Say What: NY Politician Joins 9/11 Truthers, Hugo Chavez, and Occupy with Glowing Village Voice Profile

village voiceWhile it’s not quite an endorsement, The Village Voice’s glowing profile of a New York’s Superintendent of Financial Services, Benjamin Lawsky, might as well be.

The effusive praise heaped on the actions of this zealous financial regulator is not out of place in a paper which regularly praises financial regulations of all stripes, regardless of their merits. But while Lawsky might appreciate this write up in The Voice, Lawsky joins a cast of bad actors who have also been on the receiving end of The Voice’s uncritical acclaim.

The profile follows some familiar patterns of left-wing beatification. Establish the subject’s anti-free market bona fides, note that they have all the right enemies (in this case, conservative London MayorBoris Johnson) and friends (Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-MA]), and paint the individual in the spotlight as a tireless warrior for the abused victim class of the moment.

You get the gist.

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The Voice’s dubious nod of praise is one Lawsky might have been smart to politely decline. The publication has also heaped praise on loose affiliation of September 11, 2001, conspiracy theorists who call themselves “truthers”:

“It’s easy to dismiss the odd characters. It’s harder to ignore the regular guys in the room, or the polls showing that 49 percent of New York City residents believe the government knew about 9-11 before it happened, or the rock-solid certainty of these supposed doubters,” The Voice published in February, 2006.

“Its name notwithstanding, the 9-11 Truth movement tells a story—and is a story—about what happens when the government lies,” the profile continues. “The long list of obfuscations and obstructions has helped the Truth movement attract sympathizers who don’t buy the idea that the attacks were planned by the government.”

and Occupy Wall Street:

“If the heavy-handed policing was familiar, the armchair-media’s treatment of the anniversary was also mostly indistinguishable from the tone of the movement’s press coverage throughout the past year: The movement is over; it was silly; it didn’t accomplish anything; what remains are just a band of crusty shiftless die-hard malcontents,” The Voice published on the one-year anniversary of the establishment of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Much of the rhetoric coming from the anniversary’s organizers was true to character too, ambitious to the point of bombast, promising to “Shut down Wall Street.” But for the protesters, yesterday’s actions and the weekend of trainings, teach-ins, and concerts that preceded it were never about actually bringing the financial industry to its knees, or even returning Occupy to the position it held before it was evicted from Zuccotti Park in November.

“Where are the First Amendment’s establishment warriors as government-spooked businesses try to shut down Wikileaks?” The paper’s executive editor, Michael Lacey, demanded in 2010 in a call to members of the media to show more support the efforts of an organization actively publishing American national security secrets and intelligence gathering techniques. “Hackers with computers, not hacks with press passes, have been the first line of resistance.”

The paper has also shown the light of their favor down on such paragons as the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.


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