Journalist Sam Tanenhaus, who fancies himself an expert on the conservative movement (without actual evidence of such expertise), has a review of a shoddy attack book on the conservative movement by Duke University scholar Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America. Many fatal flaws in the book have been spotted by conservative journalists, but it’s getting predictable raves in the liberal press and among shallow, wishful thinkers like Tanenhaus, who has supposedly spent at least the last 17 years writing a biography of William F. Buckley but spends most of his time making false links of conservatives past and present to racism.
The New York Times Sunday Book Review featured former book editor Sam Tanenhaus talking about several news political tomes under the rubric “Why Populism Now?” And when we say “talking about,” we mean using the books as a pretext to slime Republicans as demographically doomed, out-of-touch racists. Also: Libertarians give you cancer.
While The New York Times Book Review ignores books by conservatives from David Limbaugh to Mark Levin, they analyze conservatism by going to Sam Tanenhaus, who edited the Book Review from 2004 to 2013. One small problem: He wrote a book issued in 2009 predicting The Death of Conservatism. Tanenhaus proclaimed today's conservative movement was like "the exhumed figures of Pompeii, trapped in postures of frozen flight, clenched in the rigor mortis of a defunct ideology." So how wise does he look?
On Sunday, Tanenhaus reviewed two obscure books from the Left purporting to explain the origins of today’s conservatism. First, there was the book Nut Country: Right-Wing Dallas and the Birth of the Southern Strategy by Edward H. Miller.
NPR got in the spirit of anniversaries on Thursday night’s All Things Considered by recalling the 1964 Republican convention in San Francisco. For analysis, they turned to.....New York Times Magazine contributor Sam Tanenhaus, whose lack of political insight was proven by his 2009 book The Death of Conservatism (broadened from a 2009 New Republic essay titled "Conservatism Is Dead.") Oopsy.
Tanenhaus told NPR anchor Robert Siegel that when Nelson Rockefeller tried to argue against “extremism” at the convention, leftist author Norman Mailer wrote it was like “one of those early moments at the dawn of civilization when one caveman stood off the others and said no, we have to be a civilized society.”
Sam Tanenhaus's 6,300-word cover story for the New York Times' Sunday Magazine, "Can the G.O.P. Be a Party of Ideas?" is marinated in the same superior smugness that distorted his 2009 hit-piece book on the conservative movement.
Tanenhaus, currently a "writer-at-large" for the Times, is still hailed in liberal circles as an expert on the conservative movement, even though his slim, slanted 2009 book The Death of Conservatism (talk about wishful thinking) proved rather ill-timed, coming as it did before the Tea Party resurgence. The book ludicrously labeled President Obama a centrist in a long line of Democratic centrists, including ... George McGovern, Walter Mondale, and Michael Dukakis. Tanenhaus also likened the conservative movement to "the exhumed figures of Pompeii, trapped in postures of frozen flight, clenched in the rigor mortis of a defunct ideology." So when the Times wants an "objective" view of the conservative movement, it's obvious Tanenhaus is the guy to provide it.
National Review magazine has published an excellent and comprehensive response to New York Times Book Editor Sam Tanenhaus's dishonest smear of conservative thought in a cover story for The New Republic. The article by National Review contributors Ramesh Ponnuru and Jonah Goldberg appears in the March 25 issue.
After first explaining that for the left, "The explanation for conservatives’ opposition to President Obama and his agenda must be found not in our ideas but in our pathologies," they argue (bolds added by me):
In what appears to be a daily theme on MSNBC, the liberal network seems to find new ways to smear the Republican Party. The latest example from the liberal network was on the March 5 Now w/ Alex Wagner on March 5, when the all-liberal panel took to smearing Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R-Va.) on his bid to be the next Governor of the Commonwealth.
The liberal panel, including host and former Center for American Progress employee Alex Wagner, spared no mercy in their vicious attack on Cuccinelli. Wagner introduced the segment with strong vitriolic rhetoric:
Thin-skinned New York Times columnist Paul Krugman spoke at the left-wing Netroots Nation conference held in Providence, R.I. this weekend (a fact overlooked in his own paper's story). In his Saturday morning talk, Krugman displayed his usual class and charm by calling Times Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus "very much a noecon," a slur in Krugman's liberal circles, for allegedly assigning an unsympathetic critic to his new book End This Depression Now! according to the liberal news site Talking Points Memo.
Not content with letting partisan liberal journalist Joe Klein review "radical Republican" Jonah Goldberg's new book The Tyranny of Clichés, the May 18 edition of the paper's Book Review podcast opened with book editor Sam Tanenahus talking with Klein about his hostile Times book review. Tanenhaus (pictured), author of a little screed called The Death of Conservatism that was discredited within months of its 2009 publication by the rise of the Tea Party, spent the first 14 minutes of the podcast slamming Goldberg's book along with Klein.
This exchange occurred about 40 minutes from the end of the podcast:
Surprising no one, the New York Times handed its review of Jonah Goldberg's new book, The Tyranny of Clichés, to a political enemy, Time Magazine political columnist Joe Klein (pictured), which he did under the loaded headline "Hating Liberals." The paper similarly handed its review of Goldberg's previous book, 2007's Liberal Fascism, to unsympathetic history professor David Oshinsky.
Klein was even harsher (calling the book "an insight into the...radical Republican state of mind") and more condescending in an accompanying New York Times books podcast, hosted by his equal in conservative mockery, the paper's book editor Sam Tanenhaus. (Check the next Times Watch post for that.)
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, but if the media were the judges, the Court would rule 9-0 in favor of it. During its coverage of the health care debate, the liberal press never permitted questions about ObamaCare’s legality to interfere with their dream of a government takeover of the health care sector.
Starting even before Barack Obama became President, the press has been campaigning hard for passage of the most liberal version of health care reform as a cure-all elixir to all of America’s health problems. First, they pitched the public on the desperate need to, as ABC’s Dr. Tim Johnson demanded, fix America’s “national shame” of no universal coverage. (Worst of the Worst quote compiliation with videos after the jump)
Time magazine decided to publish a symposium on "What Is a Conservative?" in its February 13 edition employing "voices of -- and experts on -- the right," including Erick Erickson, Rich Lowry, Ramesh Ponnuru, Ann Coulter, Grover Norquist, Pete Wehner, and libertarian Nick Gillespie. The obvious non-conservative "expert" in this group is Sam Tanenhaus, editor of the New York Times Book Review. Time failed to explain that this very puzzling inclusion is the man who just wrote a book in 2009 forecasting "The Death of Conservatism," which in intellectual history is about as embarrassing as Geraldo Rivera standing in front of Al Capone's alleged vault.
Tanenhaus naturally lectured that "Every ambitious Republican President since Abraham Lincoln" understood that calling for smaller government is meaningless.