|February 10th, 2008||#1|
United States: Informal Censorship
ESPN Radio suspends Coppock for anti-Semitic remark
By Ed Sherman | Tribune staff reporter
February 8, 2008
Quick, somebody has to invent a vaccine. There's an epidemic of broadcast personalities who can't control what comes out of their mouths.
Chet Coppock is the latest to suffer from this dreaded malady. WMVP-AM 1000 has suspended the veteran sportscaster until Feb. 23 after he made an offensive remark about Jews on his show Feb. 2.
During an exchange with Ben Finfer, Coppock was asked to spell Jewish. He replied, "Money, M-O-N-E-Y."
After hearing the remark, WMVP general manager Jim Pastor took Coppock, who works weekends, off his show Sunday and will keep him on the sidelines for the next two weekends.
"We're extremely sorry," Pastor said. "The comment was offensive and uncalled for. We do not tolerate this kind of behavior from any of our hosts."
In a statement, Coppock said, "I made an offensive comment I truly regret. It doesn't reflect my views or those of WMVP. I sincerely apologize."
There has been a lot of apologizing in the last month. It began with the Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman and her "lynch him in a back alley" remark about Tiger Woods. That led to Golfweek editor Dave Seanor being fired over the use of a noose on a cover story about Tilghman. ESPN's Dana Jacobson was suspended for vulgar remarks about Notre Dame in a public appearance.
Now Coppock. I have known him for a long time, and in no way do I consider him anti-Semitic.
But that's not the point. He should know better—you simply can't make offensive jokes on the air, especially in the wake of what has occurred lately. Everyone's sensitivity level is way off the charts.
Who's next? Here's hoping that vaccine will come soon, before the epidemic claims another victim.
Last edited by Alex Linder; March 2nd, 2008 at 04:30 PM.
|February 10th, 2008||#2|
Join Date: Mar 2007
Re: United States: Informal Censorship
Don Imus also called them "money grubbing".
I'm speculating, but I think the "nappy headed ho's" thing was just the vehicle they used to get rid of him. The jews were angry at him for speaking the truth about them, and if they did get rid of him due to the jew comment openly, then that would have had the nation confirming that they really do rule the Kwa.
What's the big deal? I've heard jews go on talk shows and say, "I'm jewish, and money is the most important thing to me."
A kike and his money. Fireworks and the 4th of July. Butter and bread. These things go together.
Last edited by Alex Linder; March 2nd, 2008 at 04:30 PM.
|February 19th, 2008||#3|
U.S.: Informal Censorship
[Context: mass media are dominated by jews]
[This article on jews in media helps you understand how filtered the mass media are. Anything against the jewish agenda does not make it through. Anyone against the jews' agenda is smeared and silenced.
The United States does not have laws against Holocaust denial or hate speech, although the jews running the country would like it to. What it has is not legal censorship but effective informal suppression. No 'respectable' publication would print that facts that, say, a Robert Faurisson adduces. Neither would any 'respectable' publication report that, say, Robert Faurisson had been beaten by jewish thugs within an inch of his life for reporting the facts about Auschwitz.
For practical purposes, the U.S. might as well have formal anti-speech laws if it were not for the Internet, which allows precisely the speech jews would like to suppress to be heard by thousands.]
Do Jews Dominate in American Media? And So What If We Do?
by Philip Weiss
February 17, 2008
At least a half dozen times in recent months, the suggestion has come from serious people that Jews predominate in the American media--that if we are not dominant, we are a major bloc. In a Yivo event on Jews in journalism I've blogged about, a questioner said that Jews' outsize proportion in the media has granted us "a large influence over power." In his groundbreaking paper on the New York Times's role in shaping American policy toward Israel, Jerome Slater spoke of "religious beliefs and identifications" that affected the Times, and cited former executive editor Max Frankel's admission in his memoir (one also cited by Walt and Mearsheimer): "I was much more deeply devoted to Israel than I dared to assert."
Lately broadcast reporter John Hockenberry related that he wanted to do a piece on the hijackers' motivation after 9/11 but that NBC executive Jeff Zucker scotched the notion:
"Maybe," Zucker said, "we ought to do a series of specials on firehouses where we just ride along with our cameras. Like the show Cops, only with firefighters."... He could make room in the prime-time lineup for firefighters, but then smiled at me and said, in effect, that he had no time for any subtitled interviews with jihadists raging about Palestine. Weiss's emphasis
Then last month at a forum at the Nixon Center, former Bushie Dov Zackheim said, Jews don't dominate the policy-making process, but the media is a different story...
I don't know that anyone has visited the simple question raised by these statements: Do Jews dominate the media? This is something I know about personally. I’ve worked in print journalism for more than 30 years. I’ve worked for many magazines and newspapers, and for a time my whole social circle was editors and writers in New York. I don’t know television. I don’t know Washington journalism well. I don't know the west coast. My sample is surely skewed by the fact that I’m Jewish and have always felt great comfort with other Jews. But in my experience, Jews have made up the majority of the important positions in the publications I worked for, a majority of the writers I’ve known at these place, and the majority of the owners who have paid me. Yes my own sample may be skewed, but I think it shows that Jews make up a significant proportion of power positions in media, half, if not more.
Before considering what this means, let me make my experience concrete:
My serious journalism began at the Harvard Crimson in the 70s. A friend said the paper was a Jewish boys club; it was dominated by middle class Jews-- as apparently today there are a lot of Asians. Many of these Jews are now powerful presences in the media. Zucker is one of them. My first paying job was in Minneapolis. Five Harvard guys started a weekly; four of them were Jewish, including the publisher paying our meager salaries. I remember our editor walking the halls parodying the jingle we had on the radio. The jingle went: "We’ve got the news, we’ve got the sports…" He sang it as “We’ve got the Jews, we’ve got the sports.” Funny.
I was hired by a Jewish editor at my next job, the Philadelphia Daily News in 1978, and when I started freelancing in 1981, Jewish Harvard friends got me work at the Columbia Journalism Review and the Washington Monthly. A gentile brought me in at Harper’s and the New Republic. It was at the New Republic, a launching pad for any number of highly-successful journalists, that I briefly associated with Marty Peretz, and did a story for him mocking the United Nations, whose judgment he seeks at every turn to nullify because the U.N. is critical of Israel.
Fast forward. In New York, I have worked for a dozen magazines. Most of my editors have been Jewish. Both my book publishers were Jewish. At one point at one publishing house, the editor, his boss, and her boss were all Jewish, and so was the lawyer vetting the work—I remember her saying she would never travel to Malaysia because of the anti-Semitic Prime minister. Oh--and the assistant editor was half-Jewish.
I should point out that I have worked with many gentile editors and writers, and I have never been aware of any employment discrimination against them (though I may not be the best source). In fact, at Spy, the three top editors were all non-Jews and when I used the epithet WASP it was removed from my copy. But that is the exception. Generally it’s been Jews Jews Jews. When I hear NPR do a piece with its top political team and both are Jews... when a Jewish friend calls me and gossips about lunches with two top news execs at major publications who are both Jewish and who I’ve known for 20 years... when a Jewish editor friend tells me that Si Newhouse would be disturbed if Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter-- who has done such courageous work against the Iraq war-- did anything to expose the Israel lobby... and when I say that my income has been derived overwhelmingly from Jewish-owned publications for years—this is simply the ordinary culture of the magazine business as I know it.
I have some ideas why Jews have predominated, but that’s not the purpose of this posting. Last year Senator Russ Feingold, buttonholed on CSPAN about why so many speakers on air were Jewish, said, “Well, we’re good at talking…” That'll do for now.
The real issue is, Does it matter? Most of my life I felt it didn't. It’s just the way it is, at this point in history. It will change (as Clyde Haberman pointed out at that Yivo event). Jews are the latest flavor of the establishment. In his landmark book, The Jewish Century, Slezkine reports that Jews were the majority of journalists in Berlin and Vienna and Prague, too, in the late 1800s, if I remember correctly.
Now I think it does matter, for two reasons. Elitist establishment culture, and Israel. As to elitism, I worry when any affluent group has power and little sense of what the common man is experiencing. I feel the same discomfort with my prestige-oriented "caste" that E. Digby Baltzell did with his calcified caste, the WASPs--when he called for an end to discrimination against Jews in the early '60s. The values of my cohort sometimes seem narrow: globalism, prosperity, professionalism. In Israel the values are a lot broader. None of my cohort has served in the military, myself included. A lot of our fathers did; but I bet none of our kids do. Military service is for losers--or for Israelis.
So we are way overrepresented in the chattering classes, and way underrepresented in the battering classes. Not a great recipe for leadership, especially in wartime.
