January 13, 2008

Sailer in VDARE: "Marty Peretz v. Ron Paul"

Here's an extract from my latest column, which includes lots of juicy gossip:

Martin Peretz, veteran editor-in-chief of the neoliberal New Republic magazine, has cultivated a long line of youthful protégés stretching back through Andrew Sullivan all the way to the 17-year-old Al Gore. Peretz's latest bright young man, James Kirchick, his new assistant and winner of the 2006 National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Excellence in Student Journalism award, published last week in TNR a furious 4000 word article bitterly denouncing Congressman Ron Paul as an "Angry White Man."

After laborious research in the dusty archives of two Midwestern university libraries, Kirchick proves that some old newsletters once sent out by the GOP Presidential candidate…well, I'm not quite sure exactly what Kirchick proves, other than that Dr. Paul's newsletters weren't as boring as the MainStream Media.

Sadly, it appears likely that Dr. Paul, being a busy Congressman, didn't actually write most of his newsletters. Whoever wrote them (and I have my guess) wasn't as politically prissy as Peretz and Kirchick demand.

For example, Kirchick is shocked, shocked to discover that Dr. Paul's ghostwriter dared to make fun of the looters in the vast 1992 Los Angeles race riot:

"Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began."

The newsletter also printed this insensitive dialogue about the rioters:

“Robin: ‘I was going to bring you a VCR, but the stores had none.’

“Johnny: ‘A little low are they?’

“Robin: ‘Somebody, I guess, had done a little “political shopping.” [Suddenly imitating an angry black male] “Yo, man, this [giving the clenched-fist Black Power salute] is for Rodney King … and the five TVs are for me.”’”"

Oh, sorry—that wasn't actually in Ron Paul's newsletter at all! That was an exchange from perhaps the most fondly remembered talk show episode in American television show history, the penultimate broadcast of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show on May 21, 1992, with Carson's favorite guests, Bette Midler and Robin Williams. (You can watch Williams' classic routine on Youtube here)

Darn. It's so hard to keep straight what you are supposed to be amused by and what you are supposed to be offended by.

Similarly, Kirchick implies that Congressman Paul is an anti-Semite who nurses "deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays" After all, as Kirchick thoroughly documents, Dr. Paul has close ties to the paleolibertarian Ludwig von Mises Institute, founded by his former aide Lew Rockwell, who was profoundly inspired by the late Murray Rothbard.

And we all know that von Mises and Rothbard were notorious anti-Sem—…

Oh, wait! It appears that von Mises and Rothbard were Jewish.

Never mind.

The New Republic is also alarmed that:

"The newsletters display an obsession with Israel; no other country is mentioned more often in the editions I saw …"

That's in complete contrast to Marty Peretz's magazine, where Israel, being a small, distant foreign country, is almost never mentioned, and the only test applied to our foreign policy is whether it advances the general welfare of the American people.

Oh, sorry…that's the Bizarro World version of The New Republic. In our space-time continuum, Israel is the most important country in the galaxy, at least according to Peretz's priorities.

In the liberal American Prospect, Eric Alterman mused in his article My Marty Peretz Problem—And Ours, [June 19, 2007] on the 34 years of Peretz's stewardship of The New Republic:

"It would be theoretically possible, I imagine, to overstate the centrality of Peretz's obsession with the Arab-Israeli conflict to the magazine's politics and to its editorial voice. But … it is really not too much to say that almost all of Peretz's political beliefs are subordinate to his commitment to Israel's best interests, and these interests as Peretz defines them almost always involve more war."

Kirchick, enraged by what he has dug up in the antiwar candidate's newsletters, concludes that the libertarian surgeon is "a man filled with hate."

In sharp contrast, Kirchick's boss, Marty Peretz, is the reincarnation of St. Francis of Assisi.

Oh, oops, check that … As Alterman points out, Peretz is in thrall to an "obsessive and unapologetic hatred of Arabs". [More, lots more, including Al Gore and Stephen Glass]


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.nolanchart.com/article1134.html\

That would be the president of the Austin NAACP saying Paul is not a racist. With all the white liberal journalists getting their panties in a knot over this, perhaps some opinions from black leaders?

daveg said...

If you go to TNR web site and see the comments it borders on reading like little green footballs.

And the hit piece on Ron Paul just confirms they are out to use their (shrinking) platform to do "whatever it takes" to make sure Israel is support for Israel is not questioned.

Anonymous said...

Poor Lew Rockwell. Of course, that's who Wendy McElroy is fingering as the author.

Wendy was writing for LRC right up until several months ago, as I remember. There are several other authors that may have purged -- my only evidence being that their work appears on that website seldom or not at all. Mike Rogers, Gary North, that other old cranky guy who lives in Mexico, Joshua something (who wrote the book "Left Out!"), and a few others -- I don't have time to look it up.

Poor Lew. Wendy hints that we all know the author by his first name. He was a former aide of Ron Paul's. Well.. and I think it's pretty obvious.

dearieme said...

Forgive me for my ignorance, but is something like
"Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began."
ever tested for its accuracy before the howls of outrage begin?

Anonymous said...

I find the "Ron Paul Letters" hysterical. I was actually laughing out loud when reading the TNR article when they gave Paul's supposed descriptions of people and his take on events. It was great reading. I am voting for him based on the "Ron Paul Letters" alone, even if he didn't write them.

Anonymous said...

Just one point to add about the Times.

If one has ever read an article in the Times concerning something one knows about that is more obscure than yesterday's baseball game and requires the reporter to dig the story out, like a who did what to whom Wall Street story, that the factual assertions in the story that are actually facts will never crack the 50% barrier. The WSJ generally does better here, it's hit 75% in this category on occasion.

Per Blair, he did not get in trouble for making up his stories, he got in trouble for copying a story from some newspaper in Houston, just cut and pasting it off the web, and filing it as his own. The Times' editors did not pick it up either, the reporter he copied off did. Blair got so lazy, he couldn't be bothered to make it up anymore!

If he had the industry to make up his stories, he'd probably be an editor by now.

Udolpho said...

Sailer is spot on, the real revelation of the movie Shattered Glass for non-Beltway insiders wasn't that Glass faked all this preposterous crap (I recall the National Review flagging another of his pieces at the time as plainly absurd), it's that these magazines are staffed by extraordinarily callow and inexperienced youth who are just out of the only environment less real than being an opnion rag staffer: university.

Yet they help shape our political discourse. The results are not very surprising. You will not find people who uphold the day's political orthodoxies more rigidly and stridently than twentysomething pseudo-intellectuals.

George said...

Remember that Gore Vidal called Martin Peretz "the uncrowned queen of Israel"? He was serious!

fifi said...

Great article, Steve. I don't see how anyone who has watched Ron Paul on TV or read some of his platform could conceptualize him as an angry white male. The man is too smart and too rational to be a simple minded racist whose main motivation is that he doesn't like change. As for the stuff on Peretz, too funny. : 0)

Anonymous said...

So, is Peretz out of the closet? He seems to like to surround himself with clever golden boys.

James Kabala said...

A correction: The newsletters chiefly date not from the time when Paul was "a busy congressman," but from the time when he was out of Congress. (Indeed, previous defenders of Paul have said that he did not supervise the newsletter not because he was busy with politics, but because he was busy with his obstetrical practice.)

Glaivester said...

Dr. Paul, being a busy Congressman,

More like a busy OB-GYN. He was not in Congress from Jan. 3 1985-Jan. 3 1997, the time that most of the controversial passages were written.

Steve Sailer said...

George:

I can't find anywhere on Google Gore Vidal calling Peretz the "uncrowned queen of Israel."

Anonymous said...

Someone suggested if Ron Paul really was such an invenerate racists would've been caught at least once in his 35yrs of public service *directly* doing, saying or voting on something specifically racists, anti-Semite or whatever. Just once?

In the last debate, Paul said he was one of the few Congressmen to support Israel's bombing of the Iraqi nuclear plant in the 80's. Fits with his non-interventional support of allies like Israel I guess. Goes a ways to debunk all this slander against Paul.

anony-mouse said...

This is all very nice and undoubtedly makes a good argument for many on why Peretz should not be elected President or even a major party's nominee.

But then...

George said...

I can't find the "uncrowned queen of Israel" on the web, either. But I've quoted it for years. In 1986 Vidal wrote an essay called "Pink Triangle and Yellow Star" decrying the cynical Podhoretzian alliance with the Armagaeddon crowd. He also got into it with the so-called neoliberals as well. I probably read his outing of M. Peretz in either The Nation or in the gay publication The Advocate. Let me write Andy Sullivan a quick note...and I'll get back to you.

Steve Sailer said...

George,

Thanks. The quote sounds pre-Internet Age, so that would explain why it's not on Google.

