It’s the anniversary of September 11th, and I remember exactly where I was that day: in a newsroom, watching the second tower fall on the TV, crying but trying not to let my colleagues see, and wondering if there was more to come. When the second plane hit, we knew it wasn’t a random strange accident but an attack. Everyone did. It was an overwhelming moment of horror and sadness, and I read this brilliant piece of writing every year and try not to forget what it felt like that day.
This week’s show, however, does not cover 9/11. But it does deal with destruction, this time of a distinguished man’s character. And for the second time.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is an accomplished and complicated man. The doors he’s walked through and the mountains he’s climbed to become a Supreme Court justice — a long journey from Pin Point, Ga. — are admirable and impressive.
But he’s conservative, you see. So never mind that he’s the living embodiment of what progressives say they want for underprivileged black kids. He must be shown to be flawed in his thinking. This time, as a black separatist.
This New Yorker article covers how progressives feel about Thomas. It’s all very high-minded and well-written of course, but it’s meant to leave the reader with the singular impression that Thomas’ character is that of a man who is a traitor to what he once stood for, and that he might also think there should be a segregation of races again.
It’s absurd, of course. Thomas, as we all are, is a complex being and is entirely capable of having a regard for his history and still be a man of the modern world. Progressives just don’t quite understand how that could be. Hence articles like this one, where he’s dissected and almost blatantly smeared.
In any event, I try to cover it on the show today. I also offer a review of Bill Burr’s new Netflix comedy special “Paper Tiger” (another uncomfortable gem people should see), and try to make sense of what’s going on with Big Tech and anti-trust/free speech issues.