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Another Strange Use of Language in the Times's Article on the AJC Study:

Ilya points out below that N.Y. Times reporter Patricia Cohen refers to the American Jewish Committee as a "conservative advocacy group", when its policy positions are mainstream American liberal.

Equally oddly, the Times's headline screams: "Essay Linking Liberal Jews and Anti-Semitism Sparks a Furor." The first paragraph relates: "The American Jewish Committee, an ardent defender of Israel, is known for speaking out against anti-Semitism, but this conservative advocacy group has recently stirred up a bitter and emotional debate with a new target: liberal Jews."

In fact, paging through the essay that is the subject of the Cohen story, the author never identifies his opponents as "liberal Jews," but as "'Progressives'" who viciously attack Israel. Note the double quotes: the author of the AJC piece is suggesting that the relevant individuals think of themselves as being progressive in their thinking, but actually are not. He even refers to "individuals who refer to themselves as "'Progressives'", but he never calls them "liberals."

Cohen knows, or should know, that self-styled "Progressives" are generally well to the left of mainstream American political opinion, and certainly an essay for a liberal organization attacking self-styled Progressives is going to be attacking leftists, not liberals. And even if she didn't manage to grasp this, if one looks at the actual targets of the essay--individuals such as Adam Shapiro, Noam Chomsky, Adrienne Rich, Tony Judt--it's pretty obvious that with few exceptions, the article is targeting radical leftists, not mainstream liberals. This continues the Times's grand tradition of almost never calling anyone on the left, no matter how far left, anything other than a liberal, while using various extremist appellations (far right, right-wing, etc.) for even moderate conservatives. Calling an obviously liberal organization like the AJC "conservative," however, is new even for the Times (to my knowledge), and it reminds me of the nomenclature in radical circles when I was in college: Leftist was "progressive" or "liberal," liberal was "conservative," and conservative was "reactionary" or "far-right" or "fascist." Sad to see that the Times' editors are using (or allowing the use of) nomenclature better suited for a Berkeley alternative weekly than for the nation's leading "paper of record."

If all a Times reader read was the headline and the first paragraph, one would get the impression that the furor is about a conservative Jewish organization attacking liberal Jews for promoting anti-Semitism for some unspecified reason. The furor is actually about a liberal Jewish organization attacking leftist Jews for giving aid and comfort to genocidal anti-Semitism in the Islamic world by vicious and uncalled for attacks on Israel. You would never find this out from reading even the whole of Cohen's article, because the words "Muslim," "Islamic," and "Arab" never appear in it.

UPDATE: Here's how a better, or at least more neutral, reporter, might have phrased the first paragraph: "The American Jewish Committee, [a strong supporter of Israel], is [best] known for speaking out against anti-Semitism, but this [liberal Jewish] advocacy group has recently stirred up a bitter and emotional debate with a new target: [self-styled Progressive] Jews [who it claims aid and abet growing worldwide anti-Semitism, especially in the Muslim world, by engaging in rhetorical warfare against Israel]."

FURTHER UPDATE: Checking around the blogosphere via Technorati, I see that many bloggers simply accepted Cohen's characterization of the controversy without actually reading the underlying AJC paper. Some aspects of the paper are far from unassailable, but it's simply incorrect to suggest that the paper itself targets mainstream liberal critics of Israel for any criticism they make of Israel, and the author draws a clear distinction between anti-Semitism, and "progressive" views expressed in such a way as to give aid and comfort to anti-Semites. I think the paper raises this very interesting issue: if you are left-wing Jew who is hostile to Israel, but are aware that expressing this hostility in an unvarnished way is encouraging anti-Semitism, do you have a responsibility to temper your criticism, or at least the way you express it? And that goes for non-Jews hostile to Israel, too.

Kovarsky (mail):
Again, this piece was in the arts section. For what David's narrow point is worth, it's fine. But the second you start in with the "and this is consistent with the times' [stuff]," I think you're under an obligation to distinguish the institutional source of the piece. In many instance treating the editorial rhetoric of someone writing for the arts section as though it betrayed a bias on the part of the news people would be like a foreigner inferring that the "U.S. Government," in toto, "believes" a particular thing on the basis of having heard a series of housemembers say it.
2.2.2007 2:32pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
K, is there some reason the Arts section should be subject to lower editorial standards than the rest of the Times? Especially when a reporter is writing on an obviously controversial and contentious issue likely to stir much public reaction?
2.2.2007 2:41pm
Richard S (mail):
The thing about the AJC is that it publishes Commentary. Commentary's politics are different from those of the AJC, but many people don't realize that. A reporter should, however.
2.2.2007 2:48pm
Kovarsky (mail):
No, I don't think so at all. But I do think there's an allowance for "advocacy" in non-news divisions that creates sloppy rhetoric like this. I don't think that allowance should be there, but it is.

