MoDo, D'Souza and the Shame of the New York Times
We all know by now how the left reacts to the presence of the truth: the screaming, the name-calling, the hysterical slander; the way they designate the craziest Koran-burning, abortionist-shooting nutcase they can find to represent the right; the way they demonize commentators like Rush and Coulter and Glenn Beck, without ever engaging with their ideas, and then use their names as insults to fling at people who have nothing to do with them.
In short, the left reacts to the truth the way a vampire reacts to a cross… or the way the left reacts to a cross, come to think of it. So when I see their brains start to smoke, I know one of the good guys is talking sense.
Last week, I and just about everyone else took note of a cover piece in Forbes magazine by Dinesh D’Souza called “How Obama Thinks.“ Basically, D’Souza put forward the psychological theory that certain of the president’s destructive and contradictory policies might be explained by examining his relationship with his father and his father’s anti-colonial philosophy. The highlight of this well-reasoned and intelligent article was D’Souza’s examination of a heretofore almost wholly ignored piece of writing by the elder Obama. It reveals that the president’s economist father had some very distasteful anti-western ideas.
Now as someone who doesn’t usually believe in analysis at a distance, I nonetheless found the piece remarkably convincing. I was therefore not at all surprised when the White House, in the person of Press Sec Robert Gibbs, ripped into Forbes for daring to publish it. “Did they not fact check this at all?” Gibbs cried. Forbes editor-in-chief Steve Forbes, quite rightly, stood by the story. Everyone acknowledges that D’Souza is putting forward a theory but as Forbes pointed out, “No facts are in contention.”
Nonetheless, the journalistic palace guard in the person of the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz and the Columbia Journalism Review rushed to echo Gibbs, performing their usual task of speaking power to truth. “Some facts are very much in contention,” says Kurtz in an article that then goes on to challenge exactly none of the facts in D’Souza’s piece. Indeed, I’m not aware of any important facts in D’Souza’s article under challenge.
No one, however, did more to convince me that D’Souza had hit the nail on the head than New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. Hysteria, name-calling, demonizing… her brain-smoking column attacking D’Souza has got it all.
She hasn’t even got the guts to go at D’Souza (“Ann Coulter-in-pants”) directly. Instead, she goes after Speaker Newt Gingrich for endorsing the article! And what’s her approach to disputing Gingrich? Well, she points out that he went through messy divorces before his recent conversion to Catholicism. That gets to the heart of the argument for sure! Oh, and also, she says Gingrich is not a good Christian. No, really, I’m not making this up.
“He is downright un-Christian,” says Sister Mary Mother Modo, “when he does not hesitate to visit the alleged sins of the father upon the son.”
Then she goes on to say, “It’s also really low. D’Souza and Gingrich are not merely discrediting the president’s father’s ideology. They’re discrediting his character and insinuating that the son inherited not just his father’s bad ideology but a bad character, too.”
This is simply untrue, a complete distortion of D’Souza’s work. Relying on Obama’s own writings about his father, Obama’s own expressions of yearning to find his identity in relationship to his father, D’Souza’s wholly psychological theory has absolutely nothing to do with biological inheritance.
And if Maureen Dowd doesn’t like psychological theories, then how come she spent the entire W. Bush administration insisting W’s policies, especially in Iraq, were just some Freudian attempt to “avenge and one-up his father simultaneously?”
Listen, I understand that American journalists, for good or ill, have abandoned the ideal of objectivity and adopted European-style partisanship. I understand that the New York Times has willfully destroyed its already-failing reputation as the newspaper of record in order to become the cheerleader and defender of the left. But even the Times–really, even theTimes–should’ve been ashamed to print Dowd’s screeching, mud-slinging, name-calling and distorted piece.
Oh, and by the way, Ann Coulter looks smashing in pants.