Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The New York Times revises Allan Bloom

I have an old friend who is now a fairly acclaimed writer for publications like Newsday and The New York Times, among other publications. He won an award for his book reviews and worked for many years at The Chronicle of Higher Education. We haven't spoken in a while and suspect it's because I have followed a more conservative path and he has trod the narrow road of left-liberalism.

If we were speaking, I would ask him: what is wrong with The New York Times? Of course, from my perspective, there is much wrong with the Gray Lady. The sickness began when the current publisher took over from his father, making a conscious decision to be a force in the culture wars rather than an observer.

Case in point is the twisted, laughable attempt to dig up Allan Bloom's corpse and dress him up in liberal attire. Roger Kimball over at ARMAVIRUMQUE has the sordid tale.

Bloom, of course, was the English prof whose book THE CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND became a surprise best seller and ignited the current reform movement in academia. The jaundiced eye that is now routinely cast in the direction of those Ivory Towers found its original inspiration in Bloom's blistering critique of academic life and it s philosophical underpinnings.

Bloom, though an iconoclastic interpreter of the Enlightenment, as well as a homosexual, was immediately put on the left's Fascist Insect List and, from then until now, routinely skewered as an evil, conservative ideologue.

Now it seems an academic writing in the NYT has decided that Bloom was, after all, one of the good (leftwing) people.

I once read a critique of Thomas Jefferson by Judge Robert Bork. Perhaps after Bork dies the New York Times will reveal that the esteemed jurist was in fact a closet liberal. Anything's possible when you step through the looking-glass.

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