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Name: Antony Loewenstein
Home: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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Friday, July 15, 2005

Unedifying spectacle

Guess who?

An over 40 smoker who loves correcting spelling mistakes. A propagandist who can't bring himself to criticise conservative leaders lest they stop sending him Christmas cards. A Court Reporter whose contribution to the journalistic canon can be summarised in one word: negligible. Any ideas yet?

Let me continue.

A man whose mates like comparing critics to Jewish concentration camp guards. (What are his kind saying about inciting hatred in the wake of the London attacks?) A meek individual whose output consists of little more than columns, criticism and bile. A writer afraid to actually report from the real world nor travel to places without an official guide.

Give up?

Yep, got it in one. Welcome to Australia's favourite son. He rather reminds me of Robert Manne's description of Herald Sun "journalist" Andrew Bolt. Reading him is like "being trapped in a small room with an angry, indignant, simple-minded man who believes the best way of convincing you that he is right, yet again, is to ridicule and shout."

For those who believe in a black and white world - so reassuring, isn't it followers? - bigotry, racism and ridiculing mental illness becomes part of the intoxicating mix.

Contribution to the world?

20 Comments:

Anonymous Phil said...

Ha, got it in the first line.. Funnily enough I have just read Manne's Monthly piece at the cafe, too right. It was pretty good but nothing that you don't see weekly in the blogsphere, by folks like moi and Anon Lefty's Boltwatch. It appears that you still need the gentrified writers of the Monthly to make something real.

Friday, July 15, 2005 12:38:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Bugger! Thought maybe it would remain more of a mystery...
Manne piece is alright - though i blogged about this a few days ago - but simply going after the Murdoch press is too bloody easy. Fairfax is often rarely better...

Friday, July 15, 2005 12:49:00 pm  
Blogger weezil said...

Tim who?

Friday, July 15, 2005 12:59:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh fer the love of pete...he smokes? That's somehow a bad thing? Jeez, could you be any more ridiculous.

Friday, July 15, 2005 1:28:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

jeez, for the love of pete, you don't get irony, do you Anon! THAT'S THE POINT!

Friday, July 15, 2005 1:31:00 pm  
Blogger Tim said...

Pete who?

Friday, July 15, 2005 3:00:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Spot on description of the man and his pitiful body of sniping and pointless work. Well said.

Blair embodies what it is to be a defender of the conservative powers - no real understanding of anything, just a repetitive and mind-numbing series of attacks upon anyone who opposes or questions the prevalent system, characterised by abuse, innuendo, pettiness, and generalisations.

And wherever you see this kind of behaviour in his writing you can expect that the "commenters" who habitually join the chorus will take things to the extreme. As they are meant to. A loud mouthed idiot with a small, vocal, ignorant cheersquad. Oh, and a love of banning dissenting contributors. Democracy, right wing style.

Saturday, July 16, 2005 4:09:00 pm  
Blogger Mike Jericho said...

Spot on description of the man and his pitiful body of sniping and pointless work. Well said.

Coming from someone who has almost certainly never met Blair, I'd say your concurrence is worth precisely zilch.


Blair embodies what it is to be a defender of the conservative powers - no real understanding of anything, just a repetitive and mind-numbing series of attacks upon anyone who opposes or questions the prevalent system, characterised by abuse, innuendo, pettiness, and generalisations.

Aside from the uninformed, petty abuse, innuendo and generalizations you've just hurled around like a dead parrot, do you have anything of substance that you can use to evidence your arguments against Blair?


And wherever you see this kind of behaviour in his writing you can expect that the "commenters" who habitually join the chorus will take things to the extreme. As they are meant to.

Coming from an ardent member of the Loewenstein chorus, that was particularly lame and hypocritical.


A loud mouthed idiot...

Tim speaks so quietly in person that the first time I met him I had to keep asking him to repeat what he'd said.


...with a small, vocal, ignorant cheersquad.

Several million people a year read Tim's blog. How many read Antony's? He has accused Tim of making no impact and contributing nothing. Please show us how he stacks up in a way that is measurable, and doesn't end up inadvertantly proving that if Tim is a zero, Antony is a negative person.


Oh, and a love of banning dissenting contributors.

That's Andrea's call, not Tim's.


Democracy, right wing style.

I have never seen Tim as ingracious or insulting to a person of whom he has no personal knowledge. All you have done is prove our estimations of Antony's readership to be spot-on.

Saturday, July 16, 2005 8:51:00 pm  
Blogger Shay said...

Wow... I just added a comment mildly critical of the Iraq war to Tim's post about bombing Leeds... You should've seen how I got jumped on! The Tim Blair readership seem like a balance of kneejerk abuse merchants, and Tim's kind of people, which means moderately intelligent people who manage to sound informed and considered in their opinions, but always manage to come to the conclusion that everything Bush or Howard does or says is right, and everything the left does or says is wrong.

Not sure if I should keep my comments restricted to Antony's blog for safety's sake, or if I should enjoy the stoush and keep on stirring them up over at Spleenville. But one thing's for sure, I'll never tick the "Notify me by email when someone replies to this post" box on my comments again.

Saturday, July 16, 2005 10:49:00 pm  
Blogger guinsPen said...

That's Andrea

TEH EVIL !!!

Sunday, July 17, 2005 12:17:00 am  
Blogger Mike Jericho said...

"...but always manage to come to the conclusion that everything Bush or Howard does or says is right, and everything the left does or says is wrong."

