The embarrassing sentence is: "I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse." I wrote that, but I do not believe that. I do not think that any group or class of persons in the United States should be denied the protections of the First Amendment, not now, not ever... So I apologize for my sentence, not least because it misrepresents me.
Jim Fallows originally pulled back from writing anything about what Marty wrote, and now regrets it. He's also mystified by the apology. I very rarely criticize Marty because of the great friendship I feel for him, and gratitude for the opportunities he gave me, but this was too much even for me. Kristof accepts the apology but insists he does not share Marty's broad views of Muslims as a whole. John Cole says the hatred of Arabs and Muslims in general is not new in the writing of Marty and wonders why only now is an apology in order. I have to say that the sentence "I wrote that, but do not believe that" requires elaboration, or we should assume that everything Marty writes may not be what he believes. The question is: if he did not believe that, why did he write it?
Or would the answer to that question raise still more?