Of course, Gore Vidal isn't totally unbiased! A friend wrote me a few years ago:

"Just read Gore Vidal's memoir, Palimpsest.

"Can be summed up as, "I had lunch with every famous person you ever heard of. They were dull, egotistical, and duplicitous. They also had homosexual tendencies.""

ben g said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ben g said...

[Rewritten, because I noticed that I was being a bit rude in the previous comment]

It seems to me like you're focusing on a secondary issue. Sure, TNR has its flaws, and you accurately pinpoint many of them. But, Steve, why are you writing about TNR instead of discussing the more important point raised by this fiasco: that (whether or not Paul wrote those letters) the paleoconservative and paleolibertarian movement has big, *noticable* ties with with bigots, racists, and conspiracists.?

Do you recognize that as a real issue? And if so, have you written about this issue, which is much more important than marty peretz's argumentative flaws? It seems like you could do a lot to benefit the arguments and progress of your fellow paleo's if you explicitly acknowledged and spoke out against those who try to tie their racism, anti-semitism, and other types of bigotry and plain cookery (secessionism, conspiracy theories, militia paranoia) to the otherwise unique political positions you espouse.

Anonymous said...

ben g

Why should paleoconservatives have to defend themselves against spurious slanders made by neocon hitmen? Do Democrats defend the fact that racists Nation of Islam idiots largely vote Democrat like the overwhelming percentage of Blacks? Do Neocons constantly have to defend the actions of the many Israeli settlers or extremists who want to use America as a tool to attack Israel’s Arab enemies without regard to the harm it does America?

In the case of Ron Paul, some idiots $500 contribution among the $26,000,000 he raised overwhelming from individuals in small amounts pales in comparison to the other fallacious “guilt by association” accusations listed above. The reasons no one plays the game you suggest (neither Paleo, Dems or Neocons) are (a) these are inane accusations and (b) you don’t let disingenuous slanders put you on the defensive and (c) shape your message during the limited bandwidth with the public.

ben g said...

Why should paleoconservatives have to defend themselves against spurious slanders made by neocon hitmen?

It's not just neocons who realize the obvious ties between paleocons and outright racists, bigots and kooks.

Do Democrats defend the fact that racists Nation of Islam idiots largely vote Democrat like the overwhelming percentage of Blacks

No, but if Farrakhan was ghost-writing for Al Gore there would probably be a ruckus now wouldn't there?

Do Neocons constantly have to defend the actions of the many Israeli settlers or extremists who want to use America as a tool to attack Israel’s Arab enemies without regard to the harm it does America?

If you read neocons you see that they actually *do* denounce the settlers. It's a common tactic to attack the extremes of your own movement, it establishes that you're not as crazy as they are.

a) these are inane accusations

no they're not. they're a microcosm of a notable issue. racists and anti-semites don't define themselves as neocons or multiculturalists. they define themselves as paleoconservatives and write for their newsletters and donate to their campaigns and read their weblogs. this is notable, not inane.

(c) shape your message during the limited bandwidth with the public.

this is the internet, and steve writes thousands of articles. one of them could be a criticism of the extremes which have latched themselves on to the paleocon movement.

Steve Sailer said...

"if Farrakhan was ghost-writing for Al Gore there would probably be a ruckus now wouldn't there?"

Speaking of Farrakhan ...

Anonymous said...

ben g

It’s not just Neocons who realize the obvious ties

No, but it is the Neocons along with liberals and the MSM that incessantly propagandize and blow a 0.0000002% contribution way out of proportion to try to fool others into fearing the core constituency of traditional conservatives as goose stepping KKK thugs.

The only thugs with obvious ties I hear making noise have been radical identity activist like the New Black Panthers who vote the straight democratic ticket. The greatest avoidable cost in American blood and treasure is due to extremists on both sides in the Israeli-Arab conflict, including many Neocons.

No, but if Farrakhan was ghost-writing for Al Gore there would probably be a ruckus

First off, it appears to have been a *financial newsletter*, not public policy papers that some ghostwriter was writing while Paul was busy practicing pediatric medicine so the parallel with Gore does not fit. Secondly, Paul fired the ghostwriter when made aware of the racists comments. Thirdly, the many Neocon, liberal and MSM enemies of Ron Paul have *not produced a single direct* incident from his 35yr record in the harsh glare of public life to that substantiate the non-issue being made here that Paul is an anti-Semite and racists. There is simply no truth to this dirty smear.

