Well that was a lot about nothing, no?
A Web site, Fire John Yoo is tracking all the news of the now dying coverage of John Yoo, who wrote controversial legal notices on torture during the Bush administration, and the virtriol surrounding his being retained as an op-ed columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
There were protests across the country calling for Yoo to be fired. He wasn’t. And, as news is want to do, it seems to have all but quieted. That’s how John Yoo became a household name and will soon be forgotten.
Inquirer Editorial page editor Harold Jackson, if not perfectly, did, I think, correctly assess the situation and why the controversy may not have been worth it all.
As Jackson wrote:
The decision to publish Yoo monthly came at the suggestion of The Inquirer‘s publisher, Brian Tierney, who cited Yoo’s mutual roots in Philadelphia as well as his legal scholarship — he is a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley
In the past two years, The Inquirer has consciously added other conservative voices to our daily op-ed page and Sunday opinion section to counter criticism that our editorials and columns always lean left.
Adding more conservative commentaries to our mix doesn’t mean we have become right-wing in our editorial positions. It means we aren’t afraid to let people hear what the other side has to say.
We think most of our readers aren’t afraid either.
Our editorial board strives to take distinct positions on every topic we write about. But we also want to make sure our pages present alternative points of view. [Source]
I think there may be real value in an argument of, though the media is derided as media, voice is more often given to right-wing extremism than their left-wing counterparts, a case made by Paul Krugman of the New York Times. That’s a case that Daily News columnist and blogger Will Bunch argued well, too — that his problem wasn’t necessarily with dissenting voices but that Yoo wasn’t a voice of dissent but rather a voice of illegal extremism supporting something he considers immoral and unjust: torture.
What do you think? Are you surprised the coverage has dragged?
Now a bit of a review of much of the Yoo coverage:
- Attytood blogger Will Bunch led the charge by writing on Yoo’s retention, and he continued on.
- Bunch and Tierney debate on Radio Times
- Democracy Now coverage
- NPR coverage
- American Journalism Review notice
- Huffington Post coverage
- WHYY coverage and intervention
- A Philly Weekly blogger followed it, repeatedly.
- Philadelphia blog Phawker coverage
- Philadelphia blog Philebrity coverage and his following call for a boycott
- New York blog Gawker coverage and follow up
- Young Philly Politics coverage
- McJawn note of Philebrity coverage