Monday, November 03, 2003

Medical Update: Novak's Syndrome

A mildly debilitating psychological malady, which renders in the sufferer an inability to grasp, or a pathological reluctance to acknowledge, the gravity of a dishonest politically-motivated attack, based on:

(a) the sufferer's perception that the object of the attack was in some way deserving of it; and/or

(b) their sympathy with the political inclinations of the attacker.

This condition first came to mainstream attention in recent months as public concern grew over the obvious ill-health of Robert Novak - as he oleaginated widely on television and print media - and demanded an explanation for his apparently inexplicable debasements.


I should at this point say that the overwhelming majority of mail sent to this site is supportive. Supportive that is of both Bending Truth and Riverbend herself. There have been occasional less enthused comments about Riverbend, from people who, nonetheless more heartily condemn Diego, the riverSbend faker. Such people I think deserve special commendation for their Voltairean spirit in support of his famed aphorism, "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it"

In fact I have heard from only one single person in the mailbag with unkind words to say about the Bending Truth campaign. Even throughout the web our notices have been overwhelmingly positive, and where they have not been, I have found invariably that a diagnosis of Novak's Syndrome as described above cannot be discounted. It is true to say that I have not seen one person, who expressed an opinion on the US-led Iraq war and was against it, who thought our campaign against the fervently pro-War riverSbend smearblogger was ill-judged or disproportionate. As is characteristic of sufferers, those who sought to diminish the culpability of Diego, seemed ineluctably to have some sympathy for his core political beliefs or at least some degree of animus toward the original Riverbend.

From the Bending Truth mailbox I'll offer this case study in the corrosive effects Novak's Syndrome on the logical capacity of the afflicted:

Writes GS:
I wandered over to the RiverSbend website as well -- and it's obviously a counterblog site; ...
This seem utterly obvious by the names in each: "Baghdad Burning" versus "Baghdad's Not Burning." Who knows, maybe it's been changed since you decided to put up your rather foolish site,

[Brian's comment: who knows indeed? Perhaps someone who decided to acquaint themselves with the history of the "rather foolish site" they decided to attack, by - dare I suggest - reading it? Someone who had read the blog on the very day that GS wrote to attack it, would have noted that only then had the name of the blog been changed and other steps taken to make confusion much less likely - as a direct result of our campaign

But here we see the symptoms of Novak's syndrome plainly, where the sufferer is at first instance so convinced of the trivial nature of the complaint about the attack being made, that he himself attacks the complainant in untrammelled ignorance.

In a severe case like this the sufferer may regard their rectitude as so absolute that he could only corrupt its purity by acquainting himself with the facts surrounding the subject on which he has decided to hold forth. The complaint must be trivial because of, as we shall see below, (a) who it is being made on behalf of and (b) who it is being made against]

... but, whoever this guy is, he is giving the positive side to what Americans are doing in Iraq -- something evidently Riverbend doesn't appreciate.

[Brian's comment. See above - here we have the (a) and (b) prongs of the cause of Novak's Syndrom illustrated perfectly in very succinct fashion. (a) GS dislikes Riverbend, thus believing she is deserving of some form of attack (b) GS expresses his support for the motivations of the riverSbend smearblogger. This is classic stuff and an absolute text-book example.]