September 18, 2012

In Covering Reax to Dowd’s ‘Neocon’ Rant, Politico’s Byers Buries Obama Campaign’s Supportive Tweet in Last Sentence

Call it “Politico Protection.”

Clay Waters at NewsBusters has already exposed the passive-aggressive anti-Semitism in Maureen Dowd’s Sunday rant (“Neocons Slither Back”) at the New York Times. So did Politico’s Dylan Byers, who nonetheless thought that the Obama campaign’s tweet supporting Dowd’s column via its “Truth Team” (and, by inference,their  endorsement of her “neocon puppet master” premise) was so unimportant that he didn’t mention it until his final paragraph. Excerpts from Byers weakly headlined item follow (HT Twitchy):

Maureen Dowd meets anti-Semitism charge

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd set the Jewish political community on fire today with a column about the Republican ticket’s foreign policy proposals that, according to her critics, peddled anti-Semitic imagery.

Dowd fairly observed that neither Mitt Romney nor Paul Ryan are experts in the field of foreign policy, but asserted their strategy was orchestrated by a “neocon puppet master” who was leading the neocon effort to “slither back” into power.

Let’s stop there for a moment, merely to observe what the so-called “experts” in the White House and at Hillary Clinton’s State Department have wrought during the past week, namely four dozen places where anti-American “protests” and worse — yes, anti-American, not “anti-film” — broke out and in many cases persist. One could also argue that the endlessly repeated end-zone dancing about how “bin Laden is dead, and GM is alive” at the Democratic National Convention the week before — the partisan home of these so-called “experts” who now conveniently claim that it was all about a pathetic 14-minute YouTube vid — was a motivating and possibly contributing factor.

Continuing with Byers (links are in original):

Such language, to say nothing of the questionable legitimacy of her claims, struck experts on American-Israeli relations as an inappropriate (though perhaps unintentional) appeal to anti-Semitic stereotypes, and especially offensive ahead of the first night of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.

“Dowd’s use of anti-Semitic imagery is awful,” Steven A. Cook, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote on Twitter.

“Maureen may not know this, but she is peddling an old stereotype, that gentile leaders are dolts unable to resist the machinations and manipulations of clever and snake-like Jews,” Jeffrey Goldberg, the Atlantic columnist and leading journalist on Israeli issues, wrote.

(final paragraph — Ed.) The Obama campaign, which tweeted a link to Dowd’s column on Sunday afternoon with the message, “Why Romney and Ryan’s foreign policy sounds ‘ominously familiar,’ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

There’s an odd standard. What the “Truth Team” tweeted isn’t really important or particularly newsworthy unless and until you can get a comment out of them. Sure, Dylan; don’t sit by the computer waiting for your “comment.”

As the folks at Twitchy noted: “This, of course, is coming from the team of a man who has no time to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, what with all his Vegas trips and all.” But’s it’s final-graf material at Politico.

Jonah Goldberg had an “Honest Q for Politico. If Romney campaign tweeted out pat buchanan column denounced by Jews, would you put that in last graf?” No, it would become an obsession.

I like Doug Ross’s spot-on reax at the Truth Team’s tweet:  ”Is it (the supposed return of neocons) as ominously familiar as the sound of US diplomats being slaughtered thanks to feckless leadership?” Much less, I’m afraid, which could partially explain why Byers buried the Obama campaign’s crass and revealing opportunism.

Cross-posted at


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