Many conservative and even centrist media figures ... attack[...] liberal bloggers for alleged anti-Semitism in their opposition to the senatorial candidacy of Joe Lieberman or for providing space on their blogs where anti-Semites and other lunatics occasionally post comments, until they are noticed, taken down, and condemned. When an instance of this occurred on the Web site of the liberal organization MoveOn.org, one writer, Marshall Wittmann (now Lieberman's spokesman), asked, "The question is why Democratic leaders continue to collude with the anti-Semitic appeasing left." Actually it's not such a tough question to answer, and a blogger responded immediately: in this context, "collude" means that Democratic leaders work with people who run a Web site on which some readers have posted some allegedly anti-Semitic material. Wittmann, in contrast, worked directly for the extremist anti-Semite Pat Robertson as he was in the process of disseminating the familiar ideology of the far right: a conspiracy theory blaming wars and revolutions on a secret cabal of Jewish bankers, Freemasons, Illuminati, atheists, and internationalists. Wittman's complaint was nevertheless picked up by William Kristol on the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the Washington Times, and all over the right-wing media blogosphere, and yet, strangely, no one thought to point out the irony. (In fact, the entire extent of the offense on MoveOn's part was to have a bulletin board where anyone could post; as soon as the offending comments were discovered, they were immediately removed.)For more on Alterman's book, see the hour long discussion below from Alterman on the subject.
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