Thursday, November 10, 2005


barmy, batty, berserk, bonkers, cracked, crazed, cuckoo, daft, delirious...

The Malkins thought it was ever so clever to run a series of mugshots of "average liberals" who had allegedly done various "unhinged" things.

Well, never let it be said that Jesse Malkin doesn't know from unhinged.


From The Oberlin Forum, October 1991 [various emphases mine], a letter by a student named Alexis Zybach-Sadki:
Mr. Jesse Malkin, founder and former publisher of the Oberlin Forum, physically assaulted and verbally threatened to kill me on the afternoon of the 1991 Commencement exercises, just after I had taken one picture of him for the Oberlin Hi-O-Hi 1991 yearbook supplement. I am writing because I feel that such an act of intolerance should be unacceptable in an academic community which of course values tolerance, freedom of speech, and - above all - civilized behavior toward all people, including photographers...

I have to admit that, until recently, I had never really paid any attention to the Oberlin Forum. I knew that it was the right-wing publication on campus, but its articles were short, often muddled, and not very well researched (if research was even an issue)...

Commencement exercises had just finished, and Mr. Malkin was talking with College Treasurer Charles Tharp, somewhere close to the memorial arch. I approached them and circled around quickly, trying to find the best angle. I knew Mr. Malkin was a Rhodes scholar, founder of this publication, and that he had been Mr. Tharp's intern. In other words, here was someone whom I thought should definitely be in the yearbook - he was important. As I circled around, I raised my camera...I snapped on picture.

Suddenly, Mr. Malkin turned to me, yelling "Don't take my picture..." I wondered why he was yelling, but lowered my camera. There were other, equally important people whose pictures I had yet to take. Suddenly, he lunged out at me, shouting, "Don't fuck with me, or I'm going to kill you!" He grabbed my arm and tried to grab my camera, continuing to spew insults and death threats. The civilized scholar had suddenly transformed into an uncontrollable savage. Fortunately, a friend managed to pull me away from his grasp. Malkin must have regained his senses as his vicious fit ended and he ended his attack. This friend and several other people were all witnesses to this act of violence.

Now, Malkin himself has stated in an article that "...rejecting reasoned discourse and free inquiry, such behavior is the antithesis of liberal arts education." In fact, in the same article he assered that one of his major reasons for choosing Oberlin "was because of its reputation for tolerance and diversity. I was impressed by Oberlin's history and commitment to social justice," Could Jesse Malkin have gone so far in rejecting some of his most basic beliefs?

Jesse, I wonder if you will have any response to this. In "No Cider and Cookies," your attack against the 1990 March Against Bigotry, you criticized - without substantiating any of your accusations - radical leftists" for "attempting to achieve by intimidation and bullying" what they "cannot accomplish by persuasion"...
Oh, my. Well, it's no pie-throwing, but it's certainly unhinged.

Now, I'm not going to suggest that this (admittedly 14-year-old) incident allegedly suggests some sort of...projection on the part of the Malkins when it comes to their current "unhinged crusade." (There is, however, a "Comments" link at the bottom of this post. Just putting that out there.) But, let's face it, as Zybach-Sadki noted at the time, it's fascinating to find that Jesse Malkin and Sean Penn have at least one thing in common...allegedly*.

Oh, but wait: "the standard caricature of conservatives as angry/racist/bigoted/violence-prone crackpots is a much better description of today's unhinged liberals than of us." Both sides can play the anecdotal evidence game, folks.

And as for the "March Against Bigotry", in which unhinged radical leftists practiced "intimidation and bullying", here's another interpretation:
...police brutality. This was done after president of the Oberlin called the cops who brutally beat people, and then to save face put victims up on felony charges. I new very immediately what it felt like to be framed. I didn't do anything at the demonstration, neither did anyone else. Six people fought in court for 1-2 years, at a cost of $10,000...[t]he demonstration was a broadly defined march against bigotry. In the months leading up to demonstration, there had been violent hate crimes, asian guy chased with baseball bats, latino guy getting death threats, gay guy with graffiti on his door. People got frustrated that nothing was happening. The demo ended up on the grass in front of the president's house, where the cops attacked.

There was a Philipino [sic? I'm not sure] speaker, Steve, who had been involved in much activisim over the years, a thorn in the side of the administration. Steve was talking about his shitty experiences with financial aid and the administration. Cops gave some kind of incoherent order to disperse, that came accross as garbled static. Jumped on Steve and started choking him. To get to him they had to walk over people, and kicked and clubbed people out of the way. It got to be a melee. People clubbed here, choked there. Two guys and women dumped into police cars. Standoff for a few hours, eventually the women and guys were released. It was a big scandal, the president had called in the cops, it had never happened before that the administration called in the cops to break up a demonstration at Oberlin. Dozens of people went to police station to file complaints of brutality. Over 60 complaints were filed.

Wow. Disdain for anyone who dares to make a little noise about civil rights concerns, accusing them of "intimidation and bullying" when the truth is a little more nebulous, if not the exact opposite?

Unheard of.

*"Allegedly" routine stolen from Jim Rome.


[Welcome friends! If this is your first time here, please take a moment to read Ghost Blogging, the sordid tale of the Jesse and Michelle Malkin conservative juggernaut. -LA]