Touchy Touchy

Jon Chait is a little bit miffed:

I think I need to work on my writing skills. Last week I wrote a blog post expressing some skepticism about Israel’s incursion into Gaza. Matthew Yglesias then wrote a post painting me as a bloodthirsty warmonger (“Jon Chait had a post the other day explaining that the kind of bloodshed and suffering the Israelis are afflicting is okay”) — a characterization I disputed. Then yesterday I wrote another post expressing skepticism about sending ground forces into Gaza. (“Bottom line: A ground assault looks like it will bring marginally greater benefits but massively higher costs.”) Now Yglesias follows up with a post again describing me as a supporter of the operation (I’m described as one of three “fans of this attack.”)

I guess, despite my stated objections, I’ve been forcibly conscripted into support for the Gaza incursion.

I like Jon Chait, and obviously he has a point. But then, that’s probably the price you pay for writing in the same space as Mart Peretz. Chait is a good, and fairly prominent, writer, so I have a hard time imagining it would be all that difficult for him to find another very good job were he to resign from TNR in protest of Peretz’s rank racism. But then, Chait has a record of actively defending Marty’s obvious bigotry. Maybe that’s an unfair standard, but I sort of doubt it. If someone was asserting that submitting a piece on race to American Renaissance raised questions about whether or not you were sympathetic to white supremacists, I don’t think that would be viewed as all that unusual or unfair. So by the same token, anyone writing about Israel and Palestine in The New Republic without explicitly condemning the views held by Peretz is going to be assumed to share his bigotry to one degree or another. If they don’t like it, they ought to condemn Marty, find another outlet to write for, or both.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Tags: , ,