Jonathan Chait Calls Out Abe Foxman on Award to Rupert Murdoch


The New Republic‘s Jonathan Chait calls out Abraham Foxman and the ADL in a smart, important piece.
Read the whole thing, but this is zinger:

If you’re interested in the general principle of tolerance and equality, then awarding [the ADL International Leadership Award to] Rupert Murdoch is preposterous. But if you define your values in a purely sectarian way, then a figure who advances an illiberal agenda that defines Jews as one of the “good” nationalities is right up your alley. Looks increasingly clear that Foxman has made his choice, and is defining the ADL’s agenda not as the universalistic vision of the ADL’s founders but as a moderate Jewish Defense League.

Make sure you read the list of Fox-connected anti-Muslim bigotry that undermines what Chait lampoons as “Foxman’s call to oppose ‘polarization, rage, stridency and partisanship.'”
— Steve Clemons


11 comments on “Jonathan Chait Calls Out Abe Foxman on Award to Rupert Murdoch

  1. Carroll says:

    Murdoch is a strange guy.
    There have been only a few personal interviews and articles on the background and private side of Murdoch….one in Vanity Fair years ago that was revealing.
    What the few interviews produce is a picture of a man who despite his wealth is insecure, socially inept and slightly paranoid…so far as to not have any personal friends at all, not a one…only business acquaintances.
    The background on Murdoch is familiar…his was a powerful father with a ugly duckling son in the middle of several other children. Murdoch’s father divided his empire among all his children but Rupert worked to buy them out and assume control of all the media holdings.
    Vanity Fair described him as just like the Fox viewers he attracts….who despite his wealth feels he is looked down on or underestimated by ‘society’ and is driven in his business to attain or ‘show’ his power…hence the fear and hate mongering.
    Reportedly Murdoch’s mother and father were both more liberal people than Murdoch. His mother, Elizabeth Greene was Jewish, the daughter of Sol Greene who helped Murdoch,Sr. get established in the media world in Australia. Elizabeth was well known for her charities work, complete opposite of Rupert.
    Two of Rupert’s sons have left him to work for other companies and his third son James is reported to have almost totally opposite views on everything from Israel to news media and publishing from his father.
    One particularly revealing thing about him that came from his employees was that Rupert likes
    gossip, liked to collect and share embrassing stories about other people and according to those who would bring him these tid bits of gossip that was the only time Murdoch would be chatty with an employee or show any humor.


  2. kotzabasis says:

    The irascible and contemptible timorous gang of anti-Schumpetarian entrepreneurship are ganging up on the doughty and successful Rupert Murdoch.


  3. Cee says:

    History does repeat. Trying to earn the favor of your enemies won’t turn out any better now.
    From Zionism in the Age of the Dictators
    Like the other German Zionists, the Revisionists were exclusively concerned with Palestine, and during Weimar they made no effort to organise Jewish resistance to Hitler. When the Nazis finally came to power, the Revisionists interpreted the victory as a defeat for their own Jewish ideological rivals and a vindication of their own ideas, both Zionist and Fascist.
    Prior to the Nazis, German Zionism was no more than an isolated bourgeois political cult. While the leftists were trying to fight the brownshirts in the streets, the Zionists were busy collecting money for trees in Palestine. Suddenly in 1933 this small group conceived of itself as properly anointed by history to negotiate secretly with the Nazis, to oppose the vast mass of world Jewry who wanted to resist Hitler, all in the hope of obtaining the support of the enemy of their people for the building of their state in Palestine. Smolar and their other Zionist critics saw the ZVfD as merely cowardly, but they were quite wrong. Any surrender theory explains nothing of the pre-Hitler evolution of Zionist racism, nor does it go far in explaining the WZO


  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And here is this jackass Foxman putting the full onus on the Palestinians, and painting Israel as the only party interested in peace. He has completely robbed the ADL of any credibility they might have once enjoyed.
    Foxman, just another whore for Israel.


  5. David says:

    Wow. Well said, Jonathan.


  6. DakotabornKansan says:

    Rupert Murdoch is the arsonist who sets the house on fire and five years later boasts that no one can put it out. Can you find a more revealing measure of the state of the dominant media today than the quotidian presence of the pundits and self-selected message multipliers at Rupert Murdoch