Using a piece like this, in Times arts, to impeach the veracity of people doing reporting in Times news, seems troublesome.
2.2.2007 2:49pm
Richard S (mail):
And does one need to have the mind of a punster to object to the headline, "Anti-Semitism Sparks a Furor."
2.2.2007 2:51pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Professor Bernstein, I think that it's way past the time when meaningful distinctions can be drawn between "left", "liberal", and "progressive". And I blame the right for this-- conservatives have for years been portraying all Democrats, even DLC-types, Clintonites, and other occupants of what might be called the center left, as interchangeably being "liberal", "leftist", and "left-liberal". (Remember how much time Bush 41 expended on the campaign trail arguing about whether Dukakis was a "liberal"?) Similarly, while "progressive" had a specific political meaning 80 years ago, nowadays it has been adopted by everyone from Al Franken (the center-left) to the Nation magazine (pretty far left) to Noam Chomsky's followers (very far left).

(Hopefully, by posting this, I won't see a bunch of vitriolic replies from conservatives about how there's no such thing as a center left and that even people like Bill and Hillary Clinton are left-wing extremists. But if I do, it will prove my point.)

So at this point, I don't know what a newspaper is to do when describing different points on the left-of-center spectrum. If you want these terms to have meaning, tell conservatives to stop using them for political ends.
2.2.2007 2:51pm
plunge (mail):
Let's be honest, the entire report in question is simply an exercise in quote mining together extreme views with less extreme critics in order to de-legitimize all comers to the table without firing a shot in substantive argument.
2.2.2007 2:53pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
Ironically the correct term to use in berkeley dailies is progressive. You very rarely hear people call themselves simple liberals around here.
2.2.2007 2:54pm
Kovarsky (mail):
David,

Also, I'm not saying you are impeaching times news directly here, but this is the sort of thing I'm talking about:

This continues the Times's grand tradition of almost never calling anyone on the left, no matter how far left, anything other than a liberal, while using various extremist appellations (far right, right-wing, etc.) for even moderate conservatives. Calling an obviously liberal organization like the AJC "conservative," however, is new even for the Times (to my knowledge), and it reminds me of the nomenclature in radical circles when I was in college: Leftist was "progressive" or "liberal," liberal was "conservative," and conservative was "reactionary" or "far-right" or "fascist." Sad to see that the Times' editors are using (or allowing the use of) nomenclature better suited for a Berkeley alternative weekly than for the nation's leading "paper of record."
2.2.2007 2:58pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Yes, but there have been empirical studies of this, but Rothman, Lichter and the like, it's not like I'm relying on this one incident to prove a general point. In fairness, it's not just the Times, the relevant studies showed this tendency to "mainstreamize" the left and "extremicize" the right endemic among the MSM.
2.2.2007 3:04pm
JohnAnnArbor (www):

If you want these terms to have meaning, tell conservatives to stop using them for political ends.

Yeah, 'cause the left never labels center-right people by calling them "right-wing extremists" on-camera and "fascists" off camera.
2.2.2007 3:05pm
JohnAnnArbor (www):

Ironically the correct term to use in berkeley dailies is progressive.

That term implies that whatever they're in favor of is progress, by definition.

A tad self-aggrandizing.
2.2.2007 3:09pm
Speed Racer 5:
Why the especial hatred &singling out of Israel?

Because it's the "Jew" among nations...
2.2.2007 3:18pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
John:

Liberals certainly do label anything on the right as being on the far right. But-- while that is wrong too-- it hasn't stuck nearly as much. It is still possible to describe the difference between, say, a moderate Republican, an economic conservative, a social conservative, and a far-right extremist. Those terms have not been drained of all meaning.

