From the Atlantic Monthly:
You are supposed to know who is Jewish, but you are also supposed to not know who is Jewish. Got that?
Jeffrey Goldberg, national correspondent for The Atlantic, explains:
It's become clear to me that the Fox commentator Glenn Beck has something of a Jewish problem. Actually, he has something of a modernity problem, and people with modernity problems tend to have problems with Jews, who more or less invented modernity (Einstein, Marx, Freud, Franz Boas, etc.)
... This is a post about Beck's recent naming of nine people — eight of them Jews — as enemies of America and humanity. He calls these people prime contributors to the — wait for it — "era of the big lie." The eight Jews are Sigmund Freud; Edward Bernays, the founder of public relations, and a nephew of Freud's (which Beck discloses as if this had previously been a secret); Soros, of course; Cass Sunstein, now of the White House; the former labor leader Andy Stern; Walter Lippman, who is no longer here to defend himself; Frances Fox Piven, who Beck believes is "sowing the seeds" of revolution; and, of all people, Edward Rendell.
It is fair to ask if Beck knows that these people are Jewish (It is not widely-known that Rendell is Jewish, I think).
But, of course, who doesn't know that Frances Fox Piven is Jewish?
Look, I've never seen Glenn Beck on TV, but I can take some guesses about his knowledge based on my own level of knowledge in the later 1990s. At that point, I would have been sure Freud was Jewish, but would have been reduced to sheer guessing about the seven others (most of whom I'd heard of at that point: for example, I read a book co-authored by Frances Fox Piven in college promoting expansion of the welfare rolls. I don't recall ever wondering whether she or her late husband Francis Cloward were Jewish.)
Extremely ethnocentric Jews like Jeffrey Goldberg (born in Brooklyn, he joined the Israeli Defense Force after graduating from the Ivy League) vastly overestimate how much gentiles pay attention to the Is-he-a-Jew? questions that obsess them. Further, the media has done a really good job of persuading the average American that even noticing the ethnic patterns that personally preoccupy leading members of the media like Goldberg is a mark of lack of gentility, so most of them don't.
As Joel Stein pointed out in the LA Times in 2008 on the dumbing down of America:
Only 22% of Americans now believe "the movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews," down from nearly 50% in 1964. The Anti-Defamation League, which released the poll results last month, sees in these numbers a victory against stereotyping. Actually, it just shows how dumb America has gotten.
... That said, Beck has not crossed a certain line, by identifying his targets openly as Jewish. Nevertheless, this, to me, is a classic case of anti-Semitic dog-whistling. Beck is speaking to a certain constituency, and the thought has now crossed my mind that this constituency understands the clear implications of what Beck is saying.
My modest suggestion to those Jews who fear the building of mosques in American cities is that they look elsewhere for threats that seem to be gathering against them.
The Establishment media freakout over the last two weeks about the influence of Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, and Sarah Palin reveals how much many leading figures in the press regard average Americans with atavistic dread and rage as The Other.