Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Those who revel in exposing the unkind words of others don't like it when their own unkind words are exposed.

As reported by Jim Geraghty at Campaign Spot:
A JournoList Contributor Apologizes

Sara Spitz, the producer for KCRW who was quoted in today’s Daily Caller story, apologizes:
I made poorly considered remarks about Rush Limbaugh to what I believed was a private email discussion group from my personal email account. As a publicist, I realize more than anyone that is no excuse for irresponsible behavior. I apologize to anyone I may have offended and I regret these comments greatly; they do not reflect the values by which I conduct my life.
Everyone says (or in this case, writes) things they regret; a key measuring stick of ourselves is what we do afterwards.
Geraghty, being a better man than I am, is willing to let things end here. (The commentors on the post, however, do not. The usual warnings about comment sections apply.)

But this apology seems to ring a bit hollow. A bit of context is in order before proceeding; so to Jonathan Strong at The Daily Caller:
If you were in the presence of a man having a heart attack, how would you respond? As he clutched his chest in desperation and pain, would you call 911? Would you try to save him from dying? Of course you would.

But if that man was Rush Limbaugh, and you were Sarah Spitz, a producer for National Public Radio (update: Spitz was a producer for NPR affiliate KCRW for the show Left, Right & Center), that isn’t what you’d do at all.

In a post to the list-serv Journolist, an online meeting place for liberal journalists, Spitz wrote that she would “Laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out” as Limbaugh writhed in torment.

In boasting that she would gleefully watch a man die in front of her eyes, Spitz seemed to shock even herself. “I never knew I had this much hate in me,” she wrote. “But he deserves it.”

Spitz’s hatred for Limbaugh seems intemperate, even imbalanced. On Journolist, where conservatives are regarded not as opponents but as enemies, it barely raised an eyebrow.
Values are with you always, even when you are angry. So it is not unreasonable to suggest that Ms. Spitz do some careful thinking about what the values by which she conducts her daily life are, and how well she abides by them. When compared with her words, Ms. Spitz's apology is more a statement of shame than contrition; one of anger at apprehension than of reflection.

Before you go and say, "But those words were in private, amongst friends," I urge you to reconsider. The press extends no such provisions to those they cover - not even you - if those comments are part of a story they want to tell.

Now the press can get hoist on its own petard.