Atlas Shrugged In the Belly of the Beast

The NY Times has a lengthy profile on A-list blogger Pamela Geller. If you've ever wondered how a glamorous woman from Manhattan's East Side has become one of the West's leading anti-jihadist polemicists, you will learn a lot. This is despite the Times' typical approach to writing about activists who do not follow the usual PC progressive line. They obviously can't understand why Geller writes what she writes, thinks what she thinks, and does what she does. Geller, for one, has characterized this as a hit piece and has written an extensive corrective essay:

Referring to me using terms like "socialite," "dilettante," and other words invoking silly, superficial, purposeless women, is downright farcicial. Show me a socialite who is fighting for American values 20 hours a day. I don't even have lunch, let alone gala charity events. The only thing worthwhile in this piece is the actual interview, which is, frankly, all that really matters. But let's have a cursory look at this piece, shall we?

The numbers quoted from my divorce settlement are grossly, wildly inaccurate. I don't want to air dirty laundry in public, but there is absolutely no truth to what Anne Barnard and Alan Feuer "reported" about this. And although I do not want to get into personal matters, how do they know that my deceased ex "didn’t always agree" with what I was saying? Did they employ a ouija board? Just for knowing, this claim also is patently false.

Of course they hold up my lack of journalistic "credentials" as a disadvantage. Clearly we see how this "advantage" has rendered the New York Times and the rest of the fraternity of credentialed journalists hopelessly inaccurate and incapable of objectivity and responsible journalism. Why no piece like this on Daisy Khan, or Feisal Abdul Rauf, or Sharif El-Gamal?

The Times does seem nonplussed that Geller would rather spend her days hanging out with the Robert Spencers of the world, rather than buying shoes like so many of her contemporaries. Geller is a citizen activist who often has a better sense of what outrages the average American (like, say, building a mosque at Ground Zero) than the political pros and journalists who are used to making those sorts of distinctions for us, so of course there must be something wrong with her. And, some of Geller's corrections to the story are laughably typical of the mistakes the Times makes. My favorite: they refer to a video of Geller frolicking on an Israeli beach during the last Lebanese War, something that surprised me when I read it. According to Geller, the video was shot in Fort Lauderdale. But, we all make mistakes.

Still, I don't think the story's that bad (although she's right to be outraged by even the mention of her divorce settlement. When was the last time the Times disclosed the size of the trust funds that so many activists on the Left live off of?) If you are someone who doesn't have the time or inclination to spend hours on the web, but you want to find a perspective outside of the gentry liberal multi-culturalism found in much of America's public sphere, someone like Geller will be a breath of fresh air. Geller's force of nature personality and enthusiasm come through loud and clear in the Times story, even if the subtext seems to be, what is this beautiful woman doing this?

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