You know the old joke: “In politics, a ‘gaffe’ is when you accidentally tell the truth.”
Rupert Murdoch is a media mogul, not a politician, but he owns Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, so he is plenty familiar with politics—and he is no stranger to battles with The New York Times. And yet unlike most politicians, Murdoch has always had a reputation for candor. And Twitter, of course, makes candor even easier; we are all just a tweet away from letting loose what we really think.
Last week, Murdoch let loose. He tweeted in reaction to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, and he got the left-wing thought police mad at him. Why did children’s author J.K. Rowling compare Murdoch to both the Spanish Inquisition and the disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker? And why did the Australian comedian Adam Hills (whom we had never heard of, but he’s evidently savvy enough to get quoted in the media) deride Murdoch as a “growing pus sore”?
So what, exactly, did Murdoch say? In a pair of tweets, he called ‘em as he saw ‘em. In the first, he said,
Maybe most Moslems peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible.
Pow! Note the prefaratory “Maybe.” As in, Maybe most Muslims are peaceful—or maybe most aren’t. Either way, Muslim states and communities “must be held responsible” for the behavior of their jihadist elements. This might seem like a controversial point, but we might ask ourselves: If the Muslims won’t take the lead in policing Muslim behavior, who will? Yes, it’s possible to imagine that Muslims can be as barbarous as they want to be in some benighted corner of the Middle East, but the West is not going to abandon Paris, or London, or New York City—at least not without a fight.
Indeed, the mass demonstration in Paris on Sunday is a reminder that Westerners won’t give up easily. France has been an identifiable country for some 2000 years; in that time, the French have learned a thing or two about their own survival. A crowd that loudly cheers for its flics—the French word for cops—is not about to give up.
So to return to Murdoch’s point, if the Muslims don’t want to be part of the solution in the West, they will have to step aside and let others solve the problem.
But of course, as we examine the overall balance of power between the forces of Judeo-Christianity and the forces of Islam, it’s far from clear that the West will be able to summon up the intellectual and moral resources for its own survival.
Lamentably, the virus of political correctness seems to eating away at Western resolve. And here, too, Murdoch was pointed:
Big jihadist danger looming everywhere from Philippines to Africa to Europe to US. Political correctness makes for denial and hypocrisy.
So there: Murdoch told the truth. This is a worldwide struggle, Us vs. Them, albeit with a fair number of “us” attempting to stay out of the fray.
Needless to say, the reaction to the mogul’s tweets was continued fury. CNN, which lost the “most powerful name in news” title to Fox more than a decade ago and has been slipping ever since, joined in the Murdoch-bashing. In an online piece, CNN hailed the Murdoch-bashing tweets of comedian Aziz Ansari, whom people have heard of; Ansari is a lead actor on NBC’s sitcom “Parks and Recreation.”
So we might pause over Ansari and consider what his situation might be if the jihadis were ever to take over. Born into a Tamil Muslim family here in the US, Ansari now publicly describes himself as an atheist. But of course, the Koranic penalty for apostasy is death. So how long would he survive if practicing Muslims ended up in charge?
Yet in the meantime, so long as the American military protects our freedom, Ansari and the rest are safe to vent their spleens against Murdoch. And not surprisingly, the lefty media is loving it: Salon.com trilled, “J.K. Rowling and Aziz Ansari Hit Back Brilliantly At Murdoch.” In Salon’s tiny little mind, of course, any attack on a conservative counts as “brilliant.”
And then The New York Times joined in the attempted feeding frenzy.
Yet interestingly, not everyone at the Times was on board. Roger Cohen, a liberal Times columnist, found himself agreeing with Murdoch. Asked by CNN’s Don Lemon about the Murdoch tweets, Cohen answered, “I do hold Muslims responsible to this degree: I don’t think that we can solve this problem, Don, until moderate Muslims really speak out.”
Cohen didn’t quite say, “Rupert was right,” but he came close. It’s safe to say that was not the answer that interviewer Lemon was hoping for. Don’t expect to see Cohen on CNN again any time soon. And of course, Cohen’s colleagues at the Times must be wondering just what sort of liberal Cohen thinks he is.
And that reminds us of another joke: “A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality.”