Because this story involves two left-wing sacred cows — columnist Maureen Dowd and President Barack Obama — the media just wants it to go away. In a sane media world, a sitting president’s reelection campaign endorsing and disseminating something that has been roundly condemned as anti-Semitic by those on the right and left would be news — especially coming just a couple of weeks after the booing of Israel at the Democratic convention.
But we don’t live in a sane media world, nor do we live in a world where the Obama campaign’s first reaction to Maureen Dowd’s appalling column would be revulsion. Instead, the Obama campaign chose to spread the poison via Twitter, and the media has chosen to cover up that troubling fact:
The Truth Team is a part of the Obama reelection team:
Why Romney and Ryan’s foreign policy sounds “ominously familiar”: OFA.BO/fbij3d
— TruthTeam2012 (@truthteam2012) September 16, 2012
Steven A. Cook, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, came right out and called Dowd’s use of imagery “anti-Semitic.”
— Steven A. Cook (@stevenacook) September 16, 2012
Jeffrey Goldberg of the left-wing Atlantic didn’t pull any punches:
“Oy” is right. Maureen may not know this, but she is peddling an old stereotype, that gentile leaders are dolts unable to resist the machinations and manipulations of clever and snake-like Jews. (Later, Hounshell wrote, “(A)mazing that apparently nobody sat her down and said, this is not OK.”)
This sinister stereotype became a major theme in the discussion of the Iraq war, when critics charged that Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, among other Jewish neoconservatives, were actually in charge of Bush Administration foreign policy. This charge relegated George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, Stephen Hadley and the other Christians who actually set policy to the status of puppets.
On the center-right, the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin wrote:
Others have already written on the shockingly anti-Semitic tropes that New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd chose to weave into her bizarre attack (“Neocons Slither Back”) on vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and one of his advisers, Dan Senor, who is Jewish. I suppose the left is so drenched in the language of “Israel firster” and “Israel lobby” and images of a hanging Jew, this rhetoric has become a reflexive writing tic, like framing columns as conversations with taxicab drivers.
An editorial in Future of Capitalism:
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, last seen calling Goldman Sachs “blood-sucking,” is back with more anti-Semitic stereotypes in her latest column, which runs under the headline “Neocons Slither Back.”
“Ryan was moving his mouth, but the voice was the neocon puppet master Dan Senor,” Ms. Dowd writes. The display type in the newspaper reads: “Look who’s pulling the strings of Marionette Mitt and Puppet Paul.” …
Second, depictions of Jews as snakes or puppeteers are classical anti-Semitic images, right up there with blood-sucking. The snake image has roots in the Christian Bible; the puppet-master goes back at least to Nazi Germany, and when Glenn Beck used it to talk about George Soros, who, unlike Dan Senor, has actually been hostile to Israel, the left was all over him for it.
Jonathan S. Tobin in Commentary Magazine:
Concerned about the way some on the left are hoping to utilize the debate about Iran to delegitimize support for Israel? Dowd again is the one to ensure this nasty piece of business gets another airing by arguing that Romney wants to fight wars for the sake of the Jews.
Breitbart News’ William Bigelow:
Maureen Dowd, on the eve of Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish new year, decided to write a column dripping with anti-Semitism to attack Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s hardline positions on the Middle East and national defense. In her rant, titled “Neocons Slither Back” Dowd used ancient anti-Semitic imagery.
Via Twitchy, we learn that Obama’s chief water-carriers at Politico chose to bury the fact that Team Obama endorsed Dowd’s column.
But that’s what the media and Politico and Dylan Byers do — protect Obama.
And safe in the knowledge the media will protect them, the Obama campaign is secure in trafficking in lies and division and Jewish stereotypes.
Must I even ask: What if Team Romney had tweeted out something half as rank as Dowd’s piece?
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC