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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Avoiding the obvious:

Dinesh D'Sousa writes in the Washington Post and defends himself against charges that his most recent book, "The Enemy at Home", is a dishonest attempt to vilify "the left". After listing the many, many harsh criticism of the book, D'Sousa writes: (emp add)
So why has "The Enemy at Home" been so intemperately excoriated? I can imagine only two reasons. The first is given by James Wolcott himself. I am not, as he says, an unqualified right-wing hack. Rather, I am a scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, so Wolcott fears that I will be taken seriously.

The second reason can be gleaned from the common theme in the reviews: that mine is a dangerous book. But if a book says things that are obviously untrue and can be disproved, then it is not dangerous -- it is merely fiction and should be ignored. A book is dangerous only if it exposes something in the culture that some people are eager to keep hidden.
As to the first reason, yes, people are concerned that D'Sousa be taken seriously. We should all be worried that a crackpot might be taken seriously, especially if that person is trying to initiate hostilities (as opposed to a harmless UFO-fanatic).

But D'Sousa errs when he says "if a book says things that are obviously untrue ... then it is not dangerous". One such book that was "obviously untrue" and very "dangerous" was this:
Since D'Sousa's book peddles falsehoods and illogic in order to divide the nation and to attack an innocent group, just like the Protocols did, it's not a surprise that he fails to see that it's dangerous. Well, actually, D'Sousa knows that his book is dangerous, and he's merely pretending to be innocent about the impact of "obviously untrue" books. He's a scholar at the Hoover Institution, as he takes pains to point out.

ADDENDUM: Why is D'Sousa, somebody whose reasoning is simplistic and often wrong, given a prominent forum in the Washington Post? I've read better offhand comments in blogs (on the right and left).



12 comments

If D'Sousa criticism is obviously untrue and can be disproved, why does he feel the need to respond?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/28/2007 7:54 AM  

Lies and untruths are easy to disprove. Half-truths and omitted truths are more difficult to correct.

One must also deal with the right-wing MO: a lie repeated often enough, becomes true.

By Anonymous Rockie the Dog, at 1/28/2007 8:11 AM  

Seeing Jon Stewert Mop the floor with his ass, was a real treat

By Blogger DAV, at 1/28/2007 8:29 AM  

The entire premise of D'Souza's op-ed is false. He begins by listing 7 supposedly left-liberal critics of The Enemy at Home, & argues that their reaction reflects their partisan fear of his dangerous (to them) truths. He imagines that pointing out their (alleged) motives can substitute for sddressing their arguments.

But the revulsion against him crosses partisan lines. For whatever reasons, many conservative reviews of book have been as hostile as the "liberal" ones. His self-absolving rationalization fails to acknowledge that simple fact. Better to pretend that the only people who've criticized him are the ideological bad guys.

In many ways, the Washington Post has become a bad newspaper.

By Anonymous K, at 1/28/2007 11:20 AM  

You must go read the comments on the article in the Post. (Scroll down to post a comment, and click on "View all comments".) The left is alive and well and making DD a new one.

By Blogger truth, at 1/28/2007 11:41 AM  

Geez - "if you don't like it, it must be true" is a line of reasoning I used to make, but I stopped, you know, when I was about 12.

And this is the intellectual wing of the conservative movement?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/28/2007 11:55 AM  

He was given a spot on NPR friday to tell everyone why Iraq was not Vietnam ,and winnable, and attack the left.

When the host read the promo for his book, I made a solumn promise never to give another god damn cent to them ever again. What in holy hell is wrong with people?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/28/2007 3:45 PM  

If you want a real treat, you should hear Thom Hartmann tearing D'Sousa a new one. Mr. Harmann is D'Sousa intellectual superior in so many ways.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/28/2007 3:49 PM  

I read this Sunday going, WTF is this guy doing here? I love how he completely minimizes Colbert mopping of the floor with him.

Boy, he couldn't wait to throw in Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan and Howard Zinn as the typical wingnut boogymen to try to make his stumbling point.

In may ways k, the Post has been crap for a long while.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/30/2007 12:15 PM  

davecho says it is too bad you people don't get off your butt and investigate the truth instead of relying on talking points. When this country has become like Europe (a total disaster) and Russia, then you can explain it to your kids and grandkids that you supported this government control over your lives.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/09/2007 7:46 AM  

Keith doesn't need surrogate name to see this blog is obviously neither open minded nor articulate enough to provide critical analysis of Dinesh D'Sousa or anyone else. Responses indicate if your not Liberal,your wrong. What D'Sousa did to Christopher Hitchins on CSpan tonight clearly out of touch & biased, as are readers comments. So much for meaningful dialogue.

By Anonymous Keith, at 10/27/2007 9:40 PM  

It's amazing how liberals continue to think the same way decade after decade...even though time shows them wrong repeatedly.You people can disagree with Dinesh all you want, but to say anyone "wiped the floor" with him is just a plain stupid comment....oh wait....I AM talking to liberals.....Never mind!

By Anonymous Dr. B, at 11/25/2007 6:55 AM  

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