While most people have never heard of Roger Ailes, they have heard of his famous creation, the Fox News Channel. As basically the sole national mainstream news entity which is not operated on a left-of-center paradigm, Fox News has become almost public enemy number-one to the far left. For many of today’s illiberal liberals, the mere existence of Fox News is enough to induce spittle-flecked rants calling for its forceful closure by the government.
The sheer hatred leveled against Ailes and Fox News was why I was very interested to interview Zev Chafets, about his new biography, Roger Ailes Off Camera.
David Frum has responded on his own site Frum Forum to the NewsBusters post on his nasty Limbaugh book review in The Washington Post. For starters, he claimed that he focused on Limbaugh's ornate digs because this is "really the only news" in the Zev Chafets book.
To claim there’s no news in here is to admit you skimmed it. I wish Frum had plopped in the Post this snippet from pages 139 and 140 and pondered what it says about the Left:
Some, like Professor Todd Gitlin of the Columbia School of Journalism, think the government should take Rush off the air. "Limbaugh is a liar and a demagogue, a brander of enemies, a mobilizer, and a rabble rouser," Gitlin told me. He conceded this would constitute a government limitation of free speech. "The corner that right-wing radio has on the medium is a warping factor in our politics," he says. "Limbaugh is truck-driver radio. His voice is the voice of resentment, or in Nietzche’s sense, ressentiment – it sounds better, more venomous, in French...
This is a little like assigning a Bill Clinton book review to Jim Clyburn, so he can call him a racist again for 1,000 words. There's more hate than light. Frum gnashes his teeth hardest late in the review, jealous that he, the wise and humble Frum, is not acknowledged by all as the country's leading conservative intellectual:
Chafets acknowledges that Limbaugh has no conception of fairness or objectivity, that he is not an original thinker, and that he is prone to "hyperbole, sarcasm, and ridicule, none of which is meant to be taken literally."
In her review Monday of "Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One," Zev Chafets's new biography of the radio host, New York Times entertainment critic Janet Maslin harshly accused Chafets of suffering from "a case of Stockholm syndrome" for his failure to lambast Limbaugh as much as Maslin apparently wanted him bashed: "Limbaugh, Somewhat Airbrushed."
Maslin discussed the origin of the book (from a profile of Limbaugh that appeared in the New York Times Sunday magazine, with the photo above) before accusing journalist Chafets, without evidence, of "purging...any details that might pique" his subject.
In July 2008 The New York Times Magazine published Zev Chafets's appreciative profile of a surprisingly candid Rush Limbaugh. There was spontaneity to the piece, perhaps because it had come about only by accident, after Mr. Chafets's original assignment to write about John McCain (and interview Mr. Limbaugh in the process) fell through. And there was an overriding idea that still holds true: The only way to form a fair opinion about Mr. Limbaugh is to listen to him directly. His pronouncements are distorted and yanked out of context by acolytes and enemies alike.
As readers are likely aware, the New York Times has published an online preview of an article about Rush Limbaugh which will appear in Sunday's Magazine.
Although author Zev Chafets responded "Absolutely" when Snerdly asked him as he entered the EIB control room, “Are you the guy who’s here to do the hit job on us?” this ended up being anything but a hit piece.
Quite the contrary, Chafets did a marvelous job of opening up Rush's world to his faithful listeners who certainly aren't impartial concerning their praise of the EIB host, but also, and maybe more importantly, to liberal NYT readers around the country who might just come away with a little more respect for the man they consider Public Enemy Number One.
Think I'm crazy? Couldn't be in a Times piece? Well, consider the following paragraphs before eschewing this article: