Thursday, August 29, 2002

Frontpage Blog

Mr. Horowitz posted the following item this past Monday on his Frontpage Blog (3rd item down):

    If you want to measure the lack of security in this country as we face the terrorist threat, note that Sami Al-Arian, who on the evidence is a leader of Islamic Jihad and a professor at the University of Southern Florida is 1) a free man 2) a hero of the American left and 3) defended by the leading professional organization of "scholars" of the Middle East -- which is to say the people who train the best young minds of those Americans who have an interest in the Middle East and can provide us with intelligence about it.

As I am a member of the American left, I figured I should know about this supposed 'hero' of mine, a Mr. Sami Al-Arian. I consulted my wallet for my pocket sized, standard issue list of lefty heroes and found that nowhere between Atrios and Zappa could I find the gentleman in question. So it was off, once again, to Google where I found the information I was seeking.

Oh, it's that guy. I remember him from his television appearances after 9/11. But wait a minute, I seem to remember that I was cursing and throwing things at my television whenever he opened his mouth. I remember, in fact, that I thought he was perhaps one of the most idiotic people I had ever seen warm the seat of a television talkshow. So... Why does Mr. Horowitz believe him to be one of my heroes, and if Mr. Al-Arian is a leader of Islamic Jihad, why were the FBI not dragging him off the set instead of letting him chat with Bill Mahr?

Well, I followed quite a few of those Google links and found the answers to my questions.

First of all, as can be quite clearly understood from an article in Salon, Mr. Al-Arian is, in fact, not a leader of Islamic Jihad. FBI and INS investigations dating back to 1995 concluded that he was not so affiliated. He had raised money through a charity that sent funds to a branch of Hamas, but he did so before the 1996 law that made such transactions illegal. The Salon piece is a harsh indictment of the way in which the media, led by Bill O'Reilly, MSNBC's Steve Emerson, and a Florida DJ named Bubba the Love Sponge (yes, I'm serious) tried and convicted Mr. Al-Arian on the airwaves, and eventually exerted enough pressure on his employer to have him fired.

Let me reiterate that my personal feelings about Mr. Al-Arian are anything but kind and charitable. I despise the man and everything that he stands for. But to my knowledge, he has never done anything illegal during the more than 25 years he has been in the United States. The FBI and the INS seem to be of the same opinion. Last time I checked, being a dickhead wasn't against the law.

Sami Al-Arian is a militant Palestinian Nationalist, and was a tenured professor at the University of South Florida, but he is not a member of Islamic Jihad, much less a leader of that organization, and during his repellant appearances on talkshows he was always careful to repudiate the actions of the 9/11 terrorists. Mr. Horowitz, I assume, was posting based on information from the O'Reilly program, which would account for his error in identifying Mr. Al-Arian, but I should think that a simple Google search would be in order before calling someone a leader of a terrorist organization and suggesting that they should be imprisoned. It took me less than three minutes to get the correct information.

As to Mr. Horowitz's assertion that Sami Al-Arian is a hero of the American left, I was unable to find any evidence in support of this idea. Every defense of Mr. Al-Arian that I could find was based on the issues of academic freedom and First Amendment protections of free speech. Not a single article that I could find expressed support for his politics. Even the Socialist Worker Online based it's defense of Mr. Al-Arian on the First Amendment, and frankly, I would suggest that Mr. Horowitz has more in common with the SWO than any of the lefties I know.

Now that I know the facts, I defend Mr. Al-Arian's right to free speech just as I and many on the left defended the rights of the Skokie Nazis back in the 1980's. Would Mr. Horowitz have you believe that Hitler is a hero of the Left as well? Actually, by Mr. Horowitz's logic, David Duke should be regarded as a hero of the conservatives since some right-wing extremists regard him as such. Perhaps Mr. Horowitz has forgotten that the most important tests of free speech come when the speech in question is unpopular and offensive. Mr. Horowitz might also be reminded of the fact that since Mr. Al-Arian's speech is political, it is all the more important that it be protected.

It is certainly likely that Mr. Al-Arian may be a hero to Americans who are also Palestinian Nationalists, but if that is the case, Mr. Horowitz should state it in those terms rather than taking a cheap shot at smearing the entire American Left. If Mr. Horowitz, as he seems to indicate, has evidence of Sami Al-Arian's guilt then he should back up his post with links to that information and inform the FBI. If he can point to any non-extremist on the left who holds Al-Arian up as a hero, then he should provide the links. That's what we do here on our blogs. We link to information to back up our posts. But, Mr. Horowitz is new to the whole blog thingy, so maybe he hasn't figured that part out.

With actual facts in hand, it would appear that rather than being a leader of Islamic Jihad, a terrorist in our midst, and a personal hero of mine, Sami Al-Arian is actually just an asshole with repellant political ideas and a big mouth. Kind of like someone else that comes to mind...

[Note to Mr. Horowitz: Brian Linse is my real name. My personal blog is AintNoBadDude, where I also post under my real name, and my e-mail is I also live in LA and would be happy to buy you a cup of coffee and disagree with you in person. We met once in the mid-90's, and I found you to be an intelligent, interesting, and kind man. What happened? I've always been a prick, so there's nothing new here.]

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Babble On: Renaissance and Reformation

Horowitz maintains that he "never was in alliance with the racial right," and refers to "the attacks on me in American Renaissance by [radical paleocon and syndicated columnist] Samuel Francis and others." I concede this point to Horowitz; since my use of the term "allies" was the result of his cross-publishing articles and authors from AmRen, he can fairly say that doesn't rise to the level of an alliance. Since the facts have been stipulated to, terms are of little importance. Besides, Horowitz's idiosyncratic attitudes on race are indeed anathema to Euro-supremacists.
Insofar as Imperium is concerned, it's no more than a particularly turgid1 vulgar Spenglerian simplification, spread over some 600 pages, and dedicated "To the hero of the Second World War" (yes, him). Amongst other things, it calls blacks "primitive and childlike," and lambasts Jews as "[t]he most tragic example of Culture-parasitism for the West." Neo-Nazi and professional Holocaust denier Willis Carto's Noontide Press has published Imperium for forty years (the book was self-published by its author in 1948), as well as works by Jared Taylor, the aforementioned Samuel Francis, and numerous other contributers to the fount of intellectualist racism. The views of Taylor and AmRen's contributors are simply part of a long chain of hatred that far outstrips the equally absurd but far less dangerous Quebeckery of the left.
I'd advise Horowitz to stay away from Imperium, unless he is truly curious, or else has a high tolerance for pain. It's the literary equivalent of Speer's architecture: grand, gothic, sterile, malignant.
Finally, DH brings up the question of the "Wichita Massacre" article (parenthetically, I don't think my "hope" that DH would review and possibly retract the article rose to the level of a demand). Although I don't agree with the article as published in FrontPage, it is the ten paragraphs excised from that version (or never submitted in the first place), but printed in AmRen that truly reveal the article as an exercise in the virulent and twisted logic of racism. (The following paragraphs are taken in part from an earlier post on the subject.)
First, Webster attacks Christianity, intimating that it essentially emasculated the "five young whites" so they would not fight back against a black aggressor:
To what extent does this turn-the-other-cheek mentality [of Christianity] explain why five whites failed to fight back against two attackers? Three of the whites were young men, surely capable of serious resistance, and there must have been several opportunities for it. ... Why ... did five young whites ... kneel obediently in the snow to be shot one by one? ... [H]ad they simply been denatured by the anti-white zeitgeist of guilt that implies whites deserve whatever they get? One does not wish to think ill of the dead, but these three men showed little manliness.
The article ends with an attempt to herd its readers into one of two conclusions: if the murders weren't hate crimes, then they were evidence that blacks are "so depraved they can commit on a whim" the most terrible crimes. They are, it is implied, barely human at all.
It is natural for whites to assume that behavior so vicious and odious must have been driven by consuming hatred. Most whites cannot imagine treating another human being the way the Carrs treated their victims unless there were some terrible underlying animus. ... However, it may be a mistake to project white sensibilities onto blacks. ... It may ... be that the Carr brothers are incapable of analyzing and describing their own motives with enough intelligence to make it possible for others to judge them. The angry whites do not seem to realize that what happened on the night of Dec. 14 may be only a particularly brutal expression of the savagery that finds daily expression in American crime statistics and African tribal wars. It may very well be that the Carr brothers are so depraved they can commit on a whim brutalities that whites can imagine only as the culmination of the most profound and sustained hatred.
Philosophies do have power. and concepts consequences; as they enter and influence (small-c) culture, they become part of the toolbox with which we interpret the world. The philosophy described by those few paragraphs is far more than anything written by a Charles Taylor or Susan Wolf, a menace to the American project. I would hope that we see Horowitz continue to defend that grand experiment in liberty from racism and injustice with the same vigor he brings to his assaults on the far left.

The Dishonest and Dissembling David Horowitz

David Horowitz and his minions are foaming at the mouth about the alleged anonymity of the contributors to this site.

This is sheer dishonesty on his part.

For the record, the contributors to this site -- in Horowitz's words, the ‘post-modern commies,’ the ‘brain[-]dead leftists,’ and the ‘post-modern nitwits of the extreme leftist persuasion’ -- include:

James M. Capozzola from The Rittenhouse Review started this site (as Horowitz has known from the very beginning) and posts here as “Horowitz Watch.” A quick trip over to his site would make that abundantly clear.

Scoobie Davis, who publishes here and at his own site under his own name. Surely Horowitz is familiar with this name.

Yuval Rubinstein, who publishes here and at Groupthink Central under his own name.

Adam Magazine, who publishes here and at his own web site using his own name.

Micah Holmquist, who publishes here and at his own web site using his own name.

That leaves the Watchful Babbler who, for reasons known only to him, has chosen to publish anonymously here and at his site, Doxagora. We respect his decision.

Links to all of the contributors’ web sites are provided on the home page here.

So what’s Horowitz so rabid about?

Babble On: The side of the angels

I am not, it must be admitted, entirely displeased to see that the uneasy alliance between David Horowitz and the racist American Renaissance seems to have come to an end, as evinced by a recent article on the FrontPage site. Horowitz critically engages the AmRen philosophy, contending that it is "culture that is crucial in shaping the American identity, not an ethnicity or race. ... America is ... a multi-ethnic and multi-racial experiment, and Jared Taylor and the Euro-racialists are wrong in contending that it is not." [Emphasis original]

While I applaud Horowitz's volte-face on those I called his "racist, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic allies" who "dra[w] conclusions that should appall Horowitz as much as anyone," this wouldn't be much of a HorowitzWatch article if I didn't take issue with some part of his article, so ....

In the article, Horowitz again brings out the particular devil of his general theory, the "'multicultural' left" hard at work "deconstruct[ing] ... America’s national identity and culture, [and] the American narrative of inclusion and freedom." What is particularly striking is not that the far left rears its head again -- Horowitz has a penchant for elevating radical pedagogues like Gary Leupp and his CRS cronies into a secret cabal of vast if unspecified powers -- but that he somehow comes to the conclusion that paleocon racism is derived from the left, and that Jared Taylor (of AmRen) and his fellow-believers "have fallen into a trap set by the ... left."

Without spending too much time on this topic (it now being 1 AM here in Texas), while Horowitz is certainly correct that the extreme paleocon narrative of America is "the racist nightmare of leftist fantasy" in which "[r]acism ... is just the American creed," it's stretching a point too far to suggest that Taylor gave in to leftist pressure, when his creed predates multiculturalism and its defenders by decades, if not centuries. The bible of American intellectualist racists is Imperium, published by the neo-fascist Noontide Press and formerly1 sold by the magazine. Imperium, itself only a synthesis of racist ideas long in corrupt bloom by the time Francis Parker Yockey began writing it, was published well before Brown v. Board was a file in Thurgood Marshall's attache, and at far remove from the development of radical culturalism that marks the far left today. Were one to judge solely by the timeline of development, one would be forced to the opposite conclusion: that leftist multiculturalism is a reactionary attempt to absorb the worst of white supremacist beliefs regarding America, much as the development of negritude amongst Francophone Africans was no more than an attempt to take the worst colonial stereotypes and turn them into a sheaf of quite dubious "virtues."

Having provided that particular caveat, Horowitz's attack on the AmRen racists is a good move, and one that contains some rather eloquent defenses of American pluralism. (Should you trust Horowitz less than I do, you'll find them to be sugar coatings for the poisonous social policy he intends to force-feed America. Your mileage, I suppose, may vary.)

What I would hope to see is one further step: a repudiation of the "Wichita Massacre" article, not so much for its subject, but for the fact that its entire line of argument is designed to force the reader into a corner from which the only escape is assent, agreeing that either the attack was a hate crime, or else that blacks are no more than subhuman. This intent on the part of the writer suggests that either the entire article should be at the least carefully reviewed.

