May 24, 2003


Last week the Sydney Morning Herald's Mike Carlton wrote that George W. Bush believed al-Qaeda to be "not a problem any more". Like many others, he apparently got this inaccurate idea from Maureen Dowd.

This week Mike applauds Senator Robert Byrd:

Robert Byrd, of West Virginia, entered the US Senate in 1958, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, and at the age of 86 he is still there, the Dean of Congress. Snowy-haired and courtly, Byrd is an old-school Democrat in direct descent from Roosevelt's New Dealers, though no Ivy League patrician. He was raised by an aunt and uncle on the West Virginia coalfields in the Depression. He welded Liberty ships during World War II and, after that, put himself through law school in his first term in the Senate.

This admirable background stands in splendid contrast to the slippery neo-conservative spivs and silver-spooners who infest the Republican Administration of George W. Bush.

Notice anything Carlton has omitted from Byrd's "admirable background"? Like, perhaps, that Byrd is a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, who once vowed that he'd never fight "with a Negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds"?

Over to you, Media Watch. You missed Carlton's error last week. Catch him this time.

Posted by Tim Blair at May 24, 2003 03:33 AM

Just wanted to wish you well with your new blog. I hope the new surroundings don't signal a change in the nature of the Tim. Good luck mate.


Posted by: Patrick at May 24, 2003 at 03:48 AM

He's going to be more evil than ever!

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 24, 2003 at 04:21 AM

Another one joins the MT revolution! Best wishes on the new site!

Posted by: Crank at May 24, 2003 at 04:23 AM

"on the West Virginia coalfields"
The Coalfields are found on the plateau of West Virginia, which stretches, flat as a snooker table, as far as the eye can see. The fruit of the coal trees hang on the periphery of the slender bush, at a level of approximately 1.5 meters, making their harvest easy work for children and the infirm. As the coalfields are the favored habitat of the Schmoo, which glow brightly through the night, neither victuals nor artificial illumination need be supplied to the jolly coalfield workers, who while away their copious leisure time singing folk songs passed down from their ancestors, and marveling at the urbanized fools who find use for their vegetable waste, and know not the sublime pleasures of their money-free society.
-The Secret History of Appalachia
Carlton Givimda Bird

Posted by: djugashvili at May 24, 2003 at 04:31 AM

You've got comments now, you poor guy! Love the blog.

Posted by: Moe Lane at May 24, 2003 at 04:38 AM

Me like new place. Me leave comments. Blair good. MT good.

PS - Tim, read my comment on the (surprise) golf-drag racing post.

Posted by: iowahawk at May 24, 2003 at 05:24 AM

Oh great Tim.Comments now.I have never posted a comment anywhere before.Now as well as -wasting- urr spending my time chasing your links to fascinating and incredible sites all over the world,I guess I'll have to spend even more of my time putting in my two bobs worth. By the way. It wasn't until I chanced on your site that I even knew there was such a thing as Web Blogs etc.Nice to know that there are actually other people out there who espouse the same sort of values that I have always adhered to.You know,the old fashioned ones. Top stuff Tim. Catch you. (When I get a bit more financial I'll find that Paypal button,you and yours are good value)

Posted by: aussieoldfart at May 24, 2003 at 05:46 AM

Welcome to the wonderful world or Movable Type!

I guess I can't dump on Blogger too much, since it allowed me to run my site, absolutely free, for 18 months. But is it just me or hasn't it gotten worse since Google took them over?

Posted by: Damian P. at May 24, 2003 at 06:02 AM

How long until Media Watch reports that you were fired by Blogger?

Posted by: Mac Thomason at May 24, 2003 at 06:24 AM

Think when they report you were fired they'll blame your meteoric rise on political correctness?

Posted by: Matt Moore at May 24, 2003 at 06:54 AM

Grate move Tim.

Posted by: Gary at May 24, 2003 at 07:53 AM

Byrd the tyrd. The man has never seen pork he didn't like...the man is one man funnel for federal dollars to his state.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Castel-Dodge at May 24, 2003 at 09:16 AM

Byrd was only against the war in Iraq because there was no way to hold it in West Virginia.

Posted by: Mike G at May 24, 2003 at 11:39 AM

Good luck with your new home.

Re Media Crotch. Shit mate, I think I misread that last line in the Mike Carlton quote:

Tim Blair's Web site stands in splendid contrast to the slippery neo-radical spivs and lead-spooners who infest Media Watch

I could be wrong, but that seems to make more sense.

Posted by: Preston Whip at May 24, 2003 at 01:32 PM

Mike G, you rock. :)

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 24, 2003 at 01:59 PM

Man am I glad - I was beginning to think that Tim had quit blogging and it was getting darker each time I couldn't access the Tim Blair Blog.
Now a brand new site and light once more - Congrats Tim and keep up the good work.
It just makes my day when I see a shaft going up thr fundaments of the looney lefties which infest the Country.

Posted by: Lawrie at May 24, 2003 at 03:19 PM

Mike Carlton talks about Byrd's past, so the fact that he was a member of the KKK should have been mentioned.

But presumably when discussing his KKK past, I guess people could say "but he's changed". Apart from the fact that the KKK is pro-Saddam, how strong is the evidence that he still retains KKK sympathies to this day?

Posted by: Andjam at May 24, 2003 at 05:43 PM

Carlton contrasts Byrd's poor but noble background to that of Bush and his wealthy but callow advisors. That's why the Senator's selectively deleted KKK history is relevant. It exposes Carlton's class-warfare agenda.

He's not only wrong about the Byrd side of the equation. He's wrong about the Bush side. Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, and Rice are anything but "silver-spooners". Aside from our Cowboy President, to whom does Mr Carlton refer?

While Senator Byrd is known mainly for windy oration, the Bush circle has been engaged in world-shaping policy decisions for decades. This is the team that won the Cold War and lifted the Soviet boot from the neck of Eastern Europe.

Posted by: bobmac at May 24, 2003 at 08:43 PM

Andjam, do you have *anything* remotely resembling a source here? I agree that the fact he was a member of the KKK should have been mentioned: to say that he has an "admirable background" speaks of breathtaking ignorance.

But you're also asserting that:
0) Byrd is pro-Saddam
1) The KKK is pro-Saddam
2) Therefore, Byrd is still tied to the KKK

The logical fallacy there alone is enough to make my Maths professor chew through his own laser pointer; what's more, both your premises are unsupported and seem to be pure bulldust.

Posted by: mark at May 25, 2003 at 04:45 AM

Well, let's see...

Byrd opposed the war in Iraq.

David Duke, Grand Dragon and Spokesman for the KKK, opposed the war in Iraq.

Doesn't mean that Byrd is still tied to the KKK, of course. My take on it is the "grand unified stupidity theory," to wit: All stupidities, from every part of the political spectrum, are slowly collecting into one enormous wad of morons, whose density alone will collapse civilization into nothingness in about 10-15 years.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at May 25, 2003 at 04:55 AM

Tatterdemalian, fair enough. I'll just apply a right-wing filter to my brain and... Reagan was the greatest POTUS ever! Supply-side economics work! Dubya is sexy! Yes, okay, I think I have the correct mindset. Now, using this amazing modern technology, I can see that they're both objectively pro-Saddam. I withdraw my comment on Andjam's premises (they're clean and well-looked-after... ahem).

I guess what I object to here is the implication that anyone who didn't support the war on Iraq (and I was NOT one of them) is sympathetic to the KKK. C'mon, we can all see where he's going here (even with the right-wing filter on "full"... Ann Coulter is an extraordinarily intelligent and attractive woman, a treasure the entire world should be proud of!); personally, I find it offensive that such tortuous twists of illogic can be seriously applied to /anyone/, even those I disagree with.