Speaking of double standards, why no public ruckus over the very real conflict of interest with Neocons dictating Bush’s Middle East policy despite being blindingly pro-Israel. I didn’t hear incessant cries from the MSM over the fact that Neocons like Perle, Feith, David Wurmser (special assistant to John Bolton) penned a 1996 strategy paper for the incoming Likud Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu advocating the overthrow of Saddam, pressed Clinton to do so and, when in power, did exactly that by manufacturing evidence.

neocons … actually *do* denounce the settlers
Yeah right, you got all Neocons to sign on to that in private did you? Doesn’t that seem a little counterintuitive, even to you? You should follow and read the link above about the strategy paper the power Neocons behind Bush’s Middle East strategy. The paper advocates repudiating the Oslo accords and advocated armed incursions into Lebanon.

It’s a common tactic to attack the extremes of your own movement, it establishes you’re not as crazy as they are

Only if you have a sympathetic or terrified MSM that won’t question you. Certainly most Democrats don’t publicly denounce the extremes of their own party like racists Black Nationalist. And no one seriously takes the Neocons to task in the MSM.

If you have a hostile MSM, you only invite an unpleasant slide down a slippery slope where you are incessantly harassed to question, disavow or repudiate every narrow special interest which make up every large political movement. BTW, Paul publicly said again in the So. Carolina TV debate he does not support nor share the view of any racists that support him. Some racists only coincidentally support Paul because he is the only small government candidate just as many anti-war people support Paul because he is the most likely (only?) candidate to get us disentangled from Iraq.

these are inane accusations… no they’re not
Yes they are. Again, you and other Neocons claim that Paul and Paleoconservatives are racists and anti-Semites but have not provided any direct proof despite Paul being an elected public figure since becoming a Congress in 1976. All you can dredge up is some decade+ old articles that Paul didn’t even write, whose ghostwriting author was fired and for which he apologize for nonetheless. As has been noted many times, you are using false “guilt by association” arguments here: (a) Hitler loved animals, (b) Most Americans love animals, therefore (c) Most Americans believe what Hitler believed.

limited bandwidth
You Neocons routinely get slapped down on Internet sites like isteve (see your fellow traveler EvilNeocon’s posts) or even sites like the New York Times when you try to palm off mendacious propaganda like Ron Paul as a racists Nazi. The reasons why people get so riled up on the Internet over this Neocon show trial of Paul in the media is that it is as utterly transparent, preposterous and morally repugnant as it is easy to refute.

A more interesting article for Steve to write would be how Neocon propaganda techniques differ in content, style and (in)effectiveness online and off (TV, magazine, newspapers). Hell, some Neocons are beginning to finally publicly back down and say “yes, some unforeseen mistakes may have been made, but if only Bush/the military had executed our plan correctly…” Even half a century ago, the patron saint of neocons, Gobbles knew your propaganda had to mesh with people’s lying eyes or you’d lose them entirely.

ben tillman said...

ben g -

I can't speak for Steve, but I hope the reason he doesn't focus on your concerns is that they are morally illegitimate. They are based on a double standard that holds that white interests, and only white interests, are somehow wrong.

If "racism" is something only white people can be guilty of, then "racism" can't be wrong. Morality doesn't countenance double standards.

If "racism" is something any human can be guilty of, then all Paul's opponents are far more guilty of "racism" and associating with "racists". They and their supporters are the ones who advocate policies of racial aggression, generally against whites. They can also be fans of aggression against (other) non-whites under the right circumstances, as in their willingness to kill Iraqis by the hundreds of thousand.

Just as Paul has refused to condone the government's aggression against the people of Iraq, the referenced contents of the newsletters neither constitute nor advocate any wrongful acts against anyone for racial (or any other) reasons.

ben tillman said...

ben g -

I can't speak for Steve, but I hope the reason he doesn't focus on your concerns is that they are morally illegitimate. They are based on a double standard that holds that white interests, and only white interests, are somehow wrong.

If "racism" is something only white people can be guilty of, then "racism" can't be wrong. Morality doesn't countenance double standards.

If "racism" is something any human can be guilty of, then all Paul's opponents are far more guilty of "racism" and associating with "racists". They and their supporters are the ones who advocate policies of racial aggression, generally against whites. They can also be fans of aggression against (other) non-whites under the right circumstances, as in their willingness to kill Iraqis by the hundreds of thousand.

Just as Paul has refused to condone the government's aggression against the people of Iraq, the referenced contents of the newsletters neither constitute nor advocate any wrongful acts against anyone for racial (or any other) reasons.

formerbeltwaywonk said...

