Sunday, August 11, 2013

Front Page Mag Losing Credibility, and Fast

Something strange has been going on at FrontPage Mag.

Some time back, I read a post on that site that reflected the patently false claim that Pope Pius XII had sat by idly during the Holocaust. As they who run the site seem to pride themselves on getting the facts straight, I assumed that they would welcome help and replied with some brief points that described the massive efforts of the Pontiff to save tens of thousands of Jews. I also noted that these had to be done with the utmost of secrecy since, as Stalin illustrated by his rhetorical question "How many divisions has the Pope?", any operation not well below the radar would have been torn apart by the Nazis. I also offered to correspond with the writer to give him/her a chance to check with some good sources.

I received no response, so I decided that FrontPageMag had intentions contrary to their implied mission and consequently stopped visiting that site.

A few days ago, I followed some source links which wound up bringing me back to that site. As I was about to click off that page, something caught my eye; a post describing what appeared to be a running battle with much-respected author Diana West on her recent book American Betrayal - The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character.

Hitting the brakes, I read the post. It was a hastily written defense of an individual that had gone out of his way to attack the credibility of Ms. West's work. I learned that FrontPageMag had originally given the book a good review, performed a volte-face and turned the reins over to this other guy who smeared it, then was stuck having to defend both the ubercritic and their decision to back him. The reference to Ms. West's work as that of a "John Bircher" type was particularly striking as I have never seen that term used to denigrate anyone or anything except by a hard-core Liberal. The sad part is that very little of what John Birch claimed can be proven wrong in the first place, so where does that leave an organization like FrontPageMag that supposedly is concerned with the doings of the American Left?

It had all the makings of an editorial staff that was faced with the realization that they had bet on the wrong horse but had no intention of admitting such. (I had read other reviews of American Betrayal before this and was taken aback at the tremendous efforts that were being expended to discredit the work). In short, it had damage control written all over it. It reminded me of a workplace conflict in which the wrongdoer runs around, hurriedly presenting his side of the story to all, so that the rest of the staff will assume that he was in the right.

When I read the GatesofVienna post linked at top this evening, I realized that the situation was worse than I thought. Below are some excerpts of Ms. West's refutations in GOV:

"......For example, Radosh writes: “Instead of weighing these fears, West turns to another anecdote telling how George Elsey found confidential files in the Map Room that showed FDR naively thinking he could trust Stalin, and instructed Hopkins to tell Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov that FDR was in favor of a Second Front in 1942.”

There’s one problem with Radosh’s scholarship here. This anecdote about George Elsey, confidential files and the Map Room isn’t in my book. Anywhere. I explained this amazing failure at the end of an initial rebuttal I published at my own website.....

In his retort, Radosh writes: “Maybe she couldn’t find the anecdote. But it is there in three different places where she writes how FDR told Hopkins to go into Molotov’s bedroom while he was staying in the White House so that he could meet with the President, and at that meeting, Hopkins told Molotov that FDR was in favor of a Second Front.”

Now we have another problem. The brand new anecdote isn’t in my book, either.

It gets worse.

Radosh goes on to list the three pages the new and improved (but still not in my book) anecdote allegedly appears on................."

There are many more clarifications and refutations provided my Ms. West in the post. From reading these twice over, I can only come to the conclusion that this guy Radosh never actually read the book or just glanced over it so quickly that he was unqualified to give even a quick thumbs-up or down on the book, let alone write an actual critique of it. Then, having been caught with his pants down, he refused even to admit that he had possibly made a mistake.

American Betrayal, is of a genre of books that have been understandably gaining popularity as the public has become more aware of the tremendous amount of Marxist influence (Particularly of the Soviet type) in US foreign policy, conduct of wars, our educational system, and our society in general that got its start during the FDR presidency. I have not read the book yet, but after reading the defensive gyrations on FrontPageMag and Ms. West's response, I think that her work needs to move up on my list.

1 comment:

  1. This one has me puzzled Pleistarchos. Maybe once a lib, always a lib or Horowitz is having another entity make editorial decisions.