Friday, 5 August 2011

Monbiot's smears - and a small appeal

This latest piece from Media Lens alerts us to the false claims and castigations being made by writer and Guardian columnist George Monbiot

A small appeal to reason and 'mind-balance':

Dear George 

I've been thinking about the detrimental effects that acrimonious exchanges can have on one's inner well being. 

Personally, I often find such engagement pretty dispiriting. There's the initial rush to prove a point, to defend one's corner, to 'win the argument' - all valid endeavours, particularly when there's a high-octane issue at stake, such as the move to war, climate change or Palestine-Israel. 

But it should always be followed by some semblance of critical self-reflection and careful reappraisal of one's position. 

Sometimes, in the extreme heat of an argument, we may also lapse into less reverential language. All of which is both understandable and regrettable. 

Other language, however, carries much more serious weight. 

You have charged Chomsky, Herman, Peterson, Pilger and Media Lens with being 'genocide deniers/belittlers/apologists'. 

For what it's worth, I think you've made a profound intellectual mistake here and what may prove to be a disastrous error of judgement. 

In continuing to smear people so far removed from the possibility of ever denying, belittling or apologising for genocide, you've placed the rearguard defence of your own status above that of rational evidence. 

Is the pursuit, at all costs, of that indefensible position really more important than the need for intellectual accuracy and honest admission? 

Kind regards 

John Hilley

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