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No Shame

By Matthew Yglesias

"No Shame"

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I wonder what it would be like to be a right-wing pundit. No sense of shame. No accountability. I could just write things like “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has an impeccable sense of timing. Just a week after the Iraq Study Group recommended a heart-to-heart with him, the president of Iran convened a conference in Tehran to examine whether the Holocaust really occurred.”

Max Boot, the author of those sentences, isn’t a fool. He isn’t ignorant. He knows Ahmadinejad doesn’t run Iran’s foreign policy and that, therefore, proposals for negotiations with Iran have nothing to do with heart-to-hearts with Ahmadinejad. He just doesn’t care. He opposes negotiation with Iran. So he wants to make negotiation with Iran look bad. So he states — falsely and knowingly — that the ISG proposed negotiations with Ahmadinejad which sounds worse than an accurate presentation of the ISG proposal would sound. He knows that his colleagues in the conservative punditocracy won’t think less of him for deliberately misleading his readers, and he knows that his editors at The Los Angeles Times would never consider saying “sorry, Max, we don’t like to print columnists who deliberately mislead our readers” for to not give free rein to whatever kind of wingnuttery some conservative wants to publish would merely confirm that the media is liberal.

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