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Conservative “Stalinism”



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A couple of years ago, Tim Noah and Jacob Weisberg wrote separate articles positing the existence of a “Conintern” that kept conservative writers and thinkers in line. The methodology was pretty simple: When one conservative agreed with another, they were marching in lockstep; when a conservative disagreed with another, he was trying to enforce the party line. Tim Noah is revisiting this question, and finding more evidence to support his thesis: viz., a “study” of the styles of attitudinizing in the Wall Street Journal and Washington Times vs. the Washington Post and New York Times. The evidence looks to me like a result of the conservative papers’ being more up-front about their ideological commitments than the liberal ones are. If you want to strike a pose of Olympian detachment, certain attacks have to be insinuated rather than simply advanced. I prefer the honest approach. And I don’t think Timothy Noah is in any position to be condemning nastiness in political advocacy anyway.



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