Mark Steyn Needs a Fact Checker

Mark Steyn, in an op-ed I generally agree with, criticizes Benyamin Cohen, editor of the online publication Jewsweek, for his immediate reaction after seeing The Passion of the Christ. [Full disclosure: I am an occasional columnist for Jewsweek and close friends with Cohen and his wife.]

In his review of the film, Cohen writes,

Well, after walking out of an advance screening, my first comprehensible thought was this: I really want to kill a Jew.

I have not yet seen the movie, but I have my doubts as to whether it is really as hostile to Jews as some claim. Regardless, what interests me is not Cohen's reaction so much as Steyn's criticism of Cohen's reaction. Lumping both Cohen and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd together, Steyn writes,

It may be that elderly schoolgirl columnists at the New York Times are unusually easy to rouse to violence. But I reckon Dowd and Cohen are faking it. They don't mean that, thanks to Mel, Times marquee columnists and liberal Jewish New Yorkers will be rampaging around looking for Jews to kill; they mean all those rubes and hicks in Dogpatch who don't know any better will be doing so.

The problem is, Cohen is about as far from a liberal Jewish New Yorker as one can get. Cohen lives two-blocks away from me, in Atlanta, Georgia, the "capital of the Bible Belt." Cohen is the founding editor of the widely distributed weekly religious newsletter, Torah from Dixie. Dixie, people. I'm not intimately familiar with Cohen's political views, but I've seen no evidence that he is a typical Jewish liberal. He is certainly closer to the "rubes and hicks in Dogpatch" than the "metropolitan columnists."

[via Protocols]

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Happy Purim

Happy Purim

Heh, Chag Somayach to you

Heh, Chag Somayach to you too.

Micha - I just returned from

Micha - I just returned from viewing the film (saw it 2 hours ago). As much as I tried to perceive anti-semitism within the film, I could not. I am uncertain as to why individuals claim the film is anti-semitic. My gut reaction is individuals claim the film is anti-semitic, because that is what they want it to be. If no one knew that this film was about the "Messiah," they would only wonder at the barbarous practices which were a common occurence in those times.

Micha - Cohen could not be

Micha - Cohen could not be more wrong. I don't know where to start in his "review", so I won't try. John Venlet and John T. Kennedy have reviews on their sites. Go read those.

I've read 'em; like I said,

I've read 'em; like I said, I don't share Cohen's concerns, and even though I have not yet seen the movie, I doubt I will even after I eventually get a chance to watch it. The point of this post wasn't really Cohen's comment (although you're free to discuss it if you find it worthwhile), but the faulty assumption Steyn makes about Cohen's cultural background.