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Thursday, August 28, 2014

David Brooks, "The Mental Virtues": What About Anti-Semitism at The New York Times?

In his latest New York Times op-ed, "The Mental Virtues," David Brooks asks, "Is it possible to display and cultivate character if you are just an information age office jockey, alone with a memo or your computer?" Brooks's answer:

"Thinking well under a barrage of information may be a different sort of moral challenge than fighting well under a hail of bullets, but it’s a character challenge nonetheless."

Brooks next claims that we can "grade ourselves" on the "cerebral values" listed by a book entitled "Intellectual Virtues" by Robert C. Roberts of Baylor University and W. Jay Wood of Wheaton College. The values:

  • love of learning
  • courage
  • firmness
  • humility
  • autonomy
  • generosity

Brooks's conclusion:

"Character tests are pervasive even in modern everyday life. It’s possible to be heroic if you’re just sitting alone in your office. It just doesn’t make for a good movie."

Great news! I just can't wait to receive my virtual Congressional Medal of Honor in an email from Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama.

Meanwhile, wouldn't it be wonderful if even one op-ed writer at The New York Times would have the guts to confront the issue of anti-Semitism at The New York Times? As Dr. Phyllis Chesler recently wrote in an article entitled "Incitement to Genocide: How NY Times' Coverage and UN Complicity Breed Anti-Semitism":

"The twenty-first century coverage of Israel and Zionism in the paper of record far exceeds its twentieth century pattern of mere dismissal. In the last fourteen years—in the last year-- in article after article, photograph after photograph, and especially when Israel has been under attack, this paper has systematically put forth an Islamist and pro-Hamas agenda with malice aforethought. If not 'malice,' then the level of willful journalistic ignorance and blindness is hard to believe."

New York Times double standards involving Israel? As recently observed by CAMERA:

"We found that 6 out of 7 NYT editorials addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict were negative toward Israel, while none were positive. Opinion columns by NYT staff followed the same pattern of condemning Israel: 5 out of 6 were negative toward Israel, while none were positive. As for invited Op-Eds on the topic, 15 out of 20 were negative toward Israel, while only one was positive."

More evidence of outrageous anti-Semitism at the Times? Have a look at "Roger Cohen, "A Jew Not Quite English Enough": What About Anti-Semitism at The New York Times?"

Mr. Brooks, I don't give a damn about any laundry list of "cerebral qualities" evidencing heroism. I'm merely waiting for you or any other Times writer to confront your newspaper with its incitement against Israel, which sparks racial hatred.

That would take courage.


  1. What chutzpah, to write about the intellectual qualities we might want to consume from the pages of "thinkers" like him---the hypocrisy. But we have to wonder about the overwhelming media bias. Back to the conspiracy theory that is floats around out there which is to create havoc by all means available, give the big monied interest behind the president-puppet the opp to clean it up and establish their financial monopoly via a world bank. How else to explain how skewed the press has become?

  2. "Mr. Brooks, I don't give a damn about any laundry list of "cerebral qualities" evidencing heroism. I'm merely waiting for you or any other Times writer to confront your newspaper with its incitement against Israel, which sparks racial hatred.

    That would take courage."
    Exactly. Thank you. Hard to believe. David Brooks is always babbling about ... ethics. Paul Krugman's column is "Conscience of a Liberal" and yes, he demonstrates well what this conscience is. Both scoundrels could afford leaving Der Neue Stuermer quietly. Or, frankly, considering their preoccupation with ethics could make a statement. They could and they won't. We won't hear from them
    J'accuse. Despicable little creatures. Brooks will continue his collaborating babbling and Krugman will strike heroic poses at Der Neue Stuermer and elsewhere and occasionally make his usual anti-Semitic pronouncements.
    When there is no conscience, everything is possible.

  3. You should check out how many women and children Israel killed in the last round of fighting, compared to the efficiency of the Hamas fighters, who killed mostly Israeli SOLDIERS.

    Once you figure out a difference between the two groups, then you might understand why the NYT is reluctantly prodding Israel to return the land to the refugees, instead of caging and killing them.

    Hope this helps!

    1. Somethow, you failed to mention the more than 3,600 rockets fired by Hamas and Islamic Jihad at Israeli towns and cities during July and August. They were all intended to kill civilians.

      Iron Dome protected Israeli civilians? Well, only 90 percent of the time. The other 10 percent of the time it was necessary for Israeli civilians to take cover within 15 seconds. Surely, this would not trouble someone as noble as you.

      Hundreds of Hamas rockets were fired from schools, mosques and hospitals in order to cause civilian casualties. Why? Because if there was return fire, it was hoped that Palestinian civilians would die, and their bodies could be added to the civilian death count. Yes, we're talking about human shields, or even something much worse.

      More than 100,000 civilian deaths in Iraq and some 20,000 civilian deaths in Aghanistan? Why should civilian casualties caused by the US and UK trouble you? After all, the Jews, I mean the Israelis, must be held to a higher standard, and they didn't take sufficient measures to warn Gazans with their leaflets, phone calls and warning shots.

      And those Palestinian casualties to which you refer? Maybe you would care to say how many of them were caused by errant Hamas missiles. And maybe you would care to tell us if they include the Palestinians executed by Hamas as "collaborators"?

      The Palestinians are caged in? Life expectancy in Gaza of 74.64 years is considerably higher than life expectancy in Turkey.

      You also don't mention Gaza's eight universities and colleges (almost all established after 1967), or its gourmet restaurants (e.g., "Roots"), or its 5-star hotel ("The al-Mashtal"). And then there was also the "Crazy Water Park," which was burned down by Hamas, because Hamas didn't want men and women intermingling.

      You also fail to note that the border between Israel and Gaza was not always closed. It was shut down after suicide bombers, sent into Israel from Gaza and the West Bank, killed more than 1,000 Israeli civilians.

      And then there were also more than 10,000 rockets and mortar rounds that were fired from Gaza at Israeli towns and cities prior to the current war.

      And then, of course, there is the Hamas charter, which calls for the murder of all Jews, not just Israelis. But I suppose this should just be ignored.

      Hope this helps!

    2. Also worth noting what was written in a Hamas “Urban Warfare” manual captured from the Al-Qassam Brigades :

      "The soldiers and commanders (of the IDF) must limit their use of weapons and tactics that lead to the harm and unnecessary loss of people and [destruction of] civilian facilities. It is difficult for them to get the most use out of their firearms, especially of supporting fire [e.g. artillery]."

      It is no accident that Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired their rockets from residential areas.

    3. 11 ceasefire violations by Hamas also ignored by this writer.

    4. Obama's drone strikes in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen have also led to the deaths of hundreds of civilians, including many children, yet where was the outrage of The New York Times? Have a look at:

    5. Is that you, Mr. Andrew Rosenthal?
      Or is that you, Mr. David Duke?

  4. Jeff, I commend your effort for trying to enlighten ignoramuses but you're wasting your time - they are not worth debating. Sadly, people like 'Anonymous 5:21' above are not interested in facts, only issues. They used to harp about "the two-state solution" but have since changed their tune when it became politically correct to discuss a 'one state solution' - one that will have no Jews. That's what he means when he talks about the "NYT is reluctantly prodding Israel to return the land to the refugees". (Israel *did* return the land in 2005 but it's not "The Land" he's talking about). Helen Thomas said it first. "The Jews will have to go back where they came from - to Poland, Germany, America...".I'm convinced that if she said the same thing today, she wouldn't have to resign - or apologize. What they really mean when they talk about "the Occupation" is every inch of Israel.