A few points. First, as a number of readers, including at least one with first hand knowledge, make the point that some on the Journolist do and have defended Peretz, and only seeing one snippet gives a mistaken perception. That’s fine. And I’m sure that’s true. But I didn’t primarily, or at least solely, have the Journolist thing in mind when I wrote my initial post. I can see I wasn’t clear.
So here’s the thing: Now that the excerpt is up over at the Kausfiles, why aren’t his legions of friends, former employees and current ones defending the guy. Now if you’re, say, Andrew Sullivan and you think your friend and former employer is an f-ing racist, then you’re under no obligation to come to his defense (and if I sounded like I suggested otherwise earlier, that’s my mistake). But if you don’t think he’s an f’ing racist, then it seems to me a matter of personal and professional honor to come to his defense now that the accusation has been made public. No, I don’t think every liberal in Christendom is so obliged. But I meet a lot of liberal people who seem to deeply indebted to, and fond, of the guy. If they think he’s an f’ing racist, that’s really interesting. If they think he’s not but are unwilling to say so, that’s interesting too.
John – Quick question: Where was Henry Wallace’s portrait? He wasn’t a spy, but going by the standards of the typical useful idiot, he was the Swiss Army Knife of useful idiots.
Update: Two readers, both in the mix, as it were. The first from the right, the other, umm not so much:
i think the reason a lot of people maybe don’t want to say anything is because to do so would require taking the juicebox mafia seriously, to legitimize them, instead of treating that scene like the train wreck that it is.
the obsession of these guys with TNR is old news. look how they treat jamie kirchick, marty’s ally. same way. i dunno, i think that if someone serious called marty a f[***]ing racist, people would come to his defense. the juiceboxers call him a racist every other week on their blogs, so who cares.
So, the people who actually know Marty personally, and who have every professional reason to wish to defend him, can’t quite bring themselves to do so… and you can’t think of why that might be? I think they largely express their gratitude by not repeating in public the anecdotes folks who work there a while all seem to accumulate. Bear in mind, lines about “congenital corruption” and “near-tropical work habits” are what the man sees fit to sign his name to and publish for public consumption — though I’ll confess, I found the public statement offensive enough on its own. Not because it’s false that lots of South and Central American countries have lots of similar and deeply-rooted problems, but because it’s awfully hard not to come away with the sense that he regards these features as… well, “congenital.”