Wednesday, July 27, 2005

UPDATE: On the Radoshes

I want to fill in the three or four regular readers of Nitpicker on the issue with Ronald Radosh. You'll remember that Ronald Radosh is the author of Red Star Over Hollywood, a book lovingly reviewed by Martin Peretz. I was pissed, writing that Marty is freaking dead to me now. I assumed that the book, which I haven't yet read, would be vile, based on prior articles by the author, including one in which he refers to the left as "self-described progressives steeped in existential depravity."

Funny thing, though. I originally wrote Daniel Radosh rather than Ronald. Daniel pointed that out in a bemused way. As a lefty, he went on to defend his "dear ol' neocon dad":
Nitpicker points out that my father is the guy who "once wrote that 'America is rent by two cultures,' the 'traditionalists' and 'self-described progressives steeped in existential depravity.'" And here my unqualified defense of dad is based not on the argument that this article, on the web site of the think tank he's affiliated with, is in any sense defensible (not with sentences like, "For them rap is music and manners are arbitrary rules," and "Can skateboarders convert insouciance into war-fighting ability?"), but rather on the fact that my father didn't write it, any more than I wrote Red Star Over Hollywood. Yes, it has his byline, but he assures me he's never even seen it before -- and it really doesn't sound like him. Some intern at the Hudson Institute is so about to get fired.
I apologized for the mix-up, but said that, frankly, I wasn't buying the "some intern wrote that" line.

So, I called and e-mailed the Hudson Institute and left several messages for the webmaster. I was curious when, exactly, the article in question had been put up on the website. I also wanted to know who provided the webmaster with the article in the first place. I have received no response from the institute. It has been three weeks since my original post and the article has not been removed from the site. It also still carries Radosh's byline.

One could still think, I suppose, that Ronald Radosh just hasn't gotten around to fixing the problem, but Daniel seems to suggest that his father was unhappy about the situation and was going to kick some ass over it. I hope that's the case. I would hate to think that R. Radosh could stoop so low as to lie to his own son, no matter what side of the political dividing line he may be on.

3 Comments:

Blogger Leah A said...

"He's dead to me now." Love it, Terry.

To skewer Marty with what is surely now a classic Hollywood line...

When has Peretz ever come to terms with his own recent past...remember El Salvador, the Contras...?

The book is being references all over the place on the right. God, how do they even get the energy to write a book with the same old smears.

9:53 AM  
Blogger radosh said...

The only thing my father ever lied to me about was where babies come from ("the free market"! I can't believe I fell for that!). Anyway, I didn't mean that an intern WROTE the article and posted it duplicitously, just that they did some sloppy cutting and pasting that resulted in an article by another Hudson contributor going up with the wrong byline. For what it's worth, here's the e-mail exchange my father cc'd me on three weeks ago. I wouldn't exactly call it ass-kicking I suppose, but at least it's a gesture in the right direction:

From: Ron Radosh [mailto:XXX@comcast.net]
Sent: Fri 7/8/2005 2:52 PM
To: Jennifer Butsch; Ken Weinstein
Subject: question

Jennifer and Ken,
Could either of you direct the following to whomever does the Hudson website? I have enough problems without being attacked for things I never wrote. I’m pasting my son’s humor blog so you can see what this is about. It’s in the next to last paragraph. And he’s a humorist---you don’t have to fire anyone! Thanks, Ron

From: Ken Weinstein [mailto:XXX@hudson.org]
Sent: Friday, July 08, 2005 3:15 PM
To: Ron Radosh; Jennifer Butsch
Subject: RE: question

Ron: I am on vacation alas though the blog is quite amusing. Hopefully this will get straightened out! Best, Ken

6:57 AM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

Thanks for the update, Daniel. I'd love it if Mr. Weinstein could explain the error to me. I've been snippy and bitchy, but I'll explain to both of my readers if I've made an error.

2:20 PM  

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