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November 06, 2007

Peretz on Pearl: "She was so chic, and had such chic opinions"

After Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was murdered by terrorists in Pakistan, in 2002, his widow Mariane wrote a memoir about the ordeal, "A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband, Danny Pearl." The book was later made into a movie starring Angelina Jolie.

Mariane Pearl, an experienced journalist in her own right, subsequently traveled around the world as a columnist for Glamour magazine, profiling women combating disease, corruption, discrimination, and other ills. Those columns are now being published in book form. Glamour will donate 100% of the proceeds of the books purchased through its website to support the work of the women profiled.

For some reason, New Republic editor Marty Peretz doesn't approve:

There's a tacky story on today's "Page Six" in the New York Post about Mariane Pearl  -- yes, the widow of Daniel -- and her conflicts with the Wall Street Journal.  It's about money and celebrity and Mariane's desires to use the Journal as the instrument of her fame.  You see, when Muslim terrorists kill your husband it's only fair to profit off his death.  Wasn't that a clause in Daniel's insurance policy?

Frankly, I was a little bit repelled by the persona that emerged of Mariane after the ritualized beheading of Daniel.  She was so chic and had such chic opinions.  I suspected that Judea Pearl, the victim's father, shared some of my anxieties about her new presence on the (world) stage.  Which is why we asked him to write about A Mighty Heart, the film of her version of his killing and its meaning.  Read it.  It is altogether dignified but quite revealing, especially if you read between the lines. [TNR]

As the editor of the New Republic, Peretz has sold his share of terrorism stories. I assume that Peretz paid Mariane's former father-in-law, Judea Pearl to accuse Mariane of moral relativism in the pages of TNR.

Hell, Daniel Pearl was getting paid to write about terrorism when he was murdered. When he told his stories, he was a hero. Yet, when Mariane tells hers, Peretz attacks her.

What's wrong with a writer selling a story? If Nick Kristof can make a living traveling the world to report on human rights and development, why not Mariane Pearl? Citizens need to understand global events. Witnesses need to tell their stories. Writers and editors need to get paid.

You'd think Peretz would approve of Pearl's work. Her public statements are anything but relativistic--she's dedicating her life to beating terrorism by championing development, democracy, and women's emancipation. Peretz and his colleagues are always reminding us, correctly, how sexist and reactionary and anti-Semitic the terrorists are. They love to tell us that we have to build bridges with people of good will around the world. Yet, when Pearl agrees, Peretz is repulsed.

Of course, Peretz can't resist the sexist temptation to belittle Ms. Pearl's arguments by calling attention to her wardrobe.

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Comments

With all due respect, how can you even read that shit? I mean, you know it's going to be garbage, right?

It's a good thing that Marty doesn't have a chic daughter with chic opinions writing chic stories for Vanity Fair. She'd be miffed, if she existed.

Oh, wait.

I am not very good at reading between the lines. I actually don't believe much in reading between the lines, because usually it involves bringing assumptions to bear that may not be justified. I tried to read between the lines of Judea Pearl's piece, and all I could see was white space muddied by Marty Peretz's having stomped through there in army boots.

All I get from the elder Pearl's story is that he thinks scrutiny of Guantanamo is a form of moral relativism. Huh? Scrutiny of Guantanamo is about whether people have fundamental human rights, not whether the people doing the "aggressive interrogation" are on our side or not. It's not about choosing up sides--that is moral relativism. It's about standards of conduct.

An experienced "journalist" writing for _Glamour_ magazine?

Sort of like being a "scientist" doing research for _Sassy_ magazine . . .

He can't talk to Angelina Jolie like that!

BTW, this is the guy that runs the magazine that all of the batshit insane reactionaries think is trying to damage the war effort through Scott Beauchamp, right? Juuuuust checking.

I'm not a fan of Jack Shafer's, but this is priceless: http://www.slate.com/id/2134011/.

This looks like TNR's usual contrarian fare, spiced up with a little gratuitous sexism. Yum!

Is it me or is Marty Peretz and his ilk almost uniformly misogynists, racists and xenophobes? There is little more threatening to the Peretzs of this world than a brilliant, well-educated woman of multiple ethnicities (Chinese/Cuban/African/Dutch/Jewish raised in Paris no less). Unable to discredit Mariane Pearl substantively due to her impeccable bona fides and undeniably tragic story, Peretz instead attacks her appearance: "She was so chic and had such chic opinions." In other words, Pearl is too beautiful and far too exotic to be taken seriously. Peretz' does not use "chic" in a complimentary way. Rather Peretz is implying that Marianne Pearl's emotions and actions are faddish in nature therefore must be discounted.

AF

tde,

Have you ever read an article written by Mariane Pearl for Glamour? I thought not. Glamour Celebrates Mariane Pearl explains how Pearl's new book In Search of Hope "consists of Pearl’s reporting for Glamour on women around the world who are doing great things for their communities... Among them are Somaly Mam, a former child sex slave in Cambodia who now rescues young girls from forced prostitution; Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman ever to be elected head of an African country; and Lydia Cacho, an intrepid Mexican reporter who exposes violence against women and children despite repeated threats on her life."

