David Horowitz, a radical turned conservative author and activist, has created a website, DiscoverTheNetwork.org, which he describes as "a navigation tool for identifying, mapping and defining the left and its elaborate and extensive political network." In a telephone interview from his Los Angeles home, Mr. Horowitz discussed the idea for the site:
Question: You distinguish between liberalism and "the left." Why is that distinction important?
Answer: Historically, it's very important...In the early '70s, Norman Podhoretz, who really qualifies as a liberal, was upset at the way his party under [1972 presidential candidate Sen. George] McGovern was opting out of the Cold War -- much as the Democratic Party today has opted out of the war for freedom in Iraq.
When Podhoretz began saying that Democrats had betrayed the tradition of John Kennedy and Harry Truman, a Marxist named Michael Harrington labeled Podhoretz and those who supported him "neoconservatives" -- that's the origin of the term. The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the network news followed suit.
Soon, pro-communist leftists like Angela Davis and Tom Hayden were being referred to as "liberals" by the media, and liberals like Norman Podhoretz and Jeane Kirkpatrick were being referred to as "neoconservatives"...So, to understand our present situation, I felt you have to try to restore accurate political labels. And that's partly what my new website, DiscoverTheNetwork.org, is about.
You can't really call people who are for redistribution of income, who are AWOL in the war for freedom, who are for racial preferences and unlimited government, liberals. But that's what too many people do.
Q: What made you feel that there was a need for a site like this?
A: I was first inspired by these leftist sites, because every one of them has smeared me, along with other conservatives, one way or another. I was aware of how frequently these left-wing Web sites, for instance People for the American Way's "Right-Wing Watch," are the sources for the attacks on anybody on the conservative side.
For 20 years, I dreamed of writing a book about the left, based on the reality I carry around in my head, as somebody who spent decades on the left or studying it...The Web provides a wonderful format, because you can put up hundreds of tables of contents, indexes and links, and you can even provide visual maps, which will show you the network on one screen....
What I've shown is that there are only a couple of degrees of separation between anybody on the left and the terrorists -- and that includes people in the Democratic Party, even those who are anti-terrorist.
For example, the coalition of civil liberties groups that attacked the USA Patriot Act are thoroughly penetrated by pro-terrorist radicals based in organizations like the National Lawyers Guild and the Center for Constitutional Rights. This doesn't mean that every Democrat or every Republican who opposes the USA Patriot Act is a "useful idiot"...But it does mean that they need to be more mindful of the arguments they are being presented with and supporting.
Q: You have documented the Marxist backgrounds of several leading anti-war groups and individuals. Why do you think the media have routinely ignored these connections?
A: This is the beauty of the site: On one page, you get a list of every major anti-war organization and each listing is a link to a profile of the individual group, and each group is connected to a map icon, which, if you click on it, opens up a diagram that shows all the other groups with radical agendas...that they are connected to.
The fact that the two major peace organizations, International ANSWER and United for Peace and Justice, are headed by easily identifiable communists, was known to the mainstream media, specifically the New York Times. Because the New York Times is essentially a fellow-traveling institution of the left, it chose not to mention this fact....
Q: How do you think people can make use of your new site?
A: I am sure that journalists, radio talk-show producers and political activists who are aware of the site have already bookmarked it. A quarter of a million people from 50 countries went onto the site in the first two weeks.
Ordinary citizens can learn from it why the Democratic Party, for example, has taken such a leftward turn, by clicking on the "politics" icon and clicking on "The Shadow Party." This will open a page that lists all the [George] Soros-funded and Soros-connected organizations that now control the fund-raising and get-out-the-vote activities of the Democratic Party.
Virtually no Democrat can be elected without the support or approbation of the shadow party. ...
Q: Some critics have accused you of implying connections or comparisons between, say, Katie Couric and al-Qaeda. What do you make of such charges?
A: This comes from people who are incapable of reading, who are uninterested in dealing with serious intellectual arguments.
Katie Couric is listed [on the website] as an "affective leftist" -- someone who leans left because in the media culture she inhabits, that's the "decent" thing to do. There is no link between Katie Couric and al-Qaeda stated or implied in this database.
If you were to make a database of communism, you'd put Trotsky in there with Stalin, even though Stalin ordered Trotsky's murder.