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Jonathan Zasloff and the World of Passive-Aggressives

Does UCLA law professor Jonathan Zasloff represent all that is weak about America?  Consider this: Zasloff, tired of listening to FoxNews (and listening to people talk about FoxNews) decided that ignoring morons was too difficult.  That would require some level of self-control and virture.  He'd have to personally decide to ignore the buffoons.  That was too much.

Thus, like all too many people prone to "take to the bed" when stressed, he sought government intervention.  On a list-serve populated by emotionally-stunted - though allegedly adult - journalists, he wrote: "I hate to open this can of worms, but is there any reason why the FCC couldn’t simply pull [FoxNews'] broadcasting permit once it expires?"

Zasloff didn't realize that his words would become public, as he posted it to JournoList - an off-the-record list-serve created by liberal commentator Ezra Klein.  (That Zasloff and other alleged adults sincerely believed that an e-mail sent to several hundred other people would remain private is worthy of a separate post.)

Zasloff made a flip comment.  We all have.  You can find on this very site things I wish I hadn't written.  If you printed a post and put it in my face, I'd say, "Yeah.  That was pretty dumb.  The hazard of saying many things is that you'll regret a few of those things."  There is nothing wrong with being wrong.  You took a swing while everyone else stared to watch.  There is no shame in an occasional foul ball.

Has Zasloff admitted that he made an ill-conceived comment?  Has he expressed remorse or regret?  Of course not. 

Instead, Zasloff has joined the wormiest subculture in the United States - the passive-aggressive.  Instead of owning his idea, he writes

Journolist was more like a conversation around a water cooler; it wasn’t a law review article. I raised a question.

One can admire his adversaries.  As Edmund Burke noted centuries ago: "He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper. This amicable conflict with difficulty helps us to an intimate acquaintance with our object, and compels us to consider it in all its relations. It will not suffer us to be superficial."    

Yet Zasloff wants to pretend he is no one's adversary.  His questions do not contain content.  Oh, no.  He's just asking a question.

Rather than face you as a person with honor and integrity, the passive-aggressive always seeks cover.  They always seek deniability.  They don't offer ideas - no, just questions.

The passive aggressive doesn't accuse, as accusations require courage.  Instead, the passive-aggressive asks: "Do you feel like an idiot today?"  When you ask them what they mean, they accuse you of overreacting.  "Chill out, man.  I was just asking a question." 

Zasloff can be forgiven for suggesting that FoxNews be shut down.  Who wouldn't like to see FoxNews, the New York Times, and CNBC all closed down?  They are all part of the same Ministry of Information.  They all serve corporate and government power.  The only difference is whom they want to have power.  Yet Zasloff, like the CIA, will neither confirm nor deny his opinions.  

Zasloff cannot be forgiven for failing to take responsibility for his words.  He's a slug deserving of far more contempt than he's received.  He's revealed himself as a lowlife passive-aggressive.