1. Perhaps currently. Far-right websites and message boards cite AmRen as a source for Imperium, but I have been unable to verify that they currently sell the book.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Babble On: Nitwit in Hiding

"The first clue to the callous and shallow nitwit psyche is their reluctance to use real names.  These courageous chest-thumping paragons of character don’t have the strength of conviction, let alone reason, for honest political discourse." So reads a letter sent to David Horowitz, and reprinted in today's blog. Asks Horowitz, "How about it, HorowitzWatch bloggers. Ready to come out of hiding?"
As the only pseudonymous contributor, I suppose it's incumbent upon me to reply.
Blogs have revived a once-great practice of Western political discourse: the anon- or pseudonymous tract. For centuries, religious, philosophical, economic and political debates centered around anonymous pamphlets that served as incubators for fully-developed ideas. Such pamphlets sparked off revolutions both terrible -- anarchism, Marxism, even the more violent uprisings in Reformation-era Germany -- and great, including America's.
Anonymous pamphlets held a critical place in the development of the United States, from Ben Franklin's innumerable tracts (which led to the creation of the University of Pennsylvania and the adoption of paper currency in Philadelphia, amongst other things.) The most famous anonymous publishers in American history must surely be those of the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers, "Publius," and "Brutus," respectively. Of course, we know the identities of the former's authors, and are pretty sure we know the writer of the latter, but the main purpose -- to focus attention on the arguments, not the authors -- remains intact.
I certainly can't hope to match the above authors, but I appreciate their methods, and can only hope that we'll see a greater attention to close argumentation, not character assassination, in blogdom (or, as only I prefer to call it, the "doxagora"), especially inasmuch as the mass media, with its menagerie of coma-inducing leftists and trauma-inflicting conservatives, has failed to do so. Indeed, the best we seem to do is the typical "two-head" piece consisting of "representative figures" from "both sides" of an issue; hardly a substitute for real and sustained debate. Since, like most people, I don't maintain a weblog for personal aggrandizement, there's no reason not to adopt a (hopefully memorable) nom de blog for public use.
Of course, I suppose I could always call myself "TRB."

A Blast From the Past How did I miss this?

Recently I found myself browsing through the poorly tended web site of the Richard Mellon Scaife-funded Center for the Study of Popular Culture, an apparently nearly defunct outfit operated by David Horowitz and Peter Collier, albeit one that still maintains a posh West Los Angeles address, and possibly even office space, for everyone’s favorite sandals-and-suit-clad red-diaper baby.

During my visit I ran across a notice advertising a past event sponsored by something called the “Wednesday Morning Club” that I am very sorry to have missed: “Political Satire and the Clinton White House.”

According to the alluring invitation for the event, “Political satire and the Clinton White House is the subject of our next luncheon featuring two powerful [sic] Washington insiders from opposite sides of the political spectrum, former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers, and conservative [sic] columnist Arianna Huffington, author of a new book, Greetings from the Lincoln Bedroom.”

Sounds captivating, doesn’t it?

But you haven’t heard the whole story.

The real draw for the event was neither Myers nor Huffington, but TONY DANZA!

“We are pleased to announce that Tony Danza will be moderating the event. Join us for a lively discussion and book signing -- our last event before the summer break,” Horowitz’s invitation breathlessly brags.

Yes, Tony Danza! Yes, that Tony Danza! The savvy political satirist and former star of “Who’s the Boss?” and “Taxi.”

The event was held on Thursday, May 21, 1998, and began at 11:00 a.m. Tickets for the luncheon were priced at $50, with an extra $30 required for the one-half hour “photo reception,” presumably with Danza and Horowitz hugging and mugging for the camera.

Location? The very heart of the “real” America, of course: The Sunset Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills, California.

If anyone has a transcript of this historic event, please let me know.

Babble On: The Ten Percent Solution

It's worth spending a few minutes to consider Horowitz's comments on the economic aspects of slavery, since they appear to have touched off a minor firestorm, both from Scoobie Davis' post below, and Horowitz's response.

I should begin by saying that I don't believe Horowitz is a racist, unless you care to use the expanded CRS definition of racism. I also find no small proportion of his work to be thoughtful and well-done (as well as congenial to my political prejudices, so you may take my opinion with a copious helping of salt). However, he is ideologically, or at least emotionally, blinkered on many issues of race, which can lead, on one hand, to terrible misalliances or, on the other, to a tendency to demonize his opponents, no matter their sincerity (his attacks on Randall Robinson being one example). What made his statement on Crossfire so distasteful to many on the left is that it was offered with no context, no doubt misleading many into believing that Horowitz, as he put it sardonically, thinks "slaves should be grateful because food, housing and clothing were provided to them." I don't doubt that Crossfire is not the place to provide nuance or complexity, but Horowitz tried to condense two and a half pages of argument -- already rather condensed -- from his book Uncivil Wars into a single sound bite; an ill-advised tactic.

As for his response: leaving aside for the moment Horowitz's characterization of the contributors here as "post-modern nitwits" (though I don't find any here to be the latter, and neither Scoobie Davis nor the Rittenhouse Review are in any way the former), I should firstly defend the provenance of the quote. It was taken from the CNN transcript of the Crossfire Mr. Horowitz appeared on, and there is no question that Mr. Davis read the entire exchange between Horowitz and reparations advocate Ron Walters. The quote in question reads,

    [T]wo economotricians[sic] won the Nobel Prize for studying slavery and they came up with the figure of 10 percent of a slave's wages were unpaid labor because the slave, after all, got food, clothing and housing.

Horowitz is referring to Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman, who wrote Time on the Cross, a controversial study of slavery that concluded that the "peculiar institution" was not, as popularly asserted, an economically moribund tradition, but a very efficient (albeit morally repugnant) enterprise.1

In their afterword to the 1989 edition of the book, Fogel and Engerman said they regretted not providing more than a pro forma moral indictment of slavery in TotC, choosing instead to emphasize the purely econometric aspects of their analyses. Horowitz would do well to heed those words; when we seek to change the frame of a debate, it is incumbent upon us to where our views, and those of our intellectual opponents, lie on the new ground. Else, we leave ourselves open to charges of mendacious ommission.

Fogel and Engerman concluded that ~12% of an enslaved American's "wages" (one of the more controversial aspects of Fogel and Engerman's analysis, as noted by such critics as economist Richard Sutch, is the nature and extent of the underlying data used) were expropriated by the slaveholder, with most of the remainder going to subsidize the costs of slave management, and a small percentage appearing as cash or kind payments to slaves (such as artisans). This amounted to an exploitation of around $750 (2002 dollars) over the life of an individual, on a lifetime "income" of around $9000. Fogel and Engerman's analysis and conclusions are far from universally accepted by their peers, but it does no harm in this context to accept them as settled.

