Steven Walt writes at Foreign Policy, a part of the Washington Post–Slate- Big Money–Roots-Foreign Policy media conglomerate. Sometimes Walt has interesting and thoughtful things to say; his byline tells us he is “A realist in an ideological age.” So while we can tell what Walt thinks of himself, the Johari window model tells us there’s a quadrant of the persona which is seen by others but which is not self-recognized; it’s more commonly called a blind spot. And the bad news is Walt has been spending too much quality time in that particular quadrant.
The evidence is Walt’s blog post Fear, Incorporated: Who’s paying for all that Islamophobic paranoia?
One of the distinctive features of American democracy is the permeability of our political institutions. It’s an incredibly wide-open system, given First Amendment freedoms, the flood of money that corrupts the electoral process, and a wide array of media organizations and political journals that can be used to disseminate and amplify various views, even when they have no basis in fact.
This situation allows small groups of people to have a profound impact on public attitudes and policy discourse, provided that they are well-organized, well-funded, and stay on message. And if you don’t believe me, then take a look at the Center for American Progress’s new report [on Islamophobia]…
I did take a look at the report and by the time you get to the document’s page 5, you’ll see its mere political hackery/sophistry; a bald-faced attempt to discredit the “usual suspects” who don’t agree with the good-and-wise Walt endorsed point of view. So, as it is, Walt the realist really hearts the Center for American Progress’ report. The CAP’s motto is “Progressive ideas for a strong, just, and free America.” I suppose that’s what passes for non-ideological but if you oppose the CAP and its ideas, do you (by their definition) favor a weak, unjust, and enslaved America?
The CAP is, of course, a liberal think tank. And what does the new CAP report (breathlessly described by the resident realist/non-ideologue as “a remarkable piece of investigative work”) offer? That the ideologues/non-realists/usual suspects are creating “Islamophobia.” Walt’s blog conclusion, perhaps based on the CAP press release, is this:
…what we are really facing is a well-funded right-wing collaboration to scare the American people with a bogeyman of their own creation, largely to justify more ill-advised policies in the Middle East.
Well-funded compared to…what? To the Des Moines symphony? To ViaCom (Viacom, Paramount Pictures, MTV Films, Nickelodeon Movies, Comedy Central, BET, Spike, TV Land, Nick@Nite, Nickelodeon, TeenNick, Nick Jr., MTV, VH1, MTV2, CMT, et al)? To Disney (Disney, ESPN, ABC, Pixar, Marvel, et al)? To General Electric (NBC, MSNBC, NBCUniversal, The Weather Channel, et al)? To the Center for American Progress and their sponsors? To the schools where Walt is employed and their sponsors/donors? Could the corrupting “flood of money” from a “wide array of media organizations and political journals” come from any of the above?
Walt, kettle; kettle, Walt.
Read more about the Center for American Progress here.