Andy has a note from his mom, he was “upset” that day.
Lord of the Power Glutes, Andy Sullivan, is probably wishing he hadn’t ever heard of the expression “fifth column”.
Tim Noah rushes in to poo-poo the notion that Al Gore’s “fifth column” reference is anything comparable to my own qualified use of the term over a year ago. (I say ‘qualified” because I wrote “what amounts to a fifth column,” meaning it need not be a self-conscious or literal one. And in retrospect, I should add that I wish I hadn’t used that inflammatory phrase. But it was two days after 9/11 and my emotions were in full flood.) Noah defines the term by referring to the following definition: “a clandestine group or faction of subversive agents who attempt to undermine a nation’s solidarity by any means at their disposal. The term is credited to Emilio Mola Vidal, a Nationalist general during the Spanish Civil War (1936â€“39).” Given that definition, it seems to me that my point was prescient.
Noah may disagree. To which I have to respond: How would he describe the beliefs of someone who says, for example, that the real enemy in this war is the United States? What is his view of, say, ANSWER, the organizing group behind the anti-war rallies? Or the views of Noam Chomsky? Do such people exist on the American left? The answer is empirically yes. Among the academic class, this ambivalence about defending America and the Consitution from Islamofascism is endemic. I can see why embarrassed liberals like Noah don’t want to acknowledge the existence of such types; but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Now compare this to Al Gore’s statement about the “fifth column” in the media. What could he possibly mean? Does he mean that some journalists, under the cover of objectivity, actually favor a conservative agenda? If he does, I think he’s right. But it also surely applies (and to a far greater extent) to the left as well. But the use of the term “fifth column” is completely unnecessary here and deliberately inflammatory. And Gore doesn’t even have the emotional excuse of writing two days after a mass murder.
Not content to furiously tapdance his way around the his usage of the term, he has an excuse: he was “upset” and therefore not responsible. Now, the next time a “journalist” misuses a term, they can invoke the Andy Sullivan defense by raising the back of their hand to their forehead and proclaiming, in their best Southern Belle accent, “Oh dearie me, I do believe I have a case of the vapors and I feel faint”. Mickey Kaus would buy it..