See what I mean?
(Via Brian Leiter.)
This is the kind of thing that happens when you take people like Davey Horowitz seriously. As Christopher Schroen brought to our attention the other day, Michael Bérubé, a professor from Penn State, had agreed to a sort of cyber-debate with Horowitz, consisting of back and forth missives that would be posted on Horowitz's website FrontPage Magazine. Oh, and the subject of the debate was: "Is the Left in Bed With Terrorists?" This alone should have been enough for Bérubé to realize that this was not a good idea.
But Bérubé went through with it, only to find--surprise, surprise--that Horowitz was incapable of conducting himself in an ethical manner:
But when I went to the FrontPage site to check out the debate, I found that almost all my replies to David had been cut from the conversation, and that Glazov and Horowitz, after chopping all the stuff Id written, slapped me upside the head for not replying to them:
FP: Prof. Berube, it was clear to you that, in this second round, you just had your final turn. We had ascertained that this would be your final opportunity to discuss each of the points that Mr. Horowitz would raise, and that Mr. Horowitz would then have a final reply. And yet, this is all you have to contibute [sic] to what was supposed to be an intellectual dialogue.
Mr. Horowitz, what is your take here on Prof. Berubes contribution to our second and last round?
DH: This answer from Michael Berube is disappointing but not surprising. As I have already observed, the left has become so intellectually lazy from years of talking to itself (and at everyone else) that it has lost the ability to conduct an intellectual argument with its opponents.
Well, holy infant Jesus with a rattlesnake, folks what a shabby little stunt. First they refuse to publish my responses, and then they chastise me for not responding to them? What is going on over there at FrontPage are they smoking crack, or are they just giving up altogether? Did they think maybe I wouldnt notice that fifteen paragraphs of mine had somehow disappeared from the text of the debate? ...
Now, of course, I know what youre thinking Michael, didnt you see this coming? why did you expect that Horowitz and his minions would reproduce your every word? And the answer, straight from the man who brings you Mister Answer Man, is this: I had every reason to expect that theyd print my replies in full, because last time around, two years ago, thats exactly what they did ... But this time, they simply decided to cheat, editing out almost everything I wrote back to them in the second round, and then, incredibly, declaring victory because I didnt reply to them ...
The moral of the story?
Horowitz isnt just a far-right ideologue. Hes also a sorry old fraud.
Well ... yes. And, according to Bérubé, he is a fraud with diminishing credibility even from his own comrades:
think about how often Horowitz complains that the intellectual left doesnt take him seriously, doesnt read his books, and so on. Whats weird about this, youll probably have noticed by now, is that American left intellectuals are just about the only thinkers who pay any attention to Horowitz at all. Most of the countrys serious intellectual conservatives consider him either a useful rabble-rouser or a rank embarrassment, more akin to Michael Savage than to Michael Oakeshott. And with good reason.
I don't say this often, but I think on this issue we should take a page from the "serious" conservatives: stop responding to David Horowitz as if he were trying to establish a rational dialogue, and start treating him like the human joke that he is.