Then there’s Israel. Support for Israel is an element of Jewish religious practice and more important, part of the Jewish cultural experience. Even if you're a secular Jewish professional who prides himself on his objectivity, there is a ton of cultural pressure on you to support Israel or at least not to betray Israel. We are talking about a religion, after all, and the pressures faced by Jews who are critical of Israel are not that different from what Muslim women who want greater freedom undergo psychically or by evangelical Christians who want to support gay rights. It is worth noting that great Jewish heretics on the Israel question suffer anger or even ostracism inside their own families. Henry Siegman talked about this on Charlie Rose once, I recall--that even close family were not speaking to him over Israel. And I have seen this for myself on numerous occasions. There is not a lot of bandwidth on this issue. Conversations about Israel even inside the liberal Jewish community are emotionally loaded, and result in people not speaking to one another. I lost this blog at a mainstream publication because the editor was Jewish and conservative on Israel and so was the new owner, and the publisher had worked for AIPAC. And all of them would likely call themselves liberal Democrats.
As former CNN correspondent Linda Scherzer has said, "We, as Jews, must understand that we come with a certain bias ...We believe in the Israeli narrative of history. We support the values that we as Americans, Westerners, and Jews espouse. Thus, we see news reporting through our own prism."
There are many American Jewish journalists who have done great independent work re Israel/Palestine. Richard Ben Cramer and the late Robbie Friedman leap to mind. But both these guys are exceptional, and had to overcome/ignore a ton of pressure that most of us would quail under. They had to step outside the Jewish family to do their work...
The result is that Americans are not getting the full story re Israel/Palestine. Slater says this dramatically in his paper--that the Times has deprived American leadership of reporting on the moral/political crisis that Israel is undergoing, one that Haaretz has covered unstintingly. At Columbia the other night, Jew, Arab and gentile on a panel about the human-rights crisis in Gaza all said that Americans are not getting the full story. Ilan Pappe has marveled in his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, that the Nakba is all but unmentioned in the U.S.--while Haaretz has sought at times to document it, for instance a former officer saying in 2004 that if he had not helped to destroy 200 villages in southern Israel in '48, there would be another million Palestinians in Israel. To repeat Scherzer's admission: "We believe in the Israeli narrative of history..."
Why does the American press behave differently from the Israeli press? I think the answer is guilt. The Jewish cohort of which I am a part has largely accepted the duty that Max Frankel felt, of supporting Israel. This duty is rarely interrogated, and yet consciously or not we all know that American public opinion/leadership is critical to Israel's political invulnerability; and we think that if we take their fingers out of the dyke, who knows what will happen. That is a ton of responsibility. This responsibility is not executed with special care. Generally, my cohort hasn't been to Israel, hasn't seen the West Bank. But they do feel kinship with Israeli Jews, and--above all--have guilt feelings about the Holocaust, or the American Jewish silence about it during the event, the Jewish passivity; and they are determined not to be passive during Israel's neverending existential crises. And thus they misunderstand Israel and fail to serve their readers.
Last edited by Alex Linder; March 2nd, 2008 at 04:32 PM.
|February 22nd, 2008||#4|
James Watson’s Ordeal
October 24, 2007
James Watson’s embrace of racial differences in intelligence once again shows the undiminished power of the left to control public discourse on critical issues related to diversity and multiculturalism. When Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray published The Bell Curve in 1994, it was greeted with a great sense of anticipation in some circles that at last issues related to race and IQ could be discussed openly and honestly. Finally, a book had been published by a mainstream publisher that dared to argue that not only were there racial differences in intelligence, but also that it was reasonable to suppose that these differences were partly due to inheritance.
But it never happened. One has to look long and hard to find mainstream media accounts of race differences in academic success that even propose genetic differences as a reasonable hypothesis. For example, recent state reports on school success have emphasized that economic differences do not explain the racial gap in school success. One would think that the failure of the favorite explanation of the cultural left would prompt reasonable people to at least suggest the possibility that genetic differences are involved. But that explanation is utterly taboo in the mainstream media.
Below the surface, however, in the labyrinths of academia, The Bell Curve has had an impact. Many new researchers are now studying general intelligence. Even the US military and much work in industrial-organizational psychology is taking the importance of “g,” the general factor of mental ability, into account.
Admittedly, the topic of race differences is still highly controversial. Nonetheless, even here there are real signs of progress. For example, an entire issue of the top-drawer American Psychological Association journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law was devoted to a review of Black-White IQ differences by J. Philippe Rushton and Arthur Jensen. Their paper (in 2005) entitled “Thirty years of research on race differences in cognitive ability” concluded that Black-White differences were between 50 and 80 percent heritable. Most recently, Rushton and his colleagues published two studies in a paper in the July 2007 Proceedings of the Royal Society of London showing that the East Asian-European-South Asian-Colored-Black differences, mainly in South Africa, were substantially heritable.
However, these positive indications have not yet percolated up into the mainstream media. Watson was in some ways an ideal person to express his views on the topic and bring this material into the light of day. At 79 years old, he has little tangible to lose. He is a world-renowned figure with the sort of stature that can only come from making one of the central discoveries of 20th-century science. He is also a biologist with a professional understanding of genetic influences on behavior. Gene/behavior linkages are a major research interest of the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory that he led until being suspended because of his comments on African intelligence. Watson also has a deep personal interest in genetic influences on behavior because his son has schizophrenia.
Of course, the egalitarians are free to have as much of their say as they like, no matter how nonsensical. A good example is Steven Rose, an old-time warrior in the IQ wars who is mentioned several times in Ch. 2 of The Culture of Critique. He not only condemns Watson for expressing his opinion, but is quite happy to see that Watson's life has been upended, stating that “the repercussions are to be welcomed.” At least that far-left ideologue was honest enough to say he didn’t believe in free speech for scientists. Stalinism lives! Perhaps Watson deserves a long prison term in a psychiatric hospital.
It’s noteworthy that Watson has not caved in on the general point that natural selection may result in differences between human groups. He has defended himself by rejecting any implication that the entire continent of Africa is “genetically inferior” while nevertheless writing
We do not yet adequately understand the way in which the different environments in the world have selected over time the genes which determine our capacity to do different things. The overwhelming desire of society today is to assume that equal powers of reason are a universal heritage of humanity. It may well be. But simply wanting this to be the case is not enough. This is not science.
Watson believes that in 10–15 years we will get “an adequate understanding for the relative importance of nature versus nurture in the achievement of important human objectives.”
So is the clock ticking for the cultural left? Are we about to enter an age in which it will impossible to deny genetic differences on intelligence and we will be able to rationally discuss race differences in intelligence in the mainstream media? I think not. The cultural left has a long and largely successful history of being able to combat scientific ideas that it doesn’t like. This was the main conclusion of The Culture of Critique: The long and sorry history of Boasian anthropology, psychoanalysis, the anti-hereditarian and anti-Darwinian movements in the social sciences, and the Frankfurt School all masqueraded as science but they also wore their politics on their sleeves. Like other political movements, dissenters were simply excluded — drummed out of professional societies, publicly humiliated, and relegated to the fringes of intellectual life.
It’s a tradition that is alive and well in the 21st century. Watson has seen his book tour cancelled, he has been suspended from his position at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and has been subjected to outraged moralism from people who can’t hold a candle to his intellectual stature. And all for expressing his professional opinion on how the blind hand of natural selection may have operated to make people different.
Last edited by Alex Linder; March 2nd, 2008 at 04:34 PM.
|February 22nd, 2008||#5|
[Context: jewish techniques for stifling debate]
[Jewish tactic: screaming to intimidate the honest and drown out the truth.]
Political Science Professor Emeritus, Manhattan Resident, Says We Need More Loud, Obnoxious Jews; etc.
From: Robert Weissberg (e-mail him)
Re: James Fulford’s Column: Saletan’s Scuttle And The Curse Of Jacob Weisberg
I read Fulford’s essay and agree with every word.
For the record, for my views about the myth of white racism have caused me much grief in my lifetime.
Years back, I wrote the lead article for the Weekly Standard on the fable that whites are racist.[White Racism: The Seductive Lure of an Unproven Theory, March 24, 1997, not online.]
See what the lack of a single "s" in one’s ideological DNA can bring—Slate editor and hate monger Jacob Weisberg vs. me, Robert Weissberg, that’s with "s" twice, aware about race reality.
Fulford makes a point that deserves additional scrutiny—winning arguments in New York by browbeating your opponents.
I spent most of my life in a research university setting where one argued with hard evidence—this study versus that study, my data versus your data, on so on.
