I've never before complained about another blogger not linking one of my posts. Blogging involves a great deal of highly subjective editorial judgment, and if other bloggers don't find my posts interesting or well-written it doesn't hurt my feelings.
But this time is different. A couple of days ago I linked to a Mark Kleiman post asking what seemed to be a sincere question: Did Second Lieutenant Bush wear a ribbon he didn't rate back in the late 60s? After researching it as best I could, I admitted that it seemed to be a legitimate question, "for which I ha[d] no ready answer." Kleiman apparently liked hearing that sort of admission from someone on this side of the blogosphere, because he updated with a link to my post. Glenn Reynolds also linked.
Well, it didn't take long for my readers to provide a very plausible explanation for Bush's wearing of the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, even though it isn't listed as one of his awards in his ANG personnel file. I posted their explanations here, and they also appeared in comments to the original post. I sent my update to Kleiman, with a link. I assumed he'd comment on and link to it; after all, he asked the question and seemed sincere in wanting the truth, and I had information that might very well get him (and his readers) closer to that truth, if not all the way there.
Apparently, I assumed too much. It's been slightly less than two days since I posted my update and e-mailed it to Kleiman -- practically eons, in blogosphere time -- and, by my count, he's posted no less than six additional items since then. But he hasn't even acknowledged the new information, let alone posted a link to it. Lest you worry that he might not have received my e-mail, I also sent him a trackback ping when I posted the update, and it's been displayed on his site for the past two days. So I'm left with the sinking feeling that I've played into the hands of a guy to whom it's acceptable to sacrifice truth for the sake of getting Bush out of office. Too bad. Kleiman is very smart, and was once very much worth reading even if you didn't agree with all his politics.
A great irony in all this is that, when he linked to my post admitting some doubt about whether Bush had been entitled to wear the AFOUA, Kleiman added the snide comment that, "Rustler has some learning to do about how to Blog for Bush. Questions about the Beloved Leader are to be ignored, not discussed." That may be true in some corners of the blogosphere. But apparently, in Kleiman's corner the rule is that innocent answers about "Bushitler" are to be studiously ignored, not discussed. And I wouldn't call that approach "taking the moral high ground."
People who live in glass houses . . .
UPDATE: Kleiman responds via e-mail (I sent him this post, in the interest of fairness)
I did see your update. Your correspondents suggest the possibility that Lt. Bush was entitled to wear that ribbon. If someone has confirmed that, I'm happy to update. (Do you have contacts with the campaign? The White House could answer this pretty easily if it wanted to.) I don't regard it as my duty to update on speculation.
My reply (as best I can remember it now): "But you regarded it as your duty to post based on speculation in the first place. Fair and balanced indeed."