A bad taste of Malkin in my mouth
I finally had a debate with Michelle Malkin face-to-face, and now she has quickly taken to her blog www.michellemalkin.com to complain of being victimized and slam me and everything connected with it. The facts, briefly, are that she was invited to speak at Emory some time ago by the College Republicans, as can be deduced by the publicity for her appearance that can still be seen on websites like that of Young Americans for Freedom. The College Democrats learned late last week of her appearance, and hastily threw together a response. On Saturday, three days before the event was to take place, I agreed to come down for the evening and speak in rebuttal, debunking her fantasies about Japanese Americans and her contemptible use of bad history to justify ethnic profiling.
Malkin delivered her lecture before a large group. Perhaps in response to the news of my appearance, Malkin changed the topic of her lecture--certainly a new set of fliers was put up around campus. I was late getting to her lecture and sat down quietly in the back of the hall. I heard her give distorted answers to various questions about the government’s treatment of Japanese Americans. After the event, while I was speaking to some other people who had attended, Malkin came up to me and asked why I had not debated her. I explained that I had not known that I would be appearing and I had not been invited by the College Republicans. She then suggested that she be permitted to debate me during my scheduled appearance. I hastily conferred with representatives of the College Democrats, and they and the College Republicans agreed to have her come debate me.
We regrouped in the room in which my event was to take place. As had been agreed by the two groups, I gave a basic 20 minute presentation, then Malkin spoke for 10 minutes, then we each rebutted for 5. I was supposed, as the host of the event, then to have the last 5 minutes, but Malkin insisted on responding to my final comments and we permitted her to make a final statement. I felt that, despite her evident polish as a media figure and speaker, that she did not answer my arguments, as indeed she has not since Eric Muller and I presented them. After the event, the representative of the College Republicans, even “in opposition”, as he said, thanked us for putting on the event, and remarked how rare it was at Emory for two people with differing views to be able to share a platform and debate.
The payback for our generosity in giving Malkin a forum to spread her views—one I certainly did not get from the College Republicans—was a nasty accusations that I am “gutless,” “underhanded” etc. The most amusing of all is to be called an"intellectual snob" for restricting myself to commenting on the Japanese Americans, a subject on which I have expertise. I suppose that Malkin feels that everyone should spout forth ill-informed judgments the way she does. Well, all I can say is that you can't make good policy using bad history. I understand from Malkin’s column that the College Republicans will be making available the full video of the debate. I hope so, because it will show our respective performances and what we said.
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Peter August Kurilecz - 2/8/2005
Fair Poise - 2/8/2005
I like the title of your post, it is perfect, in fact it is not only perfect but appropiate on all levels, and I am a feminist. She is not alone in leaving a bad taste in the mouths of many and she and the rest of her lot are merely Conservative Robots manuafcturered for the revision of history.
Once they get outside of that safety net of The Echo-Chamber, they can't seem to find the answers and they simply self implode. I read all of the "name calling" and what she said about you on her blog but never believed any of it. Furthermore, most people on the Right who read her blog only do so for the drama.
Thank you very much for accomodating the College Democrats, thank you for your service, I look forward to viewing the video.
Bubba Smith - 2/4/2005
I emailed the webmaster of the college republicans website and he said they will put it online:
"As soon as we find a way to host 143 MB. I could host it on my FTP, but I think it is only accessible to those on the Emory network because of the firewall."
Email the guy if you can help get the video online: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter August Kurilecz - 2/4/2005
This link will take you to the Emory (University) Wheel's account
Derek Charles Catsam - 2/4/2005
Aren't you reading intent here? If Greg does not intend anything sexual or crude, is it your place to ascribe it to him? If his post had a sexual allusion, I suppose it would be your place to be picayune like this, but without an indication of intent, it seems to me that Van is correct -- it is you who are reading a sexual implication where most of us otherwise would not have seen it.
Hugo Schwyzer - 2/3/2005
Well, to me there is a world of difference between: "my debate with Michelle Malkin left a bad taste in my mouth" and "A Bad taste of Malkin in my mouth". One refers to an encounter, the other refers (however obliquely) to a body.
Men use the language of eating to refer to women all the time, ranging from "I could eat you up" to "You look good enough to eat" to "eating (slang term for female genitalia)." It's a language of consumption that I find problematic.
Van L. Hayhow - 2/3/2005
You sure you aren't being too sensitive? The expression that something leaves a bad taste in your mouth is an expression without any sexual connotation that I am aware of. I certainly never heard it used that way. If I am wrong (it happens) the image would be there no matter what the gender of the person speaking about.
Gino 888 - 2/3/2005
Seems like there's always a new Lillian Baker just waiting around the corner. To a degree, Baker and her ilk serve some amusement value, but, really, I fear the day when the last camp survivor has passed on.
Peter August Kurilecz - 2/3/2005
better yet you can read Michelle Malkin's posts at the following two links and decide
her initial account
as she notes in her followup the topic of her speech was decided on a month before the speech. She took questions from the audience afterwards and many asked about her questions about the internment issue.
Hugo Schwyzer - 2/3/2005
Greg, I'm no fan of Michelle Malkin's. I take your side. Maybe it's the pro-feminist in me, but I'm not crazy about the title of your post here. "A Bad Taste of Malkin in my Mouth" seems innocuous enough, but I'm troubled by the imagery that it conjures up.
joe o'neill - 2/3/2005
Could you please provide some documentation for this statement?
"Malkin changed the topic of her lecture"
Jonathan Dresner - 2/3/2005
Good work, Greg! I've been accused of having great patience with historically ignorant and/or mean-spirited interlocuters, but I've never had to do what you've done.
The debate format was about as good as you could get under the circumstances. A serious moderator would be worth having, though it'd be hard to imagine her actually accepting a joint invitation.
Ralph E. Luker - 2/3/2005
Thanks for this report, Greg. I'm _really_ sorry, as I said in an e-mail, to have missed seeing you and Malkin at Emory. Jean and I would have been happy to feed you and put you up for the night, if only we'd _known_ about it! I do think that it is useful to do this sort of truth-squadding.