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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review February 10, 2010 / 26 Shevat 5770

Frank Rich and the State of Liberal Commentary

By Dennis Prager





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If one had to read one columnist to appreciate the state of contemporary left-wing commentary, my nomination would be Frank Rich of the Sunday New York Times.

No well-known leftist columnist better exemplifies the worst aspects of today's left. Virtually every piece is filled with anger, filled with ad hominem responses to arguments, filled with insults of opponents and at the same time devoid of intellectual arguments. A Frank Rich column is essentially a weekly tantrum meant to make his readers nod in agreement and reinforce their contempt for those who differ with them.

I offer this past Sunday's column as an example.

The subject was the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding gays in the military.

Not a single serious argument of proponents of DADT was cited, nor did Rich did offer a single argument on behalf of repealing it. Instead, the article was a smear of all supporters of that policy or of retaining the male-female definition of marriage. The article contains 71 sentences. Twelve sentences contained an insult. I suspect that Times readers who love his columns — this was listed as the second most e-mailed piece in the New York Times — are generally people who read Frank Rich so as to have their hatreds reinforced, not for cogent arguments.

The article's title is, appropriately, an insult: "Smoke the Bigots Out of the Closet."

It is commonplace for liberals and leftists to avoid refuting conservative arguments and just dismiss the conservative with one of seven epithets: "Racist," "Bigoted," "Sexist," "Intolerant," and the three phobias: "Homophobic," Xenophobic," "Islamaphobic."

Such ad hominem dismissals of conservatives and their arguments testify to the shallowness of those using these terms, meaning, unfortunately, most mainstream commentators and spokesmen on the left. The fact is that epithets substitute for thought — and at the same time render it easy to write a left-wing column. It is the Frank Rich Formula: make believe the other side has no thoughtful argument, offer no argument of your own and debase your opponents.

Some examples from just this one column:

RICH: "… there is now little political advantage to spewing homophobia."

RICH: (CNN allowed conservative spokesmen to express) "old homophobic cliches."

RICH: "Such arguments … are mere fig leaves to disguise the phobia that can no longer dare speak its name. … (T)he flimsy rhetorical camouflage must be stripped away to expose the prejudice that lies beneath."

RICH: "Those opposing same-sex marriage are just as eager to mask their bigotry."

RICH: "The more bigotry pushed out of the closet for all voters to see …"


Letter from JWR publisher


RICH: "… the deep prejudice at the root of their (Republicans') arguments."

Here are the usual charges of "homophobia," "prejudice," and "bigotry."

But also note "spewing" because Rich almost never describes conservatives as speaking normally: In this column alone, they "spew," Sen. Orrin Hatch "vamped" and John McCain "huffed," "fulminated" and was "yapping." No conservative "says," or "claims" or "argues." Conservatives spew, vamp, huff, fulminate and yap. Do Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Thomas Sowell or any other conservative commentators meant to be taken as seriously as the left takes Rich use such verbs to describe the speech of prominent liberals? I doubt it. The gulf in depth of thought and sophistication of expression between Frank Rich and virtually every mainstream conservative columnist is enormous.

(I did a 30-day search of the words "spew" and "spewed" on the Washington Post and New York Times websites, and every single time they were used, it was by a liberal writer talking about conservatives.)

RICH: (Conservatives who oppose repeal of DODT are) "attack dogs."

RICH: (McCain is) "the crazy man in Washington's attic."

Rich also called McCain "unpatriotic" in his previous column — a particularly ugly charge given McCain's heroic sacrifices for America.

RICH: "Karl Rove and George W. Bush ran a national campaign (in 2004) exploiting fear of gay people …"

Rich provided no example. For good reason. Bush did not run "a national campaign exploiting fear of gay people" in 2004 (or any other year). What Bush called for in 2004 was a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. In fact, Bush took his own party to task for not supporting civil unions for same-sex couples. It is mendacity — indeed it is a smear — to label what Bush advocated "a national campaign exploiting fear of gay people." But to Rich and his supporters anyone — anyone — who thinks marriage should be defined as the union of a man and a woman is a fear-mongering bigot.

RICH: "Now that explicit anti-gay animus is an albatross, those who oppose gay civil rights are driven to invent ever loopier rationales for denying those rights, whether in the military or in marriage."

RICH: "The arguments for preserving 'don't ask' have long been blatantly groundless."

Where is this mainstream conservative "explicit anti-gay animus?" And why are the arguments that gays in a military unit may fall in love with one another (or with a straight person) or that for the same reason — sexual tension — that we do not have men and women in the same units, showering and sleeping together, we might not deem it a good idea to have sexual tension in an all-men's unit — why are these arguments "loopy" and "groundless"? This conservative columnist and talk show host does not find liberal arguments for admitting open gays into the military either loopy or groundless. But contrary to the left's self-image, conservatives are far more likely to acknowledge two sides to this and so many other issues.

The truth is that it is Frank Rich who spews, fulminates, yaps and huffs. Every Sunday in the New York Times. His column is idea-free, but his readers want catharsis, not ideas.

JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. Click here to comment on this column.


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