Wednesday, September 20, 2006
A Letter to the Valiant Journalist who Outed George Allen
Dear Ms. Fox,
Thank you for your question to Sen. George Allen; and shame on the crowd for thinking that somehow it was out of bounds for you to clarify the record on whether Sen. Allen's grandfather was Jewish or not; it was a legitimate question.
I had submitted the very same question to "Meet the Press" prior to Sunday's debate, although I'd framed it in the context of Ryan Lizza's article and the bizarre statement by Bob Gibson of Charlottesville's Daily Progress that Allen asked him to retract a story for the first time in all his years of covering him when he wrote about Allen's Jewish heritage.
Allen's faux outrage was just a way to bully you and every other journalist to steer clear from your line of question into his family background. You see, it went against EVERYTHING he'd so carefully constructed with his phony good ol' Virginia gentryman on a horse named Bubba persona.
I just hope another reporter is equal to the task as you were and asks him how it is possible that he only learned of his Jewish heritage after the Lizza or Forward article, especially in light of his prior objections to the Bob Gibson story in Daily Progress?
I mean, it's just not credible. Why would anyone clamor for a reporter to take back a story without first finding out whether it was accurate of not?
In other words, like the Macaca incident, Sen. Allen is lying through his goober teeth.
(Ms. Fox's e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org)
Update: Here's the lame statement released to the media by George Allen's office regarding the latest brouhaha.
Howling Latina would sure like Allen to explain how asking whether his grandfather was Jewish somehow "impugns the attitudes" of his mother? Or how that shows Ms. Fox to be a bigot? Or how Ms. Fox suggested that's it okay to be a bigot? Or how the public learning of his mother's Jewish roots somehow disrespects her privacy?
"Yesterday, I found it especially reprehensible that a reporter would impugn the attitudes of my mother, as Ms. Peggy Fox did in her first question at the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce Senate debate. My mother and father both taught me to abhor bigotry, and Ms. Fox's suggestion to the contrary was deeply offensive.
"The notion peddled by the Webb campaign that I am somehow embarrassed by my heritage is equally offensive, and also absurd.
"I was raised as a Christian and my mother was raised as a Christian. And I embrace and take great pride in every aspect of my diverse heritage, including my Lumbroso family line's Jewish heritage, which I learned about from a recent magazine article and my mother confirmed. "
On several occasions through the years, I have mentioned publicly that my mother's father was incarcerated by the Nazis. I have never known whether he was persecuted by the Nazis because of his nationality, his religious faith, his role as a community leader, or his part in the anti-Nazi resistance."
What I do know is that my grandfather's imprisonment by the Nazis had a profound impact on my mother. It was a subject she found painful to discuss and so we almost never discussed it.
"Some may find it odd that I have not probed deeply into the details of my family history, but it's a fact. We in the Allen household were simply taught that what matters is a person's character, integrity, effort, and performance - not race, gender, ethnicity or religion. And so whenever we would ask my mother through the years
about our family background on her side, the answer always was, "Who cares about that?"
"My mother has lived a long and full life, and I hope and pray she will enjoy many more years. She deserves respect and she also deserves privacy, especially where painful memories are concerned. I sincerely hope that simple decency will be respected."
This whole incident gets curiouser and curiouser.