When I recently moved to Manhattan, I was amazed at how one "won" arguments. I was equally amazed about how little so-called smart people knew, especially about race. But to listen to the smart alecks talk, they clearly think they have a true grasp on the subject.
Lucky for them that their profound ignorance hardly embarrasses them or anyone else since intelligence is not the currency of New York social life. Consumption outranks everything.
Those who perceive themselves as debate winners reject real science to instead offer a bag of verbal tricks and over the top emotional appeals. If all else fails, they try to destroy tangible evidence by claiming to "be offended" by the truth.
Sadly, these bullying techniques are all very "Jewish". And I say this as a Jew of good standing.
Interestingly, a few non-Jews have learned verbal abuse skills and are proud to have crossed over to the unenlightened camp where articulation triumphs over facts and skilled research.
The bottom line is that our side lacks a sufficient number of loud, obnoxious Jews willing to intimidate those who deny reality.
Weissberg is Professor of Political Science, Emeritus at the University of Illinois-Urbana, and occasionally teaches in the N.Y.U. Politics Department, Masters Program. His essay The Hidden Impact Of Political Correctness is available on MindingTheCampus.com. Others of his columns that appeared on Human Events are here. Weissberg is the author of The Politics of Empowerment and Polling, Policy, and Public Opinion: The Case Against Heeding the ‘Voice of the People.
Last edited by Alex Linder; March 2nd, 2008 at 04:35 PM.
|February 22nd, 2008||#6|
[Human Events bows to SPLC pressure and fires Kevin Lamb]
The Leftward Course Of Human Events
By Kevin Lamb
"Fix New Orleans, Then Drill for Oil" read the headline in the September 5 post-Hurricane Katrina issue of the venerable Washington D.C.-based conservative weekly Human Events.
This betrays the modern mindset of the Human Events editors: Focus exclusively on "energy policy" wonkery and avoid the notorious lawlessness that flourished in New Orleans —murder, rapes, assaults, pillaging and looting—because that might mean mentioning its racial component.
As the former managing editor of Human Events, I can recall several instances in editorial meetings and private discussions in which race was simmering just below the surface—whether crime rates in the nation’s capital, immigration, or educational disparities in student achievement. When the conversation became increasingly awkward, one of the other top editors would caution: "I suppose we shouldn’t discuss that." Then they would quickly move on to a safer subject.
Mind you, this is from a group of conservative editors who would frequently boast of taking brave stands on other topics.
The New Guinean expression Mokita (truth that is widely known but rarely spoken) captures these Establishment Conservatives’ attitude to contemporary racial taboos. Certain truths are accepted, but are not to be publicly mentioned.
Politically correct radical egalitarianism—the belief that there are no natural differences between human groups—now reigns as unchallenged in the salons of the Conservative Establishment, as it does everywhere else in America’s political and social elites.
Last January I was forced out of my job at Eagle Publishing (home of the Conservative Book Club, Human Events, and Regnery Publishing) after serving nearly three years as managing editor of Human Events. The reason: editing, entirely on my own free time, another publication, The Occidental Quarterly (TOQ), that addresses important cultural, racial, ethnic, and political issues facing the future of Western civilization.
My work performance at Human Events was never questioned. I enjoyed my work, got along well with the editors, valued the camaraderie and good will of my colleagues at Eagle, and always put forth my best effort to meet my employer’s expectations to produce a solid, informative conservative weekly newspaper. Other staff members freelanced regularly on the side without losing their jobs.
However, one afternoon the Southern Poverty Law Center, the fanatical left-wing enforcer organization, called my office supervisors to inquire about my work for Human Events, the Evans and Novak Political Report (an Eagle newsletter), and a "white supremacist" publication (TOQ).
To my bosses, the SPLC’s Heidi Beirich was a faceless, nameless individual. Nevertheless, without hesitation or reservation, they accepted at face value her accusations and descriptions about my avocational work. Three years of collegial respect simply vanished instantaneously over accusations that were never questioned.
Much of the day passed on a routine schedule when late that afternoon, Tom Winter, the long-time editor in chief of Human Events, sternly demanded that I follow him to the office conference room. I sensed at that point we were not going to discuss a raise or promotion. Near the end of a ten-minute interrogation about my work with TOQ, the vice president of the company said, "How do you think we should handle this?" I was given a few seconds to decide to either resign or be fired.
I asked why I had to either resign or get fired. The response: "We think you know why."
For personal reasons, I decided to resign. We filed out of the conference room as people would leave a wake at a funeral.
As I was packing up my possessions in my office, Winter showed up and complimented me for my work as managing editor. I could sense a degree of unease about what had transpired. He didn’t seem to know much about the SPLC and their aggressive agenda to undermine any threat to egalitarianism. For conservatives of his generation, the embodiment of evil liberalism had always been the ACLU.
We talked briefly as I scrambled to find empty spare boxes around the office corridors for my family photos and personal mementos. He tried to smooth things out, but his own admission that I was a "good" managing editor was only a kick in the teeth.
It made me realize the full force of political correctness—imposed by the far left on a prominent “conservative” publication. My departure from Eagle was an expedient way to avoid the likely negative publicity that the SPLC could stoke if Eagle ignored their claims.
Although I had made it a point not to discuss my freelance work around the office, out of respect for my colleagues who might have strong opinions, individuals at Human Events knew of my involvement with TOQ—three Eagle employees, including a senior editor at my sister company Regnery Publishing and a former co-owner of the paper. Not to mention my working relationship with two members of the Regnery family, cousins—the one, Al Regnery, a member of Eagle’s corporate board and former publisher of Regnery; the other, William Regnery, a friend…and the publisher of TOQ.
My forced departure was wholly political. Further proof: articles by Marian Coombs and Wayne Lutton, two freelance writers I had used who also write for The Occidental Quarterly, were retroactively stripped off the Human Events website. (But this Soviet-style rewriting of history doesn’t work in the age of the internet: the articles can still be found in Google's cache,).
And the way Eagle abruptly dealt with my severance from the company was more callous than I could ever have anticipated. I received a few days pay and compensation for sick leave, vacation time and benefits. As the father of two precious daughters and a wonderful wife, I couldn’t imagine how a so-called "family oriented" employer could react so brutally.
It would have been one thing to say, "We see a conflict of interest, we don’t like how you spend your time outside the office, but in appreciation of your valued work for the company, here’s a few months compensation. We wish you the best of luck."
Nothing doing—I had to evacuate that evening and leave my access card to the building, as if I couldn’t be trusted to return and pack up my personal possessions.
Breaking the news to my wife later that evening, awaking her after our two daughters were asleep, was one of the most difficult experiences I’ve had to face. How do you explain to your wife that you lost your job—not for some work-related grievance—but for exercising your first-amendment rights and, as a freelancer, expressing a point of view?
The late syndicated columnist Sam Francis said that when he was similarly fired from The Washington Times, the experience was comparable psychologically to rape. As Sam put it, you feel personally violated, as if you needed to disinfect yourself by taking a thorough shower. I felt the same way.
One might think that the editors of Human Events would have brushed aside the SPLC’s effort to purge one of its employees. Eagle is an employer whose owner, Tom Phillips [email him], a mover and shaker in elite GOP circles, boasts about upholding "traditional American values of free enterprise, limited government, and individual liberty"—and presumably the U.S. Constitution. But Eagle executives were seemingly blind to the fact that the SPLC’s agenda actively tries to undermine the limited government and individual liberty of traditional patriotic Americans. The fact that such a radical left-wing organization could generate such a swift response out of, not just any conservative employer, but the flagship publication of social conservatives who politically remain entirely at odds with the SPLC’s outlook, is mind-boggling.
For example, in 2003 Human Events selected Judge Roy Moore for its man-of-the-year award for his principled stand in his fight to keep the Ten Commandments monument in his courtroom. The SPLC had filed the suit against Judge Moore that resulted in the removal of the monument.
Furthermore, SPLC’s founder Morris Dees said in March 2004, "The most dangerous threat in America today is not from the Ku Klux Klan and it's not from the Neo Nazis, it's from the religious right." Dees added, "I think of Judge Roy Moore in Montgomery, Alabama…. We took that case because it was a case of extreme religious intolerance."
