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Feb 19, 2009

Help us condemn lefties too

Some of you may have noticed that, although the four writers behind Pure Poison are clearly lefties from left-wing sites apparently dedicated left-wingedly to attacking conservat

Some of you may have noticed that, although the four writers behind Pure Poison are clearly lefties from left-wing sites apparently dedicated left-wingedly to attacking conservative columnists (from the left), and although Pure Poison has thus far not criticised anyone who wasn’t a hardline conservative, the mission statement of the site claims that we’ll be taking polemicists from all sides of the political aisle to task when they write something stupid, disingenuous, or otherwise intellectually dishonest.


This is where you come in. Tip-offs regarding shabby behaviour by published advocates of any political stripe are welcome and encouraged. Just because it’s Bolt or Blair who’ve historically raised my metaphorical goat (they’d have raised my literal goat if I had one), doesn’t mean I won’t happily get stuck into my own “side” when it lowers the standard of debate too.

Don’t assume we’ll look the other way. We might be shamelessly biased, but we’re not hypocrites. If we’ve missed some outrageous conduct that’s gotten your real or hypothetical livestock, let us know.



49 thoughts on “Help us condemn lefties too

  1. PKD

    The problem is that I’m yet to see a mainstream lefty pull anything like tim or Andy do.

    100% agree with you on that one. The odd bizarre post I see now and then – but with Dolt being idiotic is pretty much his norm.

    And I understand that criticising left-wing journo’s does not equate to bipartisanship.
    I guess my point was no-one is going to take any self-policing of your own side as seriously when you do it yourself instead of a centrist or right-winger doing it.

    But heck, some is still better than none!

    Nice site btw Jeremy – good luck with it.

  2. Ink stained fingers « Still Being Nice, even to the undeserving

    […] now got a rather pathetic post up calling for help with point-scoring off lefties, but since they agree with many of the base […]

  3. Jeremy Sear

    We’re not actually promising to be “non-biased” or even-handed; we’re just promising to be willing to get stuck into “lefties” caught pulling intellectually dishonest, bullying crap, too. Why? We don’t want that garbage from our own side, either. There’d not be much point excoriating tim and Andy and then immediately being undermined by someone from the left pulling something similar.

    The problem is that I’m yet to see a mainstream lefty pull anything like tim or Andy do. I’m sure there are rightwingers who think they do, hence the serious call for suggestions when we’ve missed something poisonous from our own side.

    I do think this site is likely to cover a lot more Blair and Bolt than others, but that’s just because they’re the two most poisonous mainstream presences on the Australian internet at the moment. They just happen to be both on the right.

    The message from this blog should be: thugs and liars from both sides; writers who treat public debate, their opponents and their own audiences with utter contempt; we’re coming for you. Not for stupid mistakes – for deliberately malicious or cynical conduct undertaken solely to win an argument or punish someone you don’t like.

    That’s the stuff that pisses me off, and that’s the stuff that prompted the earlier iterations of this site.

  4. Toaf

    I agree with PKD. A rightist author might be required. Is Leon available?

  5. PKD

    Don’t get me wrong I think writing left-critical pieces is a great idea, but I can’t see this ‘self-policing’ of your own side working unless you have a non-left wing writer to do it.

    Even if you do make it as even-handed as possible you’ll always be open to the ‘going soft on your own side’ charge – regardless of whether its true or not!

  6. GavinM

    Hello Chris of Brisbane,

    You’re probably right about the huge amount of stuff that would be found, I was just wondering how wide the net would be cast, so to speak….I was also wondering if we are including both written and on-air presenters.

  7. Pica

    I like the look of the poison mission statement folks, best of luck with it

    Metaphor alert:

    [raised my metaphorical goat]

    One’s goat is ‘got’, not ‘raised’ – ask a nervous horse for the explanation.

    And can you turn your attention to radio broadcasting at some stage and smash the living faecal matter out of anything Jon Faine says on ABC 774? What a pompous paragon of middle class centrist inner-suburban nice-guy drivel that man is.

  8. Jabberwock

    I enjoy a good swallow. In summer or winter.

