On Eric Alterman's 'Fucking Nascar Retards'

More

Eric Alterman responded to my criticism of him for referring, on the liberal listserv JournoList, to those Americans who like watching fast cars drive around in circles as "fucking Nascar retards" by apologizing for the use of the word "retard" but by further explaining that his revulsion toward Nascar is not actually a revulsion toward Nascar but is a revulsion provoked in him by conservative commentators who equate Nascar with Americanism:

What I objected to, and what I've written about frequently--and would have been understood, I imagine, by most of the people in that private, off-the-record conversation--was the putatively liberal mainstream media treating the folks who like Nascar as "real Americans" and the rest of us who like jazz, foreign films, and prefer pinot noir to Budweiser as un-American commies who should have no say in our country's future. This is why I am always defending New York, academics, the Upper West Side, even Zabar's which always appear to be fair game with the So-called Liberal Media. With the election of a law professor, ex-Harvard Law Review editor from Hyde Park who made no apologies for his brilliant writing talents and middle-to-high-brow tastes in literature , I thought we would finally stop hearing from  pundits like John Podhoretz, Ann Coulter, David Brooks,  Michael Ledeen and Laura Ingraham telling us that real Americans are white, Christian, live in the middle of the country and hate people like myself and my friends.

Read the whole thing, but I do agree with Alterman's defense of Zabar's America, which is no less or more American than Nascar. But because I am a uniter and not a divider, I would argue that one could simultaneously enjoy Nascar and enjoy Zabar's, and everything Zabar's stands for. In fact, I would imagine that a perfect day at the Charlotte Motor Speedway would include an onion bagel with Nova and sable (though I prefer the sable at Barney Greengrass, actually). And also a book or two, for those duller moments in the race. Maybe this book, come to think of it.  In other words, I do disagree with the idea that Nascar is America and Harvard Law School is not.  

Jump to comments
Presented by

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. Author of the book Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror, Goldberg also writes the magazine's advice column. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. Previously, he served as a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward, and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

His book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. Goldberg rthe recipient of the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism. He is also the recipient of 2005's Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Sad Desk Lunch: Is This How You Want to Die?

How to avoid working through lunch, and diseases related to social isolation.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In