Friday, March 27, 2009
Why I'm Happy The NY Times Published An Anti-Semitic Cartoon
There's been a great deal of outrage by Jewish groups (and the blogosphere)over the above bit of Jew hatred published by the New York Times.
I think its entirely misplaced and uncalled for.
When a dog does something wrong and goes unpunished, he almost always moves up the ladder of misdeeds until he does something really serious. So who do you blame then? The dog, or his owner and trainer?
The New York Times has been an anti-Israel and frequently an anti-Semitic paper for years, and the above cartoon almost exactly mirrors their editorial stance on the Middle East, if in a slightly more honest and upfront way. Columnists like Tom Friedman, Nicholas Kristoff and the latest edition, Roger Cohen have always carried the water for Israel's enemies, sought to humanize terrorists and equate Hamas and Hezbollah with the IDF. And the New York Times has been notable in shilling for Barack Obama in spite of his anti-Semitic and anti-Israel allies and associates. Did the ADL and the Wiesenthal Center just all of a sudden become aware of all this, when a number of us have been talking and writing about it for years?
Blaming the New York Times for being true to its nature at this point is cynical, self serving and meaningless. They've learned they can get away with this sort of thing with impunity.
For that matter, Pat Oliphant has been around a long time, has run a number of cartoons like this and is fairly well known in press circles as a Jew hater. Back when he worked at the old Herald Examiner, my father of blessed memory had to be restrained from punching his lights out when Oliphant started running his mouth off in his presence. The New York Times knew exactly what it was getting, and from whom.
So here's an interesting question to ponder. Why would the New York Times refuse to publish the Mohammed 'toons because they `didn't want to desecrate a religious symbol' but cheerfully print a cartoon denigrating a Jewish religious symbol?
Could it be perhaps because they knew that with Jews (or Christians, for that matter) the worst they have to fear is a few nasty letters they can sluff off with a pro forma 'apology' that rings about as true as one of Pee Wee Herman's?
They'll just do it again, because it cost them nothing.
Things might be different if the Times' executives and 'talent' had to contend with a bunch of Jews screaming at them and getting physically in their faces as they walked into the building,along with massive pressure on the Time's advertisers to pull their ads from the paper. Having a serious talk at street level with newstand vendors about the problems associated with carrying an anti-Semitic rag along with a few incidents of sloshing the piles of new papers in the stalls with a bottle of India Ink (an old union trick)might just change that perception.
Don't misunderstand...as far as I'm concerned, the New York Times has a perfect right to choose to print this or any other trash they please. But choices have consequences. And sometimes, when those consequences are made unmistakably clear, different choices get made.
Besides, as I said, I'm glad the Times ran this. Because I love clarity.
It should be obvious even to the most clueless what the agenda of the New York Times is.
It should be clear to anyone who despises Jew hatred that buying, advertising or subscribing to the New York Times or any other paper that ran this is subsidizing this kind of hatred. And for a Jew to do so is a fairly self-hating act one step above subscribing to the equivalent of Der Stürmer or Hezbollah's al-Intiqad.
It should be clear now exactly how impotent, out of touch and farcical the old line Jewish leadership at places like the ADL and the AJC actually is.
And it should be obvious that different leadership and a very different response to this sort of thing is needed in the future.
Sometimes an alarm clock needs to go off to wake people up.