When Horowitz quotes TotC but maintains that "slavery was not a very profitable economic system (this is one of the reasons it is no longer with us)," he is either genuinely mistaken, or is being disingenuous. Pace Horowitz, a 10% margin above the cost of free labor -- especially since, as Fogel and Engerman show, slaves were hard workers with an efficiency well above that of small tenant farmers -- is a huge competitive advantage, large enough to keep the moral nightmare of slavery alive well into the life of a nation that was founded on principles utterly opposed to that practice.2

According to the 1860 census, there were approximately four million enslaved Americans. At an average lifetime exploitation of $36 (1860 dollars) per slave, that comes to a total expropriation of $144,000,000, or $2,727,630,589 in current dollars. Of course, there were far more than four million Americans who lived in slavery, and not all of them were enslaved for all their lives due to Emancipation, but this suggests that the amount of money under discussion is not, as Horowitz seems to suggest, a trivial value. An Economist article from earlier this year provided these numbers:

    Robert Fogel ... estimates that from 1780 to 1860 slaves in America were paid (in food, shelter and other basics) about 10 percent less than free workers got for similar jobs. He calculates that slaves' expropriated wages would have totalled US$24 billion in 1860. Compound interest over 142 years at an interest rate of three percent a year would take the total bill for reparations to US$1.6 trillion. At six percent, the bill would balloon to US$97 trillion, nine times the size of the US economy.

There are many reasons to assume that these figures should be amended over the long term -- for example, roughly half of the value of Southern investments was lost during and immediately after the Civil War -- but no matter how we slice the numbers, there are some very large dollar values at stake. As well, the ~12% figure doesn't take into account other losses, such as the potential economic loss of income suffered by individuals who are unable to receive training, choose their occupation, change locations, or bargain for their wages.

It's not my intention to debate reparations in this space and, were I to do so, I would be arguing against N'COBRA, not Horowitz, but there are certainly some serious objections to be raised against his selective use of TotC.

During Crossfire, Horowitz also went on to say the following:

    Now, you and I ... pay -- 30 percent or 40 percent of our labor is unpaid because it goes to the federal government.

This argument was tendentious and unconvincing when Fogel and Engerman first advanced it, and they did so with qualifications that Horowitz did not provide. Such a statement implies a moral equivalence between the economic exploitation of slavery and the tax system of a free nation. There are two primary arguments against this statement.

First, taxes are not appropriated for personal use by government agents, but for provision of public services, including, of course, the common defense. The ~12% expropriation over free wages suffered by enslaved Americans went to subsidize the European consumers of Southern cotton and tobacco and, to a lesser degree, the lifestyles of slaveowning planters.3

Second, though none of us enjoy paying taxes, and virtually everyone disagrees with at least some small part of government expenditures, the point remains that, as a democracy, we have recourse to the polls to lower our taxes and change our national spending. Taxes are, at a very high level, a voluntary enterprise. Slaves had no such freedom, of course, and one doubts that anyone would take slavery with a 10% expropriation over freedom with a 30% tax rate.

1 Fogel was awarded the Nobel Prize with Douglass North; Engerman is not a Nobel laureate. This does not in any way minimize Engerman's contributions; he is a respected and prolific member of the Academy, most recently co-editing a sourcebook on slavery for Oxford University Press.
2 This is in stark contrast to the British slave system in the West Indies, which was an economic failure by the British emancipation in the 1830s. The British system suffered from extremely high slave mortality rates, necessitating constant importation of slaves from Africa (unlike the American system -- most enslaved Americans were, in fact, Americans, not forced immigrants). The production of sugar cane in the Louisiana Purchase states also drove down the import of sugar, molassas, and rum from the islands, crippling the plantations' export revenues. Slaveholders and their investors were losing money, and emancipation was seen as a way to recoup some of their investments.

One point that I have never seen brought up by either side in the reparations debate is that America, unlike other nations, did not compensate slaveowners for their freed "property." Indeed, had the debate in America gone the way it had in Britain, it's possible that Emancipation would have been held a violation of the takings clause.
3 The Southern commodities trade was a competitive business, and any lowered margin due to slavery primarily went to benefit the consumers. In a sense, the long history of slavery was a coordination game; no slaveowner could free his slaves without suffering lowered competitiveness in the marketplace but, had emancipation been carried out peacefully, the slaveholders, as primary providers of their products to the world, would have suffered a much slighter dislocation.

Friday, August 23, 2002

Recent Evidence that Horowitz Has Lost It

David Horowitz is getting weirder and weirder. First, on the August 19th Crossfire, DH said, “Ten percent of a slave’s wages were unpaid labor because the slave, after all, got food, clothing, and housing.” Ugh. Thanks to Jim Capozzola for alerting me to this.

I’m also flummoxed by the fact that DH would link to the recent profile of Ann Coulter in the New York Observer. The teaser line for the link is a quote by Coulter: "It is a good thing, not a bad thing, to be attacked by the enemy." The quotation actually starts with Coulter saying, “Excellent. Excellent. “ (In my mind’s eye, I see Coulter rubbing her hands together like Mr. Burns on The Simpsons while she said it).

Although the article is sympathetic to Coulter, it doesn’t make Coulter look good—namely because it uses Coulter’s own words. First, it has the already notorious quote: "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building." This is a depraved, moronic statement. It’s one thing for a foo-foo babe from New Canaan to go native and develop militia chic, but when she expresses sympathy for the activities of racist criminals like Randy Weaver, the mass-murdering Branch Davidians, and McVeigh, it should raise serious questions to her advocates. As far as I know, it hasn’t.

As the Daily Howler notes, the author of the Observer piece, like many reviewers of Slander, has footnote fetish:

There are 780 footnotes in the back of Slander, and so far, Ms. Coulter said, only two minor, irrelevant errors have surfaced. "‘Do you realize what this means?’" she said she told her agent. "This means the rest of this book is true! This is scandalous!"

Well not so fast. I don’t know what two minor, irrelevant errors she’s referring to, but there are many errors, none of which are minor or irrelevant. I started fact checking and found several just in the first few pages (other criticisms of the book can be found on my web site between June and August). The Daily Howler found many others (click here, here, here, here, here, and here). Dr. Limerick has a good comprehensive list of over 100 errors in the book. In fact, a major newspaper interviewed me about Coulter’s lies; I’ll let you know when the article is published.

