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Shame On Tim Russert; The New York Times Wakes Up; Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That


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Jonah Goldberg

SHAME ON TIM RUSSERT
Yesterday, on the #1 rated Sunday news program, Pat Buchanan called a major black Civil Rights figure a “slave.” He said Israel, through its Amen Choir, was bringing down the American President because Clinton is too supportive of peace in the Middle East. He bemoaned the fact that the Irish and Catholics are portrayed negatively in the media because the Jews want it that way…

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No wait. That’s not right. The reason we know it’s not is because it would be on page one of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and protestors would be surrounding the man’s house demanding an apology, his job, and probably his head. So who did say all of this? Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam made these declarations (scratch Irish and Catholics and replace with Blacks and it’s almost verbatim) on Meet the Press yesterday. Tim Russert said nary a word.

Of course, I am a little biased. Mr. Farrakhan singled out my mother as a Mossad agent:

“… I look at Lucianne Goldberg, Linda Tripp, Monica Lewinsky, and I ask myself, ‘Why was this introduced at this time when Netanyahu was being pressured by the President to give up more land on the West Bank,’ and at the same time, in the Jerusalem Report, a writer wrote these words, ‘Whenever Israel was threatened, women rose in defense of Israel. Such a woman was Deborah, such a woman was Queen Esther, such a woman is Monica Lewinsky.’ I think we need to look deeper into this than just what appears on the surface.”

I agree with Mr. Farrakhan, we should look a little deeper below the surface of his allegations. Because if we did, we would discover that among other things, Lucianne Goldberg is NOT JEWISH. She’s an Episcopalian who never converted when she married my father. I was raised Jewish at my father’s insistence and my abiding satisfaction. We would also discover that Linda Tripp is, oh gosh, how do you phrase that again, NOT JEWISH. As for Monica Lewinsky, yeah she’s a member of the tribe. But let us remember that the only bloviating jackass in this scandal to introduce the issue of Israel was William Ginsburg, Lewinsky’s erstwhile “attorney.” And he was of the opinion that Clinton should stay in office because Clinton is good for Israel.

The point here is not to debate these slurs. The point is that Tim Russert should never have allowed them to be made on his program in the first place. What is it about Farrakhan that renders the normally tenacious and thorough Russert speechless. Perhaps it’s because he’s scared of Farrakhan; nothing to be ashamed of — so am I. This would explain not only Russert’s failure to challenge Farrakhan, it would explain why he doesn’t ask him about Farrakhan’s contention that he has been visited by aliens from outer space.

The more likely explanation is Russert’s desire to see Farrakhan hoist himself by his own petard. But this is a dangerous approach to interviewing. I am sure Russert thinks David Duke has outrageous and absurd positions — but would he ever let Duke lay them out unopposed? For example, imagine if David Duke said the following (as Farrakhan did) about Julian Bond of the NAACP:

“That’s a slave talking. Who was he talking to? He was talking to his masters. Sir, I am not the least bit disturbed by that. Any time the Jewish philanthropists finance the NAACP, they have a stake in what the NAACP does. So the leaders of that organization have to kowtow to those kinds of powers….”

Simply because it is not shocking that Farrakhan is anti-Semitic doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be contested. For, if uncontested such, things become commonplace. Witness today’s coverage in the Washington Post. For them the news in Farrakhan’s comments was that he wouldn’t endorse Jesse Jackson in the year 2000.

THE NEW YORK TIMES WAKES UP
For over half a century, the gray lady lived in a dream world that said the Soviet Union wasn’t so bad, that “moral equivalence” between the United States and the USSR was an intellectually and morally practicable position, and that there was not a shred of truth to Joseph McCarthy’s assertions that Communists had infiltrated the United States government. On Sunday, October 18, 1998 (mark it in your diaries), the gray lady roused herself from her delirium. While over the last few years the Times had hinted that its thinking was clearing up, it now appears that they are ready to be morally serious about McCarthyism. Above the fold of the “Week in Review” section, the Times ran a piece by Ethan Bronner, “Rethinking McCarthyism, If Not McCarthy.”

NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT
The Washington Post reports today that Lucianne Goldberg and her son are going to testify before the Maryland Grand Jury investigating Linda Tripp’s alleged illegal taping of Monica Lewinsky. Lucianne Goldberg told the Post that she and her son will go shopping while in Ellicot City — the site of the Grand Jury proceedings, “I hear they have antique shops there.”

Here I devoted three columns last week insisting that I wasn’t gay. Now my mother tells the world we’re going antiquing together. She’s not making my job any easier.



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