We try to catch those rare occasions that WorldNetDaily publishes a letter to the editor that actually contains substantive criticism (as opposed to its usual method of portraying the most extreme examples of criticism as representative of all criticism). So we were pleasantly surprised to read this letter, since we know a little about the subject (WND's letters cycle out a week after posting):
Mr. Aaron Klein's article about Mr. Vartan Gregorian was a sad and scurrilous exercise in reputation-smearing ["White House scholar funded Ayers group"]. When Mr. Klein wrote this fear-mongering rubbish, he omitted several pertinent facts.
- Mr. Vartan Gregorian has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian award in the United States. Could I point out that he received it from President George Walker Bush? He has also received the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which is recognized by the United States House of Representatives and the Senate, and as such the names of all winners are listed in the Congressional Record. So to claim that he is some kind of robotic follower of Obama is deeply silly, if not stupid.
- Mr. Vartan Gregorian is Armenian Orthodox by religion. As he was born and brought up in Iran, he probably understands Islam quite well, in both its positive and negative aspects. However, it is unlikely that he is an Islamist jihadist.
- He is a highly distinguished academic, who has been, successively, the founding dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania, the Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, the president of the New York Public Library and then the president of Brown University. Oh, and he also has more than 60 honorary degrees, as of 2009.
The man is obviously both highly qualified and a major asset to the American people. The article says more about the writer and his agenda than anything else. And when the journalist in question has contributed one-tenth as much as Mr. Gregorian has, he might be qualified to clean his shoes.
This website claims to be in favor of "Judeo-Christian" values. It is not evident in the tone of a lot of the articles posted, which reek of envy, resentment and dislike of difference. The gentle carpenter of Nazareth said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," with no ifs, ands or buts. He did NOT say, "Thou shalt maliciously smear anyone who disagrees with thee." One reason why I am not a Christian is that such an absolute command is hard to keep, but most of your contributors do not even try to live up to the basic message of their so-called "Savior."
My other problem with this site is that both the contributors and the majority of readers too often fall prey to various silly conspiracy theories. It is, I suppose, a way of dealing with the world, which tends to be confusing and complex, but fantasy is never a good basis for dealing with reality. And I would have to add the so-called "Young-Earth Creationism" theory into the category of conspiracy theories. It is disproved by geology – especially plate tectonics, atomic physics, dendrochronology, astronomy, cosmology, etc. Denial of all scientific evidence amounts to promoting willful ignorance on your site. This does not enhance its credibility. And I know that you will argue that it is "free speech." People are entitled to free speech, but when it is patent nonsense, they are not entitled to have it treated with intellectual respect.David Mac Artain
Alas, making the you-can-lead-a-horse-to-water theory come to vivid life once again, the letters WND published in response completely miss the point:
Thanks to David Mac Artain's E-mail to the Editor [June 30], I have now read Aaron Klein's article on Vartan Gregorian.
After reading Mr. Mac Artain's disdainful words about Mr. Klein's writing, I just had to find out if Aaron had suddenly gone completely out of character and written a malicious "smear" piece. But, of course, that was not the case. Mr. Klein's and Ms. Elliott's article was well-written and researched, as usual.
Mr. Mac Artain seems to think that being honored by a couple of globalist presidents makes Gregorian beyond reproach, but it does not. I would also point out that being a "highly distinguished academic" nowadays simply means "flaming leftist." Receiving countless "honorary degrees" only means that fellow-traveling flaming leftists admire your work for the Cause.
Gregorian's ties to Ayers, Obama and Rauf and their various foundations and societies are disturbing. These leftists have infiltrated our institutions to the very highest levels, and they're deeply entrenched, like Vartan Gregorian.
Mac Artain has penned an irrational, almost hysterical, argument against Aaron Klein's article, and the argument does not hold up. Aaron never called Gregorian a "robotic follower" of Obama; he simply laid out all the documented connections that paint a clear picture of what Gregorian is about.
Mr. Mac Artain apparently confuses WND's quest for uncovering truth and exposing wickedness and corruption in high places with the posting of articles "which reek of envy, resentment and dislike of difference."
I would also remind Mac Artain that the "gentle carpenter of Nazareth," Jesus, is the same man who took whips to the corrupt money changers in the Temple, as he overturned their tables in righteous anger, and he's the same man who called the Pharisees and teachers of the law "hypocrites," "vipers," "fools" and "whitewashed tombs full of dead men's bones and every unclean thing." There is a time to point out evildoers.
And then there's this one:
So, let me get this straight, Mr. Mac Artain [E-mail to the Editor, June 30]. You are proffering that a man with a chest full of medals and many academic credentials couldn't possibly be a supporter of a left-wing radical group. Explain why they are mutually exclusive, please. Remember that Yasser Arafat was a Nobel Peace Prize winner. It didn't make him less of a terrorist.
Anyone surprised that WND's readership is so reactionary and apaprently impervious to reason? We're not.