The SPLC even lists the American Enterprise Institute as a "hate" group. [KL correction 10/5/05: In fact, AEI is not listed in the SPLC’s “hate group” page, but an article describes AEI “sponsored scholars” as having “views” that are “seen by many as bigoted or even racist”, citing Dinesh D’Souza, author of The End of Racism, and Charles Murray, co-author of The Bell Curve.] SPLC’s sister organization’s website, Tolerance.org, has a glowing interview with former Weatherman and radical educator Bill Ayers, an unrepentant advocate of Communism, who as recently as 1995 described himself as "…a radical, Leftist, small ‘c’ communist." As Ayers candidly admits in a published interview, "the ethics of Communism still appeal to me." Ayers is married to former Weatherman radical Bernardine Dohrn, who in 1969, according to the Claremont Institute, attended a Weather Underground "war council" in Michigan, in which she "gave a three-fingered ‘fork salute’ to mass murderer Charles Manson and gloated: "Dig it. First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, they even shoved a fork into a victim's stomach! Wild!"
To think that Human Events, a staunchly anti-Communist periodical that unapologetically defends Joseph McCarthy and Gen. Augusto Pinochet, would force a loyal employee to resign out of fear of the SPLC would have been, until very recently, inconceivable.
What explains this bizarre spectacle?
Unquestionably, Phillips’ takeover of Human Events in the early 1990s has subjected the once-independent paper to conventional corporate pressures. And Tom Winter, unfortunately, has been in poor health.
But over the years, especially since the 1980s, the American right has drifted leftward along with the rest of the political culture, especially on third-rail issues involving race, multiculturalism, and "diversity." Human Events is now far from the staunchly conservative views that it championed not so long ago.
Shortly after I had left the paper in January, Tom Winter was quoted in a UPI story as saying,
"In its 60-year history, Human Events had never ‘knowingly hired a racist, never published racist articles, and never tolerated racist sympathies…and we never will.’"
This may be true, but Winter had no problem granting The Citizen, the monthly publication of the segregationist Citizen’s Council, permission to reprint, in August 1979, the columnist M. Stanton Evans’ eyewitness account of the Rhodesian election that first appeared in Human Events.
Moreover, Human Events once published detailed critiques of egalitarianism, such as John O’Hara’s 1965 article, "Is There a Brotherhood of Man?" It also published the late David Brudnoy’s laudatory review of Jared Taylor’s Paved With Good Intentions in 1993. Brudnoy noted:
"Taylor’s analysis of the double standards operating in America and of the overall circumstance of the underclass is unsurpassed in a single volume intended for the general reader…a document of first-rate significance for analyzing where we are."
The irony of Human Events’ publishing this review is that it was Sam Francis’s affiliation with Taylor’s monthly newsletter American Renaissance that contributed to Francis’s banishment from Human Events. Throughout the late 80s and early 90s, his biweekly syndicated column frequently appeared in the paper, occasionally on the cover. But after Francis was purged from The Washington Times, his column likewise vanished from the pages of Human Events. Winter would edit his name from the text whenever it mentioned Francis favorably—just as the Soviets would airbrush an ex-comrade out of existence.
Earlier, contrary to Winter’s pronouncements against "racism," Human Events in fact had a long history of publishing provocative commentary on race and politics and maintaining affiliations with segregationist-minded politicians and journalists.
It ran the writings of Major Gen. J. F. C. Fuller, a leading historian of military strategy and a former supporter of Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists, and Professor Hans Sennholz, an economist and ex-Luftwaffe pilot who was also listed as a contributing editor of the John Birch Society’s American Opinion.
American conservatives once vigorously opposed radical changes that the left was forcing on society under the guise of racial equality—spawning the Brown v. Board of Education decisions, "civil rights" laws (including the "Open Housing" and "Voting Rights Acts"), affirmative action policies, court-ordered busing to achieve racial desegregation, the outlawing of merit-based employment testing in the private sector via the Griggs decision, and to a large extent, the current immigration crisis that has followed in the wake of the Immigration Act of 1965. Conservatives opposed this transformation of the culture, customs, and traditions (what the eminent sociologist William Graham Sumner called "Folkways") of America’s national character. They unabashedly represented the interests of their core constituents: white, middle-class voters—what Howard Dean has accurately identified as the base of the GOP. In another era, this constituency was known as the "Silent Majority." Today, this constituency is euphemistically referred to as "redstate America," "soccer moms" and "NASCAR dads."
Politically, this conservative continuum included Republican and southern Democratic politicians. Coalitions led by Sen. Barry Goldwater, who opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Ohio Rep. John M. Ashbrook, and Senators Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond, and James Eastland stymied radical egalitarian reforms. Grassroots activists to the right of the emerging Conservative Establishment formed patriotic organizations. Broad coalitions of conservatives made possible the Reagan era, ushered in just twelve years after LBJ’s Great Society programs seemed to have swept the country.
It is true that over the years Human Events was careful in confronting the race issue. It never was explicitly a racial publication and it would be inappropriate to characterize it as such. But by the same token, it was never a champion of radical egalitarian social policies. It routinely opposed forced busing, Head Start, affirmative action, and aggressively exposed the Communist influence within the civil rights movement. The paper’s editors tacitly understood that grassroots cultural conservatives, such as Birchers and members of the Southern Citizen’s Council, formed a considerable core of Human Events’ readership base. The paper unapologetically looked up to prominent conservative public officials—including former segregationists such as Strom Thurmond—without being explicitly racial in outlook.
Times have changed. One dramatic example: Two years ago Human Events’ editor Terry Jeffrey [email him] insisted on using for the cover of the paper a color photo of Martin Luther King, Jr. making his historic 1963 speech to accompany Linda Chavez’s column criticizing the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the University of Michigan’s affirmative action policy.
But historically Human Events had been enormously critical of King and his unreported Communist affiliations. In 1983, the paper reprinted in full text Jesse Helms’ speech detailing the full range of conservative objections to making King’s birthday a national holiday, including the infamous photograph of King attending the Highlander Folk School run by Marxist Myles Horton, which appeared throughout the South on billboards in the 1960s.
By publishing this large, laudatory image of King on the cover of Human Events, the editors must have made a number of older readers wonder if this is the same publication they were reading twenty years ago. (Hint: it isn’t).
In 1973, Human Events published "A Tale of Two Heretics," an article by M. Stanton Evans defending the research of Arthur R. Jensen, then at the University of California, Berkeley, and the late Richard Herrnstein of Harvard University. Jensen had published a controversial paper in the Harvard Educational Review in which he argued that the underlying cause of the black/white IQ gap, as measured by valid intelligence tests, was largely genetic in origin. It remains one of the most cited pieces of scholarship in the social science literature. Herrnstein’s 1973 book I.Q. and the Meritocracy received widespread condemnation from the left for arguing that class differences, poverty and economic disparities were not the result of capitalism or oppression, but primarily due to differences in IQ.
In a well-written summary of their work, Evans denounced the attempted censorship aimed against them in academic circles. He wrote:
"These parallel stories from our enlightened campuses tell us much about the condition of freedom of speech and publication in America today, as construed by radical activists and certain members of the liberal professoriate. Leftward tolerance of ‘dissent’ will obviously extend just so far and Herrnstein and Jensen have exceeded the limits. Where hereditarian heresies are concerned, the radicals will not permit expression and conventional liberals in many cases will not defend it—although there are various honorable exceptions to both rules."
Unfortunately, the Conservative Establishment in general and Human Events in particular is no longer an “honorable exception” to this repression.
Thus just over two decades later, in June 2002, Ann Coulter, the legal affairs correspondent for Human Events, wrote a first-rate column titled, "Murdering the Bell Curve." She lambasted liberals for suddenly discovering IQ tests—because they thought they could be used in court to get convicted murderers off death row.
I had been away vacationing that week and noticed, after it appeared in the paper, that one of our reporters had inserted the paperback release date (1996) as the initial publication of the book, which actually was first published in the fall of 1994. In the meantime, the late Jude Wanniski, one of the journalistic proponents of supply side economics, emailed the editors at Human Events, hysterically criticizing Ann’s favorable mention of The Bell Curve, denouncing it as a highly flawed book that rested on faulty social science research, citing Gregg Easterbrook’s critique from The Washington Monthly, [The Case Against The Bell Curve, Dec, 1994] and claiming that of the more than a hundred scholars who signed the statement of support that appeared on the op/ed page of the Wall Street Journal, no credible biologist or geneticist supported the book’s findings.
Wanniski’s error was to assume that no psychologist who supported The Bell Curve’s thesis had any adequate understanding of genetics. (A high school biology student would know that, based merely on his professional credentials as a self-taught economist, Wanniski would know even less about genetics than a psychologist.)
Anyone familiar with The Bell Curve controversy could easily spot these inaccuracies, as well as other wild, unsupportable assertions in Wanniski’s screed, including the number of scholars who signed the Wall Street Journal statement. (Actual number: 52). So I thought it would be a good idea to publish his letter, followed by an editor’s note explaining our error in botching the original publication date of The Bell Curve—and offering a point-by-point rebuttal to Wanniski’s blunders. I drafted a note and then provided Winter with a proof of the page to edit.
