Chris Accusing WH of Anti-Semitism in Criticism of NY Times?

As fellow NewsBuster Mithridate Ombud noted today, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll has flatly accused the Bush administration of anti-Semitism in its criticism of The New York Times for its latest leak of an anti-terror program. Claimed Carroll:

"The Times is a good target... Also, the name of the New York Times contains the word 'New York.' Many members of the president's base consider 'New York' to be a nifty code word for 'Jewish.' It is very nice for the president to be able to campaign against the Jews without (a) actually saying the word "Jew" and (b) without irritating the Israelis."

Is this an emerging MSM theme? Perhaps, judging by Chris Matthews' line of questioning on this evening's Hardball.

So just what was Matthews implying with his repeated, pointed questions about the motivation of the Bush White House in going after the Times to the exclusion of other papers, his reference to 'ethnic' factors, and going so far to imitate a 'New Yawk' accent?

Matthews' guest was the charming and articulate Nicolle Wallace, who is wrapping up her tenure as White House Communications Director to accompany her husband to NYC - of all places - where he has accepted a position as part of our UN delegation. Matthews asked Wallace:

"Why does the United States focus all of its heat on the New York Times, not on the L.A. Times, not on the pro-business Wall Street Journal"?

Wallace: "The New York Times . . . made a decision that placed their right to publish something . . . ahead of protecting this [anti-terror] tool. We vigorously disagree. We desperately wish that they hadn't done so, because it took a tool away from us.

Matthews: "I think you may well be right. My instinct tells me you're right on the merits, but on the politics, why's the President going after just the New York Times?" Rather than awaiting Nicolle's response, Matthews decided to answer his own question:

"It's the old trick, go after New York, go after big ethnic New York way up there in the northeast that never votes Republican, blame everything on them." That's when Chris went did his best [not very good], impression of a New York accent: "You know, it's 'New Yawk.' Isn't that what the game here is being played?"

Wallace: "We're well beyond tricks, and certainly --"

Matthews: "Why not the L.A. Times,the Wall Street Journal, why not go after all three that ran the story? It seems like the old Barry Goldwater trick of saying 'cut off the eastern seaboard and we'll have a better country. It seems such a cheap political move."

Bear in mind that Matthews just happens to be a former San Francisco Chronicle columnist himself. Was it just pure coincidence that on the day the Carroll column appeared, Matthews seemed to be suggesting a similar theory?

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman and Bush Chief of Staff Josh Bolten - both Jewish - will surely be interested to learn of this, not to mention the vast Jewish neo-con conspiracy from Kristol to Perle to Wolfowitz that liberals have so frequently accused of pulling White House strings.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.