There are surely some Democrats who would like them to be, who would like to put Republicans in the same linguistic position that Democrats are in, where the labels that used to naturally describe their political position have been deliberately misdefined and drained of meaning. But it hasn't happened yet, whereas it has happened with the labels to define those on the left side of the ledger. So, I don't buy the claim that a media outlet, trying to grapple with this climate that conservatives created for cynical political reasons, is being biased. On this one, conservatives murdered the parents and now are pleading orphanhood.
2.2.2007 3:26pm
JohnAnnArbor (www):

On this one, conservatives murdered the parents and now are pleading orphanhood.

Whatever. What you're REALLY objecting to is that the actual positions of certain people on the left have been exposed. The label doesn't exist in a vacuum.
2.2.2007 3:31pm
Adeez (mail):
I think there should be an immediate moratorium on the use of "left-right," "liberal-conservative," "progressive," etc. All of these terms have been sufficiently abused to be rendered meaningless.

The reason I've become addicted to this site is b/c many of the posters and commentators are reasonable, intelligent people who could debate an issue seriously w/o resort to name-calling or politicking. The legal issues presented here are a great example of issues that have no intrinsic political position.

Or, before someone labels someone or group, they should be forced to first define the label before reflexively assigning it.

Simple labels are for simple people.
2.2.2007 3:37pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
John:

What "actual positions"? I would have no problem with a world where Noam Chomsky is on the far left, Eric Alterman is on the left, Josh Marshall and Ted Kennedy are liberals, and Bill Clinton is on the center-left. That is roughly what the terms used to means.

The whole point of the incessant use of these terms as smears by conservatives is to OBSCURE actual positions-- to make Bill Clinton indistinguishable from Noam Chomsky, to render Hillary Clinton's support of an employer health care mandate no different than Dennis Kucinich's support for single payer, to conflate the positions of the ACLU or Americans United for Separation of Church and State with the positions of Democratic politicians and commentators who disagree with those organizations.

Bernstein's complaint was about the use of labels by the Times. But the labels are now meaningless thanks to conservatives, so it can't be considered "bias" to use the "wrong" one.

You will notice I am NOT disputing Bernstein's discussion of the substance of the AJC's paper, which I have not read. And whether I agree with it or not, I really don't have a problem with ANYONE discussing ANYONE's "actual position" on issues relating to Israel or anything else. It's the throwing around of labels that is so problematic.

Remember, in Bush 41's 1988 campaign, Bush spent time at the flag factory and droning on about Dukakis being a liberal who furloughed criminals IN LIEU of talking about Dukasis' position on actual issues confronting the country. So, complaining about the misuse of labels has nothing to do with not wanting discussions about people's actual positions; rather, if people will stop misusing labels, maybe they will spend time making actual arguments about people's actual positions.
2.2.2007 3:43pm
Respondent (mail):
John Paul Stevens apparently uses similar nomenclature, since he said recently in an interview that he considers himself conservative
2.2.2007 3:47pm
Adeez (mail):
Right on Dilan.
All the lawyers here know that language matters a lot. So I would hope that those here who support this administration are nonetheless disgusted by terms such as "war on terror" and "war on drugs."
As a kid I never understood why the use of "commie" was so prevalent. "What's a commie?" I thought, and why were they so evil?
Now I'm an adult, and see that most who use(d) the term don't even know what it means! What a communist is can be the subject of vast debate. Yet drooling idiots would freely throw around the word in order to stifle any actual debate.
2.2.2007 3:54pm
Hattio (mail):
Professor Bernstein,
If you are someone who is supportive of Israel, but is aware that expressing this support in an unvarnished way is encouraging those on the Isreali right to push for expanded settlement, do you have a responsibility to temper your support or change the way you express it?
2.2.2007 3:56pm
Elliot Reed:
To add to Hattio's point, if you're someone who is supportive of Israel but is aware that expressing this support in an unvarnished is encouraging anti-Arab racism, do you have a responsibility to temper your support, or at least the way you express it? And that goes for non-Arabs who are supportive of Israel too.
2.2.2007 4:29pm
NickM (mail) (www):
If the AJC is conservative, then the Right-Wing Conspiracy really is vast.

Nick
2.2.2007 4:35pm
ed o:
Israel is a sovereign nation-it would seem to me that actively or passively hoping or wishing for its end is equally demented. the passive types (oh woe is me, Israel is the ruination of the jewish soul) seem to work to feed the active types who would happily destroy it without the soul searching.
2.2.2007 4:49pm
DG:
This continues the Times's grand tradition of almost never calling anyone on the left, no matter how far left, anything other than a liberal, while using various extremist appellations (far right, right-wing, etc.) for even moderate conservatives.

