What, oh, what are we to do with people who publish misrepresentations (lies) and smear as facts? Ah, my patience is taxed to the max, again – this time from reading Ron Capshaw’s critique of a Rick Perlstein essay at National Review Online, published March 26. If you read Capshaw’s entire Perlstein-slam, and it contains a whole lot of material which requires the reader to have some rather extensive knowledge of left versus neo-con right literature, way on down the page you eventually arrive at Capshaw’s defense of Ron Radosh.
Now, Radosh is the man who incited a war of words by attempting to destroy author Diana West’s credentials and character with a mendacious attack on her book America Betrayal. Unlike Capshaw, I won’t defend Radosh’s hit piece on American Betrayal, because Radosh’s essay was stuffed full of demonstrable lies – and West’s book was stuffed full of hard documentary evidence. I’m a retired cop. I like hard evidence.
And if Capshaw had kept up with current events, he would know just how many bald-faced lies Radosh wrote during his assault on West’s opus. But, no. In his NRO attack on Perlstein, Capshaw brays Radosh’s deeply flawed, factually challenged, assessment of American Betrayal as truth.
Let’s cut to the chase. Here’s what it’s all about today and why I’m rolling my eyes toward the Heavens above. (Bold print is my addition):
Perlstein also neglects to mention the easily available evidence that Radosh was hardly a right-winger at the time The Rosenberg File was published. A year later, he was still calling himself “a democratic socialist,” and he voted for Mondale rather than Reagan. Against the labels of right-wing extremist and McCarthyite lodged against him by Perlstein, Radosh was in actuality in the forefront of those denouncing Diana West’s book American Betrayal, which argued that the New Deal and indeed the Allied war effort against the Nazis were Communist-directed. …
I have carefully read American Betrayal two times, word for word, cover to cover. Nowhere in that book did Diana West assert anything that simple. If you’ve read West’s book, and I suspect that Mr. Capshaw has not read it, it is impossible not to conclude that American strategy in WWII was greatly influenced by Stalin’s agents, who were beyond question ensconced at the highest levels of the FDR administration. But, you have to read West’s book to understand the validity of the idea. Continuing on in Capshaw’s paragraph:
…Of this work, for which Perlstein’s label of “right-wing” is a better fit than for the others mentioned above, Radosh wrote: “Ms. West writes without an understanding of historical context and lacks awareness of much of the scholarly literature on the subjects she writes about. Moreover, she disregards the findings of the sources she does rely on when they contradict her yellow journalism conspiracy theories. Consequently she arrives at judgment after judgment that is not only bizarre on its face, but also unwarranted by the evidence and refuted by the very authorities she draws on.”
I can’t resist putting this stuff into an Orwellian context:
Four legs good,two legs bad, four legs good, two legs bad
Radosh smart, West stupid
Radosh smart, West Yellow Journalist
Radosh smart, West Right Wing
Radosh smart, West conspiracy theorist
Radosh smart, West bizarre
So, I’ll pose the question: Mr. Capshaw, did you actually read American Betrayal?