There’s only one redeeming thing about this
, and it’s the look on John Fund’s face as he walks past
hyperbolic documentary filmmaker John Ziegler. Ziegler spends
much of his time in this video chasing after the American
Conservative Union’s David Keene.
This is pretty awful stuff. I think Quin Hillyer had a
sufficiently Burkean respect when he said
felt that Keene should have an opportunity to explain the
Fedex/UPS situation, which Keene
. If you wanted more, the man’s pretty accessible. To then
accuse to the man’s face in a web video, repeatedly, that he
sells out for money, and then be shocked the man walks away, is
good dramatic affectation, but makes me roll my eyes.
There’s a certain amount of courtesy you extend in an interview.
When you repeatedly ask a question and you get the same answer,
you may be upset that the person isn’t giving you what you want,
but you don’t then chase them around a hotel, badgering them. You
do that if you’re Michael Moore, you do that if you’re an actor
on Punk’d. Let’s not say that this interview was done in good
faith — if Mr. Ziegler was so inclined, he could have asked for
clarification on the explanations already offered by Keene,
rather than oversimplify it by saying Keene’s opinions are for
sale. Even if you buy that indelicate phrasing, what say you
bring it up more thoughtfully?
In this, Ziegler makes a mess of what can be
complaints about the Fedex/UPS
, Keene’s support of Specter, or about how CPAC is
run. I say “can be” because as presented here, they’re
dishonest. He squanders an opportunity to have a productive
discussion about it, and provokes a man into a fit.
- “A lot of people have expressed concerns about the
possibility of CPAC being run in a pay-for-play fashion. How are
you guarding against this?”
- “Person A should not have been granted a spot given these
examples of not being a proper conservative. What were the
considerations that allowed this person to appear nonetheless?”
- “You said in your response to the accusations of selling out
to FedEx the following […]. But yet there was still this point
you did not address…”
Keene was taken aback by the approach chosen, and responded
accordingly. That makes for some great T.V., some disappointment
about the man’s willingness to express his own anger, and didn’t
come out looking very good either. Announcing from the dais that
Ziegler was being objected was, of course, asking for more drama.
But my general sense of things is to take the line from Buckley.
Conservatism isn’t one giant comment board in which everyone can
flame to their heart’s content. This isn’t about “dissent,” this
is about people acting in good faith because we’re trying to do
the same thing.
That’s not to discount Ed Morrissey’s
over at HotAir:
And quite frankly, after spending several hundred dollars to
attend an event just to be told that dissent is “the heighth of
rudeness” and that bloggers should shut up and defer to their
movement elders was just a little too much too take.
I won’t return to events sponsored by the same organizations in
the future. The big problem with the conservative movement has
been its self-appointed leaders telling others to shut up and
follow in lockstep, and I don’t think any so-called movement
leaders taking that approach have the first foggy clue about
what the New Media and Tax Parties mean.
I know what he’s saying, because there are a bunch of
organizations that haven’t yet caught on to the fact that the
ground is shifting. But given that many of these “self-appointed
leaders” are so clueless, doesn’t that mean they are less
important, or will be soon enough? Why waste time?
The big problem is not the self-appointed leaders, although they
are problematic. It’s more the willingness of
conservatives to allow these self-appointed leaders to call the
shots. And that is finally changing too.