Meet Ian Buruma, the New York Times’ Favorite Whitewasher of Islam

Over forty years ago, in The Painted Word, Tom Wolfe aptly described the Sunday edition of the New York Times as “that great public bath, that vat, that spa, that regional physiotherapy tank, that White Sulphur Springs, that Marienbad, that Ganges, that River Jordan for a million souls” — an object into which one submerges oneself, “weightless, suspended in the tepid depths of the thing.”

Which is an elaborate way of saying that the Gray Lady, while occasionally, perhaps, running an op-ed that questions its editors’ own opinions, strives not to mount a serious challenge to the worldview that keeps its reader base content in its ideological bubble.

So it is that as the Dutch elections approached (they’re happening today), one thing was for sure: eventually the Times would run a long piece by Ian Buruma.

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  • Ed

    He’s an old white male! I’m triggered! Ban him!!! Hit the person next to you over the head!!!! Burn things!!!!!

  • Art Deco

    What is the function of intellectuals, but to tell us that things are not as ordinary people perceive them? If they’re not being condescending, they’re dead.

    He used to write tiresome pieces for The New Republic a generation ago, ones that had (IIRC) not much of a beginning, ending, or point. Most were set in the Far East, where he was then working.

    His biography page at Bard College carefully omits mention of his schooling. I.e. Bard hired someone with no history of scholarship for its endowed chair in ‘human rights and journalism’. Oh well. He’s likely not nearly as bad as some fully credentialed academics (say, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Eric Hobsbawm).