When I did my September 7 post noting that New Republic editor in chief Martin Peretz thinks Muslims are indifferent to human life and therefore unworthy of first amendment protection, I didn’t expect anything to come of it. For years it’s bothered me that a well-respected DC publication that employs a number of skilled journalists has a bigot at the top of its masthead. But my experience has been that pointing this out has done far more to prompt journalists to get annoyed at me than to get annoyed at Peretz or his employees. Basically it’s considered rude to draw attention to the guy, or to the noxious sentiments that appear to drive his views on a variety of international issues.
But rather than being ignored, the Peretz remarks in question have prompted a prominent mention in a very good Nick Kristof column and also a smart followup from James Fallows.
It’s worth noting that this is hardly the only instance of such problematic commentary. The Peretz Dossier blog does a good job of illustrating that Peretz is deeply immersed in broad expressions of hostility to Arabs and Muslims as well as deeply committed to denying the legitimacy of Palestinian claims to nationhood.