The Horowitz Hypocrisy
April 26, 2001
I read David Horowitz's response
in Salon magazine explaining why he wasn't paying his bill to Princeton
for running his reparations ad. It might be interesting to know how/why
Horowitz got fixated on the reparations issue as it seems he's the only
one in the world talking about it. It seems odd that he would take a position
against something no one else is advancing or advocating. Additionally,
his position does not come from a scholarly article which has now entered
public discourse but rather from an advertisement placed in several college
newspapers. Horowitz has told us how many colleges refused the ad (39)
but not how many ran it so we don't know how much "public discourse" he
was able to "purchase."
Even though he agreed to pay for the ad as a condition of the Princeton
paper running it, he decided after the ad ran not to honor his
obligation. So that solves the question of who underwrote this endeavor
to heighten a cultural divide over an issue that is non-existent. We don't
need to wonder if Scaife is behind this one as Horowitz is apparently
In his Salon article Horowitz is offended by being called a racist. He
was called that long before the ad was placed. In an effort to understand
if the charge was true I read reviews of his books and other articles
by him. Just look at one of his "arguments" against reparations: that
blacks are playing the victim card, which Horowitz apparently thinks belongs
exclusively to conservatives.
His article in Salon argues his position that conservatives on college
campuses are the victims of the bullies on the left who want to silence
them. It's so odd to read an article by Horowitz and realize that everything
he says about "us" I have said about "them." Which is why it was so easy
for Horowitz to switch sides. Both sides engage in rhetoric for shock
value in an attempt to make a point. At the edges the rhetoric is the
same, only the names are changed. I could never understand why they hated
Clinton so much. Until the recount. Then I found myself hating Bush that
It was interesting today to read the latest debate involving Horowitz.
Seems Paul Weyrich wrote an Easter article blaming the Jews for the crucifixion
of Jesus. It offended my sensibilities and sounded a bit like Horowitz,
raking up some non-issue sure to divide us for no apparent reason and
with no apparent solution short of the one dreamed up by Hitler. I don't
have a horse in this race, being neither Christian nor Jewish, so my take
is not colored by my religious beliefs.
Then it seems Evan Gahr, a conservative commentator, wrote a response
to Weyrich on the American Spectator web site arguing that Weyrich was
an anti-Semite and that talk about Jews killing Jesus is inflammatory
and dangerous. Gahr sent his article to Horowitz's publication, FrontPage
Magazine where he is a regular contributor. It was rejected. The managing
editor denies that there is a double standard when it comes to publishing
criticism of conservatives like Weyrich.
So the new lesson is if the public just won't talk about your boogie
men, make them talk by buying offensive ads in college newspapers (it
was not lost on me that he didn't want this boogie man unleashed to the
world at large by buying ad space in newspapers of general distribution).
Then, when the newspapers say "this is racist" or "this is a non-issue"
you can throw a tantrum, accuse them of censorship, and play the victim
while you accuse them of playing the victim.
Yes. It truly is as silly as it sounds. Horowitz is free to stifle opposing
points of view in his magazine, but he accuses others of
censorship when they dare to disagree with him.
While I agree with Salon's apparent position that Horowitz should not
be censored, we've seen enough of him now to know he should not be taken
seriously. He's engaging in street theater for shock value. Unfortunately,
like Rush, there are some conservatives out there who might take him seriously.
The danger is that conservatives are generally losers who want to blame
someone else for the fact that their Daddy didn't set them up in a business
that would make them a millionaire so they could run for president and
be adored. They will blame blacks. Or women. Or Jews. Horowitz might
have the brain power to think through that, but the proliferation of hate
in our society shows that others don't.