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(The Week)   The sad, sorry decline of George Will from Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist to Fox News wannabe   ( theweek.com) divider line
    More: Sad, George Will, Washington Post, Russell Kirk, William F. Buckley, Ross Douthat, American conservatives, National Review, progressivism  
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1818 clicks; posted to Politics » on 13 Jun 2014 at 11:21 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-13 09:48:33 AM  
Where once William F. Buckley debated fellow intellectuals on Firing Line, where once richly erudite thinkers like Leo Strauss, Russell Kirk, and Milton Friedman crafted meticulous arguments in culturally literate essays, today conservatives either treat ideas as weapons to bludgeon their ideological opponents, or craft them into slogans to whip up enthusiasm at the endless populist pep rally on talk radio, partisan websites, and cable news.

I blame (at least in part) Frank Luntz.
 
2014-06-13 10:32:23 AM  
FTA: Can Will truly believe that female college students are behaving the way he claims they are - faking sexual assaults because it confers benefits on them? If he does, what does that imply about his broader capacity to think, analyze, and opine?

That any complaints he might make about liberal media attacks are simply attempts to gain greater social standing?
 
2014-06-13 11:10:13 AM  
I used to enjoy reading Will but no more. For that matter, I used to be considered a conservative; not these days.

He truly has become just another spigot spouting the same old talking points. He has nothing to contribute anymore.
 
2014-06-13 11:23:46 AM  
If this is true, then really is sad. Even when I didn't agree with him I enjoyed listening to his arguments
 
2014-06-13 11:24:14 AM  
Gotta keep up with the shock jocks on AM radio and Fox News. Riling up the fuddy-duddies is where to money is at.
 
2014-06-13 11:24:28 AM  
Do you think it chaps George Will that Keith Olbermann knows more about baseball than he does?
 
2014-06-13 11:34:35 AM  
It has always been embarrassing when George Will got up on cable and attempted to debate someone like Paul Krugman or anyone else that had real expertise in something. The fact is George Will knows nothing beyond the most superficial layer of what he talks about. The only thing he really knows is how to make words that sound pleasing to movement conservatives.

That, apparently, is enough to make you a millionaire pundit these days.
 
2014-06-13 11:36:01 AM  
 
2014-06-13 11:38:58 AM  

Diogenes: Where once William F. Buckley debated fellow intellectuals on Firing Line, where once richly erudite thinkers like Leo Strauss, Russell Kirk, and Milton Friedman crafted meticulous arguments in culturally literate essays, today conservatives either treat ideas as weapons to bludgeon their ideological opponents, or craft them into slogans to whip up enthusiasm at the endless populist pep rally on talk radio, partisan websites, and cable news.

I blame (at least in part) Frank Luntz.


Sound bytes carry more weight than actual arguments in today's media. If your message can't be condensed to a 8-10 word bumper sticker, no one wants to hear it.
 
2014-06-13 11:39:46 AM  
Maybe everyone would be better off if he just stuck with baseball.

A fitting metaphor. A sport far removed from its glory days and influence championed by a has-been writer that was once respected.
 
2014-06-13 11:39:56 AM  
The right wing propagandist class has kind of backed themselves in to a corner, you have to say ever more retarded and indefensible things to remain relevant.

"Women want to be rape victims" sounds pretty bad, but it will get much, much worse.
 
2014-06-13 11:42:03 AM  

EyeballKid: Do you think it chaps George Will that Keith Olbermann knows more about baseball than he does?


George Will believes that baseball has gone downhill since they allowed blacks (Jackie Robinson) and women (Geena Davis).
 
2014-06-13 11:43:45 AM  
Meh. Fleecing the rubes is very profitable. Someone's going to take their money, might as well be George Will.
 
2014-06-13 11:45:24 AM  
Whatever his politics, he's an attractive man.  He has clean looks, scrubbed and shampooed.  But I don't find him all that bright.
 
2014-06-13 11:47:10 AM  

HotWingConspiracy: The right wing propagandist class has kind of backed themselves in to a corner, you have to say ever more retarded and indefensible things to remain relevant.

"Women want to be rape victims" sounds pretty bad, but it will get much, much worse.


You- always wanting to sugar coat everything. Naturally the part you leave out is that they only want to be rape victims to get around rape and incest loopholes for abortions! Way to go, white knight.
 
