Two weeks ago, I shared with readers of The Recovering Politician a disturbing interview in which Kentucky GOP bigwig Larry Forgy stated his bizarre and pernicious theory that Jews such as George Soros, Barbra Streisand and Steve Spielberg would be pumping in significant loads of cash to support their co-religionist, Jerry Abramson, in his bid for Lieutenant Governor.
The RP Nation responded with outrage — dozens of your comments and emails unanimously denounced Forgy’s slur.
As far as the Kentucky mainstream media…well…the response was much more muted. It took two weeks for one of the state’s leading newspapers to issue a condemnation, and it did not even address the most offensive remarks. The other editorial page — from the very paper that broke the story — has been atypically silent.
I share my own views about the media response — as well as my belief that it is incumbent on all of us to denounce intolerance whenever it rears its ugly head — in my column this week in The Huffington Post:
My bet is that is that it was a conscious decision [by the media] to deprive oxygen to the flames of anti-Semitism. I suppose they believe that ignoring the issue and refusing to publish the more outrageous accusations will prevent them from being repeated and then accepted in areas of the state where latent anti-Semitism could be transformed into something much worse. Hopefully if this is the case, the rest of the media, as well as the state Republican party, will get the message and send Forgy off to permanent pasture.
But if the 20th Century taught us anything about the proper response to anti-Semitism, it is that we must confront it whenever it raises its ugly head. As I argued in this column two weeks ago, we no longer need to be afraid that this sort of anti-Semitism would be welcomed in this country, even in the rural, conservative Bible Belt. Indeed, by exposing and then denouncing language such as Forgy’s, we help reinforce the message now emanating from rural, evangelical churches — to love their Jewish neighbors.