Glamour's Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive remarks:

"Glamour readers love Pearl’s articles on the women because they essentially say to readers, “this could be you.” And while Leive admitted it can be fun to read about the latest exploits of Britney Spears, she said reading those kinds of articles often leaves her with a feeling of emptiness. “Mariane’s work is an antidote to that,” she said.

tde, please read before you leap, sir.

AF

Isn't profiting off of terrorism exactly what TNR, the Bush Administration, the WSJ and a bunch of other organizations are dedicated to?

These people are capable of hating anyone. 9/11 widows, Pat Tillman, Jessica Lynch, Mariane Pearl, severely injured children, wounded vets. As soon as those people stop being handy props and start speaking for themselves suddenly they are traitors to America, if only for complaining that their hospital bed is full of piss or by correcting a purposely contrived record.

From Marty Peretz:
You see, when Muslim terrorists kill your husband it's only fair to profit off his death.

From Ann Coulter who said this about the widows who lost their husbands at the World Trade Center on 9/11:
“I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much.”

Similar statements from persons having a similar mindset.
What is it about these pundits that make them so petty, mean, vicious, and contemptable?

The murder of Daniel Pearl provides evidence of the failure of Bush's War on Terror policies. The kidnappers, who at the very least share a philosophical alliance with Al Qaeda, weren't even inconvenienced by the invasion of Iraq, Guantanamo, or any of it. They were still able to play their sick little cat and mouse game.

Mariane Pearl reminds people of embarassing failures. That's why people like Peretz are itching to discredit her.

Peretz is making money off of dissing Pearl. It's disgusting. He's disgusting. Always has been.

Is this the time to say I was saddened to see you using your blog for plugging your boyfriend's band?

Probably not...

I think maybe what the father objects to is, it's not really about Daniel anymore. It's grown into a commercial industry -- his life and death.

Sometimes you see this when somebody dies young, and there is a fundraising memorial tournament or event set up. In a few years, it's not really about the person anymore. It's grown into something a bit more crass, that is the money making part of it.

Not saying whether we should judge or not, but surely a father is entitled to his opinions? And Mr. Peretz too, it's good to hear other views. Especially when the survivors adopt a more pious mantle, where even gentle criticism is not permitted validity.

Mary: ... even gentle criticism is not permitted validity.

I fail to see the gentility or the gentleness in the Peretz remark. It appears, he is profiting from dissing a grieving widow in the same manner Coulter profits from heaping derision and scorn on decent people. This is just damn shameful, and there is no amount of spin that can erase the hurt.

Peretz is the same man behind the Lewis "Scooter" Libby defense fund, the Belle Curve, ties to the American Enterprise Institute, accused Jimmy Carter of anti-Semitism, etc. Peretz runs that produced Left-wing bashers Andrew Sullivan, Michael Kelly and Mickey Kaus. He is always wrong and should not be taken seriously.

Mary is saddened? And for what? Jeez.

I just noticed who Peretz reminds me of. Let's compare the quotes.

Peretz:

You see, when Muslim terrorists kill your husband it's only fair to profit off his death. Wasn't that a clause in Daniel's insurance policy?

Ann Coulter:

These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzies. I have never seen people enjoying their husbands’ death so much.

There is nothing that says patriotism than bashing people that have lost loved ones to terrorists. People will read thing things Peretz and Coulter write years later and wonder what was wrong with them.

The first mistake is to view the racist and vicious Peretz as an unlike source of viciousness. Peretz is a millionaire who made his millions in publishing who objects to a writer selling her copyrighted work. While decent people should retain their ability to be offended at indecency such as Peretz's, I have lost my capacity for surprise at anything he does.

Serious people may safely ignore his faux-liberal-"chic" publication. Give me unapologetic gun-slinging, deer-hunting right-wingers any day who lack Peretz' hypocritical vicious liberal piety.

(from Mary) .."in a few years, it not really about the person anymore.."-
I'd just like to thank Mary for her unbiased reporting on the contents of the heart of Everyman...
(And, did you SEE the shoes that Marty was wearing when he wrote THAT? OMG..!) ^..^

When A Mighty Heart was released, Judea Pearl got an op-ed published in the Guardian. I see now that it's the same piece.

Is this the time to say I was saddened to see you using your blog for plugging your boyfriend's band?

It most certainly is. I was just thinking the other day, "Hmmm, that asshole Mary hasn't shoved her snout into Lindsay's blog for awhile...."

I took a look at your blog, Mary, and I must say, it doesn't address the topics I want it to address in the way I think they should be addressed. And I can't tell you how that saddens me.

Frankly, I was a little bit repelled by the persona that emerged of Mariane after the ritualized beheading of Daniel.

Probably reminded him of himself...

And this dude, Peretz, used to be partially in control of our national dialogue.

Peretz is one of the 4-percenters. He has no conscience to restrain his desire to toy with people and emotionally abuse others. He gets off on it.

He's a well-connected sociopath, and he's just doing what those kinds of people do: they muck it up for the rest of us.

There's no concern for others, no humanity, nor even any logical sense in what he does. Hence comments like the one above which illustrates the idiocy of a publisher who berates a person for writing a book. It's unjustified, except by his disainful and rotten desire to cause hurt.

Unlike Dr.Suess's "Grinch," Peretz will never see the light and he will always remain a nasty malignant asshole of the highest order.

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