Wednesday, February 25, 2004

My take on Adbusters

There has been some discussion at the Volokh Conspiracy regarding the "outing" of prominent Jews by Adbusters. I don't know that I have anything new to ad, but I'll give you my two cents anyway.

Frankly, I find the Adbusters article pretty shocking. I guess I would reiterate the views of others who have said that the article seems to be a close counsin to the typical anti-semitic stereotype that Jews run the X (where "X" is either "financial system," "world geopolitics," "global media," etc). On that note, I was at a Bat Mitzvah this weekend where the rabbi said something to the effect of - "Run the world? We can't even organize a bake sale!" I think that's probably right. As a Jewish person, I can speak with total certainty that there is not a network of higher-up-Jews planning world domination.

Now, I'm not saying that this is wrong as a factual matter (although it certainly, certainly is). But this is a profoundly offensive thing to say. We wouldn't expect that same left-wing magazine to say, "Ignore Martin Luther King, Jr.'s race relations advice because he is black," but this is the essence of what they are saying for Jews. This seems unfair and highly offensive. The Adbusters outing seems to suggest that whatever other characteristics or backgrounds inform the punditry of those listed, they are first and foremost Jews and that they act with the best interest of Jews at heart. I mean, if someone's religion informs their policy choices, that's fine, and then it is appropriate to disclose that fact (as perhaps, Bush on gay marriage). But if the people Adbusters listed are conservatives, or politicians, or defense specialists, etc who happen to be Jewish, Adbusters in effect says that they are Jews first and that this somehow infects their decision-making...

I think there's a lot more to say on this subject, but unfortunately I'm out of time.

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