James Taranto is an experienced columnist with a healthy sense of humor. When feminists attack he welcomes it because, like hecklers to a comedian, they only make his show better. On June 17, 2013 Taranto’s op-ed (1) about a war on men was published in The Wall Street Journal. The next day he had roused enough frothy bile from rabid feminists that he followed up with a response (2) on June 19th that exceeded the excellence of his original article. Since his critics do such a sloppy job of summarizing what Taranto’s article is about I’ll give you his more accurate version from the reply.
“To recap briefly: Sen. Claire McCaskill has placed a “permanent hold” on the nomination of Gen. Susan Helms to be vice commander of the Air Force Space Command. McCaskill is punishing Helms for having granted clemency to an officer under her command, Capt. Matthew Herrera, who was convicted of aggravated sexual assault.
We reviewed the facts and concluded that Helms was correct in holding that the prosecution case was so weak as to make the conviction unjust. (Herrera did not escape punishment: He pleaded guilty to an “indecent act” and was involuntarily discharged from the service.)”
While Taranto’s wit needs no choir for backup there are some wonderful muffs he failed to penetrate. I’ll go diving in.
Jezebel’s Katie J.M. Baker offers an extravaganza of lunacy (3) faithfully cheered on by her devoted disciples in the comments section who are too obtuse to see the inconsistency of her hastily chosen words. Most likely they just don’t care if it makes sense. The day after Mr. Taranto’s article was published, Baker declares to her fans that she is definitely not “freaking out.” All evidence suggests otherwise.
In addition to writing “HE IS THE WORST” in all caps, Baker is unable to control the urge to use phrases like “slimy,” “woman-hating troll,” and “overwhelmingly horrible.” She’s not freaked out, she’s just overwhelmed. She is, in fact, so frenzied that she complains she hasn’t gotten a reply from WSJ editors to an email she sent just that morning. Take a deep breath Katie and remember they have real jobs. As she points out, “Wall Street Journal, [is] the best-selling newspaper in the country” but she fails to imagine that they got there by choosing good editors. When Katie calms down she may figure out that reminding people of how successful they are is not a good prelude to effectively questioning their ability to manage their own affairs.
Calm people don’t start campaigns to get someone fired, that’s what vindictive people do.
It’s hysterical to write “I’m not interested in engaging with Taranto” in an article all about him and his work. She probably didn’t get a response from the editors because by the time they read her email stating that Taranto’s piece “doesn’t foster discussion or present an interesting viewpoint” they could see that it had fostered her article. Bloggers worth speaking to don’t write articles about uninteresting people. Baker is either not worth replying to or she is lying.
I find Katie Baker’s viewpoint very interesting. I wonder how someone whose article discredits its own assertions manages to get published. Fascinating. She is a gruesome form of entertainment — if you like watching people repeatedly hit themselves in their own face.
June 18 was a busy day for Katies. Over at Salon, Katie McDonough published her bizarre response (4) that begins with calling Taranto a “well-practiced troll” and attempting to prove it by linking to one of her own articles published in WSJ. Trolling happens when you put your fishing line in someone else’s pool. When he’s writing on his own site and you are going there to read it, you’re actually in his pool.
These feminists do love to redefine words.
In explaining the art of becoming a rape apologist, the “five easy steps” that McDonough lists are actually lazy leaps of illogic on the part of the writer. Step one involves quoting her own article (5) that asserts rape in the military is increasing instead of linking to one by a third party that debunks (6) that assertion.
There is little doubt that McDonough is happy deferring to her own authority when rushed for time. In conclusion Katie 2 is outraged Taranto won’t accept that a guy not even accused of rape committed the act of rape. This glitch in her reasoning happened because feminists like her are proffering the myth that all men are rapists who just haven’t raped yet. That’s actually not true, Katie.
Now we move onward to “recklessness.” When Taranto described Capt. Herrara’s behaviour as reckless, even if not rape or sexual assault, and stated that his accuser was also acting recklessly, McDonough claims he was implying the girl asked to be raped. Katie, there was no rape.
Step three involves not using a dictionary.
The next screwball stride can only be accomplished if you forget the testimony which showed the accuser to be unreliable came from a woman. Lt. Michelle Dickinson, who was present and the only one sober at the time of the incident, contradicted all evidence given by the accuser. It was not a case, as McDonough asserts, of “he said/she said” in which what “he” said was given more weight. It came down to “she said/she said” and weight was given to the sober one.
The final farce is that she faults Taranto for not asking what happened to the accuser. The reason we keep calling this woman “the accuser” is because no one knows her name. We’re legally not allowed to know who she is.
Katie McDonough has a very interesting viewpoint. I wonder how someone whose article discredits her own ability to reason manages to get published.
James Taranto has not only written a great article and a respectable reply to the furious flurry of feminist wrath, he’s managed to prove that Wall Street Journal editors are incredibly smart. I think Taranto deserves a raise. I’d like to hear more from him on the subject of gender wars. He seems like a clever bloke to know.
If Taranto is a cockroach he is the free verse poet from Archy and Mehitabel.(7) Though I share his sentiment that the underlying destruction of men’s lives is extremely serious, I’ll leave you with his thoughts on why the twitstorm didn’t scare him:
“We can take the abuse. In fact, in this instance we delight in it, not only because we see the humor but because it proves us right.”
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