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November 29, 2006

Thomas Friedman's Writing Finally Compared To Bestiality

I try not to read anything by Thomas Friedman, because his writing tends to make me wish I were dead. But Chris Floyd was man enough to read his latest column, and had this reaction:

This, ladies and gentleman, is what passes for Establishment thought on the most respected newspaper in the land. This complete and utter moral perversion -- like unto an act of sexual congress with the beasts of the field -- is now the conventional wisdom of the chattering classes, the "public intellectuals," and the powerful elites whom they so cravenly serve. This blood-flecked drivel -- a precise echo of the genocidal fury being voiced on what once was once considered the lunatic fringes of the far right -- is now at the heart of American political life.

In the rest of his post, Chris also has some less positive things to say about Friedman.

Posted at November 29, 2006 05:31 PM | TrackBack

Arthur Silber has a similar take on TNR's call for a more 'muscular' liberalism.
Neocons ... neolibs.
Republicans ... Democrats.
They're all the same.

Posted by: Lloyd at November 29, 2006 06:46 PM

I like it, but Friedman is a very easy target.

From Bill Bonner: “We always try to get our day off on the right foot by reading Friedman’s column before breakfast. There is something so gloriously naïve and clumsy in the man’s pensée, it never fails to brighten our mornings. It refreshes our faith in our fellow men; they are not evil, just mindless. We have never met the man, but we imagine Friedman as a high school teacher, warping young minds with drippy thoughts. But to say his ideas are sophomoric or juvenile merely libels young people, most of whom have far more cleverly nuanced opinions than the columnist. You might criticize the man by saying his work is without merit, but too that would be flattery. His work has negative merit. Every column subtracts from the sum of human knowledge in the way a broken pipe drains the town’s water tower.

Not that Mr. Friedman’s ideas are uniquely bad.
Many people have similarly puerile, insipid notions in their heads. But Friedman expresses his hollow thoughts with such heavy-handed earnestness, it often makes us laugh. He seems completely unaware that he is a simpleton. That, of course, is a charm; he is so dense you can laugh at him without hurting his feelings.”

From Matt Taibbi: “Thomas Friedman in possession of 500 pages of ruminations on the metaphorical theme of flatness would be a very dangerous thing indeed. It would be like letting a chimpanzee loose in the NORAD control room; even the best-case scenario is an image that could keep you awake well into your 50s.”

“Friedman is an important American. He is the perfect symbol of our culture of emboldened stupidity. Like George Bush, he's in the reality-making business. In the new flat world, argument is no longer a two-way street for people like the president and the country's most important columnist. You no longer have to worry about actually convincing anyone; the process ends when you make the case.”

I’d give Bonner the gold, Floyd the silver, and Taibbi the bronze, but everyone who competes in Friedman bashing is a winner.

Posted by: Cous Cous at November 29, 2006 07:24 PM

This was a good day for Friedman bashing. He is my own least favorite pundit at the NYT. My favorite Friedman bashing oeuvre was the Get Your War On series about how his magic mustache could transform your powers of understanding and make you agree with him (the "Mustache of Understanding").

Posted by: Anna in Portland (was Cairo) at November 29, 2006 09:25 PM

I always hear such nice things about From Beirut to Jerusalem...

Posted by: buermann at November 29, 2006 11:37 PM

Not that anybody should care too much what I think, but I always considered Thomas Friedman a sort of morbidly interesting freak. Then when he had his "a-ha the world is flat" epiphany I realized he's a moron.

Posted by: Maezeppa at November 30, 2006 08:05 AM

buermann, I've heard the same thing, as well as the notion that back in the 80s he still was a half-way decent writer, but gradually over the course of the 90s, ego-bloat set in, like a sort of intellectual fog rolling in.

I think we should clone him, and start over.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at November 30, 2006 03:15 PM

Beirut to Jerusalem was nauseating, in my opinion. At it's end you are invitied to feel the pain of Tom and the Israeli's as they soul-search after mass murdering and raping an encampment of refugees who had already been disarmed. They felt awful.

Posted by: ed marshall at November 30, 2006 07:14 PM