Posts Tagged ‘controversy

15
Mar
11

a congenitally untrustworthy columnist?

When writers like Steve Benen, Ezra Klein and Steve Kornacki are critical of the President it’s hard not to take notice – they do, after all, have a record of being objective with no suspect agendas.

But then you read someone like The New Republic’s editor-in-chief Martin Peretz and all you can do is laugh. In his latest diatribe, posted today, he describes the President’s approach to the Middle East as “scandalous” and his attitude to Israel as “hostile indifference”.

“What is curious about Obama’s infatuation with Arab societies (and with non-Arab Muslim societies, too) is that he knows just about nothing about them,” Peretz pants.

It’s always interesting to look at the track record of people who spew dishonest hysteria like this. And in Peretz’s case it’s some track record….

Wiki: Over the course of his career, Peretz has drawn criticism from some fellow commentators … for making comments they considered bigoted, particularly towards Arabs and Muslims.

He has written (among other things) that “Arab society is hidebound and backward” and that the Druze are “congenitally untrustworthy”.

The website Peretz Dossier has compiled an encyclopedia of the most ridiculous and inflammatory things Peretz writes about Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis….

On September 4, 2010, Peretz drew media attention and controversy when he posted an editorial which concluded: “But, frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims…. so, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.”

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof denounced Peretz’s comments, asking: “Is it possible to imagine the same kind of casual slur tossed off about blacks or Jews?”

When criticized, Peretz insisted “Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims” was “a statement of fact, not of value”.

Two weeks later Peretz apologized: “…..I allowed emotion to run way ahead of reason, and feelings to trample arguments.”

The Atlantic’s James Fallows: “Peretz … beloved by many students and respected by some magazine colleagues, but broadly considered in his 70s to be a bigot.”

***

So, short of President Obama agreeing to nuke the Palestinians, his approach to the Middle East will, in Peretz’s eyes, always be “scandalous”. How ‘fair and balanced’!




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