The Spectacle Blog

From DailyKos to the Forward: A Smear’s Progress

By on 5.11.10 | 10:44AM

Phyllis Chesler calls it a "weird piece which came at me out of left field, literally" -- a column at the Web site of Zeek, a quarterly publication of the Forward, accusing Chesler of "single-minded zealotry" and "promoting the Religious Right and its Christian nationalism" as part of "The War Against Tolerance."

Why would Chesler, a Jewish feminist, be assailed by a Jewish journal affiliated with the Forward? The author of the Zeek column, Rachel Tabachnick, is a regular contributor to a Web site called, founded in 2005 by Bruce Wilson. From there, the trail leads in an interesting direction:

What we do know is that Bruce Wilson has been posting at DailyKos as "Troutfishing" since October 2004, and that his fourth post - written the day after John Kerry's defeat in the 2004 election - argued for the formation of a "progressive/liberal/Dem umbrella group which would be the left equivalent of the Christian Coalition." . . .
Talk2Action, on which Wilson and Mrs. Tabachnick are "collaborating," is a political project originated at Daily Kos in 2004 by a partisan opponent of the Bush administration. The goal of Talk2Action is to defeat Republicans by discrediting conservative Christians, portraying them as dangerous, intolerant kooks.
Chesler's column about Rifka Bary, and her general work in discussing the oppression of women in Islamic societies (Chesler was once married to a Muslim and lived in Afghanistan), were rather disruptive of the "American Taliban" message that Wilson and Mrs. Tabachnick have been relentlessly promoting. . . .

Unlike the actual Taliban, of course, the Christian conservatives targeted by Talk2Action haven't sent any car-bombers to Manhattan.

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