Jun
14
2010

Thomas Friedman and 'Our' Failures

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman argued yesterday (6/13/10) that, when it comes down to it,we're all to blame for the BP disaster. And that's not all we're to blame for: We cannot fix what ails America unless we look honestly at our own roles in creating our own problems. We–both parties–created an awful set of incentives that encouraged our best students to go to Wall Street to create crazy financial instruments instead of to Silicon Valley to create new products that improve people's lives. We–both parties–created massive tax incentives and cheap money to make home mortgages available to people […]

May
26
2010

Thomas Friedman Doesn't Get Much Uglier Than This

Thomas Friedman is upset in his New York Times column today (5/26/10) because Brazilian President Lula da Silva negotiated a nuclear deal with Iran. Asks Friedman, "Is there anything uglier than watching democrats sell out other democrats to a Holocaust-denying, vote-stealing Iranian thug just to tweak the U.S. and show that they, too, can play at the big power table?" And he answers himself: "No, that's about as ugly as it gets." Friedman quotes a source complaining that Iran had just executed "political prisoners who were tortured into confessions," but Lula "didn't mention a word about human rights." Friedman presumably […]

Mar
03
2010

Friedman's Wisdom: CEOs Want to Pay Even Less Tax

In a column headlined "A Word From the Wise" (3/3/10), New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman lets us know what Intel CEO Paul Otellini thinks is wrong with the U.S. economy. And there's a certain theme that runs through his critique: "The things that are not conducive to investments here are [corporate] taxes and capital equipment credits."… "If I build that factory in almost any other country in the world, where they have significant incentive programs, I could save $1 billion," because of all the tax breaks these governments throw in…. "The cost of operating when you look at it […]

Feb
24
2010

Tom Friedman's Iraq War

In his New York Times column today (2/24/10), Tom Friedman presents a bizarre view of the Iraq War. Attempting to answer the question of whether Iraq is dysfunctional because of its culture (the "conservative" argument)or because of its politics (the "liberal" argument), he writes: Ironically, though, it was the neo-conservative Bush team that argued that culture didn't matter in Iraq, and that the prospect of democracy and self-rule would automatically bring Iraqis together to bury the past. While many liberals and realists contended that Iraq was an irredeemable tribal hornet's nest and we should not be sticking our hand in […]

Feb
21
2009

Tom Friedman's Terrorism Hypocrisy

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman referred disparagingly this week to the praise that terrorism allegedly receives in "mainstream Arab media, like Al Jazeera." In his February 18 column, Friedman wrote: To be sure, Mumbai's Muslims are a vulnerable minority in a predominantly Hindu country. Nevertheless, their in-your-face defiance of the Islamist terrorists stands out. It stands out against a dismal landscape of predominantly Sunni Muslim suicide murderers who have attacked civilians in mosques and markets–from Iraq to Pakistan to Afghanistan–but who have been treated by mainstream Arab media, like Al Jazeera, or by extremist Islamist spiritual leaders and websites, […]

Feb
11
2009

Tom Friedman Is Not Smart. Why Is He Rich?

Sometimes it's really baffling that Thomas Friedman is considered one of our nation's most important thinkers on political and economic matters. Here he is today (2/11/09) channeling what "non-Americans" have to say: Dear America, please remember how you got to be the wealthiest country in history. It wasn't through protectionism, or state-owned banks or fearing free trade. No, the formula was very simple: build this really flexible, really open economy, tolerate creative destruction so dead capital is quickly redeployed to better ideas and companies, pour into it the most diverse, smart and energetic immigrants from every corner of the world […]

Jan
24
2009

25 Most Influential (or Not) Liberals (or Not)

Leave it to Forbes to get someone from the Hoover Institution to do an "in-depth" feature on "The 25 Most Influential Liberals in the U.S. Media" (1/22/09). The results are about as bogus as you might imagine, including a number of people who are not only not liberals, but who are actively loathed by the actual left end of the media spectrum–and the feeling is generally mutual: folks like Fred Hiatt, Thomas Friedman, Fareed Zakaria, Christopher Hitchens (did their Nation sub lapse in 1998?), Maureen Dowd, Chris Matthews and Andrew Sullivan. Then there are some corporate journalists whose "liberalism" seems […]

Jan
15
2009

FAIR Activist: Friedman's Phony Evidence That Terror Works

Posting his letter to the New York Times on FAIR Blog, FAIR activist bpb points out that not only is Thomas Friedman claiming that terrorism works, he's making up evidence to claim that terrorism works: There is no evidence for Thomas Friedman's contention that after Israel's 2006 war with Hizballah, "Lebanese civilians, in anguish, said to Hezbollah: 'What were you thinking? Look what destruction you have visited on your own community! For what? For whom?'" In fact, in the month following the war, a public opinion poll conducted in Lebanon confirmed the opposite: that Lebanese public opinion strongly favored Hizballah. […]

Jan
14
2009

Action Alert: Terrorism on the NY Times Op-Ed Page

In the wake of NY Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman's call today for terrorism against Palestinian civilians in Gaza, a new FAIR Action Alert is calling on the Times to clarify whether this column meets the paper's standards. You can post copies of your letters to the New York Times in the comments section below. Please remember that letters that maintain a civil tone are most effective.