Monday, April 9, 2012

MJ Rosenberg's Attempt To Save Face (Part 2)

This is the second part of our analysis of MJ Rosenberg's departure from Media Matters' and his face saving attempt published in the Huffington Post. If you haven't read the first part please do so now and then come back.

Having established that he still has no idea why so many people don't like him, and continuing to believe that he is disliked for his left-wing political views, Rosenberg launches a no holds barred attack on Alan Dershowitz, whom he clearly blames for his firing resignation.
"Dershowitz, you may recall, joined the effort to "get" Media Matters and me after my 200th (or so) use of the term Israel Firster.In fact, he denounced me in a full page ad that a bunch of GOP operatives, led by William Kristol, took out in the New York Times. That must have cost a hundred thousand dollars or so, demonstrating the importance the right attaches to going after critics of Netanyahu. And preventing the use of the term Israel Firster, which drives them nuts."
So there is a lot to say about this paragraph. Most notably the fact that in one rare moment of insight Rosenberg appears to realize that it's the IF that they don't like and not the left-wing politics. But let's take a look at this full page ad shall we, because that's quite the claim. Dershowitz is quoted in the ad but he isn't talking about MJR specifically, instead talking about Media Matters and Center for American Progress. Of course quite a few other organizations and individuals were quoted in the ad, such as the ADL, Simon Weisenthal Center and AJC. I notice none of those were lambasted by Rosenberg, possibly because he got in trouble a few months ago for (in classic Rosenberg style) picking a fight with the Simon Weisenthal Center. A fight he ended up losing.

But all of that is besides the point. Rosenberg says that Dershowitz took out the ad but that isn't true. The Emergency Committee for Israel did and Dershowitz later distanced himself from the ad. Secondly, if Rosenberg sincerely believes that the ad was taken out because he is a "critic of Netanyahu" he is either more delusional than I thought or more willing to brazenly lie. If the ECI went after every "critic of Netanyahu" they'd be out of money faster than Hamas in a weapons store. And if you don't believe me, there's an easy solution: Read the freaking ad and see if their criticisms of MM and CAP are based upon their political positions vis a vis Netanyahu. But maybe you need to read between the lines. Or with MJ Rosenberg-developed glasses. Let's move on, because he has more lies to spread about Alan Dershowitz.

Sorry for the long copy and paste but all of this is important.

In an interview about the time the ad was published, Dershowitz said that he was both a liberal and a Democrat but that unless Media Matters fired me, he would spread the word against... President Obama (on the grounds that Media Matters is close to the president). His logic
"I don't know whether President Obama has any idea that Media Matters has turned the corner against Israel in this way," Dershowitz said. "I can tell you this: he will know very shortly because I am beginning a serious campaign on this issue and I will not let it drop until and unless Rosenberg is fired from Media Matters, or Media Matters changes its policy or the White House disassociates itself from Media Matters.
I will speak to every Jewish group that invites me, and I think it's fair to say I speak to more Jewish groups than probably any other person in the world. I spoke to over a million Jews over the years. You know, just last Thursday spoke to 1200, just in the next weeks alone I'll be speaking and in the past weeks to thousands of American Jews. And believe me, I will not let them ignore this issue.

If you read coverage of the interview from people other than MJR, Alan Dershowitz makes it clear over and over again that it is not any "position on Israel" that's the problem. It's the use of "Israel firsters" as well as lots of insulting attacks on prominent Jews that comes pouring from Rosenberg's poison pen, and the name of Media Matters that grand them legitimacy. So what Dershowitz did was make it clear that he was going to use his influence to make the Obama administration choose: They could have his support or they could have Rosenberg, but they couldn't have both. And what they chose was Dershowitz and the Jewish people's support. I find it highly unlikely that Rosenberg was fired, but I also find it highly unlikely that he wasn't pressured to leave at least a little bit, especially after he made a claim way back when that Media Matters was "standing by him."

But because MJ Rosenberg only has a hammer, this thing with Alan Dershowitz of course looks like a nail, so he hammers it:
"Think about it. Dershowitz says he is a liberal and a Democrat but would oppose a Democratic president (with whom he agrees on domestic American issues) because that president may be close to an organization that employed a staffer who opposes policies of the Israeli government....In other words, the well-being of every American matters less to Dershowitz than one critic of Israeli policies....What is that definition of Israel Firster again?"
I don't mind proving Mr. Rosenberg wrong, but I do mind repeating myself and the fact that he is making me do it so often is very annoying. Let me simply remind you of the following:
1. Dershowitz is not opposing a Democratic president. He made Media Matters a campaign issue and it worked.
2. The problem with Rosenberg is not his "opposition to policies," but his use of endlessly anti-Semitic smears.
3. The accusation of "Israel firster" used yet again after Rosenberg said he wouldn't it any more, but has used it multiple times in this article alone.

How typical. A large chunk of the rest of the article is just random Dershowitz-bashing:
"But Dershowitz is far from alone. In fact, he is not very important."
LOL of course he isn't MJ. That's why he won and you lost. Rosenberg has been going after Dershowitz for liking Israel too much for years now, always predicting his inevitable downfall and that American Jews would turn against him. So far, no luck, but maybe in the future. One thing I'm reasonably sure is that Dershowitz will be remembered long after any of us have faded into history, no matter how much Rosenberg hates him. But his hate for Dershowitz is nothing compared to that of AIPAC:
"The serious enforcers who suppress any criticism of Israeli policies and who are also implicated in fomenting Islamo-hatred in this country (remember the New York mosque controversy) is the lobby, led by AIPAC but whose less savory work is carried out by its allies, paid and unpaid. AIPAC confines itself to keeping the president and Congress in line by the selective use of campaign contributions.The dirty work is done by others."
Yep. Media Matters may have distanced itself from Rosenberg's love of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and tropes, but the Huffington Post did not and will not. They love that kind of thing. And it looks like we will be seeing more of MJ Rosenberg in the future, though without his fancy bio under his name. One can't help but wonder if this development will make him more extreme, or less. Only time will tell, I suppose.

1 comment:

  1. Well Rosenberg can join hands with Norm Finkelstein, and they both can reminisce how Dershowitz stole their prestige.


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