The next morning, I noticed Winter downstairs outside the Eagle office building proofing pages on his cigarette break. As I exchanged greetings and headed into the building’s lobby, he said he had one question about my comments on Wanniski’s letter. I figured he would drop by in a few minutes and raise the point.
But most of the day had passed when he finally came around to my office, a nervous wreck, leaning over next to me, explaining, "I’m just nervous about being called a ‘racist’," as he read off some of the scholars I had listed in the editor’s note. When he got to Arthur Jensen’s name, he had asked that I edit it out since he was told that Jensen was a "racist." Although I knew this wasn’t true, I complied with his request. Other than that, he had no other text changes.
As he was leaving the office, I had discovered that Winter had contacted several close friends and former associates throughout the afternoon to check to see if any of them had read The Bell Curve. He had faxed over a copy of the proof to Stan Evans (of all people) to see if he had read Herrnstein and Murray’s book, accompanied by an urgent note to get back to him ASAP.
I couldn’t help but think to myself: this is (pinch me) Human Events?!? The same publication that once vigorously defended Jensen and Herrnstein? What’s going on?
One of the issues that HE Editor Terry Jeffrey prides himself on is illegal immigration. As a former director of Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign, he is tougher and remains more focused on social and cultural issues. (Winter would frequently describe cultural issues, such as multiculturalism and "diversity," as "boring.")
Consequently, Human Events has published some first-rate reporting on the problems of border security, terrorism, and lack of resolve on the part of public officials in halting the flow of illegal immigrants across our borders. One example: the recent cover story, "Is Your Security Guard an Illegal?”
Much of this reportage, however, has been through the post-9/11 prism of terrorism and national security. As important as it is, there are other aspects of the immigration issue that get far less attention—if any at all—in the pages of Human Events.
For example, where is the paper in the discussion on a moratorium on legal immigration? Why don’t it just come right out and admit that, generally speaking, some immigrants are more preferable than others? Why not just admit that "diversity" has its limits and this demographic trend is proving to be detrimental to our nation’s survival?
Unquestionably, some on the staff shared the Beltway Republican orthodoxy that Hispanic immigrants could be converted into dedicated Republicans and the country would be one harmonious giant Disneyland as a result.
Just as long as they’re not Democrats—then everything will be fine!
Historically, Human Events published occasional pieces on immigration. Some articles, like Palmer Stacy’s 1981 "Uncontrolled Immigration: Silent Threat to America," were exceptionally informative. But it must be said that, unlike National Review, at the time Human Events had peculiarly little to say about the 1965 Immigration Act, which historian Otis Graham has described as "the single most nation-changing measure of the era." The paper published one brief op/ed that first appeared in the Arizona Republic, "Limit Needed on All Immigration," in early October 1965 and a small news item, "Immigration Ceiling Advances," in September 1965.
This, however, was better than nothing. The paper’s current priorities were well illustrated by an instance last year. One of the paper’s more informative freelance writers, Jim Edwards, an adjunct fellow with the Hudson Institute, had submitted a piece critical of Utah Representative Chris Cannon’s amnesty program titled "Loose Cannon in Utah." The piece highlighted Cannon’s abysmal record on immigration legislation, which in many instances bucked his constituents’ interests, and triggered a GOP primary challenge by former state legislator Matt Throckmorton.
Winter always liked Edwards’ columns and suggested that we publish this one. He forwarded it to me for publication and to our web editor to post on the website. Subsequently, I worked it into the paper.
The next week, while on vacation, I received two frantic messages on my cell phone from Winter: "Kevin, I know you’re on vacation, but please call me as soon as you can." I returned his call and he seemed puzzled by the fact that we published Edward’s piece, especially with the "Loose Cannon in Utah" headline. The Phillips executive charged with overseeing Human Events had called him and hit the roof. Winter wanted me to describe the piece to him so he could explain what happened. He couldn’t remember proofing the article. I reminded him that Edward’s article had been up on the web and that I received the column from him to publish.
It had turned out that Rep. Cannon is related to Eagle board member Joseph A. Cannon, the chairman of the board of Geneva Steel, Inc. The Phillips executive was concerned about Cannon’s reaction to reading something so critical about his family member in Human Events and berated Winter for publishing it.
In March 2003, I approached Jeffrey about covering the LewRockwell.com "Lincoln Reconsidered" conference that was being held later that month in Richmond, Va. I thought it would make for a perfect "Conservative Forum" item in Human Events—just a brief description of the event from someone in attendance. He expressed interest in it so I called and received a press pass from Ron Holland, one of the organizers of the conference. He was thrilled to have Human Events cover the one-day forum.
A number of authors and scholars were scheduled for the event, including Emory University professor Donald Livingstone; Clyde Wilson, a contributor to Chronicles and professor at the University of South Carolina; Thomas DiLorenzo of Loyola College and author of The Real Lincoln (a hot-selling featured selection offered by Human Events’ sister company The Conservative Book Club); and Paul Gottfried of Elizabethtown College.
I wrote a brief description of the event and had it proofread shortly before our Thursday press deadline. Then Jeffrey came around to my office and said that he had second thoughts about publishing it. The event wasn’t exactly what he initially had in mind, and to publicize it would divide conservatives who were split on Lincoln’s legacy.
I complied with Jeffrey’s request and replaced the item. But I thought at the time that if someone approached Jeffrey and had argued that taking a rigid, pro-life position is "divisive" among conservatives—splitting social conservatives from libertarian-leaning conservatives—he wouldn’t have cared less. In his mind, conservatives are expected to be pro-life, if they aren’t, that’s their problem, not his. But when it comes to politically incorrect subjects, such as race, or even criticizing Lincoln or King, conservatives must now conform to conventional dogma.
The leftward drift of Human Events isn’t limited to the issue of race. Over the years, Human Events has been the leading pro-family publication among grassroots social conservatives, firmly opposed to the agenda of homosexual activists, such as "gay marriage."
Thus in 1960, Human Events published one of its most popular feature articles, "Homosexual International" by Countess Waldeck. The article began by noting that the Deputy Undersecretary of State Carlisle Humelstine had ousted 119 homosexuals from the State Department in 1951. One morning, I received a call from one of our readers in Arizona inquiring about how he could obtain copies. I asked Winter and he immediately recounted how popular the article was at the time it was published.
As late as the mid-1980s Human Events published numerous articles critical of the emerging, aggressive homosexual subculture, such as Stan Evans’ "AIDS: Homosexual Plague." Lengthy reviews of books such as The Homosexual Network by Father Enrique T. Rueda appeared on a regular basis.
Again, times have changed. One of Human Event’s editors who wrote hard-hitting copy about outrageous homosexual news items in the old blunt language regularly complained to me that Winter would make it a point to tone down the rhetoric, replacing "homosexual" and "sodomite" with "gay" in proofing the text.
Here too, Human Events was regressing to the media norm.
Similarly, Human Events dropped Ted Baehr’s mini reviews of films, a family-oriented feature popular with many parents because of his detailed ratings for foul language and nudity. But this wasn’t swank enough for the Phillips executive’s tastes (he would ridicule it in editorial meetings) and eventually it was dropped as a regular feature.
In his recent book Winning the Future, Newt Gingrich complains that
"Since the 1960’s, the conservative majority has been intimidated, manipulated and bullied by the liberal minority. The liberal elites who dominate academia, the courts, the press and much of the government bureaucracy share an essentially European secular-socialist value system. Yet they have set the terms of the debate, which is why ‘politics as usual’ is a losing proposition for Americans."
But the reason liberals have set the terms of the debate is that conservatives let them.
For many Beltway “conservatives,” attending events like the White House Christmas Party [VDARE.COM note: Er…Multicultural Holiday Party, see here, et cetera.] is the pinnacle of achievement. Everything else is secondary. Anything that jeopardizes this social standing is beyond the pale. Status is the fuel that drives the Conservative Establishment.
This explains why “conservatives” have given up so much ground on issues that were once important to them: truth about race, IQ differences, egalitarianism, decadent societal trends, immigration restrictions, and the threat that ethnic balkanization poses to the future of American society.
To regain that ground, new institutions—like VDARE.COM and my new employer, the National Policy Institute—will be necessary. [contact Human Events]
Kevin Lamb (email him) is the editor of The Occidental Quarterly and the communications director of the National Policy Institute.