How can one not think of conspiracy theories having just observed an improbably simultaneous media attack on Ron Paul the day of the New Hampshire primary? A remarkably successful attack that made him plunge from 14% in the polls to an 8% actual vote? After weeks where we heard little about Paul from the mass media and beltway “libertarian” bloggers? TNR from the left, Fox News and talk radio from the right, and piling on from beltway “libertarians” who made a point of loudly repeating the TNR smears and dumping Ron Paul on the day of the primary. Your eyes and ears did not deceive you, all this happened. It is not the result of a criminal conspiracy, but if one uses “conspiracy” as a metaphor for social networks and economic incentives, there is a strong sense in which conspiracy theories accurately, if metaphorically, explain what happened.

The reality behind the conspiratorial metaphor is the social networking between denizens of the Beltway, who sport a wide variety of political labels but are, relative to the rest of the country, a monoculture.

More here.

truthseeker said...

ben g,

Have you actually read any of the Ron Paul newsletters? Have any of the Paul smear campaigners except Jamie Kirchik actually read the Paul newsletters for themselves?

There is practically nothing offensive in them, and a large amount of useful information. That they don't shrink from political incorrectness is a refreshing bonus.

James Kabala said...

The chief problem with these newsletters is not bigotry, since Steve is right that many, though not all, of the supposed "racist" statements are in fact merely non-PC, but the paranoia many of them display.

For example, remember how most of our bills (but not the $1.00) have twice been slightly redesigned in recent years to include greater measures against counterfeiting? Paul was convinced this would lead to the collapse of the economy.

http://www.tnr.com/downloads/solicitation.pdf


The prediction that the L.A. riots would be the first of many 1990s race riots also proved rather decisively untrue.

Other articles express sympathy with the mid-1990s militia movement.

David said...

The overwhelming facts about Ron Paul:

1) He puts America first, not the neocons' favorite foreign land -

2) He wants to abolish the Federal Reserve and go to honest money -

3) He wants to control the borders (no open immigration) -

4) He wants the American people regarded as responsible adults with the right to liberty. Government should not tell them what to do.

Because of all that, he is a nightmare for neocons. To wit:

1) Obviously "no entangling alliances" means no more subsidy to Israel, no more wars for Israel -

2) Honest money means international government swindlers are halted in sucking the American people's blood -

3) Controlled borders are, in the demented mind of neoncons, the equivalent of a white supremacist gas chamber (pdf) -

4) The American people are dangerous and racist cattle who must be chained from head to foot, the better to milk and destroy them-er, the better to help them to a more tolerant, vibrant future.

The neocon death grip on our nation MUST and WILL be broken.

David said...

Definition of "neocon":

According to Slate, just a few years ago Bush the Younger asked Bush the Elder, "What is a neocon?"

To which the old man replied: "Well, I'll give it to you in one word: Israel." He ought to know.

formerbeltwaywonk said...

An analysis of the propagation of the anti-Paul smear campaign on the day of the New Hampshire primary, including its odd association with a Washington, DC subway line:

The Orange Line: anatomy of a smear campaign

Anonymous said...

Jamie Car Chick--doesn't she host "Pimp my low ride"?

none of the above said...

ben:

The relevant questions for a presidential candidate center around what he's (or she's) going to do in office. An accusation of racism seems to me to have two ways to be relevant:

a. If you think the guy is looking for a way to screw over black citizens, this might make you not want to vote for him. It would make me not want to vote for him, if I believed that.

b. If you think the guy's racial attitudes reflect bad thought processes, this might make you not want to vote for him, since you'd worry that he wasn't very bright or honest or whatever. But that assumes that he'd said something that reflected a warped picture of reality. (And honestly, you have to go pretty far into the crazies on the overtly racist side to get as warped a picture of reality as you get from PC media.)

And (b) is my biggest issue with RP, though not so much on racial issues. His comments in the debates, and some of his positions on his website, seem to me to reflect some kind of warped picture of reality. That's a pity, because I love what he stands for.

The bigger problem is that all the Republican candidates seem to be looking at a different world than I am. RP is not reflecting the warped consensus of the Republican candidates, but he's not obviously any further off from reality.

I rather suspect that a lot of "serious" journalists see RP as wacky because he's not reflecting that consensus, and the consensus is as close to reality as they're ever going to come.

James Kabala said...

None of the above has the best assessment of the situation.

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