Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

June 28, 2010

Debating the Deacon

Filed under: middle east,religion — louisproyect @ 4:19 pm

Deacon Kevin McCormack

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik

As I have mentioned before, the Sunday morning WABC radio show “Religion on the Line” functions as just one more rightwing outlet