2007-09-12

Tim Blair continues to be an idiot


I just read this piece of tripe from Tim Blair:
The day after 9/11 a friend went to dinner with some Australian publishing types. He still works with these muppets, so I won’t identify him, but I will record his description of their mood that night.

They were happy. Not dance-about-the-room Hamas happy, but satisfied happy. America had been taught a lesson. These folk would imagine themselves to be educated, sensitive, intellectual, creative ... yet their response to the murder of nearly 3,000 innocent people by fascist maniacs was to voice a smug contentment; at last, the US got what was coming to it.

Contrast their post-9/11 views to those of Formula One drivers preparing to compete in the 2001 Italian Grand Prix, as reported by Matt Bishop in the May 2007 edition of F1 Racing (no link available):

It’s barely 100 hours since we all watched what would be known simply as ‘9/11’ play out, live, on our TV screens. Like you, like me, like everyone, F1’s biggest stars are still shell-shocked ...

They’re shrugging, grimacing, and muttering words like “bastards” or “bâtards” or “bastardos” or “bastardi” or, in Kimi Raikkonen’s case, and I overhear him utter the word in exactly the context I’m describing, to a Finnish journalist, “äpärä”.


These guys drive cars for a living. Most have no university education. Which might explain why they’re so morally advanced compared to Australian bookniks.

So, what do we learn from Blair here?
  1. Since Blair is a member of New Limited, the "Pubilshing types" he speaks of are essentially non-Murdoch. Thus non-Murdoch media hate America and like it when people die.
  2. That intellectuals like people dying.
  3. It's okay to make broad insults against people you don't like without providing any evidence whatsoever.
What can I say except that it is typical of this guy's lack of intellect that he would come up with such tripe. If this is the guy who edits the Letters to the Daily Telegraph - a publication that seeks to dumb down ordinary Australians - then there is no wonder that people are so confused about important issues like the Iraq War and Global Warming.

To me, Blair has no credibility. Moreover, those who admire him lose credibility of their own.

3 comments:

BLBeamer said...

I'm an American evangelical. We probably have a great many more areas where we agree than not. However, your uncharitable comments about Tim Blair I believe were unfair. I don't believe Tim Blair meant for his observations to be taken quite so literally, for one thing.

However, here in the US there are and have been intellectuals who have endorsed exactly that of which Blair has accused them. Unfortunately those comments are not limited to intellectuals.

I used to regularly visit an evangelical website in the US which was predominantly leftist. I quit visiting when many of those who expressed outrage about theoretical quantities of Americans "without health care", felt that my sorrow for those 100 or so Jewish folks murdered in the daycare in Buenos Aires was "overblown".

Dave Lankshear said...

OK beamer, then don't take Neil's comments so literally either! You can't have it both ways... you can't ask us not to be offended at Tim Blair's silly misinformed whining broad-scale attacks, and then be offended at some very specific and very reasoned arguments from Neil.

Right wing Global Warming deniers are going to have a lot to answer for one day. Beamer, crass generalizations by journalists trying to be "oh so outrageous!" just for ratings — and pandering to the worst in people — should sound your alarm as strongly as the heartless lefty website you went to. Weird websites on the net are one thing. A journalist using his position to generalise, stir trouble, and turn public opinion against thousands of scientists sounding the alarm that our planet is dying, well that's just orders of magnitude worse, and I can't believe you're being taken in by it.

BLBeamer said...

Dave Lankshear - My goodness. Calling someone an idiot is a well reasoned argument? My lawyer friends would just love to have you as the opposition in court any day.

I didn't address the Global Warming issue. I only pointed out the fact that Blair's comment about "intellectuals like people dying" was specifically true in at least a few examples in the US. In case your attention has wandered, that means Tim got one right and Neil didn't.

I don't happen to believe the planet is "dying" (at least in the way you mean), and unless I miss my guess neither does Neil. I do happen to respect the opinion of scientists. Thank God, real science advances by skepticism, inquiry and study not by consensus.