Thursday, October 09, 2014

How Adorable

QUEENBOBO_SM


There is some dispute within the upper tier of  NYT management over whether or not David Brooks should have mentioned at some point during his many, many columns on war, peace, Israel and American Middle East and military policy that his son is a soldier in the Israeli army:
Should David Brooks Disclose His Son’s Israeli Military Service?

By MARGARET SULLIVAN OCTOBER 8, 2014 12:01

Columnists play by different rules than news reporters. By definition, they express their opinions. Columnists also, appropriately, get a lot of leeway in what they write and how they write it.

Having acknowledged that, I nevertheless understand the complaints of those readers who are bothered by something they have recently learned about David Brooks: his son is a member of the Israel Defense Forces. In a recent Hebrew-language interview in Haaretz magazine, Mr. Brooks was asked about his worries as a father. The article noted that the columnist’s “connection to Israel was always strong.” It continued:

“He has visited Israel almost every year since 1991, and over the past months the connection has grown even stronger, after his oldest son, aged 23, decided to join the Israel Defense Forces as a ‘lone soldier.’ ” (The reference is to a soldier whose family is not living in Israel.)

Mr. Brooks described the situation as “worrying.” He added: “But every Israeli parent understands this is what the circumstances require. Beyond that, I think children need to take risks after they leave university, and that they need to do something difficult that involves going beyond their personal limits. Serving in the I.D.F. embodies all of these elements. I couldn’t advise others to do it without acknowledging it’s true for my own family.’”

Since then, readers have told me of their concerns.

Robert Eldridge of Toronto wrote as follows: “I am outraged to learn that David Brooks’s son is a foreign mercenary in the Israel Defense Force. Surely given Brooks’s facile defense of Israeli actions in the Gaza Conflict and his derogation of Muslim jihadists, this information should have been prominently disclosed.”

I’ve heard from many others who have expressed similar sentiments...

I asked Andrew Rosenthal, the editorial page editor who supervises Mr. Brooks, to address the issue. He wrote:
I do not think he ever had an obligation to say that his son made this choice, any more than if his son had joined the U.S. Air Force (although I recognize that Israel is more controversial in some people’s minds)...
...
Actually, the original story in the Israeli press was commended to my attention almost immediately after the portion in question was available in an English translation ( and s few times since.)

And my reaction was, in a word, "meh".

Yeah, sure, the sentence where Mr, Brooks self-identifies not as as American but as an "Israeli" -- 'Mr. Brooks described the situation as “worrying.” He added: “But every Israeli parent understands this is what the circumstances require.'-- jumped  out at me.

But honestly, given the fact that Mr. Brooks record of unapologetic bullshit, ham-fisted revisionism and baldfaced lying is already so rich and replete and given the fact that it has already gone so conspicuously unremarked on by his peers and employers for so long, for me, the whole idea that David Brooks will ever be held to account for anything he says or does has long since passed so deeply into the Land of Ludicrously Improbably Things that I barely even think about it any more.

8 comments:

Redhand said...

[Abe Rosenthal] I do not think he ever had an obligation to say that his son made this choice, any more than if his son had joined the U.S. Air Force (although I recognize that Israel is more controversial in some people’s minds)...

It's like Israel is the 51st State, and the son joined the State National Guard. Unbelievable.

As for DFB, and his apparent self identification as "an Israeli parent," it makes me wonder whether if he just might be a dual citizen. Of course, given Abe's mindset, that wouldn't have to be disclosed either by a NYT columnist.

Robt said...

What does the title picture of Ann Coulter in drag have to do with your subject matter?

Horace Boothroyd III said...

What!?!

Now, I'm not the kind of guy to leap to the conclusion that every scientist is proven corrupt and unreliable just because a few of them work for Monsanto developing deadly frankenfoods.

I do, however, and call me crazy in love, suspect that this is the kind of information that ought to be available - at least without too much of a search burden - to people who might be tempted to take Brooks at face value.

Kathleen said...

"Beyond that, I think children need to take risks after they leave university, and that they need to do something difficult that involves going beyond their personal limits. Serving in the I.D.F. embodies all of these elements. I couldn’t advise others to do it without acknowledging it’s true for my own family.’”

And what "difficult thing", pray tell, did Mr. Brooks do that involved going beyond his "personal limits"? Visit the salad bar at Applebees? I'm with you, DG. Meh. Why should anyone who has paid attention to NYT/Brooks be surprised. But for some reason the quotation above stuck in my craw, though again, it's a case of "same as it ever was".
My brother and I are trying to figure out a way to make money by doing nothing. Brooks has a lock on that grift.

Jason Salvo said...

I think disclosure of the information should be required when DFB writes about Israel, but the media as a whole is so lax about disclosure nowadays, there is no point in getting riled up about it...

Hell, lobbyists come on a TV show, argue for the position that someone is paying them to lobby for, with them being identified on-screen as an "activist". This is no longer a scandal, so why should DFB Jr joining the IDF while DFB Sr writes about how awesome the IDF is a scandal?

Dan said...

Disclosure should involve some honest attempt at saying some fact or event exists so there it is for the reader to judge objectivity.
Butthole is as butthole does

Anonymous said...

If BoBo feels his son needs to take risks and do something beyond his personal limits, why didn't he join the forces of the United States, especially when they fight the wars BoBo so enthusiastically pushed on the rest of America's sons?

The conflict of interest on BoBo's part is bad enough. I think this is worse.

mark1147 said...

And what "difficult thing", pray tell, did Mr. Brooks do that involved going beyond his "personal limits"?

I'd love to hear his answer, I bet it's a doozy.

Til then, I can only conclude it's that he spawned.