Salon Writer Puts on His Tinfoil Hat

Jason Mattera
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Posted: Jun 06, 2007 11:51 AM
Salon Writer Puts on His Tinfoil Hat

Bill Clinton is the master manipulator—redefining terms, obscuring facts, and equivocating words. Alex Koppelman, at Salon.com, rides on the impeached President’s coattails with his piece The liberals are speaking, the liberals are speaking, though he’s a slim shadow of Bill.

Last week, Koppelman fired off a lame attempt to discredit Young America’s Foundation and our classification of liberal and conservative speakers in a study which revealed that the overwhelming majority of 2007 commencement speakers at our nation’s top colleges and universities are leftist activists, members of the old, liberal media, and Democrat Party officials.

Koppelman’s clinton-esque mincing becomes clear when he states that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg should’ve been tallied as a conservative because he’s a Republican. Let’s remember that Bloomberg endorses abortion, homosexual marriage, gun control, racial preferences, and raised property taxes as mayor. Apparently Koppelman can’t distinguish between a genuine conservative and an elected official who bears the moniker of Republican (In Name Only) but who is really a liberal.

Young America’s Foundation thought it safe to assume that if a person sanctions abortion on demand, or gun control, or tax hikes, or racial preferences, or donates money to the Democratic National Committee, or publicly praises Hillary Clinton, then maybe, just maybe, that person is a liberal. And if that person gives the keynote address at a college graduation, it’s probably safe to conclude that the invited guest speaker is a liberal.

Yet our list, according to Koppelman, is "laughably skewed" because we overcounted liberals and undercounted conservatives. The liberals we supposedly embellished? Bill Gates for starters. Where did we ever get the idea that Gates was a leftist? Oh, that’s right—none other than the site that Koppleman writes for, Salon.com, which referred to the billionaire as a “bleeding heart do-gooder liberal” because he financed gun control and tax hike initiatives and actively supports “reproductive health and family planning” organizations. But to Koppelman, Gates just engaged in “some liberal misdeed,” which somehow disqualifies him from being labeled a liberal in our survey.

Any guesses on what other “misdeed[s]” Koppelman faults us for using? Well, there’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus’s belief that a “military response to terrorism is not a solution;” there are the financial contributions of businessmen Elizabeth Van Ella & James T. Stephens and actor Paul Reiser to the likes of Howard Dean, the DNC, and other notable leftists; and there’s YouTube cofounder Jawed Karim’s association

with “Students Confronting Apartheid by Israel,” an organization that blames Israel for instability in the Middle East.

Come to think of it, Koppelman garrulously wastes his and his readers’ time by repeating the leftist predilections of individuals our study already uncovered. He advances the awfully strange conclusion, however, that Young America’s Foundation shouldn’t determine the ideological leanings of a person by what he or she says or does.

Prostitutes should try employing Koppelman’s chop-logic during police interrogations. They can argue that just because they were caught wearing knee-high boots and no panties while exploring the lower extremities of a man after being paid $100 doesn’t signify an act of prostitution. Why, it’s just a “misdeed," a sexual misdeed!

Koppelman’s defense belies the insuperable fact—which even public policy neophytes know—that if a person supports, financially or verbally, liberal causes, he or she is almost certainly a liberal. If you back Al Gore on global warming, check, you’re a liberal (graduation speakers John Doerr, Jared Diamond, and Ralph J. Cicerone). If you lock arms with Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, check, you’re a liberal (graduation

speaker Richard Brodhead). If you shower Hillary Clinton with plaudits and defend racial preferences, check, you’re a liberal (graduation speaker Shirley Ann Jackson). If you allow leftist student thugs to shut down conservative events on campus, promote secular humanism, and if you permit members of the military to get harassed by tie-dyed campus Stalinists, check, you’re a liberal (graduation speaker Lee Bollinger).

Koppelman also protests the inclusion of CNN’s Soledad O’Brien and Wolf Blitzer, NBC’s Brian Williams, and former ABC anchor Ted Koppel. Let’s bring back out the checklist: Soledad O’Brien

endorsed Spike Lee’s conspiratorial movie, When the Levees Broke, which postulates that the levees in New Orleans were intentionally blown up to eviscerate the local black population; Wolf Blitzer gushed over Nancy Pelosi, saying her new congress will be “an exciting ride;” Brian Williams validated a terrorist comparison between our Founding Fathers and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; and Ted Koppel blamed the U.S. for al Qaeda’s infamy.

Liberals? We think so.

Not all members of the mainstream media were counted as liberals, though. We intentionally excluded Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria, whose writing tends to be more middle of the road than partisan. But Koppelman became apoplexed over that as well. Zakaria, he claims, is a conservative and should be grouped as such. To prove his point, he provided a hyperlink to a profile on Zakaria that actually paints Newsweek’s resident intellectual as one who can’t be pigeonholed politically, in the words of George Stephanopoulos.

What could be more embarrassing than supplying a hyperlink to an article that contradicts the very assertion you thought the article would corroborate? Labeling Michael Bloomberg a conservative, perhaps?

For argument’s sake, we’ll actually grant Koppelman that there are 14 conservatives. We’ll also take his suggestion and add John Grisham to the number of liberals and count Bill Clinton for a third time (we cancelled him out originally since he spoke along side George H.W. Bush). Even on those generously theoretical terms, there are 51 liberals and 14 conservatives! And yet Koppelman sees nothing wrong with this picture. In his mind, diversity is flourishing—the kind of leftist diversity that’s ideologically lopsided.

Slick Willy would be proud.