Last edited by Alex Linder; March 2nd, 2008 at 04:37 PM.
|February 22nd, 2008||#7|
[Context: Real issues never discussed in mainstream media]
[Kevin MacDonald on free speech in U.S. and "our" Middle East policy]
The vast majority of Americans live under the comfortable illusion that theirs is a free country. They suppose that issues are openly and honestly debated in the newspapers and on talk shows. In this imaginary world, all issues affecting public policy are on the table and are constantly scrutinized by the best and the brightest.
But that is simply not the case. In fact, I would go so far as to argue the opposite—that virtually all of the really critical issues affecting the United States and its role in the world are actually excluded from discussion in the elite media or in the political arena.
Last edited by Alex Linder; March 2nd, 2008 at 04:26 PM.
|October 22nd, 2009||#8|
Join Date: Jul 2007
The New American McCarthyism:
Policing Thought about the Middle East
Department of History
Stanford , CA 94305-2024
Since the September 11, 20001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, s upporters of George W. Bush's Manichean view of the world have mounted a sustained campaign to delegitimize critical thought about the Middle East . The have exploited the understandable fears of the American people to intimidate and defame ordinary citizens, public figures, scholars who study the Middle East and the Islamic world, and elected officials who have publicly criticized the Bush administration's war on Afghanistan, the prospect of an endless “war on terrorism,” the assault on Iraq, and the indulgence of Israel's repression of the Palestinian people. Universities and colleges have been a particular target of policing what may be thought and said about the Middle East because they are among the few institutions where intelligent political discourse remains possible in the United States .
The Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) has been subjected to a barrage of intemperate attacks. MESA is the largest organization of scholars who study the Middle East . Its members include students, teachers, and interested individuals from all the academic disciplines and are citizens of North America , Europe , and the Middle East . Conservative pundits accuse MESA members, not the FBI or the CIA, of bearing responsibility for what befell us on September 11 because we failed to warn the American public about the dangers of radical Islam. They do not consider that President Bush might be held responsible for his failure to attend to terrorist threats the summer before the September 11 attacks. For the neo-conservative true believers, the buck never stops where a Republican president is sitting. Scholars who stray from their doctrine are a much easier target.
The current campaign of vilification, guilt by association, guilt by ethnic or religious affiliation, and delegitimization of dissenting opinions recalls the early years of the Cold War. Then the American people were whipped into an anti-Communist frenzy by the infamous Republican Senator from Wisconsin , Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). McCarthy and his minions epitomize the tendency in American political life that conflates dissent with treason. C laiming to find Communist conspiracies in every corner of American life, McCarthy and HUAC conducted modern-day witch hunts. Scholars of East Asia were blamed for “losing” China , and the Rosenbergs were blamed for the Soviet Union 's development of nuclear weapons. Then, as now, fear of a foreign enemy and an unfamiliar ideology was deployed to bully the American people into abandoning customary standards of civil liberties, academic freedom, and common sense. There are, of course, important differences between the two historical periods. But the similarities are nonetheless striking.
The hysterical tone and political character of the effort to muzzle criticism of the Bush administration's foreign policy is exemplified by the inflated rhetoric of Americans for Victory over Terrorism (AVOT) , founded in March 2002 by former Secretary of Education, former Drug Czar, and moralist to the nation, William Bennett. AVOT is a subsidiary of the Project for a New American Century, the think tank distinguished by its energetic efforts to promote a U.S. war on Iraq since 1998. Its principal funder is Lawrence Kadish, chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which aims to bring Jews into the Republican Party. AVOT aims to “take to task those who blame America first and who do not understand – or who are unwilling to defend – our fundamental principles.” On March 10, 2002 Bennett published an open letter as an advertisement in the New York Times describing the external and internal threats to the United States . The external threat comprises “radical Islamists and others.” The internal threat consists of “those who are attempting to use this opportunity to promulgate their agenda of ‘blame America first.''' AVOT's list of internal enemies includes former President Jimmy Carter. Carter's offense was to criticize the ‘axis of evil' notion President Bush advanced in his 2002 State of the Union address as “overly simplistic” and “counter-productive.” Other internal enemies include congressional representative and Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland and Democratic representative Maxine Waters of Los Angeles .
The first post-September 11 expression of the link between the neo-conservative political agenda and the attack on critical thinking about the Middle East was a report issued by t he American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) in November 2001 entitled “Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America and What Can Be Done about It.” As the title suggests, ACTA maintained that criticism of the Bush administration's war on Afghanistan on campuses across the country was tantamount to negligence in “defending civilization.” and proof that “our universities are failing America .” ACTA alleged that American universities were brought to this sorry state by inadequate teaching of western culture and American history. Consequently, students and faculty did not understand what is at stake in the fight against terrorism and were undermining the defense of civilization by asking too many questions.
ACTA was founded by Lynne Cheney, the wife of Vice-President Dick Cheney. Former Democratic presidential candidate Senator Joseph Lieberman is a member of its national council. Although she is no longer officially active in ACTA, a lengthy quote by Ms. Cheney appears on the cover of the report, giving the document the appearance of a quasi-official statement of government policy.
The original version of “Defending Civilization” named and quoted comments by 117 university faculty members, staff, and students in reaction to the September 11 attacks. ACTA's ire was aroused by my statement that, “If Usama bin Laden is confirmed to be behind the attacks, the United States should bring him before an international tribunal on charges of crimes against humanity.” Other remarks in the report's list of unacceptable speech included “Ignorance breeds hate” and “[T]here needs to be an understanding of why this kind of suicidal violence could be undertaken against our country.”
Of course, ACTA's attack on American universities in the name of “defending civilization” was a ruse for its objective of suppressing any form of dissent from the militarized policy response to the September 11 attacks. By vilifying those who attempted to engage in a debate over the efficacy of a war against Afghanistan and by creating a list of those who did not religiously endorse the line of the Bush administration, ACTA revealed its affinity with the McCarthyite tradition in American political life. After receiving considerable criticism for resuscitating the tactics so infamously deployed during the McCarthy era, ACTA removed the appendix to the report containing the names and quotes.
Some of those named in the ACTA report were teachers and students of the Middle East and Central Asia . But like AVOT, ACTA's effort to quash free speech and political debate did not discriminate by specifically targeting them. ACTA is an equal opportunity defamer, and considers anyone who criticizes Bush administration foreign policy an enemy of civilization.
A band of neo-conservative pundits with strong allegiances to Israel took on the task of launching a more focused assault on Middle East scholars. The principal players in this drama are Martin Kramer, who authored a hot-headed and poorly researched tract attacking MESA published by The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), and Daniel Pipes, who directs the Middle East Forum, which hosts the neo-McCarthyite Campus-Watch web site. Kramer and Pipes have Ph.D.s in Middle East studies; but they are considered eccentric and marginal by most of the scholarly community. Hence, they have retreated from academia to WINEP and the Middle East Forum – think tanks with close ties to Israel 's ruling circles. Somewhat less prominent, though equally persistent, is Stanley Kurtz, a contributing editor of National Review Online and a fellow of the Hoover Institution, a veteran conservative think tank located on the campus of Stanford University . Kurtz has a Ph.D. in anthropology with a specialization in south Asia but has no Middle East credentials. Bit players include Jonathan Schanzer, sometime co-author of columns in the New York Post with Pipes, Jay Nordlinger, Managing Editor of National Review , and Marc Rauch and David Horowitz of FrontPageMagazine.com . Horowitz is the most notorious of the erstwhile sixties radicals who turned on his former associates with a vengeance.
T he gist of the neo-conservative attack on Middle East scholars is that MESA has been taken over by a crowd of post-colonial studies/post-modernist extremists inspired by the late Edward Said's book, Orientalism . These un-American radicals, they claim, have imposed an intellectual and political orthodoxy on the study of Islam and the Middle East . Martin Kramer's Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle East Studies in America , is the fullest expression of that argument. Kramer argues that Edward Said is responsible for what went wrong in American Middle East studies, and a good deal else besides.
Why Kramer decided that Said is such a bogeyman is unclear. Perhaps it is because Bernard Lewis, in addition to exemplifying the style of scholarship Said disparaged, was Kramer's teacher at Princeton University and is, along with the late Elie Kedourie and P.J. Vatikiotis, an intellectual patron of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University , of which Kramer is a former director. Said and Lewis had an ugly exchange in the New York Review of Books incited by Lewis's harsh review of Orientalism . Subsequently, Said overwhelmed Lewis in a public debate on the topic of “The Scholars, the Media, and the Middle East” held at the annual MESA meeting in November 1986. But Said was never a regular presence at MESA and did not even belong to the organization until he was made an honorary fellow in 1999. His 1986 appearance at the MESA annual meeting was his first. He did not return for a second time until 1998, when he attended a plenary session dedicated to assessing the impact of Orientalism twenty years after its publication. Kramer attended that session and threw a public tantrum.
