March 22, 2007

The Thin-Skinned Polemicist

By now, dear reader, you have undoubtedly heard about the brouhaha that erupted in response to Dinesh DíSouzaís latest screed, The Enemy at Home. Apparently, Mr. DíSouza, a veteran polemicist from the dreaded Culture Wars, didnít realize that his pals on the political Right wouldnít take too kindly to his insipid arguments.

Well, gee: In his jeremiad, Mr. DíSouza places the blame for 9/11óand, more generally, Islamist terrorismósquarely on the American Left. You know: A sort of ďJimmy Carter Made Me Do ItĒ defense for Osama bin Laden and his ilk. Who would ever find that offensive?

Well, dear reader, it turns out that a lot of political conservatives do. So many, in fact, that the leftists who previously caterwauled about DíSouzaís stupidity have long since ceased: Once they realized that their political opponents also thought DíSouza was full of it, they grew bored of the whole matter. To our lefty pals, it seems, Mr. DíSouzaís errors were only worth mentioning if a sizeable number of conservatives agreed with them.

We, the crack young staff of ďThe Hatemongerís Quarterly,Ē have been following the Dinesh DíSouza meltdown with sad fascination. Frankly, itís like watching a car wreckóyou donít want to look, but you just canít help yourself.

After all, Mr. DíSouzaís umpteen vituperative replies to his critics have resembled nothing so much as the retorts of Martin Bernal, the red diaper baby crank who wrote Black Athena. But at least Bernal disagreed with his political adversaries, whereas Mr. DíSouza burns bridges with every nasty reply.

By now, Mr. DíSouza has penned around 450 angry responses to his detractors. And, as far as we can tell, they are almost comically devoid of arguments. Gosh: Even an idiot would stumble upon an argument once in a while, we figured. But not Mr. DíSouza.

Instead, he has merely managed a veritable festival of ad hominem fluff. In his mind, Scott Johnson, who wrote a disparaging review of the book in The New Criterion, is some lowly ďweblogger,Ē and, apparently, not worth trusting.

In fact, Mr. DíSouza even remarked that he thought The New Criterion went out of business years ago. Boy, that says a lot for his reading habits. Perhaps heís been too busy reading Cat Fancy?

What is shocking about all of this, dear reader, is the realization of how strangely thin-skinned Dinesh DíSouza is. This is a guy who wrote a book called The End of Racism, which argued that racism no longer exists in the United States of America, for crying out loud. Youíd figure that such a fellow would be rather inured to hostile press.

But, oh no: When his book was criticized, he couldnít respond diplomatically, but had to flail away at everyone, employing the nastiest terms possible.

Posted at March 22, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack