In this week's edition of The Daily Banter Mail Bag, Bob, Ben and Chez discuss Greenwald fans, diversity at The Daily Banter and what we'd do with 48 hours to live.
1. What do you think it would take for Greenwald's true believers to finally be willing to see their vaunted saint for what he really is? Is it possible that the tweet about the kidnapped girls in Nigeria will at least give some who support him a little pause?
Ben: In my honest opinion, Greenwald could say pretty much anything and his dedicated minions would still hang on his every last word. The only thing worse than Glenn Greenwald is a Glenn Greenwald fan. There's literally nothing that would deter his ardent supporters who genuinely believe that everything he utters is the gospel truth, so there's probably no point in holding out any hope. That being said, I used to think Greenwald was OK, but then I got older and tired of his relentless moralizing. Maybe some of them will out grow him, but I wouldn't hold out for the true believers.
Chez: Easy answer? No. I think what Greenwald said was kind of surprising even for him, but I don't think it's going to be a turn-off to his acolytes because really he's critic-proof. People who know who Greenwald is -- people well-versed in politics especially -- are probably not all that ambivalent about him. There are those who've always thought he's a smug asshole without an ounce of empathy and those who think he's ALWAYS right and righteous. Doubt this will change the balance much. I think that if there's anyone who does happen to be on the fence, this might knock him or her off since it really is Greenwald at his absolute shittiest.
Bob: There's no way in hell his most pious and faithful disciples would ever abandon their leader. It didn't happen when he saw merit in Citizens United, or when he linked to an Oath Keepers website, or when he published misleading articles and certainly not when he criticized support for rescuing the kidnapped Nigerian girls. All of that said, there's a considerable chunk of casual Greenwald readers who, prior to last June, didn't follow his work. I suspect as his personality and tactics continue to manifest on Twitter and elsewhere, he'll gradually lose those people -- and they're the ones who really matter.
2. I'm not pulling a Suey Park on you but is diversity ever a concern at The Daily Banter? Do any of you sometimes wish you had more voices with different backgrounds?
Chez: I don't know. I actually think we're actually doing pretty well when it comes to diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and voices on our writing staff. But certainly differing viewpoints is never a bad thing, even though I do think it's important that we at least respect the overall mission of the Daily Banter, which is to provide smart, usually "practical progressive" commentary and to call out bullshit when we see it.
Bob: I think there's a wide range of voices, and in terms of backgrounds, while we all come from journalism/media careers (as it probably should be for a news and opinion site) our life experiences and worldviews are different enough to set us apart from many of our competitors. If you're talking about more female or minority contributors, we've had writers from both of those groups. Can we do more? Probably. But so can everyone.
Ben: I'd say we're pretty diverse. We have regular white, black, male, female and Jew(ish) writers on the site (I'm the somewhat Jewish person btw) and we certainly don't look for any particular background when it comes to selecting contributors. I guess I don't really think about it too much - I just want smart, thoughtful writers who don't take themselves too seriously. They could be purple for all I care.
3. You've got 48 hours to live. What do you do?
Bob: Laughing with my family, hugging/kissing my wife, eating everything that's bad for me.
Chez: Take the rest of the Vicodin. Hold my kid. Probably not in that order.
Ben: Well, I'd want to ensure the Cohen lineage continued, so you can probably guess what I'd be looking for....