Is he being ironic?

by Daniel on October 16, 2003

In today’s column, everybody’s favourite mustachioed commentator manages to put the following line in front of us:

Thankfully, there is one group of people the Bush team is listening to: Iraq’s silent majority

My question to the CT readership is; do you think he did it on purpose?

PS: If you get the Friedman photograph in Photoshop and colour in the rest of the beard he looks exactly like Krugman FACT.



cs 10.16.03 at 11:14 am

Do you mean Bush or the mustachioed one? Actually, I think he (of mustache) is on the money. Bush is obviously good at listening to the silence … where do you think he gets all his quality intel from for godsakes? You don’t think that stuff jujst comes out of people’s mouths do you? Why, I think I’ll go and listen to the silent ones right now … damn, why didn’t I think of this before … do you reckon Tony listens to the silence? I’m sure Jack Howard does …


Schnauze 10.16.03 at 2:08 pm

Yes, Friedman is an idiot. Knew that already. The Friedman-Krugman resemblance is all about that very particular I-am-an-earnest-liberal mien. Of course, Krugman is sincere, for the most part, and Friedman is largely full of crap.

ALL THIS NOTWITHSTANDING, I give it up 100% for Friedman’s column today, in which he compares Dick Cheney to Osama bin Laden, the Heritage Foundation to said terrorist’s hideout-cave in Afghanistan, and Fox News to Al Jazeera (which is, of course, totally unfair to Al Jazeera). Today’s column is AWESOME and tells it like it is (for once).


Barry 10.16.03 at 2:28 pm

If you mean, ‘did he knowingly slip in that reference which Nixon loved?’, I’d say no. He’s generally not the cognizant, anymore. Today’s column was one of those occasional outbreaks of sanity in a mind which is generally sunk into a stupor. He has been drunk on the neo-con rheteroric for so long that his mind is like Hitchens’.


John Kozak 10.16.03 at 2:32 pm

A rich seam of irony: the “silent majority” tag is also said to have been lifted from a Homeric term for the dead.

But then it’s pretty clear who he’s taking *his* orders from.


Matthew 10.16.03 at 3:34 pm

This suddenly becomes amusing:

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence


David W. 10.16.03 at 4:50 pm

I second the notion that Friedman is drunk, but drunk on his own rhetoric. What he’s writing makes no sense as he’s trying to have it both ways while posing as if he’s also above it all. (Sorry to mix the metaphors, but I think that’s an apt description of his current writing stance.) I wish Friedman’s wife would just pimp slap him and wake his sorry ass up.


Jonathan Goldberg 10.16.03 at 5:45 pm

I wish our learned posters would stop dismissing Friedman as stupid. He’s not. I once (*very briefly*) met him; he’s a highly intelligent man. And, politely ignoring occasional faux pas produced when feeling called upon to comment on things of which he knows little (The Lexus and the Olive Tree), he has studied the Middle East at some length (at a schood with a half-decent reputation, Oxford), spent time there, and written a pretty good book about it (From Beruit to Jeruselem).
It’s true he sometimes goes off the deep end. This shows that this stuff is hard. I suggest that anyone who doubts this try writing about Middle Eastern policy and/or Iraq themselves, and see what they think of the product. For extra credit do the writing on a deadline.


Jason McCullough 10.16.03 at 8:06 pm

If you need me, I’ll be drinking myself under the table.


Barry 10.16.03 at 8:11 pm

David, that’s what I meant – he’s so drunk on his rhetoric now, that he’s incapable of thinking straight.

Jonathan – I couldn’t produce some of what he’s written on the Middle East, I’m sure. However, I could have written a good chunk of his last two year’s writing pretty easily. I’d read the by reading some right-wing media, warblogger sites, and the propaganda mills (particularly AEI).

In terms of his education, he should be judged more harshly, because he’s supposed to know what he’s talking about. For a within-NYT ‘compare and contrast’, look at Paul Krugman. He combines his columnist duties with being a full-time professor in an elite university (two, as a matter of fact; he moved from MIT to Princeton after becoming a columnist at NYT).


Jim Miller 10.17.03 at 9:35 pm

The Krugman picture that the Seattle PI used to run always made me think of the apprentice devil “Wormwood”, from the “Screwtape Letters”. Seemed appropriate.


Jason McCullough 10.18.03 at 5:24 am


james 11.24.03 at 12:25 am

ya gay

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