Seething with barely contained contempt and ire, Slate writer Dan Mitchell tears into writer Ronald Bailey of libertarian Reason magazine for his assault on Michael Pollan and sustainable farming. Mitchell opens up with a blanket attack on the right wing in general and Reason in particular:

Reason stands as the most rational media outlet of the ‘right’ these days, but that says lot more about the sorry state of the conservative media than it does about Reason itself. Its rationality is strictly relative, as this ‘Hit & Run’ item illustrates nicely.”

Mitchell’s basic point seems pretty sound: Bailey makes Pollan (and his “elitist” friends) out to be a bunch of far-left extremists who want to dismantle all industrial farms. The problem with this approach, which works fine on paper, is that it fundamentally mischaracterizes Pollan, who is nothing if not careful about his language, and not particularly prone to extreme pronouncements. Mitchell’s piece makes for good reading: It’s an attack on an attack on a thoughtful work of criticism.

Image source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USF35-208

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