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Newsweek’s Bizarre Take on Joe Stack’s Manifesto

John on February 19, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Jeremy McCarter’s headline promises to explain “What the Austin suicide attacker might have meant in his suicide note when he cited American greed.” What we get instead is a mind-boggling attempt to portray Joe Stack as a product of the right.

There’s really no way to explain this without going through it paragraph by paragraph. Here’s the argument. Each line is a paragraph:

  1. Joe Stack took his closing line from an essay by British writer Henry Fairlie.
  2. Excerpt of Fairlie’s original essay using the capitalist creed line.
  3. Note the subtle wording changes between Fairlie’s version and Stack’s.
  4. Left and right are both trying to claim Stack is a member of the other side. But one side (the right) has been the one that is most anti-government.
  5. Fairlie was considered a “conservative” in Britain, even though he supported big government. He didn’t agree with American conservatism.
  6. Fairlie despised Reagan and the GOP.
  7. Fairlie’s warnings about the rise of a violent right wing seem to be born out every day.

And though he doesn’t quite say it, the clear implication is that Joe Stack is an example of this violence. Just step back and admire the audacity of this argument as a syllogism:

  • Joe Stack, the Austin terrorist, ended his suicide note by quoting Henry Fairlie.
  • Henry Fairlie railed against Reagan, religion and right-wing mobs.
  • Therefore, Joe Stack is an example of the right-wing violence that Fairlie warned us about.

So I suppose if Joe had quoted Chairman Mao that would make him a good example of the capitalist pigs Mao railed about? Or if he’d quoted William F Buckley, that would have made him an example of left-wing violence? Really?!

The core of this idiotic argument is McCarter’s claim that the right is more anti-government than the left. Memo to the clueless Jeremy McCarter: Where have you been the last 8 years?! Conservatives have exploited anti-government sentiment? What about “selected not elected” and anti-war marches, and Chimpy McHalliburton and assassination novels and “frog marches” and war crimes prosecution and on and on… Some of us noticed that people on the left were none to enamored of government for quite a while there. How did you miss it?

Joe Stack was a man of the left: Anti-religion, anti-Bush, pro-communist and, as McCarter’s shows, pro-Henry Fairlie, another enemy of the American right. That’s obviously not how the left wanted this story to play, but that’s how it is.

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Category: MSM & Bias |

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