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What part of "NOT" doesn't Tim Blair understand?

March 16th, 2004

My posts on the Spanish election outcome have generated plenty of discussion and trackbacks, both here and in the crossposting at Crooked Timber, but nothing as bizarrely obtuse as this piece from Tim Blair. He quotes (without the emphasis I’ve added[1]) the final para

“The key element of the case against Blair, Aznar and Howard is not that they’ve stepped to the forefront of the war against terrorism when prudence would have dictated leaving the Americans to fight it by themselves,” writes Australian economist John Quiggin. “Rather it’s that they’ve aided and abetted the Bush administration in its decision to use the war against terrorism as a pretext for settling old and unrelated scores.”

then, after a long digression on the Spanish Caliphate, comes back to my post, reading as if the word not had been omitted, saying “leaving America to fight this war by itself would be “prudent” to the point of shame.”

With sufficient ill-will, it would be possible, as one of Tim’s commenters suggests, to read this as not only. But no-one who read the entire post could possibly sustain this.

Update In a long and tedious comments thread to his post, Tim Blair stands on his right to misrepresent anyone whose words he finds ambiguous, and is backed up by his inane cheer squad. I used to wonder how Blair could believe in the WMD story, not only before the war, but as recently as October last year. Now that I’ve seen the reality filter in action, I don’t wonder any more.

fn1. The emphasis was included in an email I sent Tim, protesting about a previous similarly bizarre episode in which he put up my Monday Message Board notice (posted, as it happens, before I’d heard the outcome of the Spanish election) as my “reaction” to the election outcome. He changed this (before reading my email – reader “warbo” had already protested) but then proceeded to compound the offence in this way.

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  1. March 18th, 2004 at 17:49 | #1

    WOW such a collection of intellectuals. With Niall backing up Jason on “engagement” ,Jason backing JQ on “mental flexibility”, cs backing himself(as usual) on verb creation,Jack Strocchi explaining “overwrought”(he is the recognised expert) but don’t leave little old Mork out he is trying(begging) to be part of the group.

    How can one compete? I mean you all say how immense your intellect is all the time and we should just except that just by looking at the size of your heads.

  2. Warbo
    March 18th, 2004 at 18:00 | #2

    You’re obviously the acception to the rule.

  3. March 18th, 2004 at 18:19 | #3

    Absolutely Wardo and proud of it.

  4. Warbo
    March 18th, 2004 at 18:24 | #4

    Are you drunk? You don’t so much shoot yourself in the foot as amputate it with a laser-guided bunker-buster.

  5. March 18th, 2004 at 18:47 | #5

    Thanks Warbo!

  6. March 18th, 2004 at 20:31 | #6

    What was Gary’s point? Is it just ‘not cool’ to use big words or something??

    And re: Michael Moore and Tim Blair – I am at least consistent in that Michael Moore doesn’t annoy me either.

    Like I said… you’ve just got to know who to take seriously. Life would be too frustrating if you hold everybody to high standards of debate, so I only apply those standards to people I respect intellectually. To the others, I accept that they live outside the world of useful debate and just try to find the positive side of things… like their sense of humour. And if that fails, then I ignore them. :)

  7. Mork
    March 18th, 2004 at 21:03 | #7

    I think Gary was trying to make a point about the existence of an intellectual gulf.

  8. March 18th, 2004 at 23:37 | #8

    You know JH what they say about people obsessed with the size of their phallic symbols.

  9. zoot
    March 19th, 2004 at 01:23 | #9

    He is not a thinker, he is a comical writer
    About as comical as crab lice.

  10. Ordinary person
    March 19th, 2004 at 01:47 | #10

    What’s that mean gary? Please explain.

  11. Jess
    July 26th, 2004 at 14:42 | #11

    I’d just like to take this opportunity to say how disgusted I am by Tim Blair. He is one of the most bigoted, ignorant right wing apologists I have ever come across, and I’m embarrassed that he’s an Australian. I’m also appalled that there are actually people who support his fascist commentary. I don’t know how anyone who is even remotely well-informed could take him seriously.

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