8/26 UPDATE: Here is the article.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Cleaning Up After Coulter . . . A Dirty Job, But Someone Has to Do It

Just a quick observation today.

One of David Horowitz’s most beloved commentators, Ann Coulter, who was asked to join FrontPage Magazine after she was fired from National Review Online, is out with a new column today.

At FrontPage Magazine, the column is awkwardly entitled, “Deploying the Marines for Social Uplift.”

There’s nothing particularly interesting about the article itself. It’s just the usual fare from Coulter, who seems to be engaged in a contest with fellow FrontPage Magazine contributor Camille Paglia that will determine who can write the most incoherent essays for fringe publications.

What’s interesting is that closer to home, at, the very same article carries the even stranger headline, “Deploying [t]he Marines [f]or Gay Rights, Feminism [a]nd Peacekeeping.”

This title was chosen for reasons that are completely unclear, since nowhere in the article does Coulter refer to gays or feminism, or to using the military to advance the interests of gays or feminists of any stripe.

So did Coulter lose her train of thought? Perhaps one too many glasses of the white wine David Brock has informed us at times constitutes the entirety of her diet?

Did Horowitz, or whoever actually edits FrontPage Magazine notice this lapse and recast the headline so that it made just slightly more sense?

Or was Horowitz, who has emphasized in the past how “comfortable” he is with gays, embarrassed by Coulter’s brazen attempt to draw in readers with a swipe at two of the far right’s favorite targets?

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Comrade Horowitz and his Right-Wing Fellow-Travellers Channel the Spirit of Mickey Kaus...and Fail Miserably

A few days ago, DH launched into a predictable tirade against the NY Times:

    The irresponsibility of the Times can be traced to events that happened a generation ago during the war in Vietnam. In particular, its editors should have been found guilty of violating the Espionage Act when they leaked the Pentagon Papers during the Nixon Administration. Instead they and their political allies succeeded in toppling a President in the midst of not one, but two wars (Vietnam and the Middle East) with deadly consequences for millions of people.

Now, aside from the sheer absurdity of Horowitz accusing the NYT of violating the Espionage Act (if you don't already realize the hilarious irony of this charge, just look here and here), let's focus on this issue. Indeed, Comrade Dave has been on the front lines of the reactionary right's campaign to portray the NYT as deliberately working to sabatoge the Bush administration's plans for invading Iraq. Fortunately, Josh Marshall has just provided a succinct demolition of this canard:

    Now another point: when I talked with Kurtz yesterday for his article I said I thought the Times was doing a good thing by reporting on all the downsides of going to war with Iraq. Frankly, no one else is. Tucker Carlson got himself in an embarrassing moment yesterday on Crossfire when he got out-argued by the editor of the Village Voice on this Kissinger question. But recently he's been saying that elected Democrats have abdicated their responsibility by basically sitting out the debate over Iraq policy. And on this I'm sad to say I think he's right. By and large they're just not saying anything. That's too bad. Because the Democrats could help themselves and their country by outlining a policy for regime change which is not as amateurish and ill-considered as the one the administration is currently pursuing.

Although I disagree with Marshall on this last sentence, I think his overall point is valid. How does pointing out the (very real) dangers of invading Iraq constitute "bias"? How is accurately reflecting the opinion of Henry Kissinger, who clearly opposes an imminent regime change in Iraq, an example of "partisan journalism"? Again, here's Marshall:

    If you read the Kissinger piece and the Times article and you understand the terms of the debate you cannot help but conclude that the Times characterization of what Kissinger said is vastly more accurate than the characterization being peddled by conservative Iraq-hawks. In the Iraq debate, the attitude toward inspections is fundamental. The administration line -- emanating from the Pentagon and the Office of the Vice President -- doesn't believe in them at all. Neither tactically nor strategically. The fact that Kissinger says we should start by "propos[ing] a stringent inspection system that achieves substantial transparency of Iraqi institutions" makes him, by definition, a critic of administration policy on a fundamental point.

    What you have here is the fun-house episode in which Charles Krauthammer and others are tendentiously misconstruing what Kissinger said and then simultaneously falsely accusing Times writers of doing what he has in fact himself just done.

    At the end of the day, Kissinger dissents from Bush's policy while Krauthammer says he supports it. If there's a contest for distortions here Krauthammer wins easily.

If David the ex-Red and his right-wing comrades are going to convince the public that the New York Times is a nefarious propaganda organ for all the Fifth Column "Hussein apologists", they'll have to come up with better material than this tripe.

Monday, August 19, 2002

Dave's Deafening Silence...

    Throughout the past few weeks, a number of prominent conservatives have publicly voiced their opposition to an invasion of Iraq. Given Comrade Dave's predictable loathing for those on the left who oppose such an operation ("Hussein apologists" in Horowitz parlance), you would think that everyone's favorite unindicted traitor would express the same indignation against Richard Armitage, Brent Scowcroft, and Jack Kemp for holding the same position. That's exactly what one of Dave's ideological comrades, Bill Kristol, did in a recent editorial. Alas, Dave has been entirely silent on the issue. Perhaps Comrade Horowitz is trying to prove to his fellow Scaife-bankrolled fellow-travellers what a "team player" he is. On the other hand, maybe Dave simply hasn't been able to pay attention to the news, what with his hobnobbing with 43 and all. Whatever the case may be, Dave's steadfast devotion to the party line (trash liberals at every opportunity, speak no evil of fellow right-wingers) would make "Uncle Joe" Stalin himself proud. Right, Comrade?
    posted by Yuval Rubinstein / 8:59 PM

    In Bush Country, Nothing but a Potemkin Village

    David Horowitz was summoned to George W. Bush’s presence—and those of us who love to mock Horowitz were not disappointed. Horowitz’s tribute to Bush and his personal Potemkin village--Crawford, Texas—should be a gas not only to Horowitz-mockers like me but also to anyone who knows the straight dope on Bush. DH’s cloying praise is not as unintentionally funny as Peggy Noonan’s hagiographies, but his syrupy post reminds me of the western intellectuals who visited the early Soviet Union (and later Cuba and Nicaragua) and announced that they found Utopia (author Paul Hollander calls such people “political pilgrims”). In Crawford (Bush's elaborate prop), DH finds the common people, the volk, and their supposed representative, George W. Bush. Excuse me while I laugh.

