As I’ve looked over the reams of blog posts about the Journolist “controversy” (just Google the name if you’re unfamiliar with it) one thing keeps standing out: the conservative obsession with all the Jews on the list.
From the American Spectator to Free Republic, there’s an underlying conservative obsession with the Jews running Journolist, and therefore the media. The Bookworm post I linked above goes into further detail:
What’s also disturbing for me about the Journolist is the fact that so many of its members have Jewish names. You’ll notice my careful phrasing there. I don’t know if they’re actually Jewish or not. I don’t know if those who are Jewish actually practice the religion. And of those who practice the religion, I don’t know whether they practice the religion in a way that has traditional religious resonance, or is just the Jewish liberal bow to Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and the Sabbath candles. As to the latter group, assuming it existed on the Journolist, it’s easy to claim religion when you just go through the rituals. It’s a little harder when you try to align your Torah with the Democratic handbook and the Alinsky rules for living.
Look at all the Jews! Well, I don’t know how many of them are real Jews and how many are Jew-blood infiltrators. Either way, though…Jews.
Instapundit, of course, links to this, but focuses on the fact that Journolist is somehow composed of Jew-hating Jews who really like Oliver Stone, because of all their anti-Jew Jewishness.
There should be something said in all this coverage about the conservative response to what they consider a Jewish-run media (particularly given that Oliver Stone decried the same thing). How can conservatives traffic in a century-old anti-Semitic myth dating from the time of Henry Ford while simultaneously claiming to fight anti-Semitism?
Part of it is that a certain (and prevailing) conservative definition of anti-Semitism begins and ends with criticism of Israel – and by begins, I mean, begins at the point that you disagree with them in any way about Israel, American foreign policy towards Israel, or the particular shade of blue on the Israeli flag. The other part of it is that this same definition of anti-Semitism is often itself inherently anti-Semitic. As we see with the Journolist theories, it’s perfectly fine to theorize about secret cabals of powerful Jews out to pervert good Christian morals…so long as you can lump in a few other Jewish people and say that your Jewish conspiracy is actually aimed at your preferred set of chosen people.
The most important lesson to come from Journolist isn’t that a few hundred liberals talked to each other over e-mail. It’s that this simple and otherwise routine act of people in a given field discussing related issues with each other has taken on the specter of a religiously-motivated conspiracy to do…something evil, although we’re not quite sure what.