Thursday, March 27, 2008

The denouncing-renouncing game

This excellent column by FIU faculty member/New York Times columnist Stanley Fish denounces and renounces the denouncing game the media and the talk-radio racket love to play:
In politics, and in much of the rest of life, being held responsible for your own words comes with the territory. Once you’ve opened your big mouth, others have a perfect right to ask, “Do you really mean that?” or “What did you mean by that?” or “If you say that, would you also say…?” (a question that usually has you frantically disassociating yourself from Hitler). But why should you be held responsible for words spoken by someone else, even if that someone else is a person you work with or share a bed with? I frequently say things that make my wife cringe, but whatever blame attaches to my utterances certainly should not be extended to her, and it would be entirely inappropriate to ask her to denounce me or to fault her if she didn’t.


Josh said...

It depresses me to no end to imagine what absolutely ridiculous and meaningless "controversy" is going to end up possibly determining or at least significantly impacting this election, ala Swift Boat, Jane Fonda blah blah blah. We'll find out Obama has a sizable porn collection or undertips at restaurants and that'll be the end of it.

Tal said...

I had no idea Mr. Fish worked at FIU. I'm a fan; and yes, an astute piece.

kiss out the jams said...

excellent. will fall on deaf, powerful ears.