    Here is what DH said about Crawford: “It's a fitting home for a President who likes to return, as he puts it, ‘to remind myself what the real world is like outside of Washington.’”

    Reality: Bush wouldn’t understand the real world if his life depended on it. The man’s entire biography consists of getting ahead through Daddykins’ connections. (Why isn’t the press asking about a possible quid pro quo?)

    Other howlers:

    DH speaks of Bush's “common touch and compassionate outreach”

    Give me a friggin’ break. It is true that Bush does a good cracker-barrel routine. This is probably due to his being able to practice it because of his not having to work in college (let’s just say that if Bush’s college career were a song, it would be “With a little help from my friends”).

    The following is a spectacular example of asskissing by Horowitz:

    It was a short down home speech and he broke its flow frequently for off-the-cuff jokes, which the crowd roundly enjoyed. But its combination of levity, warmth and moral seriousness showed why his popularity has stayed so high so many months after 9/11 -- higher than any president's in history including Roosevelt's after Pearl Harbor. The more Americans get to know this man, the deeper and broader his support will become.

    And what I thought was particularly funny was when the admitted traitor who is still subject to criminal prosecution got his chance to speak with the Usurper In Chief: “So what I said to him was this: ‘Your heart is where America is. Trust it and you'll be right.’ Which he knows anyway, and which is why we have trusted him with our fates.”

    Get real, David. The American people didn’t trust Bush. Not only did the other guy receive more votes but also the evidence shows that if the votes were properly counted—something that Bush used force to prevent--Bush would not be in the White House. This is the opposite of “where America is.” Because of this, I especially don’t trust Bush. He is not my President.

    Update on Friday’s post: Some people were amazed that Horowitz would be allowed to meet with Bush even though he is still subject to prosecution for crimes that he confessed he committed—in addition to Horowitz’s recent sucking up to a revolting white supremacist. People are wondering why the media hasn’t reported this. Your guess is as good as mine. I e-mailed several media outlets and received no responses. It’s up to someone else to step up and alert the mainstream media to this. Also, the Secret Service might want this information.

Friday, August 16, 2002

Theater of the Absurd in Crawford

In Wednesday’s blog, David Horowitz writes: “I'm off to Crawford to see our President with 200 of his intimate friends, so the Blog will probably take a break on Friday.” This kind of name-dropping is unacceptable (By the way, Vin Diesel was total class act for hobnobbing at the XXX World Premiere after-party instead of solely hanging out in the celeb-only areas all night).

But seriously, Horowitz’s hobnobbing with Bush reveals a lot but it also raises some questions. First the questions (and for those of you familiar with my feud with Horowitz, please keep in mind that I am treading over familiar territory). Is there any concern that Bush is meeting with a man who admitted violating the Espionage Act (and is still subject to prosecution for this crime)? Is the Secret Service familiar with Horowitz’s admission--which he made multiple times? Is George W. Bush familiar with Horowitz’s prior activities? If during Bill Clinton’s presidency, Clinton had invited a person with a past similar to Horowitz's to his vacation, would there be any media attention given to this? Add on top of all this Horowitz’s endorsement of white supremacist Jared Taylor (Taylor, according to DH, “is a very intelligent and principled man.” ) Yuck. The final question: Where’s the outrage?

What the Bush-Horowitz meeting reveals should provoke further outrage. As I mentioned previously on HorowitzWatch, DH’s latest tome, How to Beat the Democrats, is a playbook for the hard right. A quick summary of the book is in order: in DH’s warped reality tunnel, Democrats are unprincipled henchmen and Republicans are well intentioned but naïve in what Horowitz calls the art of political war.
This is tripe. First, the Bush regime is full of political hit men and dirty tricks operators. A case in point, Robert Parry provides further evidence of the extent to which Bush and his henchmen were behind the violent riot to stop the vote counting in Miami-Dade County. Bush is lazy and not too bright, but he is a ruthless political strategist. Furthermore, for the past decade, significant factions in the Republican Party have been involved in unparalleled dirty tricks operations. Contrary to what apologists on the right maintain, these were not just rogue operatives. All one has to do is to follow the money from paranoid conspiracy theorist (and current sugar daddy to Horowitz) Richard Mellon Scaife; of course, some operatives—such as the members of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page—didn’t need to take Scaife’s money to spew his venom. The idea that Horowitz could teach Bush and the Republicans a thing or two about political warfare is as silly as the premise of his wretched book.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

From The Mailbox

To the Editor:

David Horowitz’s August 11 weblog includes a rant against historian Gerda Lerner, her memoir Fireweed, and a review of the memoir by Inga Clendinnen in the New York Times.

Horowitz begins:

    “Gerda Lerner is the godmother of American feminism. She is also a Communist.”

According to Clendinnen’s review, Lerner and her husband were Communists during the late 40s and early 50s. They left the Communist Party in the 50s because “‘doctrinaire Stalinists’ beat back reform.”

Horowitz could have argued that, in light of the Communist Party’s sins, Lerner and her husband didn’t leave soon enough. Instead he paints them as unrepentant Commies.

Of course, Horowitz has a lot to say about the Communist Party’s sins:

    “This proud tradition included support for the Stalin purges, the Nazi-Soviet Pact, the Soviet rape of Eastern Europe, the North Korean invasion of South Korea, the Maoist murders of tens of millions, and the massacre of millions in Cambodia and Vietnam.”

It seems odd to fault Lerner with supporting the Nazi-Stalinist pact when she and her family were victims of the Nazis. According to the review, when Lerner’s father fled Austria after the Anschluss, the Nazis imprisoned Lerner and her mother as hostages against his return. Clendinnen says Lerner and her mother suffered “serious privation” before their release.

Horowitz quotes the review as saying, “the Rosenberg executions [were] an ineradicable scar on memory.” Clendinnen’s entire sentence is “By the late 50’s, with the Rosenberg executions an ineradicable scar on memory, their [the Lerners’] faith in the vitality of America’s democratic institutions was slowly vindicated.”

In fact, enthusiasm for America and for democracy comes through as a theme in Lerner’s life, both during her time as a Communist and after leaving the party. “America was now her country: the locus of her heart and hopes,” says Clendinnen, describing the time of Lerner’s marriage, naturalization and early years in the Communist party.

Lerner dedicates her autobiography “to all those who in dark times kept their integrity, refused conformity and never lost hope in the strength of democracy.”

Horowitz apparently doesn’t think of himself as one of those people.

