wasting bandwidth since 1999

Name Calling

For most of my lifetime, if an editorialist wanted to paint their target with the most vile of colors, they would compare the person or institution with Hitler or the Nazis.

In the past five years, however, that denigration process has changed. Today, it seems if a person wants to go beyond criticizing ideas to craft the highest of personal insults, they slap the label of “terrorist” on their target.

I would hope that educators wouldn’t fall into the same trap, sticking instead with discussing concepts and ideas.

But I suppose former Secretary of Education Rod Paige voided that expectation a couple of years back when he called the NEA a “terrorist organization”.

And now Eduwonk has fallen into that muck by declaring the columns of a NY Times columnist he doesn’t like to be “just the journalistic equivalent of terrorism, lob a grenade and run”.

Up to that point in the entry, he had made some good points about the writer’s column (and some I disagree with).

However, when you switch to name calling like that, all civil debate ends.

education, debate, terrorism

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1 Comment

  1. I completely agree.

    There seems to be a certain category of blogger (and many who are merely commenters) who really doesn’t want to engage in reasoned debate but instead engages in the equivalent of shouting matches (pretty good trick in this medium) or pissing contests. There are actually a couple of blogs which I will no longer visit because there are some commenters lurking there who highjack the comments section for their own insipid rants. All they are interested in is name calling.

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