Saturday, February 26, 2005

Defending Jarvis

Amidst the flurry of posts surrounding the well-publicized email correspondence between Jeff "King of All Bloggers" Jarvis and New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller about the state of the media today and its ever more complicated relationship with the blogosphere, Eric Alterman and Armando from Daily Kos take the opportunity to label Jarvis a "right-wing media gadfly" with nary a peep in the man's defense from Left-leaning bloggers, presumably for his softball coverage of the pro-occupation Iraqi bloggers and overzealous defense of the same.

I think we're all agreed that Jeff is a gadfly, but a right-winger? Come on! Have we become so intolerant of contrarian thought that we have to go all Trotsky on dissenters? In his own defense at BuzzMachine, Jarvis writes:

: I voted for John Kerry, though reluctantly.
: I voted for Bill Clinton, eagerly.
: I am dying to vote for Hillary Clinton.
: I vote Democratic in local races in my corner of New Jersey, when they have the guts to run.
: I am pro-choice.
: I opposed the Bush tax cuts.
: I am against school vouchers.
: I am for gay marriage and quit the Presbyterian Church over its bigotry against gays.
: I am for universal health care.
: I fight for free speech in America and elsewhere.
: I wrote a cover story for The Nation.

Not exactly Zell Miller, is he? "But judge him by his deeds!" I'm told to do. Fine. Jarvis' undefatigable defense of Howard Stern from the very outset of the radio personality's troubles with the FCC should be proof enough of his committment to the liberal cause. Too many Lefties I know squeamishly equivocate when pressed about Stern and his First Amendment rights, feeling the need to disavow the man entirely before mumbling their support of his right to say whatever he wants on the air. Not Jarvis. He's always been on the right side when it comes to free speech issues, and at the end of the day I'd rather have a thousand more like him (however much an occasional pain in the ass) in the liberal fold than people who are willing to disavow someone for daring to disagree on occasion.

No comments: