Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fisking an Indian fan of Fisk

Funny that a day after I mention 'fisking', Tim Blair brings to notice an Indian columnist in awe of the great Fisk. That lost soul is Mukul Kesevan. Mr. Kesevan also goes for the jugular of the bloggers-
But, on the whole, blogging produces derivative and self-indulgent writing.

But when it comes to Fisk, he goes weak-kneed and is all coochie-coo -
It’s ironic that ‘fisking’, the blogger’s verb for aggressive or hostile fact-checking, is named after Robert Fisk, Britain’s most distinguished foreign correspondent, who has lived in and reported from the Middle East for the past quarter of a century. His trenchant critique of Anglo-American foreign policy has made him a byword for bias amongst right-wing bloggers. That a great journalist who has survived danger and risked death to live in the region he reports from, whose reportage has made him the doyen of Middle-Eastern reporting, should become the blogosphere’s measure of unreliability, tells us something about the frictionless sterility of the blogger’s online world.

Aggressive or hostile fact-checking? Perhaps or perhaps not, depends on the concerned blogger. A more universal definition is-
The term Fisking, or to Fisk, is a blogosphere term describing ruthlessly detailed point-by-point criticism that highlights errors, disputes the analysis of presented facts, or highlights other problems in a statement, article, or essay.
So, aggression is not a defining characteristic of 'Fisking' unless Mukul Kesevan thinks that any fact-checking of his favorites is inherently 'hostile and aggressive'. But I do understand. Some people don't take it well when their opinions and biases are questioned. Could it be that the fact-checking bloggers who keep MSM lazybones on toes can get on the nerves of the old-media journalists? Mr. Kesevan himself seems to think so-
Any error of fact, however small, made by me on my cricket blog is snouted up in a matter of hours, if not sooner. Bloggers learn to get their facts right because their peers and their readers are so unforgiving. Newspaper columnists used to get away with much more than they do now because there’s an army of unpaid fact-checkers cruising online who see it as their life’s work to ‘fisk’ sloppy opinion or reportage.
(Surprise! Mr.Kesevan is himself a blogger! If he needs regular fact-checking, as his comment seems to suggest, then I believe his old-media, sloppy Mr.Hyde dominates his blogging Mr. Jekyll)

One admires those one seeks to emulate. If true, then Mr.Kesevan is yet to reach the heights of his hero, the great Fisk who is on a different plane altogether.

Efraim Karsh points out the dubious quality of wisdom and facts emanating from the brain of the holy man -
It is difficult to turn a page of The Great War for Civilisation (Fisk's book) without encountering some basic error. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, not, as Fisk has it, in Jerusalem. The Caliph Ali, the Prophet Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, was murdered in the year 661, not in the 8th century. Emir Abdallah became king of Transjordan in 1946, not 1921, and both he and his younger brother, King Faisal I of Iraq, hailed not from a “Gulf tribe” but rather from the Hashemites on the other side of the Arabian peninsula. The Iraqi monarchy was overthrown in 1958, not 1962; Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, was appointed by the British authorities, not elected; Ayatollah Khomeini transferred his exile from Turkey to the holy Shiite city of Najaf not during Saddam Hussein’s rule but fourteen years before Saddam seized power. Security Council resolution 242 was passed in November 1967, not 1968; Anwar Sadat of Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, not 1977, and was assassinated in October 1981, not 1979. Yitzhak Rabin was minister of defense, not prime minister, during the first Palestinian intifada, and al Qaeda was established not in 1998 but a decade earlier. And so on and so forth.
(via Tim)

Fisk is now scaling even greater heights. Now he joins the extreme lunatic fringe in believing that Bush bombed the twin towers on 9/11.

Captain Ed takes down that over-inflated balloon with ease-
This puzzles me, because Robert Fisk claims to be a journalist, and one would expect a journalist to understand how to conduct research. Let's see if we can help Mr. Fisk with his questions, which unfortunately get spread throughout a paranoid harangue.
Then he goes on to demolish Fisk with incisive logic that is perhaps lost on those who wallow in the muck of hackery and mediocrity that is the mainstream media(MSM). Read the whole thing to savor and to realize just what Mukul Kesevan's hero is made up of.
Captain's conclusion-
Really, given the international stature of Mr. Fisk, it's hard to believe that he really could be this lazy. Perhaps he's just terribly unintelligent. Fortunately, the journalists and engineers at Popular Mechanics are neither, and their work speaks for itself, with real engineers and eyewitness testimony to answer everyone but the ravers and the conspiracy nuts ... and Mr. Fisk.

But Mr. Kesevan is a mere cricket writer, even if in the privileged and highly-paid world of the MSM. It is perhaps too much to expect him to comprehend that Fisk is an apologist for radical Islamists, terrorists, genocidal dictators, and a conspiracy nut!

But on the other hand, who am I but a mere right-wing blogger(if you consider libertarian as right wing)? Oh wait, I forgot- an aggressive and hostile right-wing blogger. So here goes-
Grrr, bow bow, grrr, snarl, bite, grrrrrrr!!!!!

More fisking of Fisk here.

(all emphasis mine)

Bump -Mukul Kesevan is actually spelt Mukul Kesavan.


Winter Patriot said...

Oh yeah. Popular Mechanics rules.

Listen to how smoothly their chief researcher handles nutty questions from Charles Goyette:

Original comment date- 2007-09-21. See here-