I'd say that your exposure to us is too limited. I've disagreed with Howard on certain issues from the start.

One of his first really appalling decisions as PM was to fire the only two Australian astronomers surveying the southern sky for potential ELE-size asteroids, as a part of an international effort.

At the time, I despised him for it. I thought it was myopic and indicative of a man who had no ability to think in the longer term.

I still hate that decision. But I must admit that his actions in response to 9/11 (as well as later terrorist attacks) were as good as anyone could have hoped from a politician. He was more of a leader than France or Germany have enjoyed over the same period. He has served our long-term interests handily.

I have also openly sided with the left over the issue of gay marriage. It drew some heat, but people have strong opinions. It's to be expected.

From my point of view, the worst ad hominem attacks have always resulted from voicing a contrary opinion on major leftist sites. One draws pure vitriol, and nothing in the way of factual opposition.

It isn't too bad here, yet, mainly because Antony hasn't garnered to himself enough fanatical, uncritical minions.

Sunday, July 17, 2005 1:22:00 am  
Blogger Andrea said...

Actually, although Tim gives me free rein to ban, I leave the final banning decision up to Tim. If he asks me to unban people I do so.

Sunday, July 17, 2005 2:10:00 am  
Blogger Mike Jericho said...

My mistake. Apologies.

Sunday, July 17, 2005 4:29:00 am  
Blogger Michael said...

"Wow... I just added a comment mildly critical of the Iraq war to Tim's post about bombing Leeds... You should've seen how I got jumped on! "

Actually Shay, you made several comments in that post, the first you defended for a little while, before accepting that the comment was particularly stupid saying: "I’m fully willing to accept that my point was daft.", then you spouted a few standard anti-war talking points about Iraq in another comment. A few readers just made deragoratory remarks, but at least three others took the time to write out fairly long replies quite effectively fisking your comments. Strangely enough at that point you seemed to find another pressing appointment to go to.

Sunday, July 17, 2005 11:21:00 am  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

So this is what happens when you get a link from Blair's blog...

Sunday, July 17, 2005 6:57:00 pm  
Blogger Andjam said...

A propagandist who can't bring himself to criticise conservative leaders lest they stop sending him Christmas cards.

Do you seriously believe that, or do you just like making stuff up?

First line of first paragraph:

An over 40 smoker who loves correcting spelling mistakes.

First line of second paragraph:

A man whose mates like comparing critics to Jewish concentration camp guards.

You go on to say that it's ok for him to smoke. Can you clarify whether or not it was fair enough for one of his mates to compare you to a Jewish concentration camp guard? Or perhaps he/she should have compared you to a non-Jewish concentration camp guard instead?

Sunday, July 17, 2005 9:41:00 pm  
Blogger David Heidelberg said...

Wow, Andrea commented on your blog. Quick ban her!!

Sunday, July 17, 2005 9:44:00 pm  
Blogger Dave S. said...

"A few readers just made deragoratory remarks, but at least three others took the time to write out fairly long replies quite effectively fisking your comments. Strangely enough at that point you seemed to find another pressing appointment to go to."

Yep, I'm still waiting.

Monday, July 18, 2005 12:17:00 am  
Blogger Dave S. said...

"A writer afraid to actually report from the real world nor travel to places without an official guide."

Hmm. He had an official guide during his American trip?

"For those who believe in a black and white world - so reassuring, isn't it followers?"

Trotting out the old "mindless sheep" meme yet again, eh? Very lazy of you. There are quite a few arguments amongst us "followers." Check out the threads on Chapelle Corby and Terry Schiavo, for example. On the latter, Great Leader Blair was opposed to removing the feeding tube, and many of us disagreed. Shockingly, we weren't cast out from the village as heretics. Speaking of which, you apparently have never seen the sniping between the libertarians and the Christers, either.

Oh, and BTW, we don't think it's a black and white world. Just in some respects, like religious fanatic murderers are evil and democracy is good. Silly, eh? As to "reassuring", well, it seems to me that a moral relativist outlook that assumes no evil and that everybody can be buddies if we just talk it out is far more "reassuring." Knowing that there are evil bastards out there and you need to do unpleasant things to stop them is not "reassuring" - it's adult.

"bigotry, racism and ridiculing mental illness becomes part of the intoxicating mix."

I assume by "ridiculing mental illness" you're referring to Tim's takedowns of ridiculous people like Richard Neville and Margo Kingston. I believe the mockery would end if they got the psychiatric help they needed. As long as they're being paid for their delusions, they're fair game. As for "bigotry" and "racism" - prove it. Cite just one example of Tim being bigoted or racist. Just one. Stop throwing these words around so casually. That's lazy, too. That's why the Left has become so marginalized - you trot out the same baseless, tired ad hominems, and people are learning to tune you out.

Monday, July 18, 2005 12:37:00 am  
Blogger Comical_Ali said...

"He rather reminds me of Robert Manne's description of Herald Sun "journalist" Andrew Bolt. Reading him is like "being trapped in a small room with an angry, indignant, simple-minded man who believes the best way of convincing you that he is right, yet again, is to ridicule and shout."


My Dear Antony there is an old chasidic/Jewish saying - if you see a negative attribute or characteristic in someone its usually only just a reflection of ure own.

who knows if you get back to ure Jewish roots you might get just a little wiser.

Monday, July 18, 2005 11:25:00 pm  

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