Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Matt Labash Lives in a Glass House

One has to feel sorry for Matt Labash. He's a political humor writer, and uses his personal and family experiences in his writing. His bio at The Weekly Standard gives his two sons names: Luke and Dean, and he includes them in his writing by name, age and with conversational snippets. Yet, Labash apparently thinks it is Sarah Palin's fault that her children get savaged in the press because she exposes them to the public.

Unfortunately Labash does his share to make sure that mean personal reaction gets published in the national press, like The Weekly Standard. Labash doesn't publish this trash in the context that there is something wrong with the tweets, but implies that there is something wrong with Sarah Palin (and, by extension, her husband Todd) for being in a television series on Alaska with their children.
". . . [T]he online hyenas circled, then savaged Palin and her family. They reamed 9-year-old Piper for disturbing wildlife with 'racist anti-bear calls.' They mocked Willow when a boy snuck upstairs as Palin busied herself on her BlackBerry. They came up with baby names for any forthcoming Palin children: Snausages, Musket, Hugh Betcha, Pander, and Mooseknuckle.

"Does any of this matter to Palin? Probably not. She must be used to it by now. But her family is not acclimating so seamlessly to their new reality-television roles. Her daughters, just a few days ago, got in a widely reported Facebook scrape, with Willow electing to defend the family honor when the show was trashed by an old classmate for 'failing so hard.' Willow, in turn, invited him to 'stfu, Your [sic] such a faggot.' Willow has a lot of growing up to do. Literally—she’s only 16, and what 16-year-old would want those growing pains played out in public?"
The lesson Labash seems to take away is that the Palin parents should stay out of sight, even so innocuous sight as a series promoting the beauties and wonder of Alaska, so that no one will bother the Palin children.

Will Labash himself do that if someone starts targeting his boys? Will he stop his public writing? If he doesn't give up his writing career, will that mean that unfair public criticism of his sons doesn't matter to him?

Labash faults Palin for
". . . going rogue . . . . Letting it fly. Following your gut. Which has made Sarah Palin wealthy, and intensely discussed, and now has secured her a spot in the Reality TV Star pantheon. And good for Palin if she’s happy following her gut.

"Though there’s no compelling reason to suggest the rest of us should tag along behind."
What's interesting is that Palin has not let "it fly" or followed her "gut" like Labash has.

Palin has committed no felonies nor been compelled to retract and pay for publicly libeling someone. Matt Labash, on the other hand, let fly an article against Deepak Chopra, and probably committed a felony in the act of gathering his resource material. He didn't get charged with a felony, but The Weekly Standard had to pony up settlement money and issue a complete retraction for Labash's piece.

You'd think that someone living in the glass house that Matt Labash lives in would be, if not wise enough, at least empathetic enough to see how dangerous his position is to his own career and family.

Beyond the personal implications of Labash's position, apparently he doesn't see how antithetical it is to the nation's democratic political process.

If we don't start fighting back against this barbarianism, whether we we dislike the person being pilloried or not, the nation will soon come to the place where good people flee all association with politics--including writing sometimes not so humorous* pieces about it.

A prudent man sees evil and hides himself,
The naive proceed and pay the penalty.

Proverbs 27:12
*The one truly humorous part of Labash's piece comes in his last sentence conclusion that he can find no compelling reason to "tag along behind" Sarah Palin. One would have wished he had recognized that before spending 2,000 plus words tagging along behind. It's also a sentence of hope. Perhaps no more Labash pieces on Palin?

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