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Why the NYT Is Obsessed with Alan Dershowitz

In the midst of an immigration crisis roiling Europe and the U.S., ongoing nuclear negotiations with North Korea, an incipient tariff war between China and America, and a new Supreme Court nominee about to go through the confirmation process, The New York Times, in an era of scarce journalistic resources, assigned six -- count' em, six -- reporters to... wait for it... The Alan Dershowitz Beat.

No, it's not Monty Python, though this is definitely the stuff of comedy.   And, yes, admittedly Dershowitz is one of America's better known lawyers and has even been the subject of a Hollywood film starring the late, very lamented Ron Silver. And yes, Times editor Dean Baquet finally admitted the paper over-stepped their bounds.

But what was going on and is still going on?  Why this bizarre obsession with just one lawyer -- famous or otherwise -- from what was once thought of as the newspaper of record?

Here's the short form: Muslims aren't the only ones who abhor apostates.

Apostates threaten the core values of all tribes. Dershowitz of late has been wandering farther and farther off the liberal reservation for which the NYT sees itself as the ultimate arbiter.  (Actually, to paraphrase Reagan, the liberal reservation left Dershowitz, but more of that in a moment).

Whether they realize it or not, Dershowitz scares The New York Times.  What if he's right?  Does he, of all people, have to be saying in public what so many of us believe -- that the Mueller investigation is little more than a partisan hack job and impeachment talk is absurd.  Okay, he doesn't want Hillary prosecuted either, but still... Et tu, @AlanDersh?

This is a dagger in the heart of the Zabar's Zeitgeist, that near-cultish fealty to the Times that has seen them through decades, even Walter Duranty's sickening apologies for Stalin's mass starvation of the Ukrainians and the equally disturbing  absence of the Holocaust from the paper's front pages.  And it comes from someone they once revered.

What is being exposed here for the umpteenth time is that Great American Newspapers like the NYT are not in any way impartial but are but tony propaganda sheets for the current version of political correctness, whatever that may be.

Unfortunately, that is no longer Dershowitz, who represents liberalism from another era when it was still somewhat, well, liberal and wholeheartedly supported such seemingly shopworn chestnuts as the First Amendment.  Now it is the slave of progressivism, hence Alan must be ostracized.  So the NYT went postal and behaved like raving idiots.

They did it in true Alinskyite fashion through ridicule.  Unfortunately, though Dershowitz gave them ammunition by complaining of being dissed at Martha's Vineyard cocktail parties (a feature, one would think, not a bug), it didn't work, making the natives even more restless -- or, more precisely, enraged.  As Alan himself has put it, they're more upset with his defense of Trump than of O.J.

What lurks behind this is the utter emptiness of the many, though dwindling, minions of The New York Times.  As the Dershowitzes of the world desert the cause, it becomes increasingly clear that there is no cause to desert.

Whether Dershowitz fully defects to the right, as some on both sides predict, is moot and I think unlikely. But the damage is done. Even a partial apostasy means total excommunication in the eyes of the left. All troops must support whatever the program is that day a hundred and fifty percent, no questions asked. Al-Baghdadi would approve.

The Times' pathetic little jihad against Dershowitz was therefore emblematic of a more serious problem. The left at nearly every level are behaving like children in fear of being unmasked. They are acting out virtually everywhere, throwing what is arguably the greatest collective tantrum in the history of this country.  Why would The New York Times, their longtime ideological guide, be different? They barely bother to debate the issues anymore -- with Dershowitz or anyone else. They just bang their bloody shoe and assault people, in a literal or a figurative (NYT) manner. It's backfiring badly.

Roger L. Simon - co-founder and CEO Emeritus of PJ Media - is an author and screenwriter.