Blog post

Belén Fernández and the Curious Mr. Friedman

Francisco Salas28 November 2011

Following a recent appearance in Guernica, The Imperial Messenger has been excerpted in the London Review of Books. In the book, author Belén Fernández systematically demolishes the façade of principled criticism that Friedman projects, and exposes instead the mass of contradictory assertions and disingenuous equivocation—not to mention, terrible writing—that is the acclaimed New York Times columnist's true hallmark.

Ever since literary blogs, alternative news outlets, and nifty "read later" contraptions infested the once-venerable tangle of data that is the Internet, it has become dishearteningly easier to read good, intelligent writing that is as informative as it is well-crafted. Rambling, incoherent, cartoonishly bad and ethically suspect writing no longer populate our screens; and we have been left with nostalgia for the days when we still hadn't quite figured out our RSS subscription preferences.

Thankfully, Thomas Friedman is still getting published.

If you have not yet experienced the  literary coup de poudre that is Friedman's writing, you can read his New York Times column, which runs twice-weekly because Friedman stauchly supports torture without legal consequences. For short but still painful reminders of the current state of political discourse in this country, you can follow @NYTFriedman on Twitter.

But burying this kind of rhetoric at the bottom of a reader feed is not enough—it has to be brought to light and thoroughly dismantled. If you want to understand how Friedman is "a testament to the degenerate state of the mainstream media in the United States" and a mouthpiece for imperial violence and aggression around the world, you should read Belén Fernández's witty, incisive take-down of this apologist for empire.