Explaining this properly requires a book-length essay.
August 13 (my grandmother's birthday)
Ape House, National Zoo
little has been reported about the squabble among conservatives over
right-wing icon Paul Weyrich's talking the same talk that put Charlie
Ward of the Knicks on the hot plate.
As you surely must know by now, Ward is a New Testament man who went
back into the old charge that the Jews killed Christ. After that got on
the front pages, there were some behind-the-scenes movements to make
sure we didn't find ourselves in the middle of another moment of
hysteria in which Jews were accused of attacking another black man.
The point was to get Ward to back up to at least Vatican II and
renounce language that has been a staple of anti-Semitic types for
As for Weyrich, this gentle Christian recently published that very
same "Jews killed Christ" charge on his Web site. This was exposed by
conservative columnist and investigative reporter Evan Gahr. Gahr was
promptly attacked and painted as "a publicity hound" by conservative
gadfly David Horowitz, whose own most recent claim to publicity has been
his buying ads in college newspapers to argue against the idea of
reparations for American slavery.
In another twist of the knife, Gahr was informed yesterday that he
would soon be relieved of his position at the Hudson Institute, a
conservative think tank.
That this story has not made much of a showing in the ongoing press
discussion of identity as determined by public - or private - statements
is more than a bit interesting, particularly in light of the coverage
Ward got for much the same thing. It surely proves there's no liberal
press bias against the conservatives.
After all, the so-called liberal press let off Senate Majority Leader
Trent Lott (R-Miss.) despite plenty of proof showing his connection to
the Council of Conservative Citizens, more than a few of whose members
consider black people innately inferior to whites. No black politician
connected to a group with the opposite view would have gotten away with
it. Imagine, for example, if Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice had ever
praised the ideas of the Nation of Islam.
But if the mainstream press isn't paying attention to Gahr, the right
wing certainly is. In fact, he is being treated much the same way that
Washington Post reporter Milton Coleman was when he reported the
Hymietown comment that boiled Jesse Jackson in charges of anti-Semitism
for a few years. No one has promised to "deliver death" to Gahr as Louis
Farrakhan did to Coleman. But Gahr has definitely been stripped of his
The irony is that if he had looked the other way and ignored
Weyrich's anti-Semitic remarks, Gahr would be quite safe now. But
dissension in the ranks is a crime among hard-core ideologues, from the
far right to the far left.