  7. samuelburke says:

    fire Abe Foxman also.
    “The first was CNN’s Octavia Nasr, who was canned for tweeting
    some words that conveyed a certain degree of respect for an
    Islamic cleric associated with Hezbollah. Next came Helen
    Thomas, who lost her job she was caught on video saying that
    Jews should “get out of Palestine and go back to Europe.” Next
    came CNN’s Rick Sanchez, who made some stupid and offensive
    remarks about Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, along with some
    equally ill-chosen words about the privileged position of Jews in
    America today.
    And now there’s Williams, who in the midst of a discussion of
    Muslims in America told Bill O’Reilly:
    “I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books
    I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But
    when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are
    in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying
    themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get
    I suspect Williams was being honest — if unwisely — and I’ll bet
    he’s not the only non-Muslim who’s had similar thoughts. That
    doesn’t justify what he said in the slightest, however, and I’m
    glad that his statement was promptly and broadly condemned.
    But frankly, this whole business is getting ridiculous. With the
    exception of Nasr, whose brief tweet was in fact not offensive
    when properly understood, I think all of these people should be
    ashamed and embarrassed by what they said. But I wouldn’t have
    fired any of them, particularly if they had been willing to make a
    prompt and heartfelt apology. None of us is perfect, and anybody
    who talks for a living is bound to say a few things that they
    might immediately regret.
    And the problem is now snowballing, because if you fire a few
    people for saying something offensive about one group, then
    people in other groups will immediately (and correctly) accuse
    you of a double-standard if you don’t mete out a similar
    punishment when someone says something equally foolish
    about them. That’s precisely what happened to Williams: because
    Nasr, Thomas, and Sanchez got canned, the only way NPR could
    avoid accusations of a double-standard was by dumping him. ”


  8. nadine says:

    Steve, Chait’s piece is another exercise in unself-aware liberal navel-gazing, where tolerance is assumed to be liberal and one need only say “conservative” to condemn an opinion as intolerant. Chait doesn’t even realize that every figure he produces to show how tilted Fox is to the right is even MORE true about NPR, CNN, and MSNBC’s tilt to the left. Only 25% of Fox commentary was pro- the Ground Zero Mosque? Okay, how much of MSNBC commentary was against it?
    It’s silly to dignify such a self-serving piece by calling it “important”. This piece was produced on autopilot and won’t make even a ripple in public discourse.
    Juan Williams and Mara Liasson have long been regular liberal commentators on Fox “All Stars” and other commentary panels. Please tell me ONE conservative who is a regular on NPR. Just name one. Their news panels are often composed of far-left, left, and center commentary. If they are that balanced.


  9. WigWag says:

    Steve, I’m afraid that you’re rather selective in your criticism of who deserves awards and who doesn’t. I guess you feel that Rupert Murdoch doesn’t deserve ADL’s “International Leadership Award;” that’s fine. You are certainly entitled to your opinion.
    It’s funny, I don’t remember seeing your post criticizing President Obama for awarding the “Medal of Freedom” to an odious anti-Semite, Mary Robinson. Mrs. Robinson presided over a hate fest of extraordinary proportions when she chaired the meetings in Durban in 2001. There were more anti-Jewish sentiments expressed in the matter of a few days than anti-Muslim comments on Fox News since it was founded.
    It is simply intellectually dishonest and very strange, to say the least, to criticize the ADL for recognizing a media magnate who whose performers sometimes go over the line while refusing to criticize the American President for recognizing the former Irish President whose behavior is far more disgusting than Rupert Murdoch’s has ever been.
    This type of hypocrisy exists on both the left and the right but as of late, the progressive world has become so befuddled that progressive people conflate putting forth reasoned arguments and hurling invective. In this, they are exactly like the right wing talent and guests on Fox News who they love to criticize.


  10. questions says:

    Some complications to add in to the stew —
    it’s not really the law of unintended consequences, in fact it’s exactly what one would expect — people segregate according to view point and then they spiral in intensity as they close off other viewpoints.
    Indeed, this dynamic is precisely what Pape pulls out to explain transnational suicide terrorism, and it’s precisely what Sunstein pulls out to characterize appellate courts with judges all from the same party.
    You meet, you talk, you segregate, you intensify each other’s views until there’s no resemblance to reality anymore and then you explode or whatever.
    Don’t detypify the Foxworld or the Foxmanworld — it’s a really standard pattern of segregation and demonization. It makes money, it makes for seeming internal coherence, and it only works under certain circumstances. The internalization of the group needs occasions to meet, needs the message to be one that resonates and has a vague tangential accord with something like reality, and the people who get sucked in need a certain level of intensity.
    Best, in my view, to let Foxman go off the deepend along with the incoherence that is the TeaParty, and the self-serving greed that is Murdoch’s creation. Fox viewers are dropping, the Teapartyites don’t seem to know the very Constitution they swear they love, if they try to govern, they will discover the sheer incoherence, incommensurable nature of their demands, and their very supporters will suffer deeply in the process. They have already within them the seeds of their own destruction.
    One simply has to be patient and wait out ranges of bad thinking and crazy stews of panic.
    Every time the world doesn’t end from some policy or other, the people who freaked will have to find something new.
    If Chait really wants to get at the heart of the problem, he’s going to have to attack competitive elections, freedom of assembly, and other really important values that both make for an amazing country and a crazy country simultaneously.
    We can’t have sanity and freedom simultaneously, because people are actually free to be insane.


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