The New York Times takes off the mask

This morning, Mr. Bookworm asked me “Who is Charles Freeman?”  Because he reads only the Times, he’d never heard of him before today.  I gave a brief summary of Freeman’s views re China, the Middle East and 9/11, as well as the fact that he lives in Saudi and Chinese pockets financially.  Mr. Bookworm listened silently, and then said, “Well, I’ve never heard of him, but it’s all over the front pages today that the Jewish Lobby destroyed him.”

I thought this was hyperbole on Mr. Bookworm’s part, but it’s not.  Despite the fact that the past three weeks revealed vast amounts of irrefutable evidence about Freeman’s China connections, his 9/11 pronouncements and his general malevolent wackiness, the Times, now that it finally deigned to cover the matter, actually parrots Freeman and blames the Jews.

The Times titles its “story” (and I use that term deliberately, in the way one refers to a falsehood) about Freeman’s political demise thusly: “Israel Stance Was Undoing of Nominee for Intelligence Post.”  The story begins with a bizarre first paragraph that explains that the White House really had no idea what was going on and was kind of worried about Freeman, but ultimately was just as blindsided by the Freeman nomination as anyone else.  As for me, I don’t find this “excuse” comforting.  I find it a scary sign that, again, the White House is either utterly incompetent or was complicit in this failed nomination and is now using incompetence as an excuse.

Having done their best to trumpet the Bush administration’s innocence in this mess, the article’s authors just pile it on Israel, as seen through the Freeman lens:

Just how controversial the choice would be became clear on Tuesday, when Mr. Freeman, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia under the first President Bush, angrily withdrew his name from consideration and charged that he had been the victim of a concerted campaign by what he called “the Israel lobby.”

Mr. Freeman had long been critical of Israel, with a bluntness that American officials rarely voice in public about a staunch American ally. In 2006, he warned that, “left to its own devices, the Israeli establishment will make decisions that harm Israelis, threaten all associated with them and enrage those who are not.”

He did not soften his tone even on Wednesday, saying in an interview that “Israel is driving itself toward a cliff, and it is irresponsible not to question Israeli policy and to decide what is best for the American people.”

The critics who led the effort to derail Mr. Freeman argued that such views reflected a bias that could not be tolerated in someone who, as chairman of the National Intelligence Council, would have overseen the production of what are supposed to be policy-neutral intelligence assessments destined for the president’s desk.

Some of Mr. Freeman’s defenders say his views on Israel are extreme only when seen through the lens of American political life, and they asked whether it was possible to question American support for Israel without being either muzzled or marginalized.

“The reality of Washington is that our political landscape finds it difficult to assimilate any criticism of any segment of the Israeli leadership,” said Robert W. Jordan, who was ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 2001 to 2003.

The above is just a representative sample.  The article never actually examines Freeman’s problems.  It engages in a he said/she said approach, giving equal airtime to his supporters, and leaving the very strong impression (supported by the story’s title), that all-powering Jews destroyed Freeman — just as Freeman claimed.

Only in the last third of this lengthy article covering Freeman’s views about Israel and the effort Jewish groups made to derail him does one actually hear about China, and then only in the most cursory fashion, and spread out over myriad paragraphs:

In the days after Senator Schumer’s first phone call, other lawmakers and pro-Israel groups began applying pressure on the White House. Representative Steve Israel, a New York Democrat, also called Mr. Emanuel about the pick, and pushed Mr. Blair’s inspector general to examine possible conflicts of interest surrounding Mr. Freeman’s relationships with the Chinese and Saudi governments.

[snip]

Before his ambassadorship, Mr. Freeman held a variety of State Department posts. Since leaving government, he has worked with nonprofit groups and on the board of the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation, a past position that his critics said could be a conflict of interest in his new job.

[snip]

Critics also unearthed e-mail messages attributed to Mr. Freeman that seemed to support the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, saying it was not “acceptable for any country to allow the heart of its national capital to be occupied by dissidents intent on disrupting the normal functions of government, however appealing to foreigners their propaganda may be.”

Mr. Freeman said Wednesday that the passage was taken out of context, and that he had been describing the dominant view in China in the years after the crackdown.

I won’t even dignify what theTimes did by calling it journalism.  I can easily call it biased, disgraceful and dishonest, though.