Yours truly,

Rosalind Nelson

Monday, August 12, 2002

From The Mailbox

To the Editor:

You know what the neocons remind me of? Japanese rock’n’roll.

Countries like Japan and Russia have no native blues tradition, and hence no feel whatsoever for all the nuances or history of rock. So at any given time, what they call “rock music” is an imitation of whatever mass-produced prole-feed is popular enough to cross the ocean.

There are millions of people in Russia and Japan who recognize Elvis, the Beatles, or Michael Jackson, and plenty of groups imitating them--but nobody who’s ever heard of Barbecue Bob or Robert Johnson. So they have plenty of bland imitations of whatever is number one on Top 40 this week, and absolutely no appreciation for its context.

Likewise, neocons like David Horowitz come from a political tradition completely alien to the traditional American Right. And, much as the Russians and Japanese just up and decided to try to imitate American pop culture, Horowitz and his ilk decided to become “conservatives.” But since the only visible models of “conservatism” at the time were New Right Reaganites, who worshipped at the altar of the National Security State and the war against “Godless Innernashunnul Commonism,” their conservatism is just a clumsy ex-Trotskyite imitation of Reaganism/Thatcherism, with absolutely no appreciation for the historical context of the American tradition.

They come across a lot like the pod people in “Invasion of the Body-Snatchers,” making a clumsy attempt at imitating regular humans.

Unfortunately, as William Kristol said, the neocons have largely succeeded in defining conservatism in popular consciousness--the pod people now outnumber the regular humans. People who’ve never heard of Robert Taft think “conservatism” means the Imperial Presidency, the perpetual Warfare State, and the evisceration of the Fourth Amendment.

So in a country founded on distrust of the government, and of standing armies and empires, we’ve been reduced to identifying “conservatism” with believing whatever Glorious Leader tells us this week about the official enemies of the state, wrapping ourselves in the flag, and repeating the Pledge of Allegiance over and over until we’ve whipped ourselves into a state of ecstasy.


Kevin A. Carson
Lowell, Ark.

Who you callin' a racist?

For most of us, crawling back to work on a Monday morning is a tiresome, unpleasant task. But not Dave! He's got some libelin' to do! Today's target is the man who makes Bull Connor and George Wallace look like rank amateurs by comparison...Phil Donahue! Y'see, Phil had the gall to suggest that the media is more interested in covering white children who are abducted, while ignoring similar cases involving non-white kids. But don't worry- Comrade Dave is here to call out Phil "White Sheets" Donahue for his egregious racism:

    This presumption that America is racist, that whites are bigots and that white America controls the media and uses that control to diminish and oppress minorities in general and black people in particular is a monstrous lie (and anyone who has thought about it for two seconds, knows it). Yet black racists like Mr. Washington and liberal racists like Mr. Donahue are somehow part of the mainstream conversation about race in America today.

Slandering Phil Donahue, who is one of the most progressive voices on national TV, as a racist is something that could only originate in the mind of someone as vindictive and delusional as Comrade Dave. However, while David the ex-Red tirelessly searches for phantom "liberal" racists, he is curiously oblivious to the real racists in his midst.

First, Dave has no qualms about providing a forum for unsavory (to put it mildly) characters like Stephen Webster and Jared Taylor in the hallowed HTML of FrontPage. Even more ridiculously, for someone who constantly harps on anti-Semitism in the Muslim world, Dave has proven what a loyal apparatchik he is by defending none other than Paul Weyrich, of the Free Congress Foundation. Here's an excerpt from Joe Conason's damning expose, which was published last year in Salon:

    Veteran conservatives know that Weyrich is a fairly unsavory character. His habit of flirting with racists and anti-Semites dates back to his early involvement with George Wallace's American Independent Party. Among the many odious characters affiliated over the years with Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation is Laszlo Pastor, convicted of Nazi collaboration for his World War II role in the violently anti-Semitic and pro-Hitler Hungarian Arrow Cross party. Pastor was thrown out of the Bush-Quayle campaign in 1988, along with several other émigré fascists, when their exposure humiliated the GOP.

There's something incongruous about David Horowitz, the tireless crusader for racial harmony, defending a man who, in addition to having these suspect ties, wrote that Jesus was "crucified by the Jews who had wanted a temporal ruler to rescue them from the oppressive Roman authorities ... He was not what the Jews expected so they considered Him a threat. Thus He was put to death." In fact, Horowitz even admitted that "Weyrich unquestionably knew what he was doing and probably inserted the phrase as an in-your-face to the [politically correct] Church, regardless of consequences." Isn't this a little, um, hypocritical, Dave? Whatever it is, I'll leave the last word to Joe Conason:

    Had anyone on the left said something so reckless and ugly about the Jews, conservatives like Horowitz would have reacted quickly, loudly and harshly. They would have demanded a retraction and an apology from the offending liberal. But by now, we should all know that being conservative means never having to say you're sorry.

Friday, August 9, 2002

“Name That Punishment” Winner

In my 7/24 post, I began a contest to find an apt punishment for David Horowitz’s self-admitted treason. I’m not vengeful, by any means; rather, I thought it was rather harsh for Horowitz to wish that traitor John Walker Lindh had been shot. In my view, this was particularly obnoxious not only because Horowitz himself has committed treason but also because at least Lindh was willing to put himself in a position where he could be held accountable for his misdeeds (and I am glad he was tried for his misdeeds). Horowitz, on the other hand, admitted that he consulted an attorney to skirt the Espionage Act. I had to laugh when I read about how Horowitz tried to make his cushy gig as a recipient of Scaife money seem like a hair shirt; Horowitz writes, “I have written about what I did (unlike so many others who did the same and didn't) and I regret it and am [sic] atempting to pay for it every day with my work.” God, it’s fun to mock the righteous right.

As I indicated, I’m not vengeful. I think it would be fine if Horowitz could stay in posh West LA. However, it would be my hope that his punishment would consist of wearing one of those orange vests and cleaning up litter along the beach while my surfer buddies and I mock him: “Hey, Horowitz, you missed a cigarette butt.” My punishment is similar to an entry in the contest, except that the entrant wanted Horowitz "to live in Compton as a welfare-to-work case, picking up cigarette ends while Nation of Islam security guards mock him."

Anyway, there were some other funny entries. Ruth writes: Horowitz should be forced to run errands, do the shopping, clean the toilet and otherwise fetch and carry for Hillary for life -- and be restricted to the following vocabulary, "Yes, Ma'am. Right away, Ma'am." John writes: “He should be forced to go around for the rest of his life wearing 1970 Bay Area radical chic outfits, perhaps including bell-bottom pants, platform shoes, and a fro comb in his remaining hair.” Gary’s idea of penance for Horowitz is “[f]act-checking Ann Coulter's columns, and posting daily results at Each posting would carry his e-mail and home address.”

