A lot of liberals like to suggest that the New York Times was asleep at the wheel when the war in Iraq began. Some of the more rabid leftists complain that the newspaper was actually complicit in shaping public opinion that was, as many Americans seem to forget, overwhelmingly in favor of dropping bombs on Baghdad.
But if anyone at the New York Times believes that the paper dropped the ball over the War on Terror, they are sure making up for it now.
This week marked the debut of the “Freakonomics Blog” on the New York Times website. “Freakonomics” is also the title of the wildly successful book by one Steven D. Levitt.
Apparently, Levitt wanted to make certain his inaugural Times blog was going to be noticed. The title of his first post was, “If you were a terrorist, how would you attack?”
When I saw the headline, I figured that had to be a metaphor for something. Surely this maniac didn’t write something on the world wide web that literally solicits suggestions from readers as to the most effective ways to slaughter Americans.
As I read the column, my stomach churned. In a stunning new low, even for the liberal torch-bearing New York Times, Mr. Levitt was, indeed, literally soliciting suggestions from readers as to the most effective ways to slaughter Americans. At the hands of our terrorist enemies.
Freakonomics, indeed. More like a freak show, I think.
It’s easy to close your eyes and think of another time, like World War II. Try and imagine some cocky, smarmy columnist writing an op-ed piece at the height of “The Big One” that invited readers to mail in various ways the Germans and Japanese could exterminate Americans.
But these are different times, aren’t they? Treason, like black and white televisions, doesn’t exist anymore. In 2007 America, one can pretty much say or do anything he or she wants, especially at the expense of civilians and members of the U.S. Military. Like the filthiest shock jocks on satellite radio, a Republican-hating, military-loathing, Bush-bashing individual can push the envelope as far as possible, shocking and aweing us with their reprehensible comments designed to stimulate other like-minded degenerates to feel the way they do. And if anyone dares to begin to challenge them, there’s always the ACLU waiting to take up their cause. Or a big, fat, lucrative book deal on the table.
Levitt’s diatribe included a number of ways he would “maximize terror if (he) were a terrorist with limited resources.” He lists five categories that he, the hypothetical terrorist, would utilize in wreaking as much havoc as possible on innocent Americans.
Dad must be so proud. He made his son’s first New York Times blog.
But Steven Levitt isn’t just satisfied with sharing he and his father’s twisted ways to give terrorists suggestions for murdering us. He turns to his readers for what he hopes will be “far better ideas.” In fact, he even sounds a little giddy as he invites posts on the subject by saying, “I would love to hear them.”
Well, I’d like to solicit some suggestions from my readers, too. If a best-selling New York Times author, the brilliant mind behind “Freakonomics” can ask people for hypothetical ways for terrorists to kill us, I can be hypothetical as well, can’t I?
The title of my blog would be simple: “When executing someone convicted of treason, should we use a firing squad, gas chamber, or lethal injection?”
Post away. I’d love to hear from you.