An amazing performance, &c.

Reverend Jeremiah Wright


I was reading along in Zev Chafets’s new book, when I thought of Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Zev mentions that Malcolm X “applauded the assassination of John F. Kennedy as ‘chickens coming home to roost.’”

After 9/11, Wright cited Malcolm. He then went through the sins of America, real and imagined (by the reverend himself). One of those sins was our “terrorism” in Grenada. And when al-Qaeda attacked us on 9/11, said Wright, the chickens were simply coming home to roost. To emphasize this, he flapped around like a chicken.

You can see his amazing performance here.

Wright is a hateful leftist clown, of course — at least in part of his life. But I have a question: Does his parishioner of 20 years, President Obama, believe what Wright believes? I suspect he believes it to a degree. But the degree is unknowable, at least by me.

I think he believes essentially what the late Edward Said believed, and what other campus leftists believe. I look forward to Obama’s memoirs (his post-presidential memoirs, I mean). I hope they’re super-candid.

I have another question: In 2009, Wright said he hadn’t spoken to the president because “them Jews ain’t gonna let him talk to me.” Now that Obama is safely reelected, will them Jews let him talk to Wright? Or will them Jews insist that Obama wait until he’s out of office?

After the midterms maybe?

Zev Chafets’s new book is Roger Ailes: Off Camera. As I say in the current National Review, he seems to be making a specialty of larger-than-life conservative figures: In 2010, he came out with a book about Rush Limbaugh.

I seem to be making a specialty of reviewing those books. I reviewed the Limbaugh book — go here, if you like — and I have reviewed the new one.

As I also say in this review — the current one — Chafets has no specialty. He is a versatile writer, as a glance at his books confirms. He has written both nonfiction and fiction. He has written on Detroit (his hometown, pretty much), Israel, baseball, the Mob, etc.

He is both American and Israeli. On some books, he is “Ze’ev”; on others, he is an apostropheless “Zev.” His last name, in English, is pronounced to rhyme with “Hey, Fitz.” (Accent on the first syllable.) That name is the same as the violinist’s — Heifetz — and the same as the Utah congressman’s — Chaffetz. These are different transliterations of the same name.

I don’t propose to recapitulate my review of the book on Ailes. But let me give you a little extra — some things that I could not fit into the review.

I learned something interesting about Nixon. Chafets quotes Ailes as saying, “He once told me that the hardest part of being president was coming down to breakfast in the morning and explaining the horrendous cartoons Herblock did of him in the Washington Post to his daughters.”

The late Herb Block — who signed himself “Herblock” — drew what looked a lot like agitprop. It was very crude cartooning, and sharply left-wing.

Chafets reports that Ailes offered Chris Wallace the job of hosting Fox’s Sunday-morning show on two conditions. As Wallace says, “Roger told me, ‘I want you to be equally tough on Republicans and Democrats. And I want to know if you can get up in the morning and not think that America is to blame for most of the world’s problems.’”

Wallace, says Chafets, “assured Ailes that he could deliver on both counts . . .”

Do you remember this line of Don Rumsfeld’s? “America is not what’s wrong with the world.” True.

Brit Hume says, “There are more liberals on Fox than all the networks combined have conservatives.” True? I imagine so.


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