On close reading, neither Andrew nor Jack are offering a defense so much as they are changing the subject. The question at hand is something along the lines of, "Does Martin Peretz exhibit a pattern of bigotry?" Andrew and Jack, instead, are addressing a question along the lines of "Is Martin Peretz a great journalist?" With respect for both Andrew and Jack, this is obfuscation. Ty Cobb was both a great baseball player and a bigot. The notion that we must choose between the two, that one mitigates the other, that good people don't do deplorable things, that deplorable people don't great things, emanates from our own inability to understand that bigotry is not strictly the preserve of orcs... If Peretz is not a bigot, then the word has no meaning.
He proceeds to pick through TNR's writing on race during Marty's tenure.
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