June 29th, 2007

Apollo 4 on column of fire

David Gregory, young and foolish

Said David Gregory to Elizabeth Edwards:

You said rather pointedly that you think Ann Coulter is guilty of hate speech against your husband and others as well. If you strip away some of the inflammatory rhetoric against your husband and other Democrats, the point she’s trying to make about your husband, Senator Edwards, running for the White House is in effect that he’s disingenuous, especially on the signature issue of poverty, whether it’s a $400 haircut or taking big money to speak in front of a poverty group. If you, again, strip away the inflammatory rhetoric, is that a real point of vulnerability that you have to deal with in this campaign?

David Gregory was born in 1970; he is only 36 years old, so maybe it should be expected that his ‘wisdom quotient’ would be limited. What he has said here is analogous to asking whether, if you look past the invasions and million-fold massacres, whether Hitler doesn’t have a point about German Lebensraum and shouldn’t the Eastern Europeans have to answer to that point? The analogy is not perfect, of course, because Lebensraum and invasions-massacres were synonyms, while Coulter’s hate speech is not a synonym for John Edwards’s failure to become to mendicant if he wants to help the poor; but this doesn’t really help David Gregory, who at age 35 and supposedly qualified as a ‘journalist’ ought to recognize such a first-class non sequitur and exclude it reflexively—especially considering that Edwards, no doubt, isn’t doing anything that Gregory himself wouldn’t do without paralysis of conscience. In other words, David Gregory also should be able to imagine himself in someone else’s shoes and to hold his speech until he has done so; this is crucial to the function of his job.