The winner is Rob Attmore. His punishment isn’t particularly funny but is very apt: “The obvious appropriate punishment is to confine him for 20 years as Walker's cellmate. “ Horowitz and Lindh deserve each other. Congrats, Rob. I would like to thank Rob and the other participants for their amusing entries.

Dick Armey=Saddam Hussein Apologist..right, Dave?

Although Comrade Horowitz's daily squawking can usually be ridiculed from a safe distance, today's post hits close to home. One of DH's favorite strategies is to slander anybody who deviates even slightly from his Manichean worldview as a "fascist" or "Communist". Today, however, Comrade Dave has decided to take a somewhat different tack. In attacking Phyllis Bennis for her outspoken opposition to a U.S. invasion of Iraq, David the ex-Red labels her a "mouthpiece for the Iraqi dictator." Now, aside from the sheer ridiculousness of this accusation, the reason why this libel hits close to home is because I had the pleasure of working with Phyllis over the summer at the Institute for Policy Studies. Therefore, I can say, with the utmost conviction, that Phyllis is in NO way an apologist nor an admirer for Saddam's brutal regime. Phyllis's primary concern is for the Iraqi people, which is why she has been such a vocal opponent of the UN's crippling sanctions on Iraq, which have devastated the civilian population while doing nothing to weaken Hussein.

Of course, the real purpose of today's post is for Dave the de-Nazifier to take some shots at that old right-wing bugaboo, IPS. As the most prominent progressive think-tank in Washington for almost forty years, IPS has long been an obsession for the reactionary right. There was even a laughable book published in the early 80s, entitled "Covert Cadre", which accused IPS staffers of being KGB agents. I had the pleasure of leafing through this wonderful "tome" while working at IPS, and all I can say is that it gives the phrase "hack job" a bad name. Interestingly, Rep. Dick Armey (R-Insanity) announced today his opposition to a U.S. invasion of Iraq. So Dave, what choice epithet have you got lined up for the House majority leader? Fifth-columnist? Communist? Hussein apologist? I'm waiting...

Monday, August 5, 2002

A Breath of Fresh Air

Fire-Breathing Right-Winger and Hand-Wringing Right-Winger
Taking Time Off . . . Rendezvous Location Unknown

What are the chances of such a fortuitous confluence of events?

Neither fire-breathing right-winger David Horowitz nor hand-wringing right-winger Andrew Sullivan will be spouting off publishing for at least the next several days.

Is there a meeting somewhere to which we weren’t invited?

Regardless, we’ll enjoy the respite while it lasts.

[Reprinted from The Rittenhouse Review, August 5, 2002.

Horowitz’s Latest Rant

In Horowitz’s latest blog-rant, he writes:

Having lost the election of 1972, liberals and leftists combined forces to destroy the presidency of Richard Nixon. Watergate was a legislative coup d'etat designed to cripple [sic] lthe war effort in Cambodia and South Vietnam. Nothing Nixon had done rose to the level of malfeasance of the administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson before him or Bill Clinton afterwards. (Talk about reversing elections results -- Clinton did not even get a majority of the vote. Nixon won by the greatest landslide in American history. But in the last analysis Clinton had the liberal press behind him and was able to ride the crisis out.)

Reality: The Watergate Scandal was an abominable act against American democracy by the Nixon administration. In fact, the Committee to Re-elect The President engaged in an unprecedented dirty tricks operation against the Democrats in the 1972 election campaign. It was vicious beyond description. It was also hypocritical because it involved top officials, including the Attorney General, of a supposed law-and-order administration. To refer to it as a "coup d'etat" is outrageous. By the time Congress held hearings on Watergate, Nixon had already withdrawn troops from Vietnam. Also, Horowitz’s contention that “ Clinton had the liberal press behind him” during the impeachment crisis is a joke.

Saturday, August 3, 2002

David Horowitz’s God-awful Book

I finished reading David Horowitz’s new book How to Beat the Democrats And Other Subversive Ideas. It is a wretched mess in many ways. The laughable premise of the book is that Republicans are these Mr. Smith Goes To Washington-types and Democrats are ruthless power-hungry tacticians. Horowitz writes:

For Democrats, politics is permanent war. Every conflict is a contest for power; every battle is about burying their enemies. About burying you. Not just in this election, but in the next.

What bombast. This actually sounds like a good description of Karl Rove or James Baker. One of the things that disproves Horowitz’s premise is that he repeats the infamous Clinton-Georgetown-Speech smear. Here is what happened: several weeks after 9/11, Bill Clinton gave a sensible speech at Georgetown University. Moonie Times “journalist” Joseph Curl wrote a story about it entitled "Clinton calls terror a U.S. debt to past"—even though Clinton said nothing even close to this. Curl’s story on the speech grossly distorted Clinton’s words, giving the reader the impression that Clinton was calling the 9/11 attacks karmic payback for America’s past sins such as slavery. (Some good articles on the deception are by the nonpartisan Spinsanity and the Daily Howler (click here and here). Not surprisingly, the usual suspects on the right took Curl's story and ran with it. Limbaugh, Drudge, Taranto, Coulter, Sullivan, Hannity, Liddy, Fox News, Horowitz, and Sullivan all devoted space or airtime to spreading Curl’s libels. However, once the text of Clinton’s speech became known and it was shown that Curl had put words in Clinton’s mouth, to their credit, Sullivan and Taranto retracted much of their criticism (which didn’t deter the Moonie Times from publishing Sullivan’s initial slam against Clinton’s speech three days after Sullivan retracted it). To the others, the idea of apologizing is not in their blood—especially if it involves apologizing to Bill Clinton. Of course, the Moonie Times offered no retraction or apology. The result: tens of millions of Americans were disinformed by malicious Moonie propaganda.

It kind of surprised me that in How to Beat the Democrats, Horowitz rehashes this ugly canard (Horowitz spends two and a half pages tearing down straw man Clinton and his speech). Even though Ann Coulter wrote about this when it first came out (her article appeared on Horowitz’s web site), she didn’t bring it up in Slander. Not only did Horowitz do this but I found out last night that Rush-clone Sean Hannity is doing the same thing in his upcoming book, Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism. These shameful episodes illustrate how important it is to be diligent in pointing out the lies of the right.