[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Pitts Lives Down To His Name

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pitts Lives Down To His Name

Leonard Pitts' latest column slamming Ann Coulter is shocking to me, not because of his criticism of Coulter's recent comments regarding Christianity and Jews (I mostly agree with Pitts), but because of his thinly veiled attempt to label mainstream conservatives as wackos.

Here's the part of the column I found so surprising:

While some of us are cheerfully assuring one another that They Don't Really Mean It, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports that the number of hate groups in this country has risen by a whopping 40 percent in just the last seven years. If you had spent those years, as I have, jousting in print the agents of intolerance, you would not be surprised. It would be all but impossible to quantify, but I've noted a definite spike, not simply in the hatefulness of some people, but in the willingness to speak that hatefulness openly and without shame. What used to be anonymous now comes with a name and address.

Like Coulter, many of those people find intellectual cover under the cloak of conservatism. It is a development that thoughtful conservatives (the very need to use that qualifier makes the case) ought to view with alarm. For all that Colin Powell, J.C. Watts, the presidents Bush and others have done to posit a friendly new ''big tent'' conservatism, Coulter and others have done even more to drag the movement back toward open intolerance.

That will be read as criticism of conservatism, but I intend a larger point. After all, liberalism has had its own unfortunate extremes -- the drug use of the '60s, the Weather Underground, the Symbionese Liberation Army and the like. The difference is, say what you will about Michael Moore or Jesse Jackson, they are not pushing back toward that which has been discredited. Coulter is.

If this came from just any pinhead far lefty out there, I would understand. But Pitts won a Pulitzer Prize 3 years ago, so we should hold him to a higher standard.

To imply that conservatives have to label themselves as "thoughtful" tells me that he thinks that most conservatives really are a bunch of extremists. Yes, Mr. Pitts, I do read that as not just a criticism of conservatives, but a very biased and naive view as well. God forbid for me to say that conservatives can be just as reasonable and normal as anyone else.

Pitts' attempt at balance by bringing up extreme liberal groups would have been fine, except he didn't stop while he was ahead. By invoking Jesse Jackson and Michael Moore (he brought them up, not me), and claiming that their record and previous statements aren't "pushing back toward that which has been discredited" is nothing short of flawed thinking. Has Pitts forgotten about Jackson's "Heimy Town" remarks? Jackson's friendly meetings with fidel castro, shouting "viva fidel"? If this hack can remember, so can a Pulitzer Prize winner. If the sentiments behind those statements haven't been discredited by now, they never will.

Michael Moore? Let's not even go there.

Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised that an honored member of the MSM can expose his biases so openly. On the other hand, this is a good thing because it brings to light and justifies many of our claims against previous Pitts columns.

In the end, Coulter, Pitts, and everyone in between have a right to express themselves freely. It also shows us who to believe and who not to.

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3 Comments:

Blogger George L. Moneo said...

I'll take Ann Coulter at her worst over this racist asshole Pitts at his best. I'm still seething about what he compared us to during the Elian debacle.

8:11 PM, October 17, 2007  
Blogger nonee moose said...

Neither of them should be taken at ehir worst.

9:46 AM, October 18, 2007  
Blogger Felipe Fernandez said...

I can't believe that you are surprised by Pitts. Here, you have a fellow who can write well with much compassion and empathy but that at the same time shows the little intellectual depth characteristic of the politically incorrect of the culture. I know him as the "Theologian in residence" of the Miami Herald due to his"impressive" understanding of Christianity. I wish him well but, as a columnist, I have no use for him

1:48 PM, October 26, 2007  

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