Michelle Malkin and Eric Muller LiveEric Muller and Michelle Malkin debated on public radio today. All in all, there wasn’t much new substance to the debate beyond their online battles. Near as I can tell Muller won the debate, Malkin seems to continue to make the same errors of reasoning he has outlined before. In fact at times I was really struggling to see how her argument could be believed to really fit together.
After listening to her defense live, I’m kind of left wondering about her view on her own thesis. She never says that she doesn’t believe that internment was justified in her radio interview (and claims the opposite), but her repeated attempts to dodge the questions makes me wonder how much she really buys that. I’m puzzled as to whether she really wants to argue for internment or if she wants to argue that some measure of racial profiling was legitimate under the circumstances. Her book clearly makes the former claim, but she seems far more comfortable dealing with the latter.
Muller established three things he thinks her book would have to do to prove her thesis (and does not accomplish). I’d add a forth (before his fist):
0.5: Engage with the earlier arguments in good faith. Establish how they do deal, and would deal with the evidence you present as well as the additional kinds of evidence they have brought to bear on the question. Demonstrate the ways your interpretation of your evidence is better and either re-interpret, discredit, or disprove the continued relevance of their evidence. (note: ad-hominem attacks don’t count as accomplishing this goal).
Edit: I'm struggling for a phrase to capture her move away from defending internment, and dodge in retrospect seems a bit harsh. She simply moved away from vigorously saying she though internment was correct, to saying there was some "military justification." I'm just not quite sure what she means.
I really think the moment where she seemed the most trapped was when "evacuation" was being discussed and Muller jumped on her for calling it voluntary. I think parts of her argument rely on playing fast and loose with definitions, and Muller caught her in the act. She really couldn't defend herself, even by using some quick thinking specious reasoning. Internment was NOT voluntary. Eviction was NOT voluntary.