The Washington Post’s William Arkin has undertaken another response to his critics. It’s titled “Demonization and Responsibility.” We know where the demonization comes in; Arkin writes: “For the critics, I have become the enemy and have been demonized.” But where is the responsibility?
It isn’t in evidence in Arkin’s latest salvo. Arkin writes:
The torrents of other mail — biting, fanatical, threatening — represent the worst of polarized and hate-filled America.
But there is no acknowledgement that Arkin’s own column, in which he viciously attacked American soldiers serving in Iraq–and, no, it wasn’t just the “mercenary” tag–in fact represented “the worst of polarized and hate-filled America.”
Arkin praises, sort of, the reaction he has gotten from active duty servicemen:
The many e-mails I’ve gotten privately from people serving in the military are, not surprisingly, the most respectful and reflective. Some correspondents are downright indignant, some are sarcastic, and most are hurt by the “mercenary” epithet and my commentary. But they are philosophical about their service and where we are in the war and the country today.
What Arkin fails to acknowledge is that his original tirade was a denunciation of comments by soldiers in Iraq, who answered questions about the home front posed by NBC News in just the same “respectful and reflective” spirit shown by recent emailers.
Arkin says that his editors insist that he stop writing about this topic for now. A good idea, no doubt, but many will now read what Arkin writes on other topics with a more jaundiced eye. Arkin talks about the hazards of the blog format, and he has a point: my original post on his anti-military tirade was titled The Peril of Newspaper Blogs. It will be interesting to see how Arkin’s relationship with the Post develops from here.
Via Power Line News.