My new “Think Again” column is called "A 'Very, Very Bad' Article' and it is about the comical, but enormously worrisome reaction to Michael Hastings’ brilliant takedown of ex-General McChrystal. It's here.
My new Nation column, “A Conspiracy So Immense” is about the nuttiness surrounding the firing of Dave Weigel and the end of Journolist.
Also this: on April 30, 2010, Columbia University hosted a conference on opinion journalism in American intellectual history. The conference was organized by Eric Wakin, the Lehman Curator for American History at Columbia University, and featured several notable speakers and panelists, including Victor Navasky, Michael Kazin, Andi Zeisler, Eric Alterman, Stanley Crouch and more. Video of the entire conference is embedded here.
Sometimes I wonder if my readers appreciate the crap I put up with to do my job. Yes, give me a few glasses of pinot noir, followed by a Corvoisier or two (VSOP, please) and I start to cry in my beer about how tough I have it, and how sad it is that nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen.
Take for instance the mail. I used to have more jobs than I do now, and hence more money, and double hence, a full-time assistant to shield me from jerks and crazies. But no more. I do it all on my own now, and just look what I am forced to read.
The first jerk below, a Mr. Ranier Mack of Washington, DC, wrote me recently to explain to me that owing to my views of the Israel/Palestinian conflict—I support an independent state for the Palestinians, believe Israel should return all lands conquered in 1967, remunerate Palestinians for lost property, apologize for the occupation, end the siege of Gaza, negotiate immediately with Hamas despite, etc.—I am the moral equivalent of terrorist murderer Baruch Goldstein, among other awful things. See below if you doubt this. When I received this brilliant missive, I immediately asked the letters editor of The Nation to print it, in order to demonstrate the quality of the attacks to which one is subject if one takes any position outside of the extremes on the conflict. But Mr. Mack refused. What is he afraid of? He said he planned to publish something on the anti-Zionist website, supported by the Nation Institute, “Mondoweiss.” Well, if that’s true, so much the worse for Mondoweiss, but to tell you the truth, I have a hard time believing any of Mr. Mack’s claims.
The second jerk below, Aaron Perhach, thinks that the existence of “Journolist”—described above in my column—somehow negates the 400-or-so-page book I published seven years ago about the not-so-liberal nature of the mainstream media. He would like me to “apologize for writing that ridiculous book, etc., etc.” I would like Aaron (and his parents) to apologize for his ridiculous existence.
But thanks for the opportunity to show the world the hardships of my world.
Happy holiday, and enjoy the below:
Hamas doesn't have to conform to the effete standards of a superannuated second-rate Jewish intellectual to earn a seat at the table. They're no different than Irgun or the Stern Gang. In fact, considering the murderously racist nature of the "Settler State" they're fighting—they're morally far superior to those Jewish "freedom fighters." Cling anxiously to your Jewishness if you must, but it puts you in the same camp as Ted Belman, Melanie Phillips, and Baruch Goldstein.
Ranier Mack, Washington, DC
Dear Dr. Alterman,
In light of the recent revelations concerning Ezra Kline's "Jurnolist 400", which seems to be a left-wing cabal of journalists bent on proping up the Democrats and destroying the Republicans, will you now admit that there is, in fact, a liberal media? I'd like you to apologize for writting that ridiculous book which denies the existence of a liberal media and I'd like you to publish a full retraction of its contents in every major newspaper in the country.
Forty Fort, Pennsylvania
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