The 5 Most Repulsive Hacks on Salon's Hack Pundits List
This week, Salon unleashed a smart and mega-entertaining list of the top 30 most revolting journos in America, leading us to ponder 1. How did this happen? and 2. Are there really only 30? The pain writer Alex Pareene must have endured to make the list is commendable–as is the glee he clearly got from compiling it. But in our parsing of his parsing, we felt a few of his chosen writers transcend low-grade hackiness with their extreme views and repulsive traits. Our list, distilled from his iist:
1. Marty Peretz
New Republic proprietor/noted racist/xenophobic. Salon rank: 5. Pareene's best argument:
Did you know that "Arab society" is "hidebound and backward"? That the Druze are "congenitally untrustworthy"? You can learn all that and more at the Peretz Dossier, an irregularly updated encyclopedia of the most ridiculous and inflammatory things Peretz writes about Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis and all the other non-Jews he considers to be dastardly, primitive and incapable of "civilization."
2. Thomas Friedman
This guy! New York Times albatross, corporate buttlicker. Salon rank 3. Pareene's best argument:
But for some reason, his are the airport bookstore selections of presidents and CEOs. The man has lately decided that he is done with democracy itself, and he'd much prefer it if "reasonably enlightened" people (like the Chinese Communist Party) could just impose "politically difficult but critically important policies" from on high. This is the secret wish of nearly every "moderate" pundit on this list, but -- confidential to Tom, you're not supposed to wish for totalitarianism out loud.
3. David Ignatius
Social Darwinist. Salon rank: 14. Pareene's best argument:
He is a steadfast believer in the importance of fiscal responsibility (which invariably means the gutting of the social safety net) and defines partisanship as "Democrats not conceding the debate to Republicans."
4. Dana Milbank
Skull and Bones sexist with proclivity for puns. Salon rank:24. Pareene's best argument:
That Ivy League "humor" -- the sneering of a lifelong member of the elite -- bit Milbank in the ass when he called Hillary Clinton a "mad bitch" in his horrific Web video series with Chris Cillizza. (Just some hilarious political incorrectness, guys, lighten up!) The series was unceremoniously ended. But Dana Milbank finally graduated to the opinion section, where he considers himself a liberal despite the fact that his voting record is that of a moderate Republican.
5. Bill Kristol
An easy choice, but so right. Salon rank: 17. Pareene's best argument:
He is also almost as responsible as John McCain himself for making Sarah Palin a national figure.
The Hack 30 really is a fine piece of writing; we recommend reading the entire thing here.