On Monday, we at Huffington Post Monitor were blessed with a visit from an HP blogger, Mya Guarnieri herself (or at least someone claiming to be her). She responded to my critique of her blog post, posted here. If you go to the blog post, you can see her comments, but I'm going to reproduce them here. The comments are extremely interesting and helpful for understanding the mindset of Ms. Guarnieri and the HP users that are her fan base.
Comment 1 (spacing removed for all three):
no, thank you for keeping it classy, hasbaraniks. ;)
what's the most hilarious point about all of this? is that you right-wing-blogger types don't even live here (pretend as you might).
i suffer the consequences of your ridiculous ideas about land land land.
ps) if you knew your history, you would know that ISRAELIS aren't a race... the jewish people are. and, no, israel is not the sole representative of the jewish people... as much as you'd like it to be.
stay classy, "brothers"...
where is it you're located again? what? new york?
i was ready to move along-- after all, i have work to do (oh, do you get paid for opinions? no? that's funny... i do!)
i couldn't resist commenting on the following sentence, cut and pasted from your post:
"Does she that hypocritical that she will support Palestinian self-determination but seek to remove self determination from Jews?"
"Does she that..."?
yikes! do you proofread? is that proper english?
methinks no. (and my multiple degrees in the field agree with me).
see, what's funny about your logic is that you seem to want self-determination for the jews but not for the palestinians... which is actually a threat for the jewish people...
so tell me who is good for the jews here? me or you?
in fact, a bi-national, democratic, secular state would allow self-determination for all people, whether palestinian (be that christian or muslim) or jewish.
it's about INDIVIDUAL self-determination... you know, that little thing we americans call democracy.
you are american, right?
or british... whatever. you're not israeli... ;)
so, basically, when you argue against a bi-national, democratic state, you're arguing against the right of jewish and palestinian individuals to self-determine...
let me remind you that arabs and palestinians are semites as well.
so, whose the real anti-semite here, "brothers"?
stay classy! (i like that! i think i'll keep it! thanks!)
Let's dissect these comments, shall we?
Ms. Guarnieri's comments are very illuminating because we can see, in the space of three short comments, a plethora of tactics and rhetoric very common to the HPers in general. Rather than go through each comment, I will divide my analysis on the basis of these tactics, as I think it will make for easier reading.
Tactic 1: Insults
Ms. Guarnieri proved she was quite willing to make ad hominem attacks on anyone who disagrees with her in her comment about "hasbara," on the HP and she keeps it up here. She calls Zach and me "hasbaraniks," "right-winger blog types," and, of course, "anti-semites". If you want, you can go through every post in this blog, there is nothing here to indicate Zach and I are "right wing". There certainly isn't anything in my post about Ms. Guarnieri's op ed to indicate that I am a right winger (other than being pro-Israel, which is a bi-partisan issue), but Ms. Guarnieri throws it out there anyway because in the world of the HP, being called a right winger is an insult, so why not?
Tactic 2: Strawman Arguments
Ms. Guarnieri writes in comment 3 that "you seem to want self-determination for the jews but not for the palestinians." There is nothing in my blog post to indicate that is what I want, you can go back and read it. I have always been an advocate of the two state solution, but that is besides the point. Ms. Guarnieri would rather make things up about my stance on the peace process than actually address my points.
Tactic 3: Arrogance and Condescension
The users on the HP love to be as arrogant and condescending as possible. Many of their arguments consist of statements like, "if the rest of the US knew what I know, they would never support Israel," or "If you don't agree with me, you just aren't as smart/educated/well-traveled as me. If you were as smart/educated/well-traveled as me, you'd agree with me." We see that here with Ms. Guarnieri. She points out that she gets paid to write (while we do not), she lives in Tel Aviv, and that she has "multiple degrees." Such sterling arguments would be more expected coming from a child on a playground, but she puts them out there anyway. Of course, such statements make you wonder why a paid hoity-toity journalist would take the time out to comment on a small, volunteer blog, but I guess that's not important. Also note that Ms. Guarnieri accurately points out a grammatical error in my blog post and waves her "multiple degrees" as evidence of her superior English skills, while in the midst of writing three comments with no capitalization and multiple disjointed sentences.
Tactic 4: Language Manipulation
Ms. Guarnieri responds to my description of her statement that "Israelis don't want peace" as racist by pointing out that Israelis aren't a race. True, but since stereotyping Palestinians is judged to be racist on the HP, I figured the same logic applied to Israelis. Apparently not, so I guess we can all agree Ms. Guarnieri's statement was instead bigoted, as even she doesn't dispute the spirit of my comment. Similarly, she, just like so many HPers before her, tries to rewrite the definition of anti-Semitism so it doesn't mean hatred of Jews.
So there you have a response from an HP blogger to a critique of her article: insults, arrogance, and dishonesty. I was really hoping for an actual exchange of ideas, but maybe next time we'll see some. But that being said, it was very nice of Ms. Guarnieri to come by and offer her opinion, we always want opposing points of view to come and challenge us (civilly, of course).