Posted by: mark at May 25, 2003 at 02:01 PM


I know that my statements do not amount to mathematical proof that Byrd is tied to the KKK. (Professors use laser pointers?). The tone of my post should have implied that.

"do you have *anything* remotely resembling a source here?" (that the KKK is pro-saddam) - there was a cool article in "The New Republic" a while ago (White Hope By Michelle Cottle), but it requires a subscription so I didn't link to it.

Posted by: Andjam at May 25, 2003 at 07:45 PM

Andjam, I'm not saying Byrd *isn't* tied to the KKK: I really don't know; I think he isn't, but frankly I don't know enough about his situation to draw a proper conclusion. The problem wasn't that you suggested he still had ties, it was that being anti-war could conceivably (unless you're hinting that it was a joke, and I was too dumb to see it :-)) be considered a link to the KKK. Despite my own position on the Iraq war, I've seen enough bullshit rhetoric coming out of the right to irritate me whenever I think I've caught a whiff of more. Yes, the left's almost as bad: but where that side's bull ("how the workers stopped the Capitalist WWI!", and so on) is appropriately ignored, much of what eminates from the pro-war side is actually taken seriously.

And yeah, some professors use laser pointers: this guy uses it so he can show which equation he's drawn on the overhead projector he's currently talking about (ask me why he doesn't just point at it on the OHP with his pen?)

Posted by: mark at May 26, 2003 at 01:52 AM

Tell us mike, Why??!!

Posted by: Jake D at May 26, 2003 at 04:24 PM

Apologies Mark, if that is your real name.
Wasn't paying enough attention. So tell us Mark, why??

Posted by: Jake D at May 26, 2003 at 05:05 PM

For those puzzled as to whom Carlton is referring in the coded term "spivs and silver-spooners" -- he means the "neo-cons", so what he really means is "the Jews". So approving of Robert Byrd fits in pretty logically.

Why do non-Americans think the Democrats must all be to the left of the Republican Party? The Southern Democrat is far more complicated breed than that.

Posted by: Dave F at May 26, 2003 at 07:36 PM

Sorry, I see neo-conservatives" is already openly stated in Carlton's comment. So that settles it.

BTW, in my part of the world (SAfrica) Carlton is something you wipe your bottom with.

Posted by: Dave F at May 26, 2003 at 07:41 PM

Yes, Dave, "neocon" is code for "Jew". That's right. Anyone who's ever written about neo-conservatives is a closet anti-Semite trying to connect with other closeted Jew-haters in order to reveal their paranoid theory about a Jewish cabal controlling the world. Good thing you pointed it out, or we'd have been in real trouble!

Damnit, Jake, you've put me on the spot now. Umm... look over there! *runs*

Posted by: mark at May 26, 2003 at 08:05 PM

"The Southern Democrat is far more complicated breed than that."

That's what you get when someone's related to themselves in various illegal ways. (paraphrasing from one of the "Red Dwarf" books)

Cheap shot, I know.

Posted by: Andjam at May 26, 2003 at 11:31 PM

Gee, I suppose Mark is being sarcastic. Which filter are you using then, Mark? The one you can bung in the back of the Rizla paper?

I reckon the "spivs" comment does Carlton in anyway. A lot of self-righteous people are trying to avoid facing up to their own anti-semitism right now, so I think it's time to raise their consciousness. I'd rather be depriving them of it, but still.

Posted by: Dave F at May 27, 2003 at 04:41 AM

I guess I wasn't too subtle then, Dave? :-). As for the filter, well, it's somewhere to the left of Coulter, but to the right of anyone else who doesn't actually wear underpants on their head and froth at the mouth.

(What's Rizla paper?)

For the rest, I'll take your word for it -- I'm not up on bigoted code-words in general (though I've heard plenty on the "anyone who says 'neocon' is really an anti-Semite" canard).

Oh, and Andjam: you can pay the cleaning bills for the tea I just sprayed...

Posted by: mark at May 28, 2003 at 03:36 AM