Bob Simon & Herbert Marcuse

Writing in the New Yorker (ahem), Bernard Avishai (ahem) writes about “Bob Simon and Herbert Marcuse”, the former being the late ethnocentric journalist and 60 Minutes regular whom I previously wrote about:

I knew Bob Simon, the longtime CBS correspondent, who died last week at seventy-three, in the late nineteen-seventies and early eighties. He was reporting from Israel for CBS News and I was covering Israeli politics periodically for the New York Review of Books

Simon told me that he graduated from Brandeis in 1962, won a Fulbright, and knocked around until he landed a job at CBS. This was in or near 1969, and the New Left had become inescapable enough for the major news organizations to take notice. Its bible was Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man, one of the first explorations of the culture of consumerism—totalitarian in its way, Marcuse wrote—that the major corporations had created, generating false needs that we compulsively satisfied. The book was first published in 1964 and slowly gained momentum as a Beacon Press paperback; by the late sixties it was something of a best-seller. So CBS wanted an interview with its author—no small ambition, considering that One-Dimensional Man’s key concepts were expressed in such terms as “repressive desublimation.” Also, Marcuse—a German-Jewish refugee, long associated with the Frankfurt School of Marxist criticism, but fascinated by Freud’s concept of Eros—was now seventy-one and in semi-retirement at the University of California, San Diego. Abashed by his fame, perhaps, he was refusing to meet with reporters.

Simon, it turned out, was Marcuse’s former student, and Jew-to-Jew was able to cajole Marcuse to appear on camera.

It is hard to recall Simon’s story without something of sinking feeling—and not just for the loss of him. Imagine any of the major networks launching the career of a twenty-eight-year-old Fulbright scholar as payback for securing an interview with a former teacher. And imagine that the “get” is a radical, pedantic, Freud-inflected Marxist with a German accent. Comedy Central, perhaps.

Well, given the above actually did happen on one of only 3 TV news channels at the time (and not on Comedy Central), I’d say the only context in which, say, Jon Stewart would enter the fray would be to exert a mocking tone on how some modern day Marcuse is unable to be heard on Fox News.

For background on how Freud-inflected Marxist Jews came to assault white gentile culture (with astonishing success), see chapter 5 of Kevin MacDonald’s The Culture of Critique (“The Frankfurt School of Social Research and the Pathologization of Gentile Group Allegiances”)

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