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Monday, October 27, 2014
MRC's Bozell, Graham Bash Opera They've Never Seen
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell and Tim Graham rant in their Oct. 24 column about the New York Metropolitan Opera's production of "The Death of Klinghoffer":

So why would the most prestigious opera company in America promote this terrorist-sympathizing production? As always is the case in instances such as this, the left pleads artistic license. In The New York Times, drama critic Anthony Tommasini proclaimed: "Of all the arts, opera can use the subliminal power of music to explore motivations, including seething hatreds. This opera tries to explore what drove these Palestinians to take that ship and murder its most vulnerable passenger."

Tommasini declared further, "To try to understand why someone does something or to appreciate the fact that evildoers do not see themselves as evildoers is not the same as glorification or promotion of that evil." He called it "a searching, spiritual and humane work."

After this artistic monstrosity, could a searching, spiritual, and humane exploration of the "seething hatreds" of Adolf Hitler be not too far behind?

No, because when it comes to the performing arts in America's cultural capital, there's a remarkable bias and selectivity among the tastemakers.

Surely there were people who despised Kennedy with every fiber in their beings in 1962 but no one's going to finance an opera sympathetically exploring the motivations of Lee Harvey Oswald. Let's face it: There were those who wanted Martin Luther King dead.

Would anyone ever countenance a performance at the Met — or anywhere else — that might be described as a "searching, spiritual and humane work" studying the motives of James Earl Ray? So why do we need a tasteless work of "art" that allows a Palestinian terrorist project the murder of an innocent American Jew as anything other than what it is — evil?

Like their Media Research Center employee Tianna DiMartino, who unleashed a similar tirade last month against the opera, they provide no evidence that they've seen the work they're attacking.

And as we've previously pointed out, critics who -- unlike Bozell, Graham and DiMartino -- have actually seen the opera note that "The Death of Klinghoffer" does not romanticize terror; rather, it "attempts to counterpoise toterror’s deadly glamour the life-affirming virtues of the ordinary, of the decent man, of small things."

But Bozell and Graham offer no evidence they've seen any opera, let alone the one they're bashing, so all they can be  counted on for is mindless, ignorant bashing.

Speaking of which, DiMartino served up more of the same in an Oct. 23 follow-up MRC article. While devoting the vast majority of her article to critics of the opera, DiMartino acknowledged the critique of a Jewish rabbi who, unlike her, saw the opera and noted that it “certainly reflects the horror and criminality of the terrorists. It also reveals, through the terrorists' anti-Jewish canards, that anti-Zionism is equivalent to anti-Semitism.”

But then she rants because the opera does not explicitly condemn the Palestinians' violence: "And yet the writer John Adams, the Librettist, Peter Gelb and Liberal critics alike all praise the show for it’s non-bias. For the human element of both sides and the rationale for all involved."

And again, DiMartino shows she's so ignorant that she can't even get the names of the opera's creators straight. John Adams wrote the music, while Alice Goodman is the librettist. Gelb is the Metropolitan Opera's general manager and was not involved in the creation of the opera.

Her ignorance notwithstanding, DiMartino concludes by whining: "Moral cowardice dressed up as sophistication is a luxury afforded by the left’s grip on entertainment and the arts. In the real world, in which real terrorists murder wheelchair-bound seniors and fly passenger jets into sky scrapers, we don’t have that luxury." It seems that DiMartino has decided she doesn't have the luxury to know anything about the opera she's bashing.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:08 PM EDT

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