As Jamie notes, having now discovered the Chas Freeman story, the New York Times and Washington Post news sections are focusing not on how the pick was made, why he wasn’t vetted, whether Admiral Blair was duped, or on any other aspect of the Obama administration’s debacle. What excites them is explaining why all the Jews opposed the pick. No, really.
We almost filled a high-level security position with a man who thinks the responsibility for 9-11 goes both ways. We nearly gave classified information to someone who thinks Jews control all debate in America. But the story, according to those papers, isn’t about Freeman. Or Blair. Or the White House. It’s about the Jews.
Neither paper seems aware of Nancy Pelosi’s role. Neither mentions the letter from eighty-seven Chinese dissidents. Neither cites Freeman’s affectionate quotes about Mao or King Abdullah, nor his sympathy for the crackdown in Tienanmen Square.
Freeman was so obviously a “crackpot,” as multiple editorial boards have now discovered, that it is shocking Blair picked and defended him. The effort to turn the table on Freeman’s critics only works if the public remains ignorant of just how vile Freeman’s words were.
Walter Pincus’s tale in the Washington Post is especially noteworthy. While reciting the names of several Jewish bloggers who wrote critically of Freeman, he assumes — without interviewing them or quoting any of their work — that they were motivated solely because of Israel or some nefarious direction from former AIPAC lobbyist Steve Rosen. You see, Jews don’t have opinions or motivations apart from those connected to Israel. (And he omits mention of the Reason bloggers because they don’t really fit the profile of neocon Jews.) But Pincus can’t entirely conceal a glaring fact: this story raged for weeks with nary a word from him.
And for the real story — how a nominee this temperamentally ill-suited and intellectually warped would have gotten the nod — I suspect we will have to turn to other publications.