  9. Iain Hall

    One Swallow does not a summer make…

  10. confessions

    oh my god it gets better from timmy:

    “UPDATE V. It gets better. A clarification from Scott, who is plainly unaccustomed to the high-pressure world of semi-legitimate media”

    this from the person who proclaimed Rush Limbaugh EXCELLENCE IN BROADCASTING. gee timmy, that’s some semi-legitimate media you’re pushing there. i mean here’s a man who reportedly earns AUD$40M with his current contract, owns a private jet which enables him to fly over all those foreclosed homes ‘owned’ by beltway types he claims to understand, who wants his own government to fail, promotes racist online media productions such as Barrak the Magic Negro, and Banking Queen dedicated to a gay congressman, yet dreams of “bending over and grabbing his ankles” at every opportunity. and timmy squealed like a 15 yo schoolgirl when he realised Limbaugh had linked to him. sense of proportion firmly missing IMHO.

    my diagnosis of timmy and his loon followers: unaccustomed to the high-pressure world of semi-legitimate media. a shame.

  11. confessions

    btw, i love the ‘gotcha’ that went arse up from timmy”

    “Strange thing, though; when someone carrying a Nazi sign turned up at a Hamas rally in his own city, Jeremy urged that we look the other way and instead concentrate on “what the thousands of people not carrying pro-Nazi signs” were saying.”

    hmmm. strange thing though; when rightwing extremist (and love-linked to on a frequent basis by timmy) Michelle Malkin turned up in a photo with a guy touting a swastika, timmy’s response was…….a great big fucking silent nothing instead of asking us to concentrate on the subliminal subtext of the rally she was was attending. nice try timmy, shame about the blinkers.


  12. confessions

    or the paucity thereof in mainstream media to start with? if you think about the MSM and its opinion pieces, most are either rightwingers (usual suspects that everyone knows), or leftists who write sensibly. not many dingbat leftists immediately spring to mind, and those who do (David Marr, Margot Kingston) write occaisional pieces of bullshit rather than regular tripe week in week out like blair and bolt.

    even so-called leftist non-journalists like Patti Chong (lawyer) who had the most sensible post-bushfire commentary I’d read in the MSM, rarely slips into unhinged territory like bolt. but flick to righard non-journalists like some of the scientists The Australian gets to contribute climate change pieces, and, well, ideologically driven drivel abounds, just like their ‘journalist’ counterparts.

  13. AR

    Possibly a reason for not shredding dingbat lefties is the paucity thereof being paid BigBuck$ in the meeja?

  14. confessions

    if you accept the rightard view (big ask that) that anything that comes out of the ABC is leftist bullshit then it should be very easy to find sufficient non-right material to pwn.

    just sayin…

  15. albi

    I have no fucking idea what your email is, Hall, but I’ll find it.

  16. Jeremy Sear

    You know what, Iain? I don’t care if you think we’ll tackle Loewenstein or other lefties or not. It’s not about just attacking people for the sake of evening the books – they’ve got to write something contemptible or intellectually dishonest first. Thus, until you come up with an example of a current post of his or another lefty that’s in any way similar to the Blair and Bolt stuff we’ve covered thus far, your attempted point is bunk. And I’m not going to waste any more time responding to it.

    (All it’ll take is one post tackling a lefty and it’ll be comprehensively disproved, anyway.)

  17. Iain Hall

    You know what my email is.

  18. albi

    at least I don’t misrepresent the work of others as my own.

    You better explain yourself, Hall. If you can point to anything on my blog that’s not my own writing, then do it. Who the fuck do you think you are?

  19. Scott Bridges

    Feel free to tip us off if we miss one of his pieces in the MSM, Iain.

    With thanks.

  20. confessions

    good idea. you’ll never see rightards criticise their own.

    “or are you just here to snipe from the sidelines without actually having a point?”

    you have to ask?

  21. albi

    at least I don’t misrepresent the work of others as my own.

  22. Iain Hall


    Lowenstien is an author of a couple of books and his writting does occasionally appear in the “mainstream” media so see what you can do with it then. If you can. I bet you fall at the first hurdle.

  23. Scott Bridges

    If he writes in the mainstream media, and he’s intellectually dishonest, we’d be delighted to, Iain.

  24. THR

    Is Lowenstein a lefty? Criticising the Israeli government isn’t by itself evidence of ‘leftism’.

    at least I don’t misrepresent the work of others as my own.
    You pass off your own handiwork as that of others…

  25. kedgie

    Iain – put up or shut up. Anything you’d like to see the guys take on, or are you just here to snipe from the sidelines without actually having a point?

  26. Iain Hall

    Why don’t you have a good look at Anthony Lowenstien?

  27. Iain Hall

    at least I don’t misrepresent the work of others as my own.

  28. albi

    Iain, you’re in no position to criticise anyone about objectivity. I went to your site only to discover that you regurgitate standard right-wing hyperbole via cut and paste and a couple of poorly written words of your own.

    At least these guys are giving it a go.

