Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sometimes, it is OK to blame the victim

This week free market video blogger and investor Peter Schiff went on the Daily Show to defend the minimum wage and gave them plenty of ammunition to mock "our side" with. As expected, they used editing tricks, anecdotal examples and a cherry-picked expert to argue against their point. They even included a passing reference that called important social safety net policies like the earned income tax credit "corporate welfare."

Well Peter, what did you think would happen? As Mike Munger wrote after viewing a different Daily Show  segment last month:

At this point, these are not ambush interviews, because it's obvious what is going to happen. If cannibals ask:  "Can you come to dinner?" it means YOU are going to be cooked. If Aasif Mandvi asks if you want to do an interview, it means YOU are going to be smoked and hung out to dry. 

I understand that we're not supposed to "blame the victim" but I don't care. Sometimes, the victim was being careless. This is another great example of Ken's Law, where the awfulness of one side does not mean the other side is forgiven for being awful as well.

Did Schiff need to increase his exposure to the world? He's found much more flattering venues before. On his blog he said he thought going to the show was a "risk" to help get his message out. No Peter, there was no risk here. It was a done-deal from the start.

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