Tuesday, January 14, 2003
A question of bravery: New York Times editorial page columnists have, since the inception of President George Bush's administration, taken a certain pride in taking "brave" and "honorable" stands against a popular president -- especially since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Everyone's favorite columnist, Paul Krugman, recently told the German newspaper that he is "the solitary voice of the truth in a sea of corruption. Sometimes I think that I land (laugh) a day in one of these cages in Guantanamo Bay. But I can ask always yet in the Federal Republic for asylum. I hope, you take me in the emergency up."
That's right, an allegedly intelligent man actually seems to think that he is some sort of modern day Cassandra standing alone against the evil tyranny of the Bush administration. Krugman also seems to think that he's got some corner on the "truth."
Of course, this brings us to Krugman's colleague, Nicholas Kristof, who does occasionally do some good reporting, and his column in today's Times on North Korea.
Leaving aside Kristof's foreign policy suggestions (he advocates engagement with North Korea, much like what we have with China -- "If we exchange embassies and expand trade and other exchanges, the isolation and totalitarianism there will be unsustainable, and North Korea in time will either collapse or reform and open up as China did..." -- I'd ask Christians, the Falun Gong and others if their lot is better now), like Krugman, Kristof uses any opportunity to take a cheap shot at a class of people he's probably never met.
So how can we undermine North Korean propaganda and totalitarianism? By imposing sanctions and increasing its isolation? Or by engaging it and tying it to the global economy?
The answer should be obvious, for there is no greater subversive in a Communist country than an American factory manager. People will hear stories from his housemaid's third cousin's neighbor's friend about how he has five pairs of blue jeans (!), a beer belly (!), blows his nose on tissues that he then throws away (!), and reads a Bible (!) and Playboy magazine (!!). Many a Communist will immediately begin dreaming of capitalism.
Krugman was one of the first to start it when he popularized the trend of using Attorney General John Ashcroft's name as a synonym for Bigfoot, Big Brother and Josef Stalin all wrapped up in one.
Now, I don't really count Kristof's little jab as a serious slam against Christianity -- but it's one of those little things that I think is indicative of many in the liberal media. A little jab at the Christians is OK, and maybe even the Jews (those Israelis being so pesky and all), but a similar skewering of blacks, Latinos, gays, women? I seriously doubt would have made it past the Times copy editors -- if doing it had crossed Kristof's mind in the first place.
But, getting back to the bravery theme -- Kristof would have demonstrated some serious cajones had he replaced the Bible with the Koran.
Those Christians don't offer death threats at the slightest offense, but if you want to demonstrate some bravery -- slam Islam. You can bet CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper would be on an immediate "crusade."