I haven't seen the studies that Bernstein cites, but I'm going to dispute this claim. Based on a quick Lexis search, the terms "right-wing" and "left-wing" seem to be appear in the pages of the Times at a roughly comparable rate. In the past six months, "right wing" was used 208 times and "left wing" was used 146 times. By way of comparison, "conservative" was used 1651 times and "liberal" was used 927 times.

If you take out Paul Krugman and the Times editorials, the numbers are even closer. I bet that if you could somehow control for the liberal editorial tilt of the Times, you would find that the Times applies these sorts of terms pretty evenhandedly in its news reporting. In any case, there certainly doesn't seem to be much evidence for the "grand tradition" that has been alleged.

For what it's worth, the permissible uses of both terms seem to fall into a few narrow categories:
1) Strict opinion pieces.

2) Quasi-opinion pieces (book reviews and other features not in the news section)

3) Certain pieces about foreign politics (e.g., "Salvadoran right-wing death squads," "a left-wing Czech political party")

4) Sports pieces (e.g., "so-and-so shot a 3-pointer from the left wing")
2.2.2007 4:57pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
If you're analogizing encouraging Israeli settlement activity to encouraging Islamic genocidal anti-Semitism, I'm afraid you've lost me.
2.2.2007 5:01pm
Hattio (mail):
Professort Bernstein,
Once again though, you are changing the terms of the debate mid-way through. Your original update to which I responded referred to encouraging Anti-Semitism. Now you would like to imply that anti-semitism automatically means "Islamic genocidal anti-Semitism." It doesn't. And for the record, no, I don't equate settlement with Islamic genocidal anti-Semitism.
2.2.2007 6:04pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Hat, if you read the last paragraph of the original post, you will see that in context it should be reasonably clear what I was referring to.
2.2.2007 6:14pm
Hattio (mail):
Professor Bernstein,
You make it clear that the paper makes a distinction


between anti-Semitism, and "progressive" views expressed in such a way as to give aid and comfort to anti-Semites


How is that supposed to make it reasonably clear that you are referring to Islamic genocidal anti-Semitism. Actually, the more I look at that update, the less it seems clear at all that the anti-Semitism you were referring to was Islamic or genocidal at all, since you are comparing "actual" anti-Semitism to Progressive views expressed in such a way as to give aid and comfort to Anti-Semites. I'm sorry, if your words are used to encourage racists, or other bad people, it is possible that you spoke sloppily, or it's just possible that you have racists, etcetera using anything they can get their hands on. That doesn't mean one side of the debate has a special burden of care.

And for the record, yes, I find the notion that Israel should encourage settlements in the occupied territories racist.
2.2.2007 6:31pm
Jerry F:
Dilan Esper:

I don't have much of a problem with your taxonomy of the left side of the political spectrum, but are you willing to see the right in the same manner?

If, as you claim, "Noam Chomsky is on the far left, Eric Alterman [and the Nation] is on the left, Josh Marshall and Ted Kennedy are liberals, and Bill Clinton is on the center-left," then Rushdoony and the Christian Reconstructionists are on the far right, Alan Keyes and Pat Buchanan are on the right, Sam Brownback, Tom Delay and Jerry Falwell are conservatives, and George Bush is center-right. (I suppose that, in this spectrum, Joe Lieberman and John McCain would be characterized as centrists leaning to the left and right, respectively, to distinguish them from Clinton and Bush).

This overall characterization sounds reasonable, but this is just not the way most liberals refer to political figures. According to much of the liberal media, conservatives like Brownback and Falwell would be considered on the "far right" and there is no distinct label for the likes of Alan Keyes or the Constitution Party (to say nothing of the Reconstructionists, which are even farther right).

I am also curious as to who you would consider a "far-right extremist" if even Noam Chomsky, under your terminology, is not far left enough to be deemed an "extremist."
2.2.2007 6:51pm
cvt:
I agree with Dilan that political labels are not very precise, but calling Tony Judt a "radical leftist" is really misleading. If you want to know where he stands politically, read "Bush's Useful Idiots" (LRB, 9-26-6), in which he clearly identifies himself with traditional American liberalism.

