The Advocate’s Jan. 25 opinion pages offered a buffet of political commentary featuring our governor, who is, by many accounts, brilliant, yet by his own admission, curiously benighted, e.g., when claiming ignorance of evolution topics by stating, “I am not an evolutionary biologist.”
First, Gregory Roberts, The Advocate’s Washington bureau chief, presents a deliciously deadpan, yet mordant, recounting of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent activities and pronouncements, and of his chances in 2016: slim to none.
Secondly, an indignant Quin Hillyer fulminates against “you media jackals” who dare to question Bobby’s veracity regarding European “no-go zones.” He goes on to cite several sources to buttress the governor’s claims, including a French government website listing “sensitive urban zones” where, as Hillyer delicately puts it, “police lack some control.”
His other sources provide greatly more sensational opinion, which leads Hillyer to the inescapable conclusion that, as he puts it, “Jindal is right. Deal with it.”
So, is it a done deal? Perhaps, but first we must delve into the background of Hillyer’s sources, to assign a degree of credibility for each. To paraphrase an old adage: “Tell me who your (sources) are, and I’ll tell you who you are.” Well then, who are these “friends” of Hillyer, and by extension, of Jindal?
Daniel Pipes, for all his Harvard credentials, is a darling of the right-wing, anti-Muslim crowd. After the Oklahoma City bombing, he claimed that Islamic fundamentalists were responsible (Sheik Timothy McVeigh?) and wrote, “Unnoticed by most Westerners, war has been unilaterally declared on Europe and the U.S.”
The Gatestone Institute is a staunchly pro-Israel forum and presumably disinclined to objectivity vis-à-vis Muslims. The institute is chaired by John R. Bolton, he of Fox News fame, and sworn enemy of Iran and most things Muslim.
Claire Berlinski is a writer who wears her conservative bona fides on her sleeve. Her book, “Menace in Europe” has been widely panned. The Baltimore Chronicle calls it “… ugly vituperation expressed in sweeping generalizations … Berlinski cherry-picks her evidence.”
All of which is OK with an ol’ cherry-picker like Hillyer, who doesn’t let “inconvenient” facts get in the way of his conclusions.
More instructive and to the point is The Advocate’s editorial opinion: “(Jindal is) making broad assertions untethered from a lot of study of the facts on the ground. … The governor need not have looked toward France and England to see troubled neighborhoods … such communities languish within walking distance of the Governor’s Mansion. … perhaps he should first see what he can do to address those challenges here in Louisiana.”
You go, “media jackals”!
Rodrigo M. Solórzano Sr.