Desk Drawer 4 is here.
Got an email the other night from a pal.
It was slugged: "Dear God in heaven, they're doing a re-enactment of the American Betrayal attacks."
Oh no, not again ...
Turns out "they" are merely David Horowitz, who, some oldtimers will recall, led a disinformation campaign against American Betrayal from his Frontpage website. It began publicly with a "take-down" called "McCarthy on Steroids" by Ron Radosh in August of 2013, which appeared in the same week as a five-part–series based on American Betrayal ran at Breitbart News. The Horowitz-led disinformation campaign
ended continues to this day.
That first payload of disinformation was originally debunked at Breitbart News in three parts, which is also available as a book and Kindle here.
Four years later, however, the attacks are in miniature -- a tiny fight Horowitz picked with a few readers in the comment section of a rather curious piece by Daniel Greenfield. The piece, which appears to ex-communicate Radosh from all things Horowitz, seems to be about the "ancient slur" of "McCarthyism" as it is now, evidently, being used by Radosh against "a growing list of conservatives from David Horowitz to Stephen Bannon to Rich Higgins to Stephen Miller to a fellow named Daniel Greenfield."
Readers may be forgiven for assuming, logically, that Frontpage might also be taking Radosh to task for such "ancient slurs" against me and my work. As a great admirer of the late, great Joseph McCarthy, I, of course, take such "slurs" as supreme compliments, but still: lies and ad hominem attacks? Not so much.
Greenfield opens his McCarthyism/Radosh piece thus.
McCarthyism accusations are the last refuge of old Commies. As a dog returns to its vomit, old lefties reach for the security blanket of that ancient slur which is used to tar anyone who questions the left.
Mixed metaphors aside, the sick canine Frontpage has in mind is Ron Radosh, which might seem to be something, if you excuse the neo-Red "running dog of imperialism" prose. Alas, †he rest of the piece mainly bemoans and pities the "old Commie," never again achieving that same dog-vomit piquancy. I suspect that's because the whole thing is not particularly serious.
Still, some readers interpreted the article as a rationale for, or even possible stirrings of a Horowitz Mea Culpa for Yours Truly. While that's all very kind of them, and I do greatly appreciate their comments about my book, this is not in the cards of the kind of game Horowitz is playing.
Anyway, the whole affair, apparently calculated to smoke-signal some meaningful public rupture between faux populists (Horowitz) and herd-riding Never Trumpers (Radosh) -- perhaps as a way to atone for Horowitz having failed utterly for a year to help Bannon out with Radosh's damaging, year-long "Leninist" attack when it might have mattered -- completely backfired.
He just couldn't help himself.
NB: For reader convenience, I will mark the three statements David Horowitz makes that are probably or actually true (for more info, see, for example, The Rebuttal: Defending `American Betrayal' from the Book-Burners).
Texas Patriot wrote: "... When is David Horowitz going to reach out and mend the fences with Diana West?..."
Horowitz : You're forgetting. I offered her all the space in Frontpage she might need to reply to Radosh's review and she denounced me as a "book burner". Your appeal if it's sincere needs to be made to this disturbed woman. I never intended Radosh's review or my decision to remove Tapson's review to start a war. [1: Probably true, especially since they lost.]
DonnieZen wrote: Unfortunately David Horowitz followed [Radosh], saying Diana's book was "sloppy journalism", even though the book contains 900 footnotes. What's up with these Marxist converts?
Horowitz: Footnotes yes. Good judgment no. Read her chapter claiming that D-Day was a Soviet plot, which makes Eisenhower and the American general staff Communist dupes.
GingerLi wrote: There was nothing 'sloppy' about Diana's book, and I was disappointed in Horowitz's denigration of it. One thing it did: it spurred my interest in the subject so much so that its truth for me was more than confirmed. It's a terrible accusation to make that traitors were actually running our government during WWII but one can't escape that conclusion when allied countries and millions of people were sold out wholesale to Stalin's communism to preserve the narrow political fortunes of high sounding windbags: FDR and Churchill. ...
Horowitz: What West ignores is that by making Stalin an ally, we saved millions of American lives. Literally. You make not like this pact with the Devil but it doesn't mean that the US gov't was run by Soviet agents, which is what West claims.
DonnieZen wrote: Conrad Black also leveled charges at Diana because of "American Betrayal". That's hardly a surprise as Black is the Official Bowdlerizer of the FDR Myth. ...
Horowitz: That the Roosevelt Administration was penetrated by Soviet agents and included Soviet sympathizers at the highest level - there's no question. [2: True.] The issue is precisely what kind of influence and control they had, and this is an issue that West fails to address. [NB: That, dear reader, is what the entire book is about.] Churchill led the coverup of the Katyn massacre. By West's logic that makes him a Soviet agent or dupe. Yet her view of the D-Day plan would suggest just the opposite. This kind of illogic pervades her book.
Daniel Greenfield wrote: Indeed. If you believe her, who wasn't a Soviet agent or dupe.
DonnieZen wrote: Radosh is a lying Marxist dog. I've known he is a fraud for a long time, and he really confirmed that for me when he attacked Diana West for writing "American Betrayal".
Horowitz: This is a typical example of the derangement of West and her followers. Radosh is not a Marxist.
Horowitz (in addition to slandering me for "derangement") has just said "Radosh is not a Marxist." But isn't the essay's convoluted point that ex-Communist Radosh has returned to "his roots"? Oh well, so much for the headline. Maybe it's all just a little reader-manipulation for the cause, whatever that is: Give the readers the vivid shock of Radosh as "Dog" returning to "Vomit" of "McCarthyism" -- but don't elucidate Radosh, dogs, vomit, or, most of all, McCarthyism. Seem like so much between-the-lines careerist positioning; with Horowitz perhaps staking out a square of ideological territory as close as possible to the astronomically more successful Bannon/Breitbart machine.
DonnieZen wrote back: Drop the straw man BS, please. I'm not a "follower of West". In my opinion Radosh has returned to his roots. Live with it.
Note the commenter is arguing with the editor over the editor's own message-of-the-day headline, which is: NEVER TRUMP DRIVES A FORMER COMMUNIST BACK TO HIS ROOTS
Isn't this great?
Hoping Against Hope wrote: Ron Radosh exposed himself when he viciously attacked Diana West's book "American Betrayal". I felt then that he was a pretender and a poser.
DonnieZen wrote: Hah. I posted the same after you did. "American Betrayal" is an excellent book. Unfortunately, David Horowitz accused Diana of "sloppy journalism", even though the book, as you are aware, has some 900 footnotes. I hate to say it, but that gave me pause about Horowitz also.
Horowitz wrote: There's no contradiction between having 900 footnotes and being sloppy and illogical and dodging key issues.
DonnieZen wrote: Your opinion. The book did fairly well, from what I understand.
Hoping Against Hope wrote: I trust Diana West. Sorry to hear that about Horowitz.
DonnieZen wrote: It stunned me. It was at a seminar and [M. Stanton Evans] (great historian) asked Horowitz about comments he had heard attributed to Horowitz. Horowitz went on a rant about Diana's book. Conrad Black is another, but that's not surprising, as he is the official bowdlerizer of the "FDR experience."
Horowitz wrote: This lie is easily refuted since there's a video of my remarks at that event at Heritage. [3: True, there is a video of Horowitz's remarks at Heritage.] Considering West brought her minions to disrupt my book event, I was excessively nice to her.
DonnieZen wrote: Yes, and I watched the youtube video of that event. Considering whatever, the assertion you made that she indulged in "sloppy journalism" is unfounded. Have you read Diana's book? I didn't notice Diana's "minions" disrupting the event, it is well over an hour, isn't it? Don't get butthurt, everyone, including the esteemed [Horowitz], gets one wrong sooner or later.
Horowitz wrote: I was referring to your description of my very civil response to an uncivil protest as a "rant". I would have debated West if she had asked for it. Instead she crashed my book event - I happened to be promoting a book about the left in the Clinton and Obama administrations and its communist roots. My quarrel with her is that she overstates the case in a way that discredits it. I did read her book, and I gave a couple of specific examples in this thread of why it is flawed. According to her argument, Churchill was 1) a Kremlin tool and 2) a valiant Kremlin opponent. You can't eat your cake and have it too.
The man is a menace to reality.
Hoping Against Hope gets the last, best word:
Until they open their mouths and expose themselves, we just never really know.