Conor Friedersdorf: The Colonel Klink of the Blogosphere Responds to Breitbart and The Bigs

Man alive, when you require 2700 words to explain your way out of 900, maybe it’s best to just …. stay down.

Early on, even before Big Government opened, when Big Hollywood was still in its infancy, I was introduced to Conor Friedersdorf through an email he sent to Andrew Breitbart asking him for an editorial job. Without comment, Andrew forwarded Conor’s email and since I was still green, I didn’t really know what to make of someone who felt that he should be installed in a position where he would ensure the political arguments made by our contributors were intellectually sound (that was the crux of his inquiry — really). Did Andrew agree with him? Had he forwarded the email to make some sort of point?


But the more of Conor’s inquiry I read, the wider the smile reached across my face. It was obvious the author was a young, arrogant, self-serious clown who thought he was pretty special but was really only blessed with the necessary lack of self-awareness required to allow him to keep on keeping on without ever noticing that the whole wide world was laughing at him — especially his liberal friends who only kept him around because he was useful. Just as Colonel Klink on “Hogan’s Heroes” was never aware he was being used by Colonel Hogan — that he was a walking joke respected by no one and only flattered when it was necessary to get him to help the other side — so too is Conor Friedersdorf.

If you read the opening paragraphs of Conor’s reactionary and defensive response to us (and Breitbart specifically — who Conor is somewhat obsessed with), this is how he presents his conservative bonifides:

I’ve shown that the DEA callously prevents sick people from getting useful therapy, highlighted work done by the Institute for Justice to advance economic freedom, called out the TSA for its harassment of air travelers, noted that kidney patients are dying needlessly, urged on efforts to rein in excessive public employee pensions in California, called for a repeal of the light-bulb law, highlighted Orwellian threats to privacy, and complained that federal prosecutors misallocate resources.

I’ve profiled Gary Johnson, formulated 11 questions all presidential candidates should be asked to test their civil liberties bonifides, urged the tea party movement to embrace Mitch Daniels, warned against the inexperience of Michele Bachmann, and even curated nearly 100 fantastic pieces of journalism!

Despite those pieces and many others (267 items over almost four months, to be exact), the highest traffic thing I’ve written, the most liked and the most hated, the most quoted, linked, commented on, praised, excoriated, and widely controversial, is a lighthearted item about going to “The Undefeated” last Friday[.]

Wow. That’s quite the conservative resume — a regular rundown of all the important arguments of our time. (I think my eyes just saw the back of my skull.)

Friedersdorf is among that classless class of so-called “conservatives” I call Underminers. By calling themselves conservatives and, more importantly, by offering themselves up as willing to be used by the Left as a sort of double agent in order to damage the conservative cause (and therefore America), Underminers willingly play this mercenary game knowing it’s the quickest possible way to stand out and garner love from left-wing MSM — who are all-too ready and willing to use these Conservative Underminers to further their dirty work.

And the quickest ticket in to The Club of False MSM Love? Throwing hate at Sarah Palin.

To be clear, you need not be a right-wing water-carrier to avoid the Underminer label. You need not even be a fan of Sarah Palin’s. Constructive criticism of the Right is perfectly appropriate and necessary. Politically, I frequently disagree with Red State’s Erick Erickson, Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey, George Will and others — but they’re not underminers. They’re on our side and construct their criticism of our side in ways the corrupt MSM doesn’t find useful. Most importantly, they don’t need the MSM in order to enjoy careers.

You can’t, however, say the same for the likes of a Kathleen Parker, David Frum, Joe Scarborough or Conor whats-his-name. (The jury’s still out on Peggy Noonan and what’s this about?)

No doubt’s Mrs. Friedersdorf precious little boy is convinced his laughably precious writing style and oh-so brilliant Big Thinks are what caught the attention of the truly wicked Andrew Sullivan and left-wing Atlantic, but he’s wrong times a thousand. Were he a Gingrich Republican as opposed to a Gary Johnson-Republican; were he a defender of Palin instead of someone willing to further the corrupt MSM’s phony narratives about her; were he in favor of the enhanced interrogation techniques that resulted in the death of bin Laden, instead of a sanctimonious “Civil Libertarian”; were he a Rush Limbaugh or Breitbart fan instead of half-witted gnat always circling them for attention — Conor would be nowhere today because he’d still be Conor: a marginal thinker and self-consciously insufferable writer with a sky-high opinion of his scrawny powers.

And now a scene from the offices of The Atlantic that took place late last Thursday night….



INT. Colonel Klink’s Office – Night

Colonel Hogan bursts in with mischief on his mind. An agitated Klink sits at his desk and impatiently signs one paper after another.


(doesn’t look up)

What is it now, Hogan. It’s nearly midnight…


Colonel, have I got a job for you. A job only you and you alone can do. A job sure to garner the attention of the high command and make a real splash on the Internets.

Intrigued but wary, Klink stops signing papers and looks up. Sensing victory, Hogan presses the sale further by dramatically lifting his hands in the air as if to show off a big, fancy billboard.


“A firsthand, exclusive account of audience reaction to ‘The Undefeated’ by Colonel Conor Klink.”

It takes a beat, but Klink’s now hooked. He stands, removes his monocle and joins Hogan in gazing at the imaginary billboard with his name on it — in lights.


You’ll beat everyone with this story.



Hogan dashes to a coat rack, grab Klink’s coat, and hurriedly dresses him as he speaks.


There’s a screening in 20 minutes. If you hurry…



Suddenly the spell breaks. Klink stops and frowns.


Wait just a… Twenty minutes? No one’s going to be at a midnight screening of a political documentary on a work night, Hogan. Has anyone even advertised the showing? I haven’t seen anything. And how will I get audience reaction if no one is there to see….

Hogan smiles to share his brilliant conspiracy. Klink gets the message, smiles back and hurries into his coat.



An excited Klink dashes out the door leaving Hogan alone to wonder aloud at his good fortune.


What an asshole.



I guess that if you’re not interested in self-respect, it’s a living.

And no, Conor, no one’s calling you a Nazi.


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