Bad Apples and the Barrel
Glenn Greenwald argues that cherry picking outrageous comments at liberal blogs (in this particular case, hundreds that expressed dismay that yesterday’s suicide bomber was unsuccessful in murdering Vice President Cheney) and claiming they represent mainstream liberal thought is intellectually dishonest. Further, he notes that many who are outraged at the comments of anonymous commenters seem not to have problems with outrageous utterances by high profile conservative pundits like Ann Coulter.
I’m in absolute agreement. It would, however, as Jeff Goldstein and Patrick Frey point out, be helpful if Greenwald himself didn’t have a history of cherry picking outrageous comments at conservative blogs and claiming they represent mainstream conservative thought.
That his own behavior is inconsistent with what he is argument does not, of course, invalidate the argument; that falls under the ad hominem tu quoque fallacy. Still, it would add to its persuasiveness if his words and deeds were in alignment.