So James Lileks wrote a bit of the Bleat that is either cautioning Oliver Willis to be careful about language, or making a broader point about the PC word police. Oliver referred to Paul Wolfowitz as the “the filthy Wolfowitz”, but I doubt that Willis is an anti-Semite. He’s just a sloppy and crappy writer.
Take his response to Lileks’ short screed. The first misuse of words is in the title itself. Lileks did not call Willis an anti-Semite. In fact, he never uses the word anti-Semite or even mentions that Wolfowitz is Jewish. He simply points out that Willis is using inappropriate language that could be interpreted as anti-Semitic. The title should be “James Lileks Calls Me a User of Anti-Semitic Language” or “Lileks Insinuates that I Hate Jews.”
Then Oliver says he’s “never written about Paul Wolfowitz’s religion.” But that’s simply not true. Do a search for Jew, Judaism, or Jewish on oliverwillis.com. Oliver has written plenty about Wolfowitz’s religion, he’s just never written about Judaism in reference to Wolfowitz.
Oliver says that Wolfowitz isn’t filthy because he’s Jewish, but because he “support[s] the unnecessary death of 1,500 American soldiers.” But it’s a long way from supporting the war (unnecessary or not) which caused those deaths to actually being in favor of killing fifteen hundred Americans.
All this might seem picky (especially coming from a blogger who has trouble spelling siege), and you’re right, it is. But I’m just trying to show that Oliver is perfectly capable of saying something insulting or mildly racist without ever knowing that he did. Lileks states that he doesn’t read oliverwillis.com very much, so I think he can be forgiven for assuming that the word filthy was anti-Semitic rather than just sloppy. I do read O-Dub fairly often (gotta watch those who watch the watchers, and it’s good for a laugh), and I’m pretty sure he’s not a hater. He’s just kind of dumb.
(Hat tip to INDC Journal)
Update: Every time I call someone stupid I make an idiotic spelling error in my trackbacks. Sigh.
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