THURSDAY, JANUARY 8, 2004
ALL THE WAY WITH D_K: Doggone it! We hadnt made our regular rounds this week, so we didnt know that Dan Kennedy had already linked to that human hunt postthe same one we discussed yesterday (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/7/04). On Tuesday, Dan made the same points we made one day later; for example, he noted that though David Brooks decried a disturbing attack on neoconservatives, the post to which Brooks seems to refer also slimed William J. Clinton. To read Dans treatment of Brooks repellent nonsense, just visit his Boston Phoenix site (we normally drop in every day). For ourselves, we offer another treatment of the Brooks columna column which reveals so much about the deeply dysfunctional world of Americas inexcusable press corps.
BOXCAR WILLIE, NEOCONSERVATIVE: Does David Brooks still have a job? How about trembling editor Gail Collins? A few of you have written to say that weve been too tough on Collins in this messtoo tough on her role in the publications of Brooks repellent column. But liberals and centrists need to grasp the role that is played by people like Collins. David Brooks doesnt publish himselfjust as Ann Coulter didnt write the clowning Times review which praised her meticulous research (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 7/22/02). It was a cowering, overpaid good guy editor who brought Brooks political porn to your porch. In a rational world, David Brooks would be gone. And Gail Collins would be out the door with him.
And Brooks wasnt just peddling political porn; the sad little fellow seems to dote on thigh-rubbing porn pure and simple. Readers have written to fill us in on the odd world Brooks column exploited:
E-MAIL: I [do a type of academic work which is] based on contemporary political conspiracy theories. As such, Ive researched a LOT of conspiracies and Im very familiar with Cathy OBrien who posted the story on Indymedia that you referenced Her primary occupation for the last few years has been to write books and go around on the lecture circuityes, theres a conspiracy theory lecture circuittalking about her experiences with Cheney and other politicians. These experiences are extremely real to her and she has a legion of devoted fans who believe her and every word that she says.Brooks, of course, hoped youd think that this was part of the anti-Semitic attack on neoconservatives which has him so deeply, deeply troubled. Another e-mail helps us see how thoroughly Brooks deceived the Times readers:
E-MAIL: In regards to the now infamous David Brooks column from the Times, I must confess I was not as confused as many people were as to the reference to Cheneys Human Hunting expeditions because I knew exactly what he was speaking of. I have an (admittedly strange) hobby of collecting weird tales as it were, called psychoceramics in some circles, which loosely translated means the study of crackpots. And being such an enthusiast, I can tell you, beyond all doubt, Cathy OBrien (the individual who remembered the Cheney human hunting) is a prime example.And sure enough, our sources checked out! To read the chapter called Clinton Coke Lines, you know what to do. Just click here.
Needless to say, none of this craziness has anything to do with anti-Semitic attacks on conservatives. But it has a great deal to do with David Brooksand with Gail Collins. Lets review what occurred in this case.
First, at a time of great international peril, David Brooks enjoys wasting his time reading pornography about Boxcar Willie (one of our foremost Jewish neocons). He then likes to pretend that this brain-damaged mess has something to do with liberal anti-Semitism. (To state the obvious, Brooks pornographic imagination is every bit the match of Youngs.) So he dutifully typed a fake, phony tale, and slickly handed it off to Collins. Collinstrembling, inept, too fearful too actrushed Brooks human hunt lie into print. And she let Brooks present this as part of a larger piece of political pornhis sweeping, utterly ludicrous claim that those who dare to criticize Bush are really just raving anti-Semites. On Monday, the New York Times truly hit a new low. Without Collins, there was no operation.
But no matter! This is the standard which now exists in what we laughingly call a press corps. Cowards like Collins hide behind desks, afraid to confront the porn of the right. And why does Brooks degrade himself so? Perhaps the porn-loving pundit will answer that question in his next thrilling installment.
AND ALONG CAME OKRENT: Then Times public editor Daniel Okrent stepped in. (Remember: If these people didnt exist, you could never invent them.) According to Media Whores Online, a Times reader fired an e-mail to Okrent, complaining that Brooks astounding column eagerly slimes anyone who opposes George W. Bush as an anti-Semite. Incredibly, heres the text of Okrents response:
OKRENT: As a columnist, Mr. Brooks is entitled to his opinions, as readers are entitled to disagree with them. In this specific case, he quite clearly was using this writerly device to indicate his belief that critics of neo-conservatives think all neo-conservatives are Jewish. Thank you for your comments.Good God! According to Okrent, Brooks was just using a writerly device to express a beliefthe belief that critics of neo-conservatives think all neo-conservatives are Jewish. The fact that no sane person could hold this belief didnt stop Okrent from typing his point.
Who in the world could possibly think that critics of neo-conservatives think all neo-conservatives are Jewish? And who in the world could possibly think that that was what the Brooks column said? Easy! Journalists at the New York Times get to think such impossible thoughts. Meanwhile, they fill their paper with pure, prime pornwith dissembling references to human sex hunts. And they baldly lie in your faces, claiming that Cathy O'Briens ranting about Boxcar Willie were part of an anti-Semitic attack on conservatives. When Collins and Okrent hide behind desks to avoid confronting whats occurred in their midst, do you really think were being too hard when we say this whole gang should be fired?
WINNEBAGO WILLIAMS: If they didnt exist, you couldnt invent them. Heres the opening to Walter Williams ludicrous column in todays Washington Times:
WILLIAMS: Literally hundreds of readers informed me that in last weeks column, Some Things I Wonder About, my reference to a Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma Citywho set his 32-foot Winnebago on cruise control, left the drivers seat to brew a cup of coffee, crashed, then sued Winnebago for not having a warning against the dangers of doing so and received a jury award of $1,750,000 plus a new motor homewas an urban legend and as such totally false.Laughable, isnt it? After failing to confirm this absurd urban legend, Williams keeps complaining about the way personal responsibility has taken a back seat in our immoral society. And no, hes not citing himself.
Williams says that no one in his right mind would have believed this story in 1960. But in fact, no sane person would believe it today! (Duh! Thats why hundreds of people wrote him.) Despite this, Williams typed the tale without checking it out, and editors published his ludicrous column in papers all across the country. Meanwhile, readers can have more fun with this piece, noting how little Williams actual lawsuits have to do with the legend he swallowed. For a taste of Williams brilliance, heres his first actual lawsuit:
WILLIAMS: The wife of a hockey fan who crashed his car after drinking too much at a Minnesota Wild game has sued the team, saying her husband who was paralyzed in the Feb. 8, 2002, auto crash shouldnt have been served so much alcohol.In this, as in several of Williams examples, a citizen is said to have brought a complaint. But duh! Williams doesnt even allege that the complaint was successful in court. None of these cases differ in principle from the Merv Grazinski urban legend, he types.
So lets see. Brooks is allowed to hold the belief that critics of neo-conservatives think all neo-conservatives are Jewish. And Williams is allowed to type the claim that Merv Grazinski crashed his Winnebago from its living room area, then was paid major bucks for his trouble. Meanwhile, the New York Times prints an ugly column, peddling lies about crackpot pornography. If such lunacies didnt exist, could you ever have dreamed them up? Brooks, Collins, Okrent, Williams: On what meat do these pod people feed? And what must rational peopleof the left, right and centerdo to remove them from influence?
By the way: Yes, its true. Walter Williams is a college professor.