The Final Word on Easterbrook

Here’s “Jim Henley”: commenting (finally) on the Gregg Easterbrook hooplah. (For those who’ve missed it, Easterbrook’s original essay is “here”:, his apology is “here”:, and if you close your eyes and throw a spear into the blogosphere, you’ll hit somebody with an opinion about it.) I say “finally” because the whole time I was reading other blogs on the issue, both those criticizing Easterbrook and those defending him, I found myself missing an incisive, succinct voice that gets it just right. Jim does not disappoint.

What the hell was Easterbrook trying to say? In outline: Movie violence causes terrorism. Jews disproportionately suffer from terrorism. Two Jewish executives responsible for a particular violent movie are acting against their (group) self-interest by releasing a violent movie for the sake of profit. I don’t want you to think I think they worship money because they are Jews — they are no worse than other Hollywood executives in that regard. BUT THEY SHOULD BE BETTER.

This is a really dumb argument, but it’s not written out of loathing for the Jews, and it does not ascribe loathsome qualities to Jews qua Jews. (It’s pretty hard on Muslim filmgoers, though.) It’s not hate speech, but it’s patronizing as hell, and as sloppily written as it has been sloppily read.