Sunday, March 26, 2006


WaPo: Newspaper Unable to Do Novel Investigative Knowledgework

The Washington Post continues to trash its reputation by publishing a clumsy anonymous smear. As readers may or may not know, a Harvard dean and a professor at the University of Chicago have written a report on Israeli influence on US foreign policy. Daniel Levy, who is a top Israeli staffer, has said that while it is a bit simplistic, it has merit. In a sane world, an article on the influence of Israel on American foreign policy would have gotten maybe two column inches buried somewhere amid news on soybean futures. The Washington Post, however, engaged in a substantial bit of malice. It presented Juan Cole, a genuine scholar, and David Duke, a genuine Nazi, as defenders of the report. It didn't mention Levy or in any other way signal that it's not weird to think that Israel influences American foreign policy. On the other side, it puts CAMERA, a "watchdog group" in the Horowitzian sense of the word, i.e., nudniks. Also, Dennis Ross, who is part of an enterprise (Access Middle East) getting big bucks from Time Warner vice chairman Merv Adelson to produce pro-Israel "accurate and timely information," i.e. propaganda. Ruth Wisse, a CAMERA keynoter. Alan Dershowitz. Daniel Drezner. If I put some work into it, I bet that all of the people it quotes are CAMERA members and probably senior leadership. CAMERA is unaccountably shy about listing its advisory committee or staff. This anonymous Washington Post piece is a smear against Juan Cole, not to mention against Walt and Mearscheimer. It's so clumsy that it could only have been done by a N.U.D.N.I.K.
This is a variation on the NY Sun hit piece you sent, isn't it? It's almost Domenich-like in its similarity. The same non-sequitorial mention of David Duke and all that. (Gee, I hear Hitler liked seafood and Nixon liked baseball. Should we all stop eating clams and rooting for the Yankees?)
While the Washington Post piece references quotes in the New York Sun, the quotes are properly attributed. I have checked it for plagiarism and do not find any. Therefore, any resemblance to Ben Domenech's writing is in the complete lack of evidence for intelligence on the part of the author.
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