CRITICIZE THE NEW YORK TIMES? WHY, YOU ANTI-SEMITE!
Some opinion columns are beneath contempt. Nonetheless, I feel compelled to link to Jon Carroll's June 28, 2006 column on SFGATE.com, the online service of the San Franscisco Chronicle, just to demonstrate to Hedgehog readers what is out there drawing a salary as a featured columnist and passing for an intelligent commentator in the Left Coast's most leftward city. The late Herb Caen, a genuinely talented writer for the San Francisco Chronicle in an earlier, classier era, used to call his beloved city Baghdad-by-the-Bay, presumably for a different reason than might apply now.
Columnist Carroll charges that criticism of the New York Times by the Bush Administration is actually cleverly ciphered anti-Semitism. Since I realize that such a claims seems too incredible for anyone to believe it actually was made, here are Mr. Carroll's actual words:
Also, the name of the New York Times contains the word "New York." Many members of the president's base consider "New York" to be a nifty code word for "Jewish." It is very nice for the president to be able to campaign against the Jews without (a) actually saying the word "Jew" and (b) without irritating the Israelis. A number of prominent Zionist groups think the New York Times is insufficiently anti-Palestinian, so they think the New York Times isn't Jewish enough.
I have heard about how evangelical Christians really like ultra-Orthodox Jews because both groups are eagerly anticipating the end of the world. Since the Bible sets forth certain conditions for the end times, both groups are working hard to fulfill those conditions. We may assume that the New York Times is, implicitly at least, against the end of the world. It's a controversial position -- death of the human race: aye or nay? -- and is another good reason to make the Times a target."
Oh, my! Where to begin? According to Mr. Carroll, President George W. Bush needs to appeal to his Republican anti-Semitic base, but needs to avoid offending the Zionists and irritating the Israelis, who presumably prop up the Bush Administration through the devices of the Worldwide Zionist Conspiracy. Therefore someone on the campaign staff, presumably the evil genius Karl Rove, conceived of the perfect strategy--attacking the New York Times. Criticism of the New York Times is readily understood by the Republican anti-Semitic base as a veiled attack on Jews, but does not offend the Zionists who control the Bush Administration, because they think the New York Times--excuse me, the Jewish Times--is not Jewish enough.
And here I am, the Kosher Hedgehog, an Orthodox Jew (probably ultra-Orthodox in the eyes of Mr. Carroll, because all Orthodox Jews are ultra-Orthodox to those of his ilk), co-blogging with a Christian, the two of us posting when we are not eagerly awaiting the end of the world. IT ALL FITS!
So, dear Hedgehog readers, please keep Mr. Carroll's discovery in mind when you read criticisms of the New York (Jewish) Times linked on our blog, such as here and here. It has nothing to do with the fact that the New York (Jewish) Times has crippled the war against terrorism by disclosing how the U.S. tracks cash flowing into terrorist organizations. Rather it's all part of the vast right-wing, anti-Semitic, Zionist, Orthodox Jewish, Evangelical Christian, Rovian consipiracy.
As I began, some opinion columns are beneath contempt.