My Interview with Ruthie Blum in the Jerusalem Post

There’s an interview with me in the Jerusalem Post.

Richard Landes calls up a film clip onto the screen of his laptop to give an example of “Pallywood” – a term he invented as a take-off on “Bollywood.” The difference between the two, however, couldn’t be greater. Whereas the latter is the name now used for the Indian movie industry, the former refers to what Landes asserts are pernicious productions staged by the Palestinians, in front of (and often with cooperation from) Western camera crews, for the purpose of promoting anti-Israel propaganda by disguising it as news.

It’s a pretty harsh claim, and one that has earned the associate professor at Boston University – and co-founder and director of the Center for Millennial Studies – the reputation in certain circles as a right-wing conspiracy theorist. This perception of the French-born American, who divides his time between the United States and Israel, completely contradicts how he describes himself.

“I consider myself on the Left,” says Landes, during an hour-long interview earlier this month in Jerusalem. “I’ve always been a liberal. I’ve always been in favor of progressive projects.”

But, according to Landes, in the current global climate, a dangerous meeting of forces is taking place that must be fought: the blood-libels of pre-modernism and the post-modernist constructs of reality that allow for them. “It’s like a wedding of pre-modern sadists to post-modern masochists,” insists Landes. “It’s a match made in hell.”

Discussing breakthroughs in mass communications – comparing the advent of the printing press to that of cyberspace – Landes believes that there is an opportunity to combat misinformation on a large scale through the Internet. Indeed, Landes himself maintains two Web sites, Second Draft and Augean Stables.

Scientific discourse, he is convinced, is no longer exclusive to the universities. On the contrary, he says, “Academia is stuck.” It is the blogosphere, he concludes, where the real war of ideas can be won.

I don’t think I said “scientific” discourse. I think I talked about intellectual discourse. If there’s something “scientific” about it, it’s probably because it makes an attempt to ground in empirical reality. And as for the internet, it’s the place that the ideas and discourse that will enable the West to defend itself, and in the long run, reformulate the fabric of civil society will take place.

The full article is available here.

12 Responses to My Interview with Ruthie Blum in the Jerusalem Post

  1. fp says:

    And as for the internet, it’s the place that the ideas and discourse that will enable the West to defend itself, and in the long run, reformulate the fabric of civil society will take place.

    I doubt it. It’s too late. The west has already committed suicide in many dimensions. One of them is that it produces fewer and fewer intellectuals of smaller and smaller caliber.

    fp
    http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/

  2. Richard Landes says:

    boy, fp, you are remorselessly negative. human events do not proceed linearly. crisis brings out creativity and courage. i do think we’ll find an intelligent and humane response to this challenge; and i think it will emerge in the blogosphere.

  3. fp says:

    boy, richard, you are unjustifyingly positive. human events do not have to proceed linearly: they can proceed exponentially, which is what the consequences of the self-defeating actions or lack thereof of the west amount to.

    I am basing my position on overwhelming empirical evidence. You are basing yours on wishful thinking.

    The west is getting only what it deserves. After what they did to Hirsi Ali and what they are doing to Wilders, the dutch don’t deserve any better than sharia law.

  4. Eliyahu says:

    RL, the way the Post presented you in its side comments to the interview, it stated that the al-Durah boy “was shot.” After viewing the available films, I believe that it does not appear that he was shot at all, let alone killed. I believe that this is your position too.

  5. SE says:

    Richard, there is an inherent weakness in the blogosphere vs. the MSM, which is actually brought out in your interview. You talk about possibly 100,000 hits in 9 months. A tv network can get ten times that with ease, in a fraction of the time.
    Also, are you so sure that there was never a pc culture in academia prior to this generation?

  6. Richard Landes says:

    Richard, there is an inherent weakness in the blogosphere vs. the MSM, which is actually brought out in your interview. You talk about possibly 100,000 hits in 9 months. A tv network can get ten times that with ease, in a fraction of the time.

    the point about the blogosphere is its ability to crash the MSM (e.g., Rathergate, Reutersgate). i don’t think it should replace it, but have an impact on it.

    Also, are you so sure that there was never a pc culture in academia prior to this generation.
    pc, in some form, is omnipresent. but the current form of pc that paralyzes any ability to identify serious foes… that’s unusual. i think.

  7. fp says:

    the point about the blogosphere is its ability to crash the MSM (e.g., Rathergate, Reutersgate). i don’t think it should replace it, but have an impact on it.

    perhaps. but it also facilitated the emergence of non-MSM forces which are even more effective and destructive than the MSM. so just impacting the MSM does not solve the problem. those non-MSM forces have considerably less ethics and scruples than MSM.

  8. Cynic says:

    those non-MSM forces have considerably less ethics and scruples than MSM.

    Sorry for this but are you really saying that the MSM has scruples and ethics?
    After everything that has been discussed here?

    In RL’s SPME article, from the posting, one paragraph starts: Much of the resistance to pointing out the deplorable condition of thought, speech and action … could be applied to the continued insistence of a MSM guided by ethics and scruple, to remove that nauseating feeling of being betrayed.

  9. fp says:

    cynic,

    SOME in the MSM still do. an increasing majority does not. relative to those who do, some non-MSM elements on the net have even less.

    by now you should not suspect ME, of all people, of defending the MSM.

  10. Cynic says:

    :-) No I don’t. Just that the generalisation was a bit too much.

  11. Phil says:

    Richard,
    I just want to say that I thought the interview was fantastic, and I hope that your count-meter for your videos and this website shoots way up because of it. For starters, at least…

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