David Horowitz

A Soundbite (on Howard Zinn) Heard Round the World

Posted on February 12 2010 1:04 pm
David Horowitz is the editor-in-chief of NewsReal Blog and FrontPage Magazine. He is the President and CEO of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His most recent book is Reforming Our Universities
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I knew when I responded to an NPR request for a comment on the late, unlamented Howard Zinn that I was asking for trouble — from the anti-American, Marxoid, neo-Communist left.  But I did it anyway because Howard Zinn’s life was so dedicated to evil and specifically to the support of mass murderers and self-declared enemies of his country, that someone with a brain unfogged by leftwing claptrap had to do it. As it turned out, if I had not contributed my soundbite it would have been left to depraved radicals — in this case Noam Chomsky and Julian Bond — to promote Zinn’s malevolent work to an NPR audience of millions. I was somewhat surprised that the leftists at NPR turned to me since I have been effectively erased as a public intellectual from their airwaves along with a legion of other non-progressives.

Only one of my books, Radical Son, has ever enjoyed five minutes of airtime attention on NPR. Oh — there is an exception. Before I voted for Ronald Reagan — or made the vote public — I was indeed a guest on “Fresh Air” to talk about The Kennedys, which I co-authored with Peter Collier. Although it is a book show and I have written more than a dozen well-received books since, the show has studiously avoided recognizing my existence; that is, for 25 years.

So this 30-second appearance was a rarity and came as a surprise to me. But evidently one 30-second appearance is too much for the totalitarians of the progressive left who have predictably launched an organized harassment campaign against the reporter who interviewed me and her boss. The smear crowds at Media Matters and FAIR have been hard at work ginning up the the Pavlovian attack dogs to make the lives of NPR employees as miserable as they can.  These witch-hunts by the way are intimidating and effective. We’ll see how soon before NPR asks my opinion again.

Among the witch-hunters, Eric Alterman, as usual, provides the most amusement, complaining that I was not “qualified” to make a comment on Zinn:

“Horowitz, on the other hand, does not claim to have known Zinn personally, and shares neither his goals nor views. He has no specialized knowledge of Zinn whatsoever. The single qualification that David Horowitz possessed to be included in the piece on Zinn’s obituary was that he could be depended upon to be deeply critical of the deceased.”

Actually, I am eminently qualified to comment on Zinn, having written a portrait of him and his writings in Unholy Alliance, and having devoted hundreds of thousands of words to my area of expertise, which is the Communist and neo-Communist left. Alterman, on the other hand, is himself something of an impostor, having secured a sinecure as the “Distinguished Professor of English at Brooklyn College.” If there was to be a single testimony to the debasement of the American university by tenured leftists this could be a candidate, since Alterman has no discernible literary interest, let alone expertise, that would qualify him for such a position. (Alterman’s degrees are in government, history, and international relations.) In fact, since I have written a book about Shakespeare I am more prepared to teach English than he is. However, I lack the principal qualification for a post in the English Department at Brooklyn College, since I am not a brain-dead, anti-American leftist.

Editor’s Note: Read NewsReal Blog’s previous commentaries on Zinn:

David Horowitz’s original Zinn posts:

Horowitz Questions Zinn Legacy on NPR

Spitting on Howard Zinn’s Grave?

A Wicked Man? No, a Fool with Wicked Ideas

The Zinnians, the Neo-Communists, and Us

NRB Responses to Zinn supporters:

Enjoying the Howard Zinn Blowback

NEWSFLASH: “Progressives” Invented Every Form of Communication

Leftist Condescension on Display in Yet Another Lecture from a Zinn Disciple

NRB’s Posts on the Zinn documentary “The People Speak”:

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