Thursday, June 24, 2010

Glenn Greenwald Gets Nordlingered!

Regular readers of Fire Tom Friedman (i.e. my wife - I sulk if she doesn't read my posts) know how much I admire the searing satire of Jay Nordlinger. Whoever created this wonderful Nordlinger character has perfectly captured the whole right-wing shtick: The endless self-pity and whining about how privileged white conservatives are really victims; the chickenhawk bravado; the creepy Reagan fetish; and, of course, the staggering ignorance about anything that doesn't perfectly align with their world view.

Yesterday, Nordlinger pulled off quite a coup, getting Glenn Greenwald, who is as sharp as they come (and a Friedman hater to boot), to rip into him as if he was a real person!

National Review's Jay Nordlinger cites a truly repellent (and false) comment made this week by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak to Defense Secretary Robert Gates: "A million and a half people are living in Gaza, but only one of them is really in need of humanitarian aid," Barak said. Nordlinger points out that Barak was referring to Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held hostage for years by Hamas, which refuses to permit the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) access to him. After observing that neither "the Cuban dictatorship or Chinese dictatorship permit the Red Cross to see prisoners," Nordlinger then claims -- with the needy victimization that typifies the Right -- that "there'd be mass demonstrations in [Shalit's] behalf all over Europe, and on American streets, too" if "Shalit were other than Israeli." In other words, Nordlinger believes that the Western World would never tolerate the denial of ICRC access to detainees except when the detainee is Israeli.

I'm asking this literally: is Nordlinger ignorant of the fact that the United States of America denied ICRC access to non-Israeli prisoners for years during the prior administration?

That's a bit like asking if "Borat" is anti-Semitic. Or "Maggie Gallagher" if she's homophobic. "Jay Nordlinger" the character is blissfully unaware. But that, of course, is the point of the satire.

And speaking of Nordlie, I love how he keeps pushing the envelope on conservatives are victims meme. Here he is today:
I’m reminded why conservatives had to build their own media outlets. It’s sort of like Jews and country clubs. Jews built their own, not because they wanted to, necessarily, but because the other clubs wouldn’t let them in. They weren’t being “clannish.” They wanted to play golf, on first-class courses. . . .

Well, we conservatives built our own media outlets — because the other clubs wouldn’t let us in.
That's pretty edgy comedy and I'm wouldn't bet against Nordlinger pushing it further, maybe even ratcheting it up with a Holocaust analogy or two.


On a completely different note, my Google Alerts tell me that Tom Friedman is a guest on Letterman tonight (I stalk because I hate). And since the only thing more fun than reading Tommy's smug, racist nonsense is watching him spew smug, racist nonsense punctuated by Paul Schroeder's playful, irreverent keyboard riffs, I'll try to post something about that tomorrow.


  1. I read Glenn Greenwald religiously (in that I wear an overly elaborate hat and burn incense when I read his articles). You can look for signs of "bias" (whatever that means) in his commentary, and you might even find some. But literally EVERYTHING he says is backed up by factual information. So, it's not like he's debating, necessarily. He's just laying out the facts, and connecting the obvious dots. And because those facts point out the faults and contradictions of the "non-liberal" elements (whatever that means) of our society, he is sometimes slandered as a "leftist ideologue". But that is obviously not the case. He's just laying down a non-contradictory line of thinking. He is the most consistently factual political writer we have. The strengths of his arguments come not from the power of his persona, or his persuasive writing style, but from the actual facts of the matters he is discussing. It's like the old saying goes, "the truth has a liberal bias". All writers should strive to be as fact-based as Mr. Greenwald. All writers should strive to craft their arguments based on undeniable fact so as to allow them to stand of their own intrinsic gravitas. In a perfect world, we would not have to "consider the source". All writers would engage in a rational fact-based dialogue. And maybe just to keep up the tempo, throw in some acidic sarcasm and/or dark humor every once in a while. I believe that the writer of this blog is another in the Greenwald mold, serving the higher purpose of exposing hypocrisy generally, and the hypocrisy of "Tommy Boy" specifically. Keep it up! We need more like you! We need more people reading your stuff! By the way, I subscribe via Google Reader. Do you get "credit" for "hits" (or whatever it's called) for people who subscribe this way, and never really hit your actual site? I hope so. But if not, please say so, and I'll gladly click into every individual article. Thanks!

  2. Thanks so much, Matt for the kind words about the blog. I share your reverence for Greenwald and will have to try the hat/incense thing. One thing I really admire about him is that since the 2008 election, he hasn't spent a lot of time on the Nordlingers or Palins, etc. . . his principles are his principles (and usually mine,too) no matter who is in charge.

    I have no idea about the Google Reader thing and hits, but don't worry about it. It's nice to know someone's reading - that will take a lot of pressure off my wife.

  3. OK good to know. Keep it up. I adore this blog (but not in the same way that Friedman "adores" the Palestinians).