A Whiny Right Wing Double Standard

Times’ David Brooks throws honesty to wind in painting lefties as mean

Readers may recall that throughout the Clinton administration, America’s right wing did not hesitate to smear the Clintons, anyone in that administration, and the Democrats generally, with outrageous charges.

Hillary Clinton supposedly had Vince Foster, a senior White House aide, murdered and his suicide was staged. The licentious Rush Limbaugh championed that lie.

For a time, right wingers circulated a list of people who supposedly had been killed on the orders of Bill Clinton. When he was governor of Arkansas, Clinton overseeing cocaine smuggling through an airport in that state was another favored myth of the conservatives.

Now the right is whining that its members are being similarly slandered and they are leaping to the defense of the Bush administration which they charge has been the subject of the most terrible stories. Of course, these right wingers are lying once again.

The latest complaint came in a January 6 piece by David Brooks, a columnist for The New York Times. His basic thesis is that Americans who disagree with this administration’s policies are deranged or overcome by hatred.

First, Brooks claims that opposing neoconservatives––there are plenty of these in the Bush administration––is akin to anti-Semitism.

“Con,” Brooks states correctly, is short for conservative. “Neo” is short for Jewish, he then asserts. Actually it’s Latin and it means “new.”

I’m not sure who should be more insulted by this fabrication––Jews who must deal with real anti-Semitism or the folks who have very real and substantive disagreements with Bush administration policy.

Brooks also claims that neoconservatives “travel in widely different circles and don’t actually have much contact with one another.” This claim is made to show that they don’t have a unified agenda nor do they have much influence on the Bush administration.

Brooks actually names four neocons––Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Richard Perle, and Bill Kristol. The first two are senior political appointees in the defense department and Perle serves on a defense department advisory board. No influence, huh? What do the taxpayers pay them to do? Hold Donald Rumsfeld’s coat?

The real crap in this piece comes early on. Brooks accuses those who oppose this administration of “detailing neocon conspiracies.” According to Brooks, “My favorite described a neocon outing organized by Dick Cheney to hunt for humans.”

I’m not aware of anyone on the left who has accused the vice president of hunting humans. Of course, that’s because no one on the left has done that.

As reported on dailyhowler.com, a must-read site for media criticism, and on the Boston Phoenix online, Brooks’ source, apparently, was the web site trance-formation.com. This site is run by Cathy O’Brien who describes herself as “the only vocal and recovered survivor of the Central Intelligence Agency’s MK-Ultra Project Monarch operation.”

O’Brien says she was forced to participate in child pornography and was later recruited to serve as “a top-level intelligence agent and White House sex slave.”

Readers who visit trance-formation.com, click on articles, then on excerpts from O’Brien’s book, and finally on “The Most Dangerous Game,” may read all about how she was hunted by the vice president. They can also decide if she is credible and, more importantly, if Brooks has any credibility. He relied on this source to accuse the American left of making up nasty stories about Dick Cheney?

The standards in the mainstream press have certainly fallen in my lifetime, but this is a new low. Equating O’Brien with people who have real differences with the Bush administration could not be more insulting.

In a January 8 statement distributed by Daniel Okrent, the Times’ public editor, Brooks wrote that “neo” being short for Jewish was meant as a joke and he added “I am still on the learning curve here, and I do realize that mixture of a crack with a serious accusation was incredibly stupid on my part. Please do pass along to readers that I’m aware of how foolish I was to write the column in the way I did.”

Foolish? Try dishonest. Even an editorial should have some level of integrity. Instead of some pathetic mea culpa, the Times should fire Brooks.

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