation on the right. His reputation is that of a tediously bad writer of gobblygook. The capstone of his arrogance came in another recent attack on Levin and Rush Limbaugh.
Friedersdorf writes, “As a frequent critics (sic) of those particular coastal media elites, I am often presumed to be antagonistic to rank-and-file members of the American right…. They’re the base, and they need riling up, and yeah, some of what they’re fed can’t really stand up to scrutiny, but politics is a dirty business. People … forget that a lot of talk-radio listeners aren’t in on the joke.… It isn’t that these people are stupid. They just aren’t media savvy or cynical in the same way as Washington DC based magazine writers or Los Angeles County based think tank staffers. It is their quaint belief that radio hosts aren’t breezily misleading them on a daily basis.”
Friedersdorf twists logic to portray genuine conservative pundits as “coastal media elites,” telling their fans, magazine writers like him laugh at them—but all will be well if they only listen to and learn from alleged conservative Conor Friedersdorf.
Conservatives aren’t dumb, according to him, they’re “quaint,” lacking his “savvy” and “cynicism.” Yet, he would be their one smart true friend and would be their guide. Reading such egotistical nonsense, one’s left wondering if Friedersdorf is in need of media criticism, or hospitalization for a mental disorder.
A duck is a duck, Friedersdorf thinks, attacks, and writes like a liberal. But the tagline often found under his name says conservative. While I’d agree that a horse could be defined down to a horse’s ass, there is no honest way of defining him as a conservative.
Still, if he’s intent on falsely labeling himself one, perhaps there is no better place for him than under a seemingly mentally deteriorating randy Andy Sullivan, who gave up anonymously trolling for unprotected gay sex with HIV positive men on the Internet, only to become obsessed with Sarah Palin’s uterus. Not quite daily dishes, the two do make quite a set.
I gather Sullivan will enjoy non-conservative Friedersdorf’s services below him at The Atlantic. If one has a useful idiot available, one may as well make good use of him, somehow, I suppose.