We Need to Be Who We Can Be–and That Means We Need to Not Listen to the LIkes of Thomas Friedman and Richard Cohen

Adam Serwer asks:>TAPPED Archive: I think Paul Campos’ response to the shooting at the Holocaust Memorial Museum yesterday is worth pondering…. Michelle Malkin wrote an entire book defending the internment on the basis of race in the case of Japanese internment during World War II. Cliff May argued that torture is justified against Muslims because they’re Muslim. Republicans have opposed the transfer of terrorists to American prisons on the grounds that our prison facilities might not be able to hold them, and Ed Morrisey is apparently planning his vacation around avoiding the recently relocated Chinese Uighurs. Imagine what attempting to close Gitmo, banning torture, or even withdrawing from Iraq would look like in the aftermath of three attacks perpetrated by Muslim rather than right-wing extremists. Campos’ post implies an unsettling question. How much of the call for “extraordinary measures” in fighting terrorism has to do with the unique challenges of fighting global terrorism, and how much of it has to do with an irrational, orientalist fear of all things Arab and Muslim?Duncan Black answers:>Eschaton: To answer Adam’s question, much of our response to terrorism has been based on irrational fear of The Other. Though there was no justification, our response to terrorism included invading Iraq. We did that because Thomas Friedman thought some brown people needed to “suck on this,” and because Richard Cohen thought violence would provide him with needed therapy. We should never forget that these people are racist monsters whose personal psychodramas could only be soothed by the indiscriminate killing of people they obviously do not see as human.The fact that the *New York Times* and the *Washington Post* continue to believe that the likes of Thomas Friedman and Richard Cohen are people who need prominent platforms in our national discussions is perhaps the biggest reason why it would be a good thing to greatly diminish the size of the megaphones that arethe *New York Times* and the *Washington Post*.Why oh why can’t we have a better press corps?

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