During the last round of the endless Esmay imbroglio, I followed a link from Esmay’s site to an anonymous blog that invoked me, gratuitously and without any specific examples of inaccuracies in my writing, in writing about the alleged sins of Little Green Footballs:
To top it off, LGF has become an Internet Book Tour for anti-Muslim viewpoints from non-Muslims (yes, I believe that the head of Jihad Watch can actually present a completely unbiased view of the Muslim community ““ NOT).
You’re right, of course, whoever you are. The head of Jihad Watch cannot actually present a completely unbiased view of the Muslim community. Nor has the head of Jihad Watch ever claimed to present a completely unbiased view of the Muslim community.
If you find someone who presents a completely unbiased view of the Muslim community, you have discovered the elusive unicorn, and out-Diogenesed Diogenes. If you find someone who claims to present a completely unbiased view of the Muslim community, you have found a liar.
In fact, the head of Jihad Watch is biased. Quite spectacularly biased.
The head of Jihad Watch is biased against the proponents of a totalitarian, genocidal ideology that has announced its intention to destroy Western civilization and subjugate all those outside that ideology. The head of Jihad Watch is biased against those who would ignore, deny, or make excuses for the adherents of this totalitarian, genocidal ideology. The head of Jihad Watch is biased against liars and deceivers, and those who abet jihad terrorism in any way.
I agree with the publisher of the Atlanta Constitution, Ralph McGill, who wrote this in 1963: “I believe in being strongly partisan on issues which require a choice. There are some newspapers which are mute and others which carefully engage only editors with chronic laryngitis. But there comes a time in all controversies when one must hit the issue right on the nose or turn tail and die a little.”
I agree with William Cobbett, publisher of the colonial-era Federalist newspaper, the Porcupine’s Gazette: “To profess impartiality here would be as absurd as to profess it in a war between virtue and vice, good and evil, happiness and misery.” Indeed. Impartiality between the jihadists and their victims? No, thank you.
I agree with the New Jersey printer who wrote in 1798, according to Cynthia Crossen in the Wall Street Journal: “The times demand decision: there is a right and a wrong, and the printer, who under the specious name of impartiality jumbles both truth and falsehood into the same paper, is either doubtful of his own judgment or is governed by ulterior motives.”
All that said, does that mean that anything I have written here, or in my books, or monographs, or articles, is inaccurate? If you think so, bring it. Bias does not equal inaccuracy, and I stand by what I have written. Attempts to show me wrong have thus far involved unsupported, sweeping generalizations, or outright falsehoods, or ludicrous errors and misrepresentations on the part of the one making the charges.
And one thing all those people who made those charges have in common: they’re all biased. It may surprise you to learn, in fact, that bias is universal and inescapable. No one can escape his point of view. The virtue of the early partisan press of the United States was that in those days newsmen owned up to their biases, whereas today those biases are just as strong, but covered over by a profession of objectivity that is as hollow as it is impossible.
Likewise in academia: professors like Omid Safi and Carl Ernst preen and strut in the Emperor’s New Clothes of academic objectivity, which they think will hide the fact that they are nothing more and nothing less than shallow and manipulative propagandists.
Not that I mind the bias of the professors. I don’t mind it at all. They can’t escape it, after all, and just as I ask that my own work be judged on its accuracy or inaccuracy, so I believe theirs should be also. Biases should be noted and held in mind as an interpretative tool, but never used to dismiss anyone’s work out of hand. That would be like dismissing the writings of everyone who has a nose on his face. What I despise about Safi and Ernst and their ilk is the sham of their objectivity, but their work is not worthless because of their biases; it is worthless because it is inaccurate and propagandistic — as I have shown of Safi at Dhimmi Watch and of Ernst (quite briefly) in my new book.
In any case, all those engaged in this new “rightosphere” (whatever that is) crusade against bias in reporting about jihad should beware of placing themselves in an impossible and untenable position.
Oh yes, I’m biased, and so are you. And when it comes to the ideology of jihad and Sharia supremacism, you should be, if you have any moral sense left at all. It is time, in McGill’s words, either to hit the issue right on the nose or to turn tail and die a little.
One final word: before you tell me again not to dignify these silly attacks with responses, please note that I am replying not in order to engage in a discussion with those with whom rational discussion has proved impossible, but in order to illustrate certain principles and bring certain truths to light — principles and truths that are larger than one particular reply to some anonymous sniping blogpost — for people of good will.