tinfoil-ass-hattery, or, an army of juan
now that the NYT website, in their attempt to put a dodecahedron of faces to the gray lady, features that headshot of david brooks next to his drivel, i find it impossible to take mr. brooks seriously. how can you stay mad at a man in a pink shirt with a purple tie?
though the washington post's charles "sour" krauthammer does not have an endearing picture to recommend him, his most recent article does refuse to endorse the new conservative strategy of blaming the judiciary for everything from global warming to cheese turning moldy to judges' inability to feel safe in their homes. radical! of course he reverts at the end. silly chuckie. but overall, a pretty impressive departure.
so just when i feel like i'm lacking right-wing ideologues to fuel my ire, who comes out of nowhere to hit me over the head with fifty pounds of hot air? why, ladies and gentlemen, it's JUAN COLE of salon.com! let's have a hand for the latest hysterical provocateur to make the left look bad! welcome, juan! michael moore has been pretty quiet lately so thank god you've stepped in to fill the void.
what's getting mr. cole's panties in a twist? WITCH HUNTS. he thinks -- brace yourselves -- that columbia's recent investigation of professor Joseph Massad was the result of involvement by "off-campus right-wing Zionist organizations aligned with Israel's Likud Party." Massad is a VICTIM of a bunch of outside agitators "clearly hostile and with ideological agendas" who want to bring him down because he's pro-palestinian and you can, apparently, be anything you want in america but not that. (i know. i'm scared too, guys. hold each other. we'll get through this.)
his implication that there exists a monolithic and powerful jewish conspiracy to silence anti-israel voices in america is one thing. (well, two things: it's also painfully stupid.) but juan cole is invoking an historical moment of actual significance and horror and DILUTING it by using it to make this facile comparison; and as a student of historical moments, i find that offensive. worse, infuriating. McCarthyism? Massad wasn't fired. he wasn't fined. i'm not saying he should have been either. i'm saying: what an insult to actual victims of 50s paranoia.
to cover his rhetorical bases, cole throws in some nazi and communist references too, so they all party together like they haven't since the signing of the Non-Aggression Pact. while sen. taft toasts mao and they eat some cheese puffs, marvelling at how quickly their legacies have lost their power through misuse, cole aims his guns at a new target: the gray lady herself. "The New York Times editorial is among the more dangerous documents threatening higher education in America to have appeared in a major newspaper since the McCarthy period" -- how does this guy not choke on his own sanctimonious bullshit? dangerous? threatening? i'm sorry, but are we not talking about an NYT OP-ED? and have you seen david brooks's pink shirt?
all i can say is, salon, i love you, but please. spare me the hysterical claptrap about how the sky is falling because an ivy league university, after much foot dragging, investigated claims of professor misconduct and the NYT wrote something with which Juan Cole disagrees. being Anti-Anti-Anti-Israel is NOT the new black and you sir are no John Kennedy.