The Corner

An Addendum

As much as I liked David Frum’s essay on the paleos, it omitted reference to the most shockingly anti-Semitic comment I’ve ever read from Robert Novak: the latter’s bizarre accusation that Frum joined the White House–as an economic speechwriter!–to serve as an agent of influence for Israel.

Novak reviewed Frum’s latest book in the same issue of The American Conservative that features Pat Buchanan’s noxious screed against Jewish supporters of the war. Novak writes, “Did Frum enter the White House for the express purpose of writing this book. . . ? That speculation is inescapable, but there is also reason for a darker thought about Frum’s motives. . . . Frum is more uncompromising in support of Israel [than he is in his position] on any other issue, raising the inescapable question of whether this was the real reason he entered the White House.” It seems to me that Novak’s premise, inference, conclusion, and insinuation can have sprung only from a fevered, and anti-Semitic, imagination.

I assumed David had ignored these remarks because he did not wish to appear self-interested, but he tells me that he had not read the review closely enough to catch them.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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