    As for some tip offs of loony lefties, the first people that come to mind are the ill informed whackjobs from the anti-vaccine brigade. I believe that the Australian Vaccination Network are big players in this game.

    There’s an HIV denialist organisation known as The Perth Group who clearly are off the planet. I don’t know if they really get much press though

  29. Scott Bridges

    “If I were to nominate Scott’s Crikey piece on sex education in Victoria. could any of your really honestly take it to task?”

    You mean the piece I wrote for

  30. THR

    The Australian media isn’t as (ahem) blessed with that many clear examples of left-wingers, compared to the naumber of righties.
    You’ve got Phillip Adams. Catherine Deveny is accused of being a lefty, but is hardly doctrinaire. Robert Manne and David Marr are best understood as liberals, not lefties. In the Hun, Bolt is ‘balanced’ by Jill Singer, which is a bit like Fox News using that insipid loser (name forgetten) to ‘balance’ a raving nutjob like Hannity.

  31. Greensborough Growler

    This blog identifies Andrew Landeryou’s Vexnews as a leftist blog. You’ve all danced before. Why not take on Landeryou from that perspective.

  32. chrisofbrisbane

    Gavin, wouldnt an international perspective be trying to do a bit too much.
    I mean the pages that could be filled by Fox News and Al Jazeera alone
    could potentially swamp this blog and its ability to focus on local issues.

    Just a thought.

  33. chrisofbrisbane

    Congrats on the new site guys. I reckon this is a really good thing. I will be happy to point out any stupidity or disingenuous behaviour from lefties when it arises. However as someone who considers themselves to be primarily centrist, and primarily interested in rational and reasonable discussion, its quite clear to me that at the present time there are far more and far more conspicuous examples of columnists that act in a juvenile, idiotic dishonest and disingenuous manner who identify themselves as representors of “conservative” politics.

    Somehow, in the Australian media, conservative politics has increasingly become significantly represented by the inane, childish and moronically hypocritical dribble of tribal, partisan hacks like Bolt and Blair, and if I were of a generally conservative disposition, I would be heartedly embarrassed that these clowns supposedly represented my beliefs.

  34. Jeremy Sear

    “could any of your really honestly take it to task?”

    For what?

  35. Iain Hall

    The thing is even if some one like myself were to point to some lefty loonyness can you honestly say that you would be capable of honestly holding it up to scrutiny, I think that you would instead find any excuse to dismiss any suggestions made, For instance If I were to nominate Scott’s Crikey piece on sex education in Victoria. could any of your really honestly take it to task?
    Hmm I thought not.

  36. GavinM

    Hello All,

    Good luck with the new site…

    Are we restricting this to only Australian extremist commentators, or are we including international ones as well ?

  37. THR

    This is a good idea. It is essential that you punish all forms of petit-bourgeois deviationism.

  38. Jeremy Sear

    I don’t believe we did claim that we’d be “even-handed”. We just said we’d have a go at intellectual dishonesty wherever we found it, regardless of the political persuasion of the offender.

    Obviously we’re all lefties, and that’s going to affect the sites we read off our own bats. If righties want to point out stupidity and dodginess from sites we don’t read, then feel free to let us know. We’re not going to go easy on them just because they’re from the left.

    Is there an Australian left-wing equivalent of tim Blair? Who?

    (I know Crikey once called me the “Tim Blair antidote”, but I don’t think they were accusing me of being his opposite.)

  39. Scott Bridges

    Just checked my spam bin and your email’s not in there either, Iain. Are you sure you sent it?

  40. Iain Hall

    The real question has to be are any of you really capable of fulfilling that part of your mission statement. I don’t think that any of you can actually do it.
    Further if you were being truly even handed you would not be expecting readers to find examples of left-wing loonyness, you would be seeking it out yourselves.

  41. Jeremy Sear

    Seriously, you have to point these alleged examples of left-wing extremism out to me, because I don’t tend to read those sites. I don’t recall ever having read a David Marr or Philip Adams column in my life.

  42. David Richards

    Good on you – not likely to see a reciprocal offer on any of the rightist blogs.. especially xtian rightist blogs

  43. Scott Bridges

    I’ve been refreshing my inbox every thirty seconds, Iain, but I still haven’t received your tip off email.

  44. Jason Wilson

    Hear that? Got a bit of work to do before Iain’s convinced. Gotta wake up pret-ty early in the morning to sneak one past him.

  45. Iain Hall

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

  46. John Surname

    Please don’t reveal my real name – Roger Surname.

  47. Jason Wilson

    I want you guys to hunt down and expose the biggest liar on the Internet: John Surname.

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