Ex-Jew-Counter Against Politicizing Religion
Romney adviser Fred Malek takes a stand
A TV-watching tipster caught Mitt Romney adviser Fred Malek on MSNBC today discussing the crucial upcoming Michigan primary. Transcript and video here, including this following exchange (which I’ve transcribed, and the bold is mine):
ANDREA MITCHELL: Let me ask you about the religion issue, because Franklin Graham on Morning Joe today was asked about the Mormon question and this is the way he handled it. He basically said that Christians do not view the Mormon faith as a Christian faith. Let me play it for you.
ANDREA MITCHELL: Do you think this is an issue? Was it an issue in South Carolina? Will it be an issue in Michigan? Will it be an issue on super tuesday in the South?
FRED MALEK: I don’t think it’s a issue at all, and it would be a sad day in America if we’re gonna elect somebody based upon their religion or vote against somebody based on their religion.
As members of a minority faith, many Jews no doubt agree with Malek’s sentiment; and last week in Tablet Magazine, Yair Rosenberg persuasively argued that many anti-Mormon tropes and conspiracy theories have plenty in common with anti-Semitic ones.
Which is why it’s worth remembering that, as The New Republic‘s Timothy Noah has been particularly careful not to let us forget, Fred Malek used to be President Nixon’s Jew-counter: at his boss Nixon’s direction, he compiled a list of Jews (or, rather, people with Jewish names) at the Bureau of Labor Statistics; actively worked to demote or halt the promotion of some of these people; then lied about it; and since has neither corrected his lies nor apologized for his original actions. “I believe that Malek was probably repulsed by what he ended up doing for Nixon,” Noah wrote. “But he did it, and ever since Malek has lied to avoid admitting the depth of his involvement in this grotesque episode.” It didn’t seem to bother Sarah Palin when she had him as an adviser; it somehow feels more troubling that it also apparently does not bother Romney.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.