WE noted last week the oddness of The New York Times publishing an op-ed by Zev Chafets that was nothing more than a wet kiss to Rush Limbaugh--and a sales pitch for Chafets' new book, An Army of One, about the Big Man. We'd thought the paper might have had enough of Chafets' nonsense after his Times Magazine feature piece almost two years ago was roundly accused of the same kind of puffery.
Now, for Monday's paper, Janet Maslin has panned Chafets' book, saying that even the few mild criticisms in the magazine piece had disappeared in a "de-clawed" narrative. Sample: "Mr. Chafets shoos unwanted facts and individuals out of the way relentlessly, in accordance with what seems like a case of Stockholm syndrome." She notes Chafets "might also have tried harder to fathom Mr. Limbaugh’s attitudes about race and gender."
But refusing to leave well enough alone, the Times online also published tonight a lengthy excerpt from the Chafets book.
It opens by putting Limbaugh's famous statement about Obama as he took office--"I hope he fails"--in the most favorable possible light. Later he compares Rush to Muhammad Ali "who defeats his enemies in intellectual combat with half his brain tied behind his back."
And so on. Read it if you must.