Continuing a mini-trend at the New York Times of downplaying Holocaust denial among Middle East leaders, Thursday morning brings this headline to a Page 5 story regarding the latest anti-Semitic rantings of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "Iran's President Clarifies His Stand on Holocaust: It's a European Myth" The Iranian leader called the Holocaust a "myth" used by Europeans to create a Jewish state.In contrast, the Washington Post gives the outburst much stronger play, with a story from one of its own foreign service reporters, not just using AP copy as the Times does. The Post also places the story on the front page, accompanied by a solid headline: "Iran's President Calls Holocaust 'Myth' in Latest Assault on Jews."While the Times isn't particularly interested in the blunt anti-Semitism of Middle East leaders (like Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, another Holocaust denier), one rather paranoid editorial writer is quite worried about what he sees as anti-Semitism among defenders of Christmas here in the United States -- including talk show host Bill O'Reilly.In a story hidden behind the TimesSelect firewall, editorialist Adam Cohen again wins the prize for most easily freaked-out person in the room. (His online-only "Talking Points" piece is a web-friendly expanded revamp of his signed editorial on December 4). Just as he did then, Cohen accuses Christmas defenders of hiding theocratic impulses, and adds anti-Semitism to the mix.
"The Christmas 'defense' movement is starting to be openly anti-Semitic. The two people Mr. O'Reilly has demonized the most frequently on the issue are Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's 'The Daily Show,' and George Soros, the billionaire financier whom O'Reilly has called the 'moneyman' behind the anti-Christmas movement. The New York Post, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation -- the same company that owns Fox News -- recently put a story on its front page under the headline 'Treeson' about a Jewish town supervisor from Long Island who tried to keep Christian prayers out of a government-sponsored tree-lighting ceremony. Charges that Jews are behind the 'War on Christmas' are beginning to be made directly."
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