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Updated: David Corn Responds – Right-Wing Media Accuse David Corn and Chris Matthews of ‘Anti-Semitism’

Although it seems to have originated at right-wing media watchdog Newsbusters, an accusation of anti-Semitism against Mother JonesDavid Corn and Hardball host Chris Matthews is rocketing around the conservative blogosphere like a coked-up Ricochet Rabbit. Corn, who is Jewish, stands accused of making an “anti-Semitic remark,” while Matthews “laughs hysterically.”

There ought to be a special word for falsely accusing a Jewish person of anti-Semitism. Maybe “anti-Semitism³?”

Update: David Corn responds to Newsbusters’ charge.

The offending quote occurs at about the 2-minute mark in this clip: (from MSNBC)


Here’s Newsbusters’ transcript of the exchange:

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: This coalition between the Right and Israel, the evangelical right in the United States, is not founded on personal friendships or anything like that, or even values. It’s founded on some sort of weird, rightwing thing where you just high five each other there at the Western Wall and then that’s done, they’re trip.

DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: But there is a theological component which Gene was referring to…

MATTHEWS: Explain.

CORN: …Which is there’s a certain brand of evangelical Christians who believe in Revelations, that Armageddon is coming, and that will happen in Israel basically.

MATTHEWS: If they hold the West Bank.

CORN: If they hold, well there’s a lot of different components to that, but that’s why they like Israel. That’s why they want Israel to be strong. It’s not because…

MATTHEWS: It’s not personal.

CORN: Right. It’s not because they like Jews or Israelis.

MATTHEWS: [Laughs hysterically]

Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard never gets around to explaining why Corn’s remark is anti-Semitic, but does thoughtfully ask, “Which was more anti-Semitic: Corn’s comment or Matthews’ laughter afterwards?”

Is there a third choice, like “Newsbusters’ insistence that David Corn is an anti-Semite?”

Earlier in the clip, Matthews, Corn, and Eugene Robinson discuss the strain of Evangelical Christianity that believes in an end times prophecy which depends on Israel for its fruition, and whose only survivors will be those who convert to Christianity. They’re not making it up; I grew up in such a church.

On that count, Sheppard almost has a point when he says that Corn’s remark is “insulting to evangelical Christians.” It’s true that Corn’s view, popular among liberals, is uncharitable. In my church, we were taught to love non-believers, and to try and “save” them by witnessing to them if they were receptive, and to witness by example.

However, those non-believers can be forgiven for not appreciating a love that’s predicated on a belief that they will burn forever in a lake of fire if they don’t repent their non-believing ways. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Update: I emailed David the link to Newsbusters’ piece, and asked if he had any reaction to this unbelievable accusation. Here’s his response:

You ask if I can believe it? I cannot comprehend this charge. Literally. I don’t follow the extrapolation. How does questioning the motives of right-wing evangelical fundamentalists regarding their support of Israel translate into bias against Jews? If you get an explanation from Newsbusters, please forward.

Update: Newsbusters has apparently deleted the post, without explanation. Visitors to the link get the message “Access denied
You are not authorized to access this page.” You can still see some or all of it at the various sites that amplified it.

Update: Noel Sheppard apologizes.

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