The Shame of The “Times”

We all know by now how the left reacts to the presence of the truth:  the screaming, the name-calling, the hysterical slander; the way they designate the craziest Koran-burning, abortionist-shooting nutcase they can find to represent the right; the way they demonize commentators like Rush and Coulter and Glenn Beck, without ever engaging with their ideas, and then use their names as insults to fling at people who have nothing to do with them.

In short, the left reacts to the truth the way a vampire reacts to a cross…  or the way the left reacts to a cross, come to think of it.  So when I see their brains start to smoke, I know one of the good guys is talking sense.

Last week, I and just about everyone else took note of a cover piece in Forbes magazine by Dinesh D’Souza called “How Obama Thinks.“  Basically, D’Souza put forward the psychological theory that certain of the president’s destructive and contradictory policies might be explained by examining his relationship with his father and his father’s anti-colonial philosophy.  The highlight of this well-reasoned and intelligent article was D’Souza’s examination of a heretofore almost wholly ignored piece of writing by the elder Obama.  It reveals that the president’s economist father had some very distasteful anti-western ideas.

Now as someone who doesn’t usually believe in analysis at a distance, I nonetheless found the piece remarkably convincing.  I was therefore not at all surprised when the White House, in the person of Press Sec Robert Gibbs, ripped into Forbes for daring to publish it.  “Did they not fact check this at all?” Gibbs cried.  Forbes editor-in-chief Steve Forbes, quite rightly, stood by the story.  Everyone acknowledges that D’Souza is putting forward a theory but as Forbes pointed out, “No facts are in contention.”

But the journalistic palace guard in the person of the Washington Post‘s Howard Kurtz and the Columbia Journalism Review rushed to echo Gibbs, performing their usual task of speaking power to truth.  “Some facts are very  much in contention,” says Kurtz in an article that then goes on to challenge exactly none of the facts in D’Souza’s piece.  Indeed, I’m not aware of any important facts in D’Souza’s article under challenge.

No one, however, did more to convince me that D’Souza had hit the nail on the head than New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.  Hysteria, name-calling, demonizing…  her brain-smoking column attacking D’Souza has got it all.

She hasn’t even got the guts to go at D’Souza (“Ann Coulter-in-pants”) directly.  Instead, she goes after Speaker Newt Gingrich for endorsing the article!  And what’s her approach to disputing Gingrich?  Well, she points out that he went through messy divorces before his recent conversion to Catholicism.  That gets to the heart of the argument for sure!  Oh, and also, she says Gingrich is not a good Christian.  No, really, I’m not making this up.

“He is downright un-Christian,” says Sister Mary Mother Modo, “when he does not hesitate to visit the alleged sins of the father upon the son.”

Then she goes on to say, “It’s also really low. D’Souza and Gingrich are not merely discrediting the president’s father’s ideology. They’re discrediting his character and insinuating that the son inherited not just his father’s bad ideology but a bad character, too.”

This is simply untrue, a complete distortion of D’Souza’s work.  Relying on Obama’s own writings about his father, Obama’s own expressions of yearning to find his identity in relationship to his father, D’Souza’s wholly psychological theory has absolutely nothing to do with biological inheritance.

And if Maureen Dowd doesn’t like psychological theories, then how come she spent the entire W. Bush administration insisting W’s policies, especially in Iraq, were just some Freudian attempt to “avenge and one-up his father simultaneously?”

Listen, I understand that American journalists, for good or ill, have abandoned the ideal of objectivity and adopted European-style partisanship.  I understand that the New York Times has willfully destroyed its already-failing reputation as the newspaper of record in order to become the cheerleader and defender of the left.  But even the Times–really, even the Times–should’ve been ashamed to print Dowd’s screeching, mud-slinging, name-calling and distorted piece.

Oh, and by the way, Ann Coulter looks smashing in pants.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Pingback: MoDo, D’Souza and the Shame of the New York Times - Big Journalism

  • http://www.hired-mind.com Hired Mind

    Hi Andrew,

    Sorry for posting this as a comment but I could see no way to contact you privately.

    Great post! But the link in this post entitled “brain-smoking column attacking D’Souza” points to an incorrect URL: to the Edit URL of the post itself I believe.

  • Debra

    With all of the vindictive continually directed at religous hypocrisy, perhaps Sister Mary Mother Modo could write a piece on the fate of her sister in journalism Molly Norris.

    http://www.seattleweekly.com/2010-09-15/news/on-the-advice-of-the-fbi-cartoonist-molly-norris-disappears-from-view/

    Okay, I’m not holding my breath :)

  • firsHat

    I just can’t get over how these people who are so thoroughly part of the same post colonial discourse as that which spawned our President have the unmitigated gall to call a description of that discourse a “smear”.

    I’m repeating a comment I’ve made in several places because I think it needs repeating early and often. For decades anyone entering university in the US has entered a “post colonial” discussion whether aware of it or not.

    Within that discussion all debate begins with the assumption that all of Western culture (and specifically the US with its free market) is imperialist and should be destroyed or marginalized. All questions asked from within that discussion have to do with which texts, histories, methods and philosophies can best be used to reduce or destroy Western culture to make it the oppressed rather than the oppressor. Even the most lowly freshman class never bothers to ask the question, “which is better, free market or socialism?” These questions are not even part of a discourse that begins far beyond the dismissal of capitalism.

    And yet, when someone calmly points out that our President is the product of these discussions (complemented by his biographical experience) we are somehow expected to understand this as a “smear” rather than merely an observation of what should be obvious.

    I have to wonder about the pundits who emerge from the same education as our President and yet contend that to tie a description of that education to someone is a smear. It truly sends my head spinning… not quite into pea soup spitting, but getting there.

  • toodles

    Andrew you seem to have ‘hit the nail on the head’!
    Even today we see the terrible characters that OBAMA
    is pushing back to his henchmen to be ‘JUDGES’!
    What a laugh, it is like electing OBAMA all over again,
    we knew he was a druggie earlier in his life and we
    knew that he was hiding his past. Little did we know
    how DEFENSIVE HE WOULD REMAIN OF THAT “PAST”!!

  • Scout

    Mr. Klavan -

    Nice one.

    I always find it re-assuring when the left – and their media – makes it absolutely certain that they are nuts. They remove any question – only pure bias and hysteria could be responsible for an article such as Dowd’s. This isn’t an accidental “mis-spoke” event. This isn’t someone caught on a bad day. This is written down, submitted to editors, for print in a supposedly important paper.

    Sometimes I catch myself wondering – is it me? Am I too conservative? Then they give us a column like Dowd’s – and I can say “nope – I’m just a person with a normal functioning brain.”