24 June 2008

Marc Fisher Takes the Bait

Someone should have seen this coming. Wait, someone did. The key graf:

It might be a tempting move to cut a stadium as a gesture to the anti-development side. It wouldn't really change anything, but it allows the city to remove the trojan horse argument of "Don't give away our land to evil sports owners!" that we're seeing employed. In reality, nothing changes, but the city might think it's an expedient PR move

And suddenly, on cue, comes Marc Fisher on his blog. Remember that we wrote that the goal of the anti-development forces is "No development of any sort." And frankly, they were at least refreshingly honest in their stated objectives. But we cautioned then that the stadium would always be the trojan horse in which the objections would be framed, and Marc Fisher decides to enter that horse through the predictable route. See how his article is framed:

"The battle over whether to build a soccer stadium for D.C. United at Poplar Point will today move beyond the rhetorical..."

"That does not bode well for a soccer stadium, at least not in the timeframe that D.C. United has been talking about."

Marc frames the entire issue in terms of the stadium, not in terms of the development as a whole. Marc then cynically insults his new environmental allies "Environmental claims are a developer's worst nightmare. Whether or not the most dire claims of the greens are correct, the process of finding out can take many years and many millions of dollars." In other words, it doesn't matter if the claims are true or not. Marc doesn't care. What Marc delights in is the political move of stalling and waging a social war of attrition. Marc's proposed solution "for the District to reconsider the privately held land immediately adjacent to the park" is a nice one that is, however, not on the table. That land is already privately held, and there's no guarantee that anyone can get at it to develop it. It's not on the table, it's merely the slight of hand distraction needed to allow Marc to deal all four aces to the bottom of his rhetorical deck.

I'd say this is shockingly cynical on Marc's part, but I would be lying. It is expected. Marc likes to deal in the faux-populism of Pat Buchanan circa 1991 in New Hampshire. He claims, disingenuously, that while he doesn't care for soccer, this isn't about his admitted antipathy, but instead about his love for the city. But when choosing between writing an honest column about the motives of the proposed lawsuit (that it is against all Poplar Point development) he instead chooses to clothe it once again as an anti-stadium screed.

American letters is full of curmudgeonly old men who are worth reading (H.L. Mencken, P.J. O'Rourke, and others come to mind). However, one thing those men couldn't stand was inauthentic representations of objection. Mr. Fisher embodies the worst posing, posturing, and demogoging tendencies of his profession as an opinion columnist. It's sad, pathetic, and disgusting simultaneously. The truth, which should be the most fixed point of navigation for anyone in the media, is simply a lesser constellation to that of Mr. Fisher's own agendas.

At least now we can dispense with the pretense that Mr. Fisher is a reasonable man championing the poor against evil judges with dry cleaning bills. We see him now as the mirror image of Roy Pearson, willing to use and misuse any platform he can find to advance his own opinions. And for that, perhaps, we can thank him.

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At 24 June, 2008 10:40, Anonymous Mickey said...

Fisher is a modern day muckraker - he is a blogger not a journalist and the Washington Post is more than happy to let him stir controversy.

Viewed through that lens, his credibility is up there with tabloid journalism.

At 24 June, 2008 16:58, Anonymous Eric in Baltimore said...

Considering he lives in Montgomery County, I think he should keep his piehole shut about the city.

One of the worst days of my "reading" life was when I opened an issue of the New Yorker to fine his god-forsaken name on one of the articles.

That made me sad.

At 25 June, 2008 11:43, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found it interesting too that the Goff Soccer Insider post of the day was pro-environment, lets not build the stadium if it will hurt the crabs comment. Never mind that something will be built there no matter what...


At 26 June, 2008 00:47, Blogger The Northern Virginia Conservative said...

Goff aside, has the ComPost EVER been really supportive of soccer?


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