His criticism of Israel and the Israel lobby have drawn such a strong reaction precisely because he is so respected and politically moderate. Calling him a radical leftist is just a way to attempt to marginalize him.
2.2.2007 6:51pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
I don't know what's so hard about understanding this: the point of the AJC paper is that there is a growing genocidal anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim world, and that some Jewish leftists are aiding and abetting it by their unvarnished hostility to Israel. This might make the critics of Israel think twice as to what they are doing or at least how they are doing it, in that they may not only be serving their goal of dismantling Zionism, but encouraging, e.g., a nuclear holocaust by Iran in Israel. It's not the abstract notion of abetting anti-Semitism that's at issue, it's the issue of whether at this time and place one might choose to refrain from grossly excessive rhetoric given the dangers involved.

I'd be curious to see by what plausible theory settling the territories is ipso facto racist (putting aside the fact that neither Jews nor Arabs are commonly thought of as being racist). Militaristic, fundamentalist, unwise, and so forth are at least rational criticism, but racist seems like simply an effort to throw a left-wing bogey word at a problem that it doesn't apply to.
2.2.2007 8:49pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
CVT, you and I read Judt's essay very differntly: you see him associating himself with traditional liberalism, I see him attacking liberals for not being leftists.
2.2.2007 8:57pm
cvt:
David Bernstein, just read the final paragraph of Judt's essay, Bush's Useful Idiots:

It is the liberals, then, who count. They are, as it might be, the canaries in the sulphurous mineshaft of modern democracy. The alacrity with which many of America's most prominent liberals have censored themselves in the name of the War on Terror, the enthusiasm with which they have invented ideological and moral cover for war and war crimes and proffered that cover to their political enemies: all this is a bad sign. Liberal intellectuals used to be distinguished precisely by their efforts to think for themselves, rather than in the service of others. Intellectuals should not be smugly theorising endless war, much less confidently promoting and excusing it. They should be engaged in disturbing the peace -- their own above all.

He's not attacking liberalism -- he's giving a warning about its decline. Many of other political writings are critiques of the left. See, for example, Goodbye to All That? (NYRB, September 21, 2006) and his book Past Imperfect, a critique of postwar French leftist intellectuals. The only reason you could possibly believe him to be a lefist radical is that you don't like his critique of Israel.
2.2.2007 10:42pm
Erisian23 (mail):
Prof Bernstein, I suspect you might not appreciate what I'm writing but please accept that it is offered sincerely and respectfully.

I wonder if it's possible in these highly polarized times to support Zionism, disagree with the way it has been implemented, and not be encouraging anti-Semitism. The rules seem to be ever changing and it's very, very difficult for me to determine what's anti-Semitic and what's not. Whether or not I'm allowed to ask a question seems largely to be in the hands of others, presumably my betters. For example:

If I sympathize with the people who lived on Palestinian lands for many hundreds of years, who had some of their traditional lands taken from them, am I encouraging anti-Semitism if I say that out loud?

If I disagree with the 1948 creation of the State but accept that it happened - and then support the Six Day War's new borders because war is a historically acceptable means of redrawing lines on a map, that doesn't sound anti-Semitic... but I'm not sure.

If I accept the state of Israel in practice but, typical bleeding heart liberal, strongly prefer melting pots over State and culturally supported emphasis on selective breeding, am I encouraging anti-Semitism if I say that out loud?

I find the idea that a terrorist will walk onto a bus, sit down, and wait for it to fill up with more people, watching women and children board, and then blowing up the bus to be completely abhorrent, and I completely support Israel's efforts to protect itself from terrorism in any form. Now I'm certain that's not encouraging anti-Semitism.

If I compare Israel's finesse in Operation Yonatan with Israel's behavior in the Second Lebanon War and determined that in the latter case, some Israeli political and military leaders behaved no better than the terrorists they struggle daily against by dropping cluster bombs ("Oops! So sorry - our bad!") on southern Lebanese civilians for their support of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, am I encouraging anti-Semitism if I say that out loud?

I must confess I'm a bit curious about this one too: Is the UN's "International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People" on Nov 29th encouraging anti-Semitism?

