With stress lines on his face and his jaw on the floor Walter sat poolside watching piece after piece of airplane debris flutter into the water. It was at that very moment that he came to understand how all of his decisions up until that point had lead to a devastating accident in the sky, indirectly causing the deaths of hundreds of people. For any rational person this would be a more than appropriate sign to change your ways and return to the path of righteousness. In one of his only true moments of sanity, Walter White stands up, places all his ill-gotten money on his barbeque and sets his cash on fire. This concludes season 2 of AMC’s smash TV show Breaking Bad.
However, by the fifth episode of Season 3, a mere five hours of TV later, Walter White, chemistry teacher turned meth cooker and supplier, is right back on the horse, cooking and slinging into the wee hours of the night. For Walter, causing a major national tragedy seemed to have failed to weigh on him as it should. Guilt, the show conveys, can manifest in very odd ways. In fact, guilt, as later seasons of the show so devastatingly display, can make a man do crazy things.
Jonathan Kay is a Conservative Jewish Canadian journalist and author of “Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground”, a book I enjoyed immensely. As he explores the seedy underworld of conspiracy theory in America, Kay serves as the reader’s sane voice amongst an army of half-crazed men-children in tinfoil hats armed with Chicken Little-esk blog posts. I found him to be a consummate journalist with a healthy dose of integrity. In my mind, Jonathan Kay was a voice of journalistic reason in a field flooded with more bald faced lies then Pinocchio on spring break.
A few weeks ago Jonathan Kay was interviewed for a Jerusalem Post article entitled "Free to Criticize" by Renee Ghret-Zand. In the piece, Ghret-Zand explains how Young Canadian Jews have recently been able to enjoy a greater amount of freedom of speech and have used this newfound liberty to speak out both “for and against Israel.” To my dismay, Kay was not one of these young scribes in the “for Israel” camp, but was, in fact, a leader of the “against Israel” hub. “Kay tries to be a voice against ‘pro-Israel groupthink’ that is characteristic of conservative publications,” explains Ghret-Zand.
“I myself have migrated to this middle ground just in the last year” Kay elaborates, “because I became so weirded out by the spineless American response to Netanyahu, when Congress greeted him like a hero-showing him more reverence than they for Obama.”
So Kay feels a responsibility to condemn Israel, not because he disagrees with its actions, but because he is uneasy about the amount of support it receives.
And why exactly does he feel the responsibility to tip the obviously oh so slanted pro-Israel, blue-and-white-flag waving, Palestinian-narrative-hating media’s scales back towards the “middle”?
“I think the only special contribution we [Jewish journalists] can make is that we can speak more truthfully about the situation there [in Israel] because we are Jews” Kay continues. “I can get away with saying that maybe we''re a little too monolithic in our support.”
Please reread that last quote to ensure you did not misunderstand. Kay feels that his unique position as a Jewish journalist affords him the precious opportunity to ensure Israel doesn’t get too much support. He believes it’s the ONLY “SPECIAL CONTRIBUTION HE CAN MAKE!”
I am a journalist who was raised with the clear reality that Israel will always be fighting against the grain when it comes to the media. This is the world I have kicking-and-screamingly come to accept as my own. However, I have dedicated each and every letter I have ever put down on paper to help one day shatter this maddening situation. Jonathan Kay, a Jew with a platform and readership far larger than mine, has decided that my mission is misguided. Kay has decided to abandon all logic and become yet another weapon for the anti-Zionist camp, the Jewish voice against Israel being the most lethal weapon of them all.
I honestly do not know what pains me more: The fact that another influential Jewish voice has joined the Thomas Friedman school of self-destruction or that a Jew who has no true loyalties to the United States Congress or its President fails to see how Bibi Netanyahu is more of a hero than Barack Obama. Bibi served in an elite unit, laying his life on the line each and every day so that Kay will always have a safe haven when times are bad. It was Bibi who left the base each morning with no indication if he would ever return so that Jews around the world like Kay could be proud to be Jewish in public. What has Obama done for Kay lately?
Kay is so hell-bent on making sure Israel is not (God-forbid) looked upon too favorably that he failed to realize he was helping to fulfill the prophecies of the very conspiracy nuts he studied in his book. “In sum,” Kay writes in Among the Truthers, “the media have ceased to be the source of an accepted common vision of events and have come to be seen instead as interested partisans manipulating public perceptions for hidden commercial or ideological ends.” HEY JOHNNY! Perhaps that is because certain once-respected journalists, who dedicate an entire chapter of their books to the rebirth of anti-Zionism within the conspiracy theory universe, has up and joined their ranks just a few short years after mapping out exactly how a Jew falls into this trap.
In a chapter called “The Protocols Revisited”, Kay write “After decades of political correctness, it has become clear that the hypertolerant mantras of modern leftism supply no defense against the mind-warping effects of conspiracism: they simply deflect the conspiracist impulse to more fashionable targets such as Israel and the Jews that support it. Even Jews themselves sometimes have been seduced by this phenomenon…Noam Chomsky…Naomi Klein…Diana Ralph…all of these figures represent minority opinions within the broader North American Jewish community. But they have attained outsized importance because their writings are promoted by anti-Zionist groups eager to escape the charge of anti-Semitism.” HELLO! Jonathan Kay have you a mirror in your house?!
As I sit here baffled, despite this being the umpteenth time I have read Kay’s quotes, I must again conclude that guilt can make a man do crazy things. That is the only logical explanation I can derive from this web of absurdity that makes up Jonathan Kay’s psyche. It is either that or Mr. Kay has become Walter White’s newest client.
Follow E-TONE on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/E-Tone/182722041836556 and on twitter @ETONEDK