Said's Orientalism certainly has affected American Middle East studies, and rightly so. It is an important and intellectually impressive work. But it is not without flaws. Hence, it was not and should not have been received uncritically. Nor did it eliminate other approaches and understandings of the Middle East .
Kramer's claim that wholesale adoption of Said's views by the leading members of MESA led to the failure of the entire edifice of American Middle East studies is contradicted by his own evidence. He cites a critical review of Orientalism published by the late Malcolm Kerr, a former MESA president, in MESA 's International Journal of Middle East Studies – the leading scholarly publication in the field. Kramer also quotes former MESA president Nikki Keddie, who wrote that while Orientalism was “important and in many ways positive” it had “some unfortunate consequences” among them that “Orientalism for many people is a word that substitutes for thought and enables people to dismiss certain scholars and their works…It may not have been what Edward Said meant at all, but the term has become a kind of slogan.” These critical comments by former MESA presidents who are highly regarded by their peers demonstrate that there is no orthodoxy and no wholesale adoption of Saidian ideas.
Kramer explicitly denigrates several scholars whose approach to modern Islam he deems faulty: John Esposito, John Voll, Richard Bulliet, and Fawaz Gerges. But any careful reading of their work will reveal that while they differ with Kramer's understanding of modern Islamic movements, their work does not reflect the slightest intellectual influence of Edward Said, cultural studies, post-colonialism, or post-modernism – all things Kramer abhors. Similarly, Kramer pours scorn on Roger Owen, Philip Khoury, Robert Fernea, Elizabeth Fernea, Michael Hudson, Rashid Khalidi, and Augustus Richard Norton for their interpretations of modern Arab politics. But, with the partial exception of Khalidi's Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness , their rather traditional, empiricist methods also reveal no evidence of Said's intellectual influence. What is common to all these scholars is that despite the variety of their work and their negligible affinities to post-anything, they are more critical of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians than Kramer and his enthusiasts are willing to tolerate. And since their opinions are also more critical of Israel than the views commonly presented in the U.S. mass media, it is possible to make a case – a woefully uninformed one to be sure – for Kramer's position.
The unstated but never entirely concealed agenda of shielding Israel from criticism links the efforts of Kramer and Pipes to earlier attempts to monitor teaching and research on the Middle East . After the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and the demise of the Black-Jewish coalition that was central to the American civil rights movement, the American Jewish Committee, whose mission includes strengthening “the basic principles of pluralism around the world, as the best defense against anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry,” the B'nai B'rith Anti Defamation League (ADL), whose purpose is to expose and combat anti-Semitism, and the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the leading Zionist lobbying organization, sounded alarms about the increasing influence of “Arab propaganda” on university campuses. They began to monitor the activities of students and teachers they considered “anti-Israel” and they frequently suggested that criticism of Israel was equivalent to anti-Semitism.
During the 1970s public criticism of Israel and Zionism increased, in large measure due to the activities of the newly formed Association of Arab-American University Graduates and the bold interventions of Noam Chomsky. However, it remained a phenomenon limited primarily to the academy. Even in colleges and universities, few non-Arab teachers or students had the mettle to face the inevitable charges of anti-Semitism or the even more ludicrous “self-hating Jew” routinely directed at those who opposed Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (along with the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights) and supported the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. This began to change when the former terrorist leader, Menachem Begin, became Prime Minister of Israel in 1977. The expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank during the Begin regime (1977-83) signaled that occupation and annexation might become a long term affair. Some Palestinian leaders, in the occupied territories and abroad, began to seek Israeli and Jewish partners for a struggle against Begin's policies. This posed a substantial threat to the likes of the AJC, the ADL, and AIPAC because it reduced the credibility of the charge of anti-Semitism aimed at critics of Israel .
One of the initial public sorties reflecting the more aggressive posture of American Jewish organizations who adopted as their mission protecting Israel from criticism was the Tucson Jewish Community Council's charge in 1981 that the outreach program (i.e. activities aimed at the general public and K-12 teachers) of the Near Eastern Center of the University of Arizona and its coordinator were guilty of anti-Israel bias. An external investigating committee dismissed the charge of bias. Unsatisfied with this outcome, the American Jewish Committee commissioned Gary Schiff to prepare a report which surveyed centers for Middle East studies at several universities. The Schiff report expressed concern about “possible bias in outreach programs dealing with the controversial issues that surround the Middle East .” Schiff considered it ominous that, unlike Arabic, Turkish, and Persian, federally funded fellowships were not available for the study of Hebrew because the U.S. government does not define Hebrew as a “critical language” (i.e. a less commonly taught language whose study should be encouraged to enhance national security). Finally, Schiff was troubled about the provision of funding by Arab states to centers for Middle East studies at universities such as Princeton and Georgetown .
In November 1983 the New England Regional Office of the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League, reacting to increased criticism of Israel following its invasion of Lebanon in 1982, distributed a booklet designed “to help Jewish students deal with anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic activities on college campus.” Once again, there was no clear distinction between the two. The booklet lists “anti-Israel” organizations and individuals with an emphasis on those in New England and northern California . The same year the national ADL published Pro-Arab Propaganda in America : Vehicles and Voices, a Handbook . These were the first efforts to compile lists of university faculty and staff whose opinions did not accord with the Zionist doctrine. They were not the last.
In 1983 the London monthly, The Middle East , reported, “AIPAC puts a lot of effort into monitoring anti-Israel speakers. Tapes and notes are collected and files compiled.” In 1984 AIPAC compiled a 187-page college guide whose objective was to “expos[e] the anti-Israel campaign on campus.” A twelve-page questionnaire filled out by students who volunteered to do so (i.e. those sympathetic to AIPAC's world view) provided the basis for the information in the guide. Students were invited to “name any individual faculty who assist anti-Israel groups. How is this assistance offered? (If there is a Middle East Study Center , please elaborate on its impact on campus.)”
MESA responded to these activities of the ADL and AIPAC by passing, after a hotly contested debate, a resolution at its 1984 annual meeting which described the publications of the ADL and AIPAC as “factually inaccurate and unsubstantiated” and “unbalanced.” The resolution called on the ADL and AIPAC to “disavow and refrain from such activities.” This resolution signaled that a majority of MESA 's most active members were no longer intimidated by fear of being labeled anti-Semites when discussing the Arab-Israeli conflict. Therefore, MESA became a dubious institution among American Jewish organizations, like the ADL and AIPAC, whose identity is dependent largely on their uncritical support for Israel . Some of the minority of Middle East scholars who shared the views of the ADL and AIPAC – most visibly concentrated at Princeton and Johns Hopkins universities – stopped attending MESA meetings.
It is worth noting in passing that organizations like the ADL and AIPAC do not, in fact, speak for a majority of Jews in the United States . About half of American Jews belong to no Jewish organization whatsoever, some of them precisely because they do not wish to be associated with uncritical support for Israel .
The ADL went beyond merely monitoring people and institutions and individuals it considered “anti-Israel” and/or “anti-Semitic.” In April 1993 San Francisco police seized over 10,000 files from the ADL's local office. The files were compiled from information provided by Roy Bullock, who had worked as a “fact finder” for the ADL since the 1960s. Bullock sold information to the ADL, the South African intelligence agency, and possibly also to the Israeli Mossad, and he worked occasionally for the FBI. He compiled dossiers on some 10,000 individuals and 600 organizations labeled “pinkos,” “right,” “Arabs,” “skins,” and “ANC” (the African National Congress, which led the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa ). Among those subjected to surveillance were the San Francisco Labor Council, ILWU Local 10, the Oakland Educational Association, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Irish Northern Aid, the International Indian Treaty Council, the faculty of Mills College , and the Asian Law Caucus. San Francisco police estimated that 75 percent of Bullock's information was illegally obtained. Police Inspector, Tom Gerard, had supplied Bullock with confidential information about his targets in exchange for an $8,000 fee. Gerard was indicted for illegal use of a police computer in 1994 and fled to the Philippines . Ultimately he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of illegally accessing government information. The ADL made out-of-court cash settlements with the city of San Francisco , the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, and three individuals.
Despite the illegal over zealousness of the San Francisco office of the ADL, from the mid-1980s until the September 11 terrorist attacks, there were only occasional efforts to defame individual Middle East scholars who were critical of Israel and U.S. Middle East policy. Some unknown number of professorial appointments and promotions was tainted by political pressure. But in part because of MESA 'S resistance to the agenda of the ADL and AIPAC, there was no concerted campaign.
