Dershowitz, Guns and Other Controversies You Drummed Up Again This WeekS

Big weekend, guys, huh? The Super Bowl? Beyoncé's going to be there? And Jay-Z and Destiny's Child (but not Michelle) maybe? Also that guy. The one with the tattoos. He'll probably be there too, tossing the pigskin around and such?

I don't really have anything intelligent to say about The Big Game™, but I did want to address this: someone created a petition to make the day after the Super Bowl a holiday. That's pretty fucking stupid right? Like if you can't spend a whole Sunday drinking and make it to work Monday, maybe don't spend a whole Sunday drinking?

In the same vein, if you can't write an email that makes sense, maybe don't write an email?

Our best guess is this email is in reaction to this week's shooting at a Phoenix office building, but your guess is good as ours.

Subj: reaction

I have been a therapist for 45 years and know human. For anyone stupid enough to go into a crowded place is my first question. You have children who make decisions about their children. I pray that this kind of behaviour is going to stop. My heart acks for the parents. Mistakes are for learning but what a lesson for the world. I have been in show business and understand what goes on. MONEY is the greed of the game. For a few more pennies this could all not happened. SORRY SORRY SORRY.

Our first hate mail from Ke$ha. Proud moment.

LOL........you liberal dumba$$es really need to work on editing your news. You really think that people believe your liberal lies by not posting the ENTIRE hearing. It's so amazing people even listen to you or whatever it is you do. It's extremely clear how one sided the media is today and that may be the media's down fall.

Honestly, nothing riles people up like some good old-fashioned perceived anti-Semitism.

Subj: Ridiculously slanted article

To Mr. Read,

Regarding Seko's article:
"developed a remote-controlled bulldozer used to level Palestinian homes to remove their tactical roof-having and standing-up abilities."

This is the kind of mendacious nonsense that characterizes BDS and indeed most of the Israel bashers. The fact is these supposedly harmless structure have covered entrances to tunnels used to transport arms and terrorists, used to store arms, and as bases of operations for terrorists. Human drivers are at risk from explosives and snipers so making them remote control is reasonable.

As far as Finklestein goes, he's profited from writing a conspiracy mongering, Israel bashing book that not even fellow Israel basher Chomsky found convincing. Dershowitz has no power to block Finklestein from a job. He has the first amendment right, as well as the scholarly obligation, to point out how full of BS Finklestein is. There's no shortage of job holding professors who are down on Israel, and somehow the Evil Dersh hasn't been able to send them packing, despite Seko's own conspiracy mongering.

And of course, Seko has to throw in some untrue and irrelevant stuff about creationists and conversion therapy to have the readers of this article form some factless, emotional association with Dershowitz just to destroy his image.

Finally, it's unclear why a site that describes itself as "the definitive news and gossip sheet for followers of entertainment, media, and business" is running an article on this topic, much less one full of unsubstantiated bile.

Dershowitz himself responded. But that wasn't enough, so his BEST FRIEND who he's TOTALLY HEARD OF had to write in as well.

Dear Mr. Scocca,

Alan Dershowitz forwarded to me a link to Mr. "Seko's" article and your email inviting comment. Dershowitz is my former professor and employer. I recommended that he not engage you — Dershowitz doesn't know what Gawker is; I do — but evidently I was too late, and he wrote the brief response that you have appended to the original post. Dershowitz is used to being smeared in articles such as this one. They roll off his back. But I'm not a public figure with thick skin, and it bothers me, as a guy who has a lot of affection for Dershowitz, when these blog posts go unanswered.

So Mr. Scocca, I'l be honest with you. This article is bad — even by Gawker standards. The very first sentence contains an ad hominem attack on the subject ("O.J. Simpson's lawyer") and an outright lie ("spit-shining the idea of institutionalized American torture"). Do you have such contempt for your readers that you think they see a hypertext link and assume it supports the stated proposition without reading the article for themselves? Anyone who actually read the linked article — I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you didn't — would see that Dershowitz was proposing a method designed to reduce what Dershowitz himself called "the ugly face of American torture." In other words, the article argues against precisely the position that Mr. Seko attributes to Dershowitz! And Mr. Scocca, this is just the first sentence!

I'm not going to go sentence-by-sentence, point-by-point. Mr. Seko's invitation to comment was disingenuous anyway — a gimmick intended to add a veneer of credibility to a political screed. ("Hey, if what I wrote isn't true, the subject totally could have refuted it!") You know full well that nobody would read a full defense.

Suffice it to say Mr. Seko's article is comprised almost entirely of errors, mischaracterizations, and plain dishonesty. And his tone of hatred is just astonishing. (Dershowitz is "indistinguishable from even the poorest mush-mouthed goober.") I'd ask where all of the author's anger is coming from — surely not merely from a dispute over the meaning of an academic department's endorsement of a lecture by two radicals — but Mr. Seko tips his hand when he calls Israel "fascis[t]" and later quips that "[g]etting called 'racist' for advocating a position critical of current Israeli policy is about as difficult as being called a 'hipster' for owning an old camera. . . ." Ah, there it is. Now we know what this article is really about. Mr. Scocca, I'm curious: are these quoted statements the considered opinions of Gawker or are they the personal opinions of Mr. Seko? I bet many of your readers would like to know as well.

If you or your readers are actually curious about Dershowitz's position on the controversy that Mr. Seko purported to cover, I'll refer you to this blog post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-dershowitz/brooklyn-college-politica_b_2582561.html

That's Dershowitz's position, plain as day, proudly and publicly announced. You can feel free to post this letter and the link. Or don't. I feel better for having written it.

All the best,

Mitch

[Image by Jim Cooke]