A few years ago, when Hillary Clinton was attacked as anti-Semitic, I wrote a piece for The Wall Street Journal defending her against the charge. As a Jew, an author of a book on anti-Semitism and a conservative talk show host, I had credibility to do so.
It is time now for people with integrity on the Left -- and liberal opinion pages -- to show their integrity and defend Bill Bennett against the libel of being a racist who advocated the abortion of all black babies.
For make no mistake: This is as pure a character issue as one can imagine. Bill Bennett is not a racist and said nothing that even remotely came close to advocating the abortion of all black babies. This is the dividing line between the decent and the indecent on the Left. The indecent make these charges; the decent will defend him against them. It's as simple as that.
What happened is easy to summarize. In response to a caller who said that America "lost revenue from the people who have been aborted in the last 30 years," Bennett made the point that one cannot argue against abortion by pointing out anything theoretically positive that could come from either allowing or outlawing abortion. For example, he went on to say, "You could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." And he immediately added, for the sake of those who might distort his meaning, that aborting all black babies would be "impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible."
But talk show host Ed Schultz, whose syndicated radio show is aired on liberal Air America, heard these remarks. He alerted fellow leftist David Brock, who then put the transcript of the Bennett dialogue on his website.
The Left and the world's news media picked up the dialogue and then announced that Bill Bennett had advocated the abortion of all black babies.
This lie is as intentional as it is complete. Sometimes lies contain a kernel of truth; this one has none. In fact, the irony is that if Bennett's social policies were followed, no black babies would ever have been aborted; they are aborted in great numbers thanks to left-wing social policies.
On his show, Ed Schultz said the following:
"Racism is not a virtue; and this is the guy who wrote the book on virtues!"
"The Christian right in this country considers abortion murder; this is not about abortion -- this is about extermination."
" . . . He's out there advocating the murder of all black babies so that we can bring down crime."
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”