People ask whether the media is "liberal"? They should be asking how far left it will eventually become. The recent appointment of Harold Meyerson -- an obscure radical and quaint believer in working class radicalism -- to one of the most coveted jobs in American journalism provides a troubling answer. Meyerson, a political editor for The L.A. Weekly, a leftist throwaway tabloid, and Editor-at-Large for Bill Moyers’ ideological journal, The American Prospect, has been made a regular columnist for the Washington Post. Meyerson also has an activist career as Vice-Chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, and refers to George W. Bush “The Most Dangerous President Ever,” frequently describes America as “belligerent” and “xenophobic,” and openly yearns for a European superstate to “prevail” in blocking American interests and power. “We need Europe to save us from ourselves,” Meyerson recently wrote.
The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), by its own admission, is “the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International.” Meyerson is so well respected by the DSA that he was the honored guest at their annual 1995 dinner and is a featured speaker at the Socialist Scholars Conference, an event which annually gathers intellectuals of the hard left including indicted terrorist, Lynne Stewart.
On Sept. 12, 2001, before the smoke of the Twin Towers cleared, before a single mound of rubble had been moved – before most Americans were even completely sure who attacked us – the Left was already knee-deep in plans to oppose America's efforts at self-defense with Meyerson inthe lead. Less than 24 hours after the attacks, Meyerson set the template for the next three years of left-wing talking points on the attacks:
If Bush uses the attack to send Pentagon spending soaring, the Dems have to muster the gumption to say that even with Tuesday's attack, our defense budget is still indefensibly high. If the Administration sees the attack as a graceful way to back out of an open-border policy with Mexico, and the extension of rights and citizenship to million of illegal immigrants, the Dems still must persist in their pro-immigrant line. If John Ashcroft's Justice Department sees this as the perfect pretext to squelch anti-globalization protests and to get more billions for the FBI to monitor the protestors, the Dems must fight the security apparat's consistent inability to distinguish between threats to public safety and threats to conventional wisdom. (Emphasis added.)
“By night, we drop bombs; by day, we drop peanut butter and jelly,” Meyerson wrote of the short Afghanistan campaign that followed, one of the most humane in the history of warfare. “Our daytime rounds, at least at the outset of the campaign, seem more symbolic than our nightly ones; the amount of food we're delivering from the sky does not make up for the amount of food that no longer can be delivered on the ground now that our counterattack has begun.”
As the war on terror moved on, he was soon was begging Europe to rescue humanity from the Great Satan. “Americans must hope that, in this era of global integration, we are not at the brink of the American century. If anything, the Europeans should take some time out from perfecting Europe to project their values more forcefully on the wider world.” Clearly Europe is political home for Meyerson. “At the outset of the 21st century, the battle between Europe and America for the power to shape the century, and on behalf of different models of social organization, is already joined,” Meyerson lectures. “And may I gently suggest that the best possible outcome for the American democratic republic – for the America of Jefferson, Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt – would be an American (or more precisely, Bushian) defeat.”
Meyerson was not so decisive in describing Saddam Hussein's defeat. Genuflecting to the obvious he wrote that the United States was safer now that Saddam Hussein was behind bars.” But he quickly added a laundry list of other things that would make us “safer” than capturing Saddam. Among them, having John Ashcroft step down as attorney general.
It would also make the world safer, according to Meyerson, if Iraq were handed over to the United Nations. “The fact that it's our blood that has been shed among allied forces in the war does not necessarily mean that we are therefore the best qualified, the most experienced or the most politically legitimate force to be in charge of post war Iraq.”
In keeping with his 19th Century class prejudices, Meyerson thinks that investment is not work.
Take a quick look, or a long one, at the tax code as Bush has altered it during his three years as president, and you're compelled to conclude that work has become a distinctly inferior kind of income acquisition in the eyes of the law. Bush tax policy rewards investment and inheritance. Relying on work for your income, by contrast, turns you into a second-class citizen. Republicans are projecting themselves as an inclusive, moderate party, even as their platform snarls at gays and W’s economic plan declares war against the poor.
As a reflector of the paranoid, Marxist fantasies of the Democratic Party left, Meyerson is on target. But as a columnist for the most politically influential paper in America his presence is truly troubling.