December 24, 2007

The Smear Bund never rests—not even on Christmas. Especially not on Christmas. And they’ve been really active lately, what with Ron Paul gaining in the polls and in the hearts and minds of a growing number of young people: we can’t have that! I’ve waded through the muck and mire, so you don’t have to—go here to read a full accounting.

One would think that the sheer counterintuitiveness of the proposition that the country’s leading libertarian politician is a Nazi sympathizer would deter the Smear Brigade from trying to pull that one off—but no. From the left-leaning cyber-lair of “Orcinus,” where the professional “extremist”-hunter David Neiwert (a kind of low-budget John Roy Carlson) holds court, to the supposedly opposite end of the spectrum over at “Stormfront,” where the “Commander” of the American National Socialist Workers Party pontificates, the hue and cry is going up: Paul is a Nazi!

This morning the New York Times took up this theme, with a vicious taunt coming out of the mouth of Virginia Heffernan, who repeats the laughable accusations of an admitted Nazi as indisputable fact. Paul “seems to have Nazi troubles, as in they”€™re saying he’s one of them,” she gloats—and hails a “vid-lash” against Ron Paul. Yeah, the Paul supporters have so far dominated Youtube and the internet in general, where their movement was born, but we’ll show them: Heffernan posts a video by one Mike Fluggenock, a shrill leftist propganda short that focuses not on Paul’s positions but on two or three individuals in a crowd of some 5,000 at a rally in Philadelphia.

What’s interesting about Senor Fluggenock, however, isn’t his skills as a film-maker, or even as a propagandist, but the fact that he was one of six American “artists” to make contributions to Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust cartoon contest. Here it is.

Gee, I don’t wonder that Fluggenock’s entry didn’t place. That is kind of heavy-handed, even for the Iranians. After all, is the evil of the Holocaust really equivalent to the admittedly brutal Israeli occupation? I haven’t noticed the Israelis killing 6 million Palestinians in extermination chambers, but I’m sure this is just an oversight on my part. What I couldn’t help noticing, however, is that Fluggenock travels in some of the same circles as Bill White, the neo-Nazi “Commander” and source of the charge that Paul is a secret “white nationalist. DC Indymedia, where Fluggenock is part of of the “editorial collective, seems to have it’s own Nazi problem. DC Indymedia has also been promoting White’s story. Hmmmmm …..

Ms. Hefferan, described herein as “a newly ubiqitous [sic] cultural critic,” apparently determined to follow in the footsteps of Judith Miller, isn’t too picky about her sources. Judy had Chalabi: Virginia has Bill White, the supreme “Commander” of the American National Socialist Workers Party, and Senor Fluggenock, a cartoonist with a cartoonish view of world politics.

In her MediaBistro interview, the fresh-faced golden-haired Ms. Heffernan burbles on about her faaaaabulous career, from fact-checker [!] at Tina Brown’s New Yorker to her ascendance as A Newly Ubiquitous Cultural Critic:

“I was disillusioned”€”not radically disillusioned, just a little disillusioned”€”with graduate school, and had decided to spend the summer in New York working at a bookstore”€”Chapter & Verse on St. Marks, which isn’t there anymore. My now-friend Rob Boynton came in while I was reading Janet Malcolm’s The Journalist and the Murderer, and struck up a conversation. I learned he was a journalist, and it was through him that I got the idea that it could be a profession.”

She was disillusioned—and now I am. How in the name of all that’s holy could such an air-head possibly become A Newly Ubiquitous Cultural Critic? Yes, but air-heads have their uses, and the Smear Bund couldn’t function without them: smearing doesn’t take much talent. And it pays.


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