Aside from genuinely wanting some Yes/No answers to those questions, my point is this: these are highly nuanced issues with many valid diverse views. Labeling speech of a given viewpoint with that massively broad brush of "encouraging anti-Semitism" when the speaker is no more anti-Semitic than he/she is anti-Caucasian or anti-Christian is both reprehensible and dangerous. The idea that people should not make fair criticisms founded on their own ethics and beliefs because it might "embolden" the enemy is interesting in theory; in practice it appears more often used to dismiss those serious criticisms without having to actually address them.
2.3.2007 1:55am
DavidBernstein (mail):
One could, in, say, 1936, have been a non-anti-Semite, indeed a very proud Jew, and written a scathing, intemperate, book denouncing Jewish involvement in Bolshevism. The question would remain whether that would have been a responsible thing to do. I think the real debate is whether we are in the historical analogue of 1936, which the AJC author Professor Rosenthal believes it is. By contrast, at least one of the authors he cites, Neumann, believes that anti-Semitism, as such, can cause no damage to Jews right now, an absurd position, but one that probably leads him to be extra-intemperate. I suspect that many of the authors cited by Rosenthal indeed draw a different analogy, and think that the battle over Israel is more like the Spanish Civil War, and that the "Fascists" there must be defeated to prevent the rise of a dangerous empire, in this case the U.S.
2.3.2007 6:41am
DavidBernstein (mail):
Oh, and I don't think any of the examples you gave are problematic. If, on the other hand, you stated that "Israelis, possessed by a crazed, racist, nationalism, have taken up the mantle of their former Nazi oppressors and are herding the Palestinians into ghettos with the ultimate intent of cleansing the land of Israel from their presence," that's another matter.
2.3.2007 6:45am
steve (mail):

I think the paper raises this very interesting issue: if you are left-wing Jew who is hostile to Israel, but are aware that expressing this hostility in an unvarnished way is encouraging anti-Semitism, do you have a responsibility to temper your criticism, or at least the way you express it? And that goes for non-Jews hostile to Israel, too.


Hmmm. How did Matt Yglesias put this--


At any rate, when you think about it, things like this essay or Jonah Goldberg's little McCarthyite smears aren't really about convincing people that I'm an anti-semite, or that Tony Judt or Adrienne Rich or Tony Kushner is. The idea, basically, is to scare the goyim who figure that while liberal Jews can take the heat, they probably can't, and had best just avoid talking about the whole thing. And based on my observations of the blogosphere, it works pretty well as a tactic.
2.3.2007 7:38am
DavidBernstein (mail):
How is saying that expressing hostility to Israel in an unvarnished way may encourage anti-Semitism the same as calling someone who expresses that criticism an anti-Semite. You'd have to be a full to deny that on the margin, comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and whatnot encourages anti-Semitism. Whether to do with that information depends on how dangerous you think modern anti-Semitism is, and how important it is to attack Israel in those particular terms. To run with my example, there are many ways to criticize Israel without comparing it to Nazi Germany.
2.3.2007 11:23am
randal (mail):
You've once again revealed your deep bigotry.

I think the paper raises this very interesting issue: if you are left-wing Jew who is hostile to Israel, but are aware that expressing this hostility in an unvarnished way is encouraging anti-Semitism, do you have a responsibility to temper your criticism, or at least the way you express it? And that goes for non-Jews hostile to Israel, too.

Why did you express this question in terms of Jews and non-Jews? How could the answer depend on the orientation of the speaker?

I'll tell you. You wish the answer were plausibly "yes" and hope that you can intimidate Jews into believing that it might be. It pisses you off that any Jew might be critical of Israel - you take it as a betrayl.

I think the paper raises this very interesting issue: if you are left-wing white male who is hostile to the white race, but are aware that expressing this hostility in an unvarnished way is encouraging Northern aggression, do you have a responsibility to temper your criticism, or at least the way you express it? And that goes for non-whites too.

That's what you sound like to me. No, I don't have a responsibility to temper my criticism.
2.3.2007 4:09pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
By the way, the Times had a correction in today's paper. Of a sort:
An article... referred incorrectly to the committee. Its stance on issues ranges across the political spectrum; it is not "conservative."
I say, "of a sort," because I've never seen any issue where they "ranged across" anything; they're always on the straight liberal line.
2.4.2007 3:10am
DavidBernstein (mail):
Randal, I'm not sure why I'm bothering, but: as I said, the paper raises the issue with regard to Jews. I added, "that goes for non-Jews, too." To the extent your complaint is valid, direct it at the author of the paper. But then, since he's writing for a JEWISH organization, it's certainly understandable that he's focusing on the opinions of Jews.
2.4.2007 12:27pm
randal (mail):
That's fair - my apologies.
2.4.2007 2:16pm