The appalling moral blind spot of the Guardian’s Michael Tomasky

One of the defining characteristics of the hard/Guardian-style Left is their moral vanity, as well as an unwillingness to engage in the same level of self-reflection that they’re often demanding of others.

By moral vanity I’m referring the desire to not just pursue justice in the world, but be seen as pursuing justice in the world – as influenced by the desire to maintain the mantle of righteousness as they are by the wish to engage in the just act itself.

The second dynamic – the absence of self-reflection – allows those who have become accustomed to believing that they possess this political advantage from engaging in serious thought about their own moral imperfections or blind spots.

Thusly, many who see themselves – and those they view as their political allies – as upholding progressive values of anti-racism, have become so accustomed to the social benefits this halo effect affords them that they don’t respond well when their moral edifice is challenged.

These dynamics seem quite evident in Michael Tomasky’s post regarding revelations that Nir Rosen found humor in the brutal sexual assault of CBS News Reporter Lara Logan. (CiF, Feb. 17)

While Tomasky correctly points out that another commentator, Debbie Schlussel, also engaged in horribly insensitive remarks about Logan’s horrific ordeal, its in his gross mischaracterization of Rosen’s political views – describing them as merely “controversial” – where the intellectual tick described above is most glaring.

Indeed, Tomasky’s blog posts at the Guardian often show him quite uncomfortable with the notion that those on the political far-left can be as hateful and intolerant as those on the far-right.  He, like many on his end of the political spectrum, seem desperate to hold on to the illusion that progressive thought is inherently resistant to the hatred and bigotry they are so fond of exposing on the right.  Thus, Rosen’s long and well-documented flirtations with political extremism, and rank bigotry, can be whitewashed as merely “controversial”.

Indeed, looking at Rosen’s Tweets, and commentary, suggests the fundamental truth of the axiom that left-wing and right-wing hate are merely flip sides of the same coin.

As we noted in our post yesterday, Rosen’s political leanings demonstrate a palpable animosity towards progressive democracies (like the United States and Israel) and, inversely, an appalling empathy for reactionary terrorist movements.

Just a few of Rosen’s comments along this vein should have long disqualified him as a “progressive” in good standing.  (You can find his Tweets here.)

He Tweeted, on the anniversary of 9/11, that:

“[It’s] hard to disagree with much of the Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan [Taliban] Statement Regarding The Anniversary Of The 9/11 Event.”

He then linked back to the Taliban statement.

Many of his Tweets are given over to expressions of hatred of Israel, and the desire for its destruction. One, which we posted yesterday, refers to Israel’s very existence as a “blight upon the nations”, and in another Tweet he hoped for Israel’s “speedy demise”.

He also openly advocates for violence against Israel, Tweeting:

“Yes to a 3rd Intifada. This time hopefully with the support of the Palestinians citizens of ‘Israel.”

And, there was this Tweet, from December 3rd, 2010:

“On Hannuka, Just think, if only the Greeks had been better at counterinsurgency we wouldn’t have these problems today. Where was Petraeus?”.

As Jeffrey Goldberg noted, “Hanukkah marks the defeat of a Syrian-Greek empire by a Jewish insurgency. If the Greeks had won, the Jews would have been slaughtered.”

In an essay he wrote in 2002, for the radical site Dissident Voice, he said the following:

“I find myself in the unique and painful position of calling for international sanctions against Israel and wondering if a punitive bombing of Tel Aviv, the city I love, until it complies with international law, might be a good (albeit quixotic) idea.”

I don’t know how much clearer the case needs to be.  Those who express sympathy towards Hezbollah and the Taliban and openly wish for the destruction of Israel – even if they’re self-styled “progressives” – aren’t merely “controversial”.

They’re vile racists.

What about that doesn’t Michael Tomasky understand?

(Update: Here are some snapshots of Rosen’s Tweets and Facebook comments quoted above)


Written By
More from Adam Levick
Who’s the most bigoted Guardian or ‘Comment is Free’ contributor?
The Guardian published a relatively humorous April Fool’s story yesterday titled ‘Guardian...
Read More
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *