I was just reading through the Alternet site and came to a story about a mock version of the N.Y. Times. Since I read the latter everyday and have done so for decades, that piqued my interest. When I found the Tom Friedman spoof I was hooked. This is a guy that every progressive loves to hate. Full of himself. Believes his own PR. The word bloviate was coined with him in mind. Not to mention that he’s so damn wrong about so many issues because of his rose-colored glasses.
The spoof takes Friedman to task for his support of the Iraq War, but his views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are equally mealy-mouthed and unconvincing (and I’ve written critiques of them).
So below I’ll quote some of the funnier passages. Keep in mind that the premise of the N.Y. Times spoof is that it is July, 2009 and the U.S. has, as it did in Vietnam in 1973, withdrawn from Iraq:
The sudden outbreak of peace in Iraq has made me realize, among other things, one incontestable fact: I have no business holding a pen…I know, you’re thinking I’m going too far. I haven’t always been wrong about everything.
…People like me have no business posing as wise men, and, more importantly, that The New York Times has no business continuing to provide me with a national platform. In any case, I have made a decision: as of today, I will no longer write in this or any other newspaper. I will immediately desist from writing any more books about how it’s time for everyone to climb on board the globalization high-speed monorail to the future. I will keep my opinions to myself. (My wife suggested that I try not to even form opinions…).
I’m not trying to beat myself up here. I’ve done that plenty already, believe me — and my wife has done the rest! But I have one question: why are newspapers like The New York Times letting people like me make fools of themselves, mislead the American people, and, worst of all, give their wives a lifetime of ammunition?
To err is human, but to print, reprint, and re-reprint error-mad humans like me is a criminally moronic editorial policy.
Nor, of course, is it only me. Just consider who populates the opinion pages of America’s top newspapers. Bill Kristol, who was actually hired by The Times long after being proven wrong on Iraq. Charles Krauthammer. Robert Novak…Fred Barnes. The list goes on and on of officially-approved wise men (and a woman or two) who never once doubted that Iraq had vast stockpiles of W.M.D.s…
We were all wrong again and again — and the consequences were devastating. Can anyone tell me why any of us should ever be asked, let alone paid, for our opinions ever again?
Unlike Ehud Olmert’s recent interview in which he conceded the correctness of the last forty years of the anti-Occupation movement’s political analysis, this is the column Friedman should write, but never will. The guy has too much hubris to admit his grievous error.
The DeBeers diamond ad was so chilling I just had to include it here. This is just brilliant political satire worthy of being disseminated far and wide. I immediately thought of David Bloom and his work with Adalah NY to publicize the harmful affects of Lev Leviev’s diamonds on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.