Hoping for a Better Sort of Critic

Earlier this week I wrote a post critical of Republicans silencing Senator Elizabeth Warren on the Senate floor.

I don’t think they should have done that. They took a dog-bites-man story about a far-left Senator railing against a Trump nominee and turned into a man-bites-dog situation.

That was a blunder.

But in my post I referred to Senator Warren – accurately, I think – as a fool.

This has inspired a rash of outrage from liberal readers, prompting them question my integrity and renew their vows to never, ever read anything I write ever again.

“Those who share his ideology may often enjoy immersing themselves in his rhetoric,” one letter writer, a Mr. Allen Erickson of Fargo, says of my work. “He will rarely challenge them to be thoughtful or to defend their views.”

What an ironic thing to say give what triggered Erickson’s letter. If I’m some Republican loyalist, then why would I wrote a post critical of Republicans for silencing a Democrat, even if I wasn’t exactly complimentary of the Democrat in question?

I am routinely critical of Republicans. Perhaps not as often as our friends on the left would like me to be, but what can I say.

I am no liberal.

What’s remarkable is how often my critics toss around rote accusations about journalist integrity and partisanship despite a lack of evidence to demonstrate a) that I’m in the habit of getting things factually wrong or b) that I have any compunctions¬†about calling out what I perceive as political stupidity whatever its partisan flavor.

What drives much of this criticism, I’m afraid, is angst over being confronted with viewpoints which make the critics feel uncomfortable.

But they can’t just come out and say that. So instead it’s unsubstantiated¬†aspersions and straw man attacks.

Oh well. That sort of thing goes with the territory in this line of work.

And I’m not so much complaining as I’m just disappointed that my work doesn’t inspire a more interesting sort of criticism.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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