Calvin Freiburger

Hot Post: The Shameless Hypocrisy of Character Assassin David Frum

Posted on October 17 2010 5:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

This hot post was first published October 12 here.

NewsRealBlog’s shocking report on Alex Knepper’s pro-pedophile tendencies has received plenty of coverage in the blogosphere, and today we finally received a response from David Frum. At the end of the piece, Frum reveals that because an “agreement [could not] be reached on the moral and ethical standards” that ought to govern the FrumForum community, he has terminated his relationship with Knepper.

Most of the reply, however, is devoted to a vicious attack on this website, for the unpardonable sin of bringing to light conduct that Frum himself considers serious enough to warrant termination:

NewsRealBlog’s behavior in this case was vicious, invasive and outrageous. I wonder what would remain of the reputations of NewsRealBlog’s editors if their expectations of privacy were ripped away, if their private emails were published, their sexual fantasies and peculiarities exposed to public view.

NewsRealBlog’s editors have fused high school cyber-bullying and New Left character assassination. They have relentlessly harried and pursued somebody himself only months out of his own adolescence. They bombarded him with accusations long before they did the snooping that provided their squalid evidence. They have sought to destroy a career in the midst of the worst job market for young journalists since the 1930s, all to settle a private score.

I will leave it to David Swindle and Jenn Q. Public to defend their report if they so choose. For my part, I think a trip down Memory Lane is in order. David Frum is one of the last men on Earth who has any moral standing to level these accusations, because he and his website believe in, regularly deploy, and excuse others who deploy “New Left character assassination.” FrumForum has been responsible for some of the most egregious character assassination attempts ever to poison the center-right half of the blogosphere.

Exhibit A: Most of us at NRB consider Rush Limbaugh a valuable conservative spokesman. David Frum infamously does not, and that’s okay. Rhetorical tone and political tactics are worthwhile topics of debate. Frum, however, does far more than criticize conduct he finds objectionable. In March 2009, he penned a Newsweek column in which he smeared not only Limbaugh’s words, but his motives as well:

Rush knows what he is doing. The worse conservatives do, the more important Rush becomes as leader of the ardent remnant. The better conservatives succeed, the more we become a broad national governing coalition, the more Rush will be sidelined […] He claims 20 million listeners per week, and that suffices to make him a very wealthy man. And if another 100 million people cannot stand him, what does he care? What can they do to him other than … not listen? It’s not as if they can vote against him. But they can vote against Republican candidates for Congress. They can vote against Republican nominees for president.

According to Frum, Limbaugh knowingly and deliberately kneecaps the Right’s attempts to advance and implement conservative principles, simply to enrich and empower himself. Frum takes offense when others attempt “mind-readings” of his own motives, but has no qualms about his own dabbling in amateur telepathy.

Exhibit B: In May 2009, notorious partial-birth abortionist George Tiller was murdered by a single pro-life extremist, a crime to which the pro-life movement responded with unambiguous condemnation. The Left, of course, responded by suggesting the broader conservative movement shared the blame for Tiller’s death, particularly Bill O’Reilly, because he dared to cover the fact that Tiller was gruesomely killing viable babies while possibly letting the rapes of girls fourteen and under go unreported. Frum joined in on the smear, first by uncritically linking to a Gawker post that characterized O’Reilly’s coverage as a “holy war,” “harassing,” and a “jihad”; then by publishing a post by the FrumForum editors lecturing the pro-life movement that “a broader self-examination is called for if we wish to claim in good conscience that our hands are clean of the next victim’s blood.”

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