May 03, 2002
Slate magazine's Timothy Noah is

Slate magazine's Timothy Noah is bent out of shape about Wayne LaPierre's rather intemperate remarks about an gun-grabbing group. Here's the part that has Noah in a lather:

"In fact, Andrew McKelvey's network [Americans for Gun Safety] kind of operates and sounds a lot like Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda. A billionaire with an extremist political agenda, subverting honest diplomacy, using personal wealth to train and deploy activists, looking for vulnerabilities to attack, fomenting fear for political gain, funding an ongoing campaign to hijack your freedom and take a box-cutter to the Constitution. That's political terrorism, and it's a far greater threat to your freedom than any foreign force." (Wayne LaPierre)

It's over the top, to be sure, but it's no more offensive than the idiotic bleating over Richard Mellon Scaife and the use of his wealth to further a political agenda. I remember the screams of "It's only about sex!" and "vast right-wing conspiracy" and "shredding the constitution" regarding the Bill and Monica show, which was an outgrowth of the investigation Scaife funded (through The American Spectator magazine). The only difference is that instead of using "sexual McCarthyism" as the overused slur, they are using Osama. Noah didn't flip over Julian Bond's repeated use of "The Taliban wing of the Republican Party" to smear Bush cabinet appointees, so why is it that comparing McKelvey to Osama is such a bad thing?

Of course, Noah is a strident critic of the NRA (see this and this). His offhand dismissals (or outright hostility, depending on one's interpretation of his posts) of anyone who opposes the gun-grabbers is probably why he is so upset, but try telling that to him.

(Edited 5 May 2002 to fix incorrect link for Bond quote)

posted on May 03, 2002 11:04 PM


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