:: Thursday, August 08, 2013 ::
FrontPage's Spitballs Strike Diana West
Posted by Edward Cline at 7:01 PM
There is a firestorm
occurring on FrontPage over a purported review of Diana West's American Betrayal: The Assault on Our Nation's
Character, written by Ronald Radosh. Radosh penned a "review"
which questioned the reasoning and scholarship of West's contention that
Franklin D. Roosevelt consciously, or by subtle policy, boosted the fortunes of
Stalin's Soviet régime to profit from the course of WWII, aided in large part
by Soviet agents working within and without the U.S. government, and by Harry
Hopkins, FDR's chief advisor and aide for so many years.
The title of Radosh's review
telegraphs his hostility towards West and her book, "McCarthy
on Steroids," and what he plans to say about the book. It is
interesting to note that some time has passed since the first reviews of West's
book appeared, one on FrontPage itself, written by Mark Tapson in July, whom
Radosh does not consider an authority on the subject of Soviet espionage and
FDR's complicity in furthering the interests of Stalin and the Soviet Union.
editors purged, or removed, Tapson's objective, short, and informative review
of the West book. It's too late for that, because, speaking for myself, I already
have a hard copy of the review, together with its now defunct URL. The text of
it can be found here,
on West's own
blog site. Printed out, it comes to two and a fraction pages. How many reader
comments it generated is now unknown.
Printed out, Radosh's comes
to nearly ten pages. Radosh may as well have written a book. It has generated,
to date, 182 reader comments, a good many of them criticizing Radosh for
conducting a smear campaign against West or otherwise advising him that he is
talking through his former "Red Diaper Baby"
hat. Radosh continually accuses West of weaving a "conspiracy
theory," when she painstakingly documents every claim, assertion, and
conclusion in American Betrayal.
Why would the editors remove
Tapson's review? Because it contradicts Radosh's in substance and in style, in
truth, and in honesty. The removal of Tapson's review speaks volumes about the
motives of FrontPage's editors. Instead of issuing a statement to the effect
that while they respect Tapson's views on West's book, there is another perspective
and here is Mr. Radosh's, and even providing readers to a link to Tapson's
review. But to remove a contradictory and controversial article is a confession
of intellectual weakness and moral turpitude. The editors do not wish readers
to compare the Tapson review with Radosh's. They wish to play Big Brotherish
Ministry of Truth games with readers' minds.
In his rambling, Alinskyite
article, Radosh expects West to have read or consulted every book ever
published whose subject was FDR's conscious, insouciant, or unwitting
complicity in the preservation of the Soviet Union. He claims she didn't read
this or that authority or author. Her knowledge and command of the field of Soviet-American
studies ought to have been encyclopedic, and if it wasn’t, then, as far as
Radosh and his editors are concerned, she should be shot down, discredited, and
her work consigned to a dustbin.
Reading his purported review,
I was constantly reminded of that old legal saw, "When did you stop
beating your wife?" "But I never beat my wife." "Prove
it." "I can't prove a negative." "Too bad. Let the implied
charge be entered into the minds of the jury." "Objection!"
"review," one is first knocked silly by the highly personal animus he
nurtures for West. It colors his purported review and does him no favors, and
certainly, as West herself points out, does nothing to lend his reputation as a
neocon any credibility. I could not shake loose the impression that Radosh was
attempting to defend Roosevelt, Harry Hopkins, and even Stalin from West's
charges. The invective present in his long screed is demonstrable and there for
all to see who choose to see.
But rather than attempt to counter
Radosh's allegations of West's incompetency and illiteracy – which in itself
would require a book-length treatment, something I am not willing to undertake because
the soundness and value West's book speak for themselves – I will simply stress
that FrontPage's editors have shown their dishonest and manipulative hands by
removing Mark Tapson's review. That is an unconscionable and unforgivable
journalistic and moral crime.
That is a grave enough charge
that should weigh heavily on FrontPage's editors. Radosh's purported review may
as well have appeared in The New York Times, and we all know how committed that
publication is to straight journalism and truth-telling.
But, then, we are dealing
with Neocons here. Neoconservativism is simply a smorgasbord of supposedly
"right-wing" ideologies populated largely by former communists, retired
radical left-wing activists, cringing liberals, and even ex-SDS members such as
Radosh. It is as philosophically rudderless as traditional as "right-wing"
Republican philosophy (provided anyone can find it). As a movement, it is so
open-ended it may as well admit Barack Obama and all three Clintons as honorary
members. Neoconservatism can accommodate just about every ideology but Islam.
Had West written a similar
book about the infiltration of our government, military, and other institutions
by Islamic supremacists, would Radosh have attempted to pick it apart and
wisecrack about West's insufficient scholarly abilities? I'm betting he would. Would
the editors of FrontPage have sanctioned it? To judge by their behavior now, I'm
betting they would.
They've shot their bolt, discredited
themselves, and I'll never trust a neocon ever again. Not that I ever did.
I have also reviewed West's
book on Rule of Reason and Family Security Matters, "The Enemy Inside the
Judge for yourselves. I have also critiqued another scurrilous review of West's
book by Frank Csongo in The Washington Times, "Critical Tunnel Vision at
The Washington Times" (June 27th), here.
I conclude this defense of
Diana West and her book by paraphrasing myself from "The Enemy Inside the
On one hand, the culprits did
not value the truth. On the other, they feared its power and went to
extraordinary lengths to suppress it, erected ideological barricades to block it
from public knowledge, and punished those who spoke the truth or threatened to
tell the truth.
West's lesson to Americans:
Reality can't be redacted, buried, fabricated, falsified, or omitted.
And that goes for the editors
of FrontPage, as well.
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