2014-06-13 11:49:56 AM  
George Will writes $.05 paragraphs wrapped up in $100 words.
 
2014-06-13 11:51:58 AM  

Diogenes: Where once William F. Buckley debated fellow intellectuals on Firing Line, where once richly erudite thinkers like Leo Strauss, Russell Kirk, and Milton Friedman crafted meticulous arguments in culturally literate essays, today conservatives either treat ideas as weapons to bludgeon their ideological opponents, or craft them into slogans to whip up enthusiasm at the endless populist pep rally on talk radio, partisan websites, and cable news.

I blame (at least in part) Frank Luntz.


There's nothing necessarily wrong with phrasing arguments in a manner that makes them more convincing. That's why the phrases "marriage equality" and "freedom to marry" have taken off in the last few years and "gay marriage" and "same-sex marriage" have fallen by the wayside. The problem comes when you don't back up that phrasing with any substance.
 
2014-06-13 11:53:17 AM  
It's not sad, I've hated that fu*ker even before he used the n-ly word.
 
2014-06-13 11:53:46 AM  

EyeballKid: Do you think it chaps George Will that Keith Olbermann knows more about baseball Laura Ingraham than he does?


/Sorry, couldn't resist.
 
2014-06-13 11:53:49 AM  

neversubmit: It's not sad, I've hated that fu*ker even before he used the n-ly word.


Neighborly?
 
2014-06-13 11:56:21 AM  

Serious Black: Diogenes: Where once William F. Buckley debated fellow intellectuals on Firing Line, where once richly erudite thinkers like Leo Strauss, Russell Kirk, and Milton Friedman crafted meticulous arguments in culturally literate essays, today conservatives either treat ideas as weapons to bludgeon their ideological opponents, or craft them into slogans to whip up enthusiasm at the endless populist pep rally on talk radio, partisan websites, and cable news.

I blame (at least in part) Frank Luntz.

There's nothing necessarily wrong with phrasing arguments in a manner that makes them more convincing. That's why the phrases "marriage equality" and "freedom to marry" have taken off in the last few years and "gay marriage" and "same-sex marriage" have fallen by the wayside. The problem comes when you don't back up that phrasing with any substance.


It's only wrong when that's all you have to offer.  And when you no longer use intelligent/creative phrasing as a means of persuasion, but as a means of shutting down debate instead of fostering it.

Luntz doesn't provide tools to convince.  He provides weapons of political war.
 
2014-06-13 11:57:46 AM  

HotWingConspiracy: "Women want to be rape victims" sounds pretty bad, but it will get much, much worse.


Oh, come on, it can't get any worse than it is.  In fact, I DARE them to turn it up any further.

/That should do it.
 
2014-06-13 11:58:00 AM  

Crewmannumber6: neversubmit: It's not sad, I've hated that fu*ker even before he used the n-ly word.

Neighborly?


Nope, it would it filter pawned.
 
2014-06-13 11:58:20 AM  
George Will made his name rephrasing right-wing nutjob newsletters for his libby audiences at WaPo and NewsWeek.  We hated the 'cons but had libby cognitive dissonance about hating something that we didnt' understand so we looked to George Will to sanitize the right and feed it back to us in a way that allowed us to feel like we at least considered the 'cons point of view before rejecting it and then feel a sense of smug intellectual superiority.  The rise of instantly available Internet fact checking has made George Will redundant.  He was never actually very smart or very good.  He is a relic of a bygone era.
 
DGS [TotalFark]
2014-06-13 11:58:49 AM  

quokka70: Whatever his politics, he's an attractive man.  He has clean looks, scrubbed and shampooed.  But I don't find him all that bright.


I used to respect him. I can admit that. These days it's more than a little sad.
 
2014-06-13 11:59:39 AM  

but whole: Gotta keep up with the shock jocks on AM radio and Fox News. Riling up the fuddy-duddies is where to money is at.


Largely this.

His target market got eaten by Rush and Beck.
 
2014-06-13 12:02:55 PM  
Behold, Rush Limbaugh, the new voice of conservative legitimacy. Bow down to the blowviating turd hoarder. Bend your knee to the paranoid delusions of Roger Ailes, lich king of the fearful masses. We'll see you at the last roundup, partner, with a herd of runts and strays.
 
2014-06-13 12:06:23 PM  
To be a consistent polemicist, you have to refuse to change your thinking the tiniest bit. That's why they all devolve into hackery.
 
2014-06-13 12:07:10 PM  
The sad, sorry decline is America at the hands of the liberals and their media cohorts. They've been attacking America since the 60's and we reached the tipping point a few years ago. Idiots with no knowledge of history or common sense.
 
2014-06-13 12:10:31 PM  
He is still one of the better baseball writers around.  So I'll give him that.
 
2014-06-13 12:11:44 PM  

Snapper Carr: Diogenes: Where once William F. Buckley debated fellow intellectuals on Firing Line, where once richly erudite thinkers like Leo Strauss, Russell Kirk, and Milton Friedman crafted meticulous arguments in culturally literate essays, today conservatives either treat ideas as weapons to bludgeon their ideological opponents, or craft them into slogans to whip up enthusiasm at the endless populist pep rally on talk radio, partisan websites, and cable news.

I blame (at least in part) Frank Luntz.

Sound bytes carry more weight than actual arguments in today's media. If your message can't be condensed to a 8-10 word bumper sticker, no one wants to hear it.


Ed good! Rocko bad!
 
2014-06-13 12:12:20 PM  
snltranscripts.jt.org

Welcome to George Will's "Sports Machine."

"Like freedom, baseball is that stake where energy and order merge, and all complexity is purified into a simple coherence. Piffle, or not piffle? "
 
2014-06-13 12:16:04 PM  

happydude45: Idiots with no knowledge of history or common sense.


Things idiots with no knowledge of history or common sense might think:

1. Industries are best regulated when they self-regulate
2. Taxes are historically high
3. The States are not subject to Federal Laws they dislike
4. Wealth inequality decreases in the absence of government controls
6. Poor people are inherently lazy
7. Public healthcare isn't working for most of the first world
8. Religious morals should decide legislation
9. Gay people have a unified agenda beyond equality under the law

....you get the idea.
 
2014-06-13 12:18:25 PM  
When I first discovered the op-ed pages in the early 1980s, I read everything every day- not discussing it with anyone, and no one told me what I should or should not agree with.

And one morning in 1982 or 1983, while reading the editorials over my Cheerios I asked my father if anyone believed that George Will was anywhere near as smart as he pretended to be.

I was 12. I'm pretty sure my father was never prouder of me than right then.

George Will hasn't gotten any smarter, but the people who believe his dribblings sure haven't either.
 
2014-06-13 12:20:51 PM  

cubic_spleen: The GOP in a nutshell


That makes me sad.

Where before, I'd laugh at people who couldn't detect my sarcasm, now I'll feel like I'm making fun of them for having a mental illness.
 
2014-06-13 12:21:40 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: "Women want to be rape victims" sounds pretty bad, but it will get much, much worse.


Will didn't write that all women want to be raped as your scare quotes suggest. His material is questionable enough without interpretative fabrications.
 
2014-06-13 12:22:04 PM  

abb3w: FTA: Can Will truly believe that female college students are behaving the way he claims they are - faking sexual assaults because it confers benefits on them? If he does, what does that imply about his broader capacity to think, analyze, and opine?

That any complaints he might make about liberal media attacks are simply attempts to gain greater social standing?


Brilliant!
 
2014-06-13 12:31:28 PM  

WinoRhino: [snltranscripts.jt.org image 160x120]

Welcome to George Will's "Sports Machine."

"Like freedom, baseball is that stake where energy and order merge, and all complexity is purified into a simple coherence. Piffle, or not piffle? "


"Sam, isn't it somewhat of a given that a whip topping would be sweet and fluffy?"
 
2014-06-13 12:33:58 PM  
While George Will does seem to be sliding off the cliff into senility, I am not aware of a time when he was not a hack.
 
2014-06-13 12:37:21 PM  

neenerist: HotWingConspiracy: "Women want to be rape victims" sounds pretty bad, but it will get much, much worse.

Will didn't write that all women want to be raped as your scare quotes suggest. His material is questionable enough without interpretative fabrications.


