Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mya Guarnieri Strikes Back

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 do.
i suffer the consequences of your ridiculous ideas about land land land.
mya guarnieri

Comment 2: 
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?
your friend,

Comment 3:
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?
ha ha.
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!)
the bamba-eating-hebrew-speaking-israel-living-mya-guarnieri

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).


  1. That couldn't have been her, unless she was drunk. I think you got punked.

  2. While I'm in favor of a palestinian state, the idea that the palestinians are equally as deserving of a state as the israelis is inane.

    If it weren't for the israelis, the palestinians would today be called "jordanians" and would be happy stateless subjects of the jordanian king.

    Palestine was never a country, very rarely the name of a province of an empire, and never an ethic indicator of any time until after israel was formed.

    the levantine arabs of jordan are ethnically indistinguishable from the palestinians.

    While I don't see there being peace unless the palestinians get their own state, I thoroughly reject the idea that they are equally (or more) deserving of a state than the palestinians. Tell that to Ms. Guarnieri


  3. The difference between the article that was reviewed and the author's follow-up comments here is the difference between "I don't agree with (MG's) position but I respect the author's POV and intelligence" to "Is there something wrong, I mean physically or mentally wrong, with this person?" Hard to believe it's the same writer.

  4. While reading the comments posted here, signed Guarnieri as the author, I was at first suspicious. However, going through the posts on the original thread at HuffPo, and having read the comments by Guarnieri that were eventually deleted, it is totally believable that it could actually be her.

    Some of the comments posted by Ms. Guarnieri on the HuffPo, did not exactly sound like those of an intelligent, professional, respected "journalist" trying to make a point or debate an issue. They sounded more like a child taunting another, as a bully would do. They were no different than the common pro-Palestinian poster who turns to ad hom attacks, and total immaturity when someone gets under their skin.

    When a "paid professional", throws all professional decorum out the window, and resorts to childish, petty personal attacks against a poster, then it becomes believable. We have all evidenced this in Guarnieri, as well as Narwani and Rosenberg, numerous times.

    I just don't know if it is more "humorous" or "sad".

  5. Guarnieri and Narwani have a lot in common, among them the same dismissive attitude towards pro-Israel posters and the belief all the problems in the Middle East can be solved by getting rid of Israel.

    If only life was that simple!

  6. It's amusing to see Guarniari toss out the "Rightwing" insult bomb when on the Israel-Palestine question, the politics championed by Hamas, Hezbollah, and their Iranian masters - the politics of the backwards and barbaric Islamist far Right - form the basis of her very own "left wing" activism.

    Guarniari is no different than the fascist loving George Galloway:

    It is these types who are the real "Rightwingers". They support the far Right Islamists and are megaphones for their political agendas, especially in regards to Israel and the USA.

  7. Now, please give credit where credit is due! At least ONE matze of compassion for Ms Guarniari :) All these years, all these nerves she must have spent absorbing just the right buzz-words, just the right attitudes -- only to see it all go to bust? I'd be pretty pissed, too. And, considering her possibilities I think she's doing remarkably well: a little tongue-in-cheek irony here, a bit -- well, make that loads, ship loads -- of supposedly not-to-be-taken seriously bitchiness there ... a rather resourcefull attempt at a rounded self-portrayal, I dare say! At least, you can't blame her for not being compliant with the self-loathing zeitgeist, can you? All very trendy, very tastefully arranged, and very academy-of-arts, must have cost her a fortune, really


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