Of course, really, it’s all part of a pattern.  In one of the local Marin papers, The Twin Cities Times, the front page has a glowing encomium about Cuba (although, interestingly, the article isn’t available on line).  A local Marin-ite wrote the article after a trip to Cuba.  To give the writer total credit, he did something the Times would never dream of doing:  he spelled out his bias in the article as well as the fact that a “tour” guide accompanied them the whole time (although you had to read pretty far down to get to that information):

Most [on this trip] were activists trying to end the embargo and get a better view of the realities of life there.  All our activities included a bus and our guide, Arturo, who translated everything for us.

After the usual about the people being very nice (which I believe), and very ingenious (which I believe), we start getting the useful idiot shtick:  full employment, fabulous health care, state funded exercise classes, amazing women’s rights, etc.  It doesn’t seem to occur to our local naif that, since he’s getting a government guided tour of a police state, he might just be seeing a Potemkin village and that people the guide interviewed on the tourists behalf might not have been speaking honestly for fear of state retribution.  (And you have to assume that, even if our innocent writer didn’t understand it, the ordinary Cubans knew that the  “guide” was almost certainly a member of Cuba’s secret police.)

I wonder if the author’s article knew, or cared, that anyone who criticizes the Cuban government is summarily imprisoned.  (Jay Nordlinger, at Impromptus, regularly reports on the terrible treatment meted out to Cuban dissidents.)  I wonder if he ever wonders why people are so desperate to leave Cuba that they’ll risk their lives to do so — or if he wonders why people are forbidden to leave.  If the country is as great as the government shills assure him it is, why is it one giant prison?

I’ll excuse the local guy of being a useful idiot.  The Times, however, is actively malevolent.

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  • Danny Lemieux

    Does Mr. Book understand that eventually, these people he admires will go after the Jews? They always do.

    Your story about Cuba reminds me about a (famous) university professor and his wife that I know – they told me over dinner how fabulous Cuba was and how friendly, that everybody had a job…blah, blah, blah. Then (no doubt to show how good people they were) they told me about how at the end of the vacation, they were approached by a boy who had sneaked into the tourist area and had asked them for some dollars so that his mother could buy some powdered milk for his family.

    It never, never occurred to them to ask why, in this worker’s paradise, a boy should have to come and beg for U.S. currency in order to be able to afford cheap commodity powdered milk for his family. So brilliant, such useful idiots!

  • Charles Martel

    Book, why is Mr. Book so afraid? How could it hurt him to read something besides the NYT?

    His behavior reminds me of the “White Period” that the 7-year-old son of one of my friends went through years ago. During the “White Period,” Evan would only eat white food—rice, white bread, macaroni, milk, white cheese, etc. Trying to get him to eat something else only evinced panic.

    It would be interesting to see the panic in Mr. Book’s eyes were you to suggest he read something like the New Criterion or National Review, or, heck, even the Wall Street Journal.

  • SADIE

    Freeman: In his own words, confirms why he wasn’t fit for the job.
    Since Freeman has spent so many time in Saudi – he can now go pound sand up his kazoo.

    “The libels on me and their easily traceable email trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired, still less to factor in American understanding of trends and events in the Middle East. The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth. The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors.”

  • SADIE

    Bookworm:

    Here’s a little something that the NYT won’t be covering either anytime soon.
    If I am not mistaken, isn’t this the same state where 20 Somalis are ‘missing’ and believe to be now active Jihadists ‘somewhere’.

    Mortgage Madness

    By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Wednesday, March 11, 2009 4:20 PM PT

    Politics: Minnesota is offering a program to Muslims who want to buy a home but don’t want to break their religion’s laws about interest. Where are the civil libertarians who want to keep church and state separated?

    The Minnesota program, the first in the nation, will be administered by the state’s housing agency, which will buy homes, with taxpayers’ dollars, and resell them at higher prices to Muslim buyers.

    To circumvent Islamic Shariah law, which, we’re told, forbids Muslims from buying or selling loans that charge interest, the transaction will have higher up-front costs, including the amount of interest that would have been charged over the life of the loan.

    This is a clear mixing of religion and state, which runs afoul of the Constitution and should incite the American Civil Liberties Union to launch a complaint and file a lawsuit. Yet we’ve seen no word from the group that recently filed a lawsuit against a Muslim, mosque-based charter school that takes public funds.