There's not really any other way to interpret his comments. He labels being a rape victim a "coveted status". I guess I'll allow that he's suggesting that women simply make up being raped to gain this "coveted status", but that's not really helping.
 
2014-06-13 12:38:30 PM  
In most cases, this shift has been generational: an older, more thoughtful group of conservative thinkers and writers has been replaced by a less deeply educated and more baldly partisan cohort of ideological foot soldiers. But there is a notable exception to this tendency: George F. Will.

It isn't a generational thing other than it occurred over decades. The thing is that those "reasoned" arguments are totally superfluous to the audience. Your never going to talk me into rape being a good thing, and those women haters don't care why they hate women. This applies to the broader aspects of all conservative "thought". When you're policy is hating f*gs and n-bongs what kind of argument is going to convince me that punishing the poor is the answer?
 
2014-06-13 12:39:02 PM  

neenerist: HotWingConspiracy: "Women want to be rape victims" sounds pretty bad, but it will get much, much worse.

Will didn't write that all women want to be raped as your scare quotes suggest. His material is questionable enough without interpretative fabrications.


He said women want to be rape victims, not that all women want to be raped. It's a pretty good distillation of Wills implication that women ate willing to lie about being raped in order to receive the "benefits" of being a rape victim. Whatever he thinks those are.
 
2014-06-13 12:39:49 PM  

lockers: Your never going to talk me into rape being a good thing


Well, in that case, can you tell me if this rag smells like chloroform?
 
2014-06-13 12:57:08 PM  
 
2014-06-13 01:25:31 PM  

edmo: I used to enjoy reading Will but no more. For that matter, I used to be considered a conservative; not these days.

He truly has become just another spigot spouting the same old talking points. He has nothing to contribute anymore.


PJ O'Rourke is much the same way.  The beginning of the end when he wouldn't shut up about how Occupy protesters would sit in a smelly circle, playing bongo drums, and singing "Kum-By-Ya" as though that reference had been relevant since the early 70s.
 
2014-06-13 01:44:04 PM  

The Lone Gunman: edmo: I used to enjoy reading Will but no more. For that matter, I used to be considered a conservative; not these days.

He truly has become just another spigot spouting the same old talking points. He has nothing to contribute anymore.

PJ O'Rourke is much the same way.  The beginning of the end when he wouldn't shut up about how Occupy protesters would sit in a smelly circle, playing bongo drums, and singing "Kum-By-Ya" as though that reference had been relevant since the early 70s.


PJ O'Rourke. Now THERE'S a two-bit hack.

And has been pointed out already, George Will has never been anything more than an older version of Newt Gingrich, i.e., a person that stupid people think a smart person sounds like.
 
2014-06-13 02:04:13 PM  
And when George Will's punditry becomes too crusty and benign even for the likes of Fox News, Will, in order to maintain a steady paycheck from the network, will change his hair color to blonde, wear red-colored clothing and be more than willing to spend lots of time on Roger Ailes' casting couch.
 
2014-06-13 02:58:13 PM  

paganj: He said women want to be rape victims, not that all women want to be raped.


Exactly! Just like Obama said "act of terror" and not "terrorist act"

COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS
 
2014-06-13 03:00:11 PM  

paganj: t's a pretty good distillation of Wills implication that women ate willing to lie about being raped in order to receive the "benefits" of being a rape victim.

  He also questions the vastly widened scope of behavior falling under the new definitions of "rape, a.k.a. "sexual assault"". The CDC definition of sexual violence now even includes unwanted exposure to pornography so it isn't as baseless as 'all women want to be rape celebrities'. In his world it's not so much women are lying about rape than the federal government is convincing them they're victims.
  Leagues away from all women want to be raped.
 
2014-06-13 03:31:40 PM  

neenerist: paganj: t's a pretty good distillation of Wills implication that women ate willing to lie about being raped in order to receive the "benefits" of being a rape victim.
  He also questions the vastly widened scope of behavior falling under the new definitions of "rape, a.k.a. "sexual assault"". The CDC definition of sexual violence now even includes unwanted exposure to pornography so it isn't as baseless as 'all women want to be rape celebrities'. In his world it's not so much women are lying about rape than the federal government is convincing them they're victims.
  Leagues away from all women want to be raped.


What the fark is your angle here?
 
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