Controversy recently erupted when Rick Sanchez, whom CNN subsequently sacked, noted that Jews have a disproportionately large influence on the media. Attempts at disproving his assertion have been fitful and unconvincing. But perhaps I’m not being fair to the critics. The facts that Sanchez was canned and that the New York Post’s Andrea Peyser denounced him as a “Jew-baiter” should prove something. What exactly this is, I wouldn’t dare say, lest someone take away my retirement pension. The most elaborate effort to discredit Rick I found was in the predominantly Jewish liberal website Salon. Here we learn that Jews do not dominate the media, seeing that none of the current presidents of CBS, NBC, or ABC is Jewish. This is to pounce on a technicality. CBS founder William Paley, Fred Friendly (the father of network journalism), and a multitude of other TV and film executives have been Jewish. This Jewish preponderance is also apparent to anyone who looks at the columnists in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, etc.
None of this would matter if Jewish media celebrities represented a wide range of opinions, but they don’t. Their effect, as Joe Sobran repeatedly observed to his misfortune, has been to push our entire political culture’s spectrum to the left. The neoconservatives dismantled the American right when they took it over in the 1980s. They made it roughly identical with what had previously been the center-left, while conferring on “conservatism” a liberal internationalist foreign policy and a distinctive position in Middle Eastern politics. They also buried whatever opposition to their takeover still existed on the right.
Jewish media predominance is not equivalent to Jews winning prizes in medicine and chess. Shaping public opinion is more serious politically and culturally than winning a Nobel Prize in molecular biology or becoming a chess master. Moreover, media predominance is not necessarily a function of high intellect any more than the large number of Methodists in Congress proves that Methodism abounds in great minds. One becomes a Bill Kristol or Thomas Friedman by combining passable intelligence with lots of networking and/or family connections. Equally relevant, aspirants for media advancement must fit into an acceptable range of opinions in order to go forward; and almost all Jewish mediacrats meet these ideological criteria. They are allowed to hold different economic policies, providing they are pro- (or at least not anti-) Zionist, hysterically antifascist (fascism being equated with Hitlerism), and praise the 1960s’ wonderful legislative achievements, particularly in immigration and civil rights.
Although the gentiles who work beside them typically express the same prefabricated views, the energy here seems to be coming from the Jewish side. If the Jewish handlers left Christian workers in charge, most of these subalterns would repeat until the cows came home the party lines they’ve been forced to memorize about Israel, the “conservative” Martin Luther King, Islamofascism, and how gender equality but not affirmative action is good for women. Fortunately, this takeover is not likely to come. The Jewish neoconservatives fully understand their gentile drones’ intellectual limitations. There are several qualifiers I should insert, lest morally disinterested Jewish intellectuals destroy my flourishing writing career. Considering all those amenities they’ve conferred on me, I wouldn’t want that to happen.
First, the kind of influence Sanchez points to would be equally problematic if Irish Catholics, Orthodox Serbs, or Oriental Orthodox Armenians were exercising it—particularly if, like the Jews, they brought along strong ethnic fixations. The Jews are not the only group to exhibit such traits, but they have more media clout than other groups.
Second, Jewish media moguls enjoy tremendous support from American Christians, who would believe what Jewish media personalities tell them even if these personalities were not around.
Blaming generic Christianity for the Holocaust began with such Christian theologians as Paul van Buren, Franklin Littell, and Hans Küng well before Jewish writers got into the act. It was not Daniel Goldhagen or Elie Wiesel who first issued such blanket condemnations. Prominent Christian intellectuals have been insisting since the 1960s that their religion is inherently and virulently anti-Semitic.
At the onetime Anabaptist college where I work, the faculty—especially members of the local “peace church”—seem to be mostly on the same page with Salon’s editors. These insulated Protestants have only limited contact with leftist or other kinds of Jews, but they express the same views, except on the Middle East.
This exception is understandable. The Palestinians, who are depicted as anti-colonial rebels, have more appeal for my liberal Protestant colleagues than Christianity’s designated Jewish victims. But let’s not understate either victim card’s value, especially since Jews are more conspicuous than Muslims in pushing their victim claims in the US.
Monumental change within Christian culture also explains why Christian Zionists are attracted to neoconservatives. Evangelical-community obsessions such as guilt over racism and anti-Semitism, combined with a peculiar eschatological vision, account for this group’s politics as much as any specifically Jewish influence. In the case of their Christian allies, the neoconservatives are preaching to the already converted.
Finally, I would point to the saving remnant of Jews in the media who are on the right but who have not played ball with the Jewish neoconservative elite. I’ve been running into these people for thirty years, and I can testify to the fact they exist. As one of their shrinking number, I’ve noticed something else that’s hard not to see: Non-Jews in the conservative movement treat us with open contempt. The more they shun or ridicule us, the more favors they can receive, or so they believe, from those who control their careers.
In sum, Mr. Sanchez was correct in his imprudent statements about who controls what. Too bad he is now unemployed after having noticed what only those who are intimidated or bribed would fail to observe.