    Is the organization acting cautiously, afraid to anger a group whose more enraged members have gained a reputation for taking advantage of our politically correct culture and bullying officials to get their way? Have ACLU leaders lost their nerve, fearful activists will target them? They’ve already seen Minnesota officials, who, when pushed by activists demanding preferential treatment for Muslims, agreed to provide foot-washing facilities on the campuses of several universities.

    Surely if the Minnesota home-buying program — called Murabaha financing — were reserved for only Christians or Jews, the ACLU would have roared by now.

    But it hasn’t. If this lack of interest goes on, someone else needs to take up the cause. It’s not within the legitimate duties of government to ensure that members of certain religions can buy homes.

    The private sector, however, is under no such restrictions. It’s free to offer Shariah-compliant loans and will do so if there’s a demand.

    So far, though, only a few U.S. lenders make the loans. That’s not evidence of market failure nor a compelling reason for government to meddle in the market or ruin a good business opportunity. It’s simply evidence of a weak, or possibly burgeoning, market.

    The economy is troubled because policymakers have subsidized a politically favored group of homebuyers and skewed the housing market.

    While financing homes for a few thousand Minnesota Muslims won’t kill the economy, the program isn’t likely to be limited to only that state for long. Political correctness and lawmakers’ eagerness to appear “tolerant” drive much public policy, while the hard-earned lessons of the past and present go unheeded.

  • suek

    And here are a couple of related articles, just in case your first reaction is – like mine – “so what”? Like so much of the silent jihad, it’s what you _don’t_ see that can be the problem. I’m beginning to think of islam as an iceberg – treacherous and only a small percentage visible, with the _real_ danger lurking unseen…

    http://www.chronwatch-america.com/blogs/964/Sharia-Banking–The-Silent-Jihad-Against-the-West.html

    http://michellemalkin.com/2008/01/25/banks-are-helping-sharia-make-a-back-door-entrance/

  • SADIE

    suek:

    The ‘silent jihad’ is practiced by the MSM – the rest of us hear it loud and clear.

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  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    The inevitable fate of useful idiots is to be executed by their masters after they have become obsolete and existent beyond their shelf life.

    When that happens, there will be a great smile on my face, for finally, somebody if not the boss at the top, has just got what was coming to them.

  • Mike Devx

    re Ymar (#11)

    Y,
    I’m thinking along the lines of Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism”: We won’t see the vicious purges, the assassinations, the executions of the useful idiots, a la Lenin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany. These guys are much more subtle than that.

    These guys are about centralizing power. It’s total tyranny, but without the blood and the bodies in the streets. They use the useful idiots to assume power, and then to solidify their power. Those of us who see what is happening struggle against it – and let’s assume we lose. We then become victims of the tyrannical and entrenched oligarchy.

    And what happens to the useful idiots then? Not blood and bodies in the streets. No… they are simply discarded, and to their dismay, they find themselves powerless, cast in the same victim role that the rest of us find ourselves in.

    The argument for the blood and the bodies in the street – from Lenin and Hitler – is that the useful idiots are dangerous once they find that they’ve been discarded. Their disappointment and rage, and subsequent rebellion, can bring down the new tyrannical regime. That’s why Lenin and Hitler assaulted them once power had been solidified. Their supporters in the universities disappeared. The lucky ones were simply dismissed; many others ended up disappeared six feet under with bullet holes into the head.

    Can’t really see that happening here. I don’t even see the dismissals coming. It’s a dangerous tightrope for the Obamacons to walk. They have to rely on “soft power” of their allies in the media to obscure the truth; they have to be able to point to continued progress on Statist fronts to keep their intellectual Statist elites from grumbling (too loudly). The obfuscation of the media (“Nothing to see here, move along, go home, be quiet”) should be enough to keep their Statist useful idiots from rising in rebellion.

    They simply need to keep the lid on the boiling pot while they remake American society into one where the individual disappears, where all power and money flow into the national government to then be parcelled out in a manner that strengthens their power bases while advancing their agenda.

    April 15th is a big day for us. Please consider joining your local Tea Party Protest. Bring a sign if you can. Be prepared with two or three main short, concise talking points in case anyone asks you. Make friends, talk to each other!

    April 15th is a big day.