Publication of Kramer's Ivory Towers on Sand heralded a new the beginning of such a campaign and a new phase in the efforts to subject critical thinking in Middle East studies to surveillance. Kramer and his ilk were emboldened by their links to officials in the upper-mid levels of the Bush administration such as Richard Perle, former chair (and still a member) of the Defense Advisory Board, and Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Douglas Feith, Deputy Secretary of State, and Elliott Abrams, National Security Advisor for the Middle East. They had mutual affiliations with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, the Project for a New American Century and other conservative think tanks whose ambit is broader than the Middle East .
The neo-cons have much more powerful political connections than the AJC, the ADL and AIPAC were able to mobilize for their campaigns of defamation in the early 1980s, which largely failed to silence criticism of Israel and U.S. Middle East policy in American universities. Because of September 11 and the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, the Middle East is more prominent topic in public culture, albeit largely in a caricatured form, than ever before. Moreover, internet technology has enabled the neo-cons to reach a much broader audience.
The pretentiously-named Campus-Watch website established by Daniel Pipes purports, in language removed from the website after it aroused a storm of criticism because of its naked McCarthyite character, to “monitor and gather information on professors who fan the flames of disinformation, incitement, and ignorance.” Campus-Watch alleges that Middle East scholars “seem generally to dislike their own country and think even less of American allies abroad. They portray U.S. policy in an unfriendly light and disparage allies.” Campus Watch asserts that “ Middle East studies in the United States has become the preserve of Middle Eastern Arabs, who have brought their views with them. Membership in the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the main scholarly association, is now 50 percent of Middle Eastern origin.” Therefore, MESA is, Campus-Watch implies, an unpatriotic and not truly American organization.
These assertions are false and brazenly bigoted. Expressing dissent from prevailing foreign policy is no indication of whether one does or does not like the United States . Such dissent is in the tradition of democratic patriotism. The majority of MESA members are not of Middle Eastern origin. Moreover, casting aspersions on scholars, or anyone else for that matter, because of their national origin violates the fundamental spirit of American liberties and misrepresents the history of the United States as an immigrant society.
The unabashed racism in the statement of purpose of Campus-Watch is not a one-time slip of the tongue. Pipes has described Muslim immigrants to Western Europe in language suggesting he may or may not endorse this view as, “brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene. Muslim customs,” he wrote, “are more troublesome than most.”
On the basis of such scholarly insight and empathetic understanding of foreign cultures, in the spring of 2003 President Bush nominated Pipes to a seat on the board of directors of the federally funded United States Institute of Peace, whose mission is to sponsor research promoting peaceful conflict resolution. After massive expressions of opposition to Pipes' nomination from a broad spectrum of individuals and organizations, including some Jewish groups, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions declined to approve Pipes' nomination. Nonetheless the President partially had his way by making a recess appointment after the Senate adjourned for the summer. Pipes may serve on the board, but for less than a full term. This episode signaled that what began as an apparently arcane debate among scholars had assumed national political significance.
In June 2003, Stanley Kurtz testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce that, “ Title VI-funded programs in Middle Eastern Studies (and other area studies) tend to purvey extreme and one-sided criticisms of American foreign policy.” He urged legislators to take action to ensure “balance.” Representative Peter Hoekstra (R-Michigan) obliged by introducing a bill designated the International Studies in Higher Education Act (H.R. 3077). The bill passed the House of Representatives by a unanimous voice vote in October 2003. In March 2004 the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions had the measure on its agenda. Its fate is undecided as of this writing.
HR 3077 reauthorizes funding for Title VI of the National Defense Education Act of 1958 and the Higher Education Act of 1965, which provides about $95 million for graduate fellowships, language training, and community outreach to 118 centers for regional area studies. It would also establish an International Education Advisory Board with investigative powers “to study, monitor, apprise, and evaluate” activities supported by Title VI. The advisory board is charged with ensuring that government-funded academic programs “reflect diverse perspectives and represent the full range of views” on international affairs. Three of the board members are to be appointed by the Secretary of Education; two of those will represent government agencies with national security responsibilities (the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, etc). The leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate each will appoint two more.
Everyone understands that “diverse perspectives” in this context is code for limited criticism of U.S. Middle East policy in general and of Israel in particular. The legislation is not motivated by concern with what centers for Latin American or East Asian studies are doing. The International Studies in Higher Education Act would immediately impact only the 17 federally-funded national resource centers for Middle East studies at U.S. universities. But this is clearly a dangerous precedent portending the possibility of direct government interference in teaching, public programming, and research.
The activities of AVOT, ACTA, Martin Kramer, Daniel Pipes, Stanley Kurtz, Campus-Watch, and the introduction of HR 3077 bear the marks of a concerted campaign. The principal figures involved have more than a casual attachment to Ariel Sharon's understanding of the Middle East . The core proposition of that in the post-September 11 period, which Sharon has successfully sold to the Bush administration, is that Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority are equivalent to Usama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. The effect of this campaign has been to open the door to a host of other statements and political initiatives that imperil free discussion of the Middle East , and potentially much more.
Academic freedom and open debate on Middle East-related issues were very badly served by the widely reported sloppy thinking of Harvard University President Lawrence Summers, formerly Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration. At the start of the 2002-03 academic year, he addressed a student prayer meeting and argued that harsh criticisms of Israel were “anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent.” Among other things Summers was referring to a petition signed by 600 Harvard and MIT faculty, staff, and students to divest university funds from companies that do business in Israel as a protest against Israel 's continuing occupation of the West Bank , the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem . Similar efforts with a range of formulations of the target were subsequently launched at over forty colleges and universities. One need not support the substance of the demand for divestment in order to discern the difference between even the most vehement criticism of Israel and its policies and anti-Semitism. Whatever one thinks of the demand for divestment, it is directed at specific policies of the state of Israel . It is, therefore, not inherently anti-Semitic.
Summers may have thought he was expressing himself in a reasoned way to an academic audience. But the conflation of criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism was an already well-established ploy. The endorsement of this notion by the president of the country's most prestigious institution of higher learning authorized others to go on the political offensive without fear that they would be criticized as boorish enemies of academic freedom.
The B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League, the Likud-affiliated Zionist Organization of America, the American Jewish Committee, and the Hillel Foundation (the parent body of the largest Jewish student organization) sought to convince federal legislators that there is a wave of anti-Semitism on American campuses. The ADL's “annual audit” of anti-Semitic activity in America detected an increase of 24% in anti-Semitic activities on U.S. college campuses during 2002. However, the entire increase in incidents of anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses, according to the ADL's own statistics, amounted to 21 actions.
Among these were several high profile incidents, most of them motivated by opposition to Israel 's policies towards the Palestinians. Paradoxically, by failing to make a clear distinction between anti-Semitism, which should always and everywhere be opposed, and anti-Zionism, which is a legitimate political opinion, the ADL and like-minded organizations exposed American Jews to attack because they were identified with Israel .
In the spring of 2003 several Republican Senators and aides attended met with the representatives of the ADL, the American Jewish Committee, the Likud-affiliated Zionist Organization of America, and the Hillel Foundation. Shortly thereafter, the third-ranking Republican member of the U.S. Senate, Rick Santorum (PA), announced that he planned to introduce so-called “ideological diversity” legislation that would cut federal funding to colleges and universities that permit professors, students, and student organizations to openly criticize Israel . Like the ADL and some other organizations that purport to represent American Jews, Santorum considers criticism of Israel equivalent to anti-Semitism. Santorum has not yet formulated his announcement into an actual bill.
Most of those who have attacked the Middle East Studies Association and individuals identified as foreign policy dissidents spend their days in think tanks where they are paid to hobnob with foreign policy makers and mass media opinion makers. They mainly write op-eds and policy think pieces. They do not, for the most part, engage in the primary recognized activities of scholars: teaching and research. These individuals a re on the far right margin of the Bush administration's power base. They serve as its attack dogs. It is easy to show that their scholarship and commentary on the Middle East is ludicrously defective. In fact, most Middle East scholars have long ago rejected their views. That is one of the sources of their unhappiness. It would be reasonable to conclude that perhaps scholars who study the modern Middle East know something worth listening to even if it does not accord with the views of right wing radicals. But the neo-McCarthyites already know what they want to hear.
Having failed to win in the marketplace of ideas, the neo-McCarthyites seek to use the power of the state to suppress wayward ideas. Consequently, this is a political fight, not merely a scholarly debate. The battle for ideas is surely a component of this struggle, but academic freedom is likely to be severely attenuated if the professoriate restricts itself to that arena. Even if only in self defense, students and scholars who want to preserve their right to think and speak and write critically about the Middle East , and potentially much else beyond, need to expose those who are assaulting our liberties and take the case for academic freedom to the public.