…and watching the fur fly sure is fun.
Paul Krugman (of the for-the-forseeable-future-always-to-be-associated-with-sloppy-reporting New York Times) wrote on Tuesday:
Neil Cavuto of Fox News is an anchor, not a commentator. Yet after Baghdad’s fall he told “those who opposed the liberation of Iraq” — a large minority — that “you were sickening then, you are sickening now.” Fair and balanced.
Cavuto quickly responded:
Look, I’d much rather put my cards on the table and let people know where I stand in a clear editorial, than insidiously imply it in what’s supposed to be a straight news story. And by the way, you sanctimonious twit, no one — no one — tells me what to say. I say it. And I write it. And no one lectures me on it. Save you, you pretentious charlatan.
Journalists are Acting Like Bloggers (Literacy Weblog)
I’m interested in this exchange for several reasons. First, JawsBlog introduces Cavuto’s response as a “fisking” — even though Cavuto doesn’t quote very much of Krugman’s editorial. A fisking seems, then, to require a combination of using your opponent’s words against him or her, particularly in disdainful attacks on the personal character or professional credibility of your opponent.
On another note… “shock and awe” is embedding itself in our public language, thogh the meaning is still fluid. Jim recently sent me a link to a speech in which Kurt Vonnegut uses ironic repetition to deflate the rhetorical power of “shock and awe.” But Donald Luskin of the National Review uses the term like an old, reliable friend:
Paul Krugman took at shot at Cavuto in his Tuesday column in the New York Times — and Cavuto shot back with what can only be described as a generous serving of good old fashioned shock and awe.
The military imagery delivered by Fox and all the other news companies will be affecting our language and our culture in many ways.