February 16, 2007

Kurtz On Malkin

Howard Kurtz profiles Michelle Malkin in today's Washington Post -- if you'll forgive my pun -- and, as usual, Kurtz writes a balanced and interesting article on one of the most intriguing New Media figures. The portrait of a committed, passionate, and tough voice matches with my own experience with Michelle:

Is this merely how the war of ideas is waged in an anything-goes digital culture? Or is Malkin an especially inflammatory practitioner, torching her targets with such books as "Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild"?

Over lunch at a Filipino cafe at Union Station, Malkin, who has two young children, is charming one moment and pugnacious the next. She says she loves the intellectual freedom of the blogosphere, where "you can respond, you can reveal people to be the liars and slanderers they are."

Between bites, though, you can catch a glimpse of amazement that "a small-town girl from South Jersey," as she puts it, can have such an outsize impact. Even if she makes plenty of enemies in the process.

If she makes enemies, it's only because they can't deal with the unvarnished truth-telling at her web site and in her columns. Instead of attacking her facts, her enemies attack her personally, the first sign that they have conceded on the merits of the argument. Michelle writes to get a reaction, and so the tenor of the debate will always be hot when she's involved, but the balance of vitriol in those exchanges always tilts heavily against Michelle.

Readers of this blog know that I consider Michelle a friend, and just as with any of my friends, I speak out when they get attacked unfairly. She obviously can take care of herself (and me, on occasion), so it's not that she needs other people to leap to her defense. It's just that when you meet Michelle and get to know her a little, she's so likable that the personal attacks seem, well ... unhinged.

Kurtz' article does her on-line persona justice. It's not really his job to go beyond that, but he gives readers a glimpse of what makes Michelle special for those of us fortunate to know her. Be sure to read it all.

UPDATE: I have to link to Kurtz' other column this morning, too. He links to former NBA star Tim Hardaway's despicable comments about gays, but adds something intriguing:

NBA star Tim Hardaway says he hates gay people. And all the league can do is ask him not to speak on its behalf? That's pathetic. You'd think, in exchange for the millions he gets, that Hardaway could keep his prejudices to himself.

We often think the same thing about Hollywood celebrities, too. Perhaps Kurtz should read Laura Ingraham's Shut Up And Sing.


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