As to whether the virtue patrol's misreading of Cohen was purposeful, I am in doubt. The left-wing has turned the American melting pot with all its benign diversity into a land full of bugaboos and acts of hate -- mostly imagined, thank God. Such bugaboos and acts of hate are left to the virtue patrol to comprehend. The America they live in is rather like the Balkans where Serbs and Croats, Bosnians and Slovenians and lesser clans all live in uneasy disharmony until a war breaks out and then neighbor slaughters neighbor. In America's melting pot the virtue patrol envisions race against race, ethnic group against ethnic group, even sex against sex. In the event of war breaking out the carnage could be terrible, but, as I say, the real America is a relatively peaceful place. Thank God.
As for Cohen, he is unlucky. He aroused the transient wrath of the virtue patrol, as have others: the football players, Riley Cooper and Larry Incognito; the celebrity chef, Paula Deen; and now the actor Alec Baldwin. Most of these wretches will probably survive after passing through their vale of tears. In Cohen's case his suffering could have ended years ago. I remember very well my editor at the Washington Post, Meg Greenfield, telling me in the late 1970s that she would never have him on her op-ed page. I could never understand why. He writes quite well, but Meg probably recognized he had a tin ear for controversy. At any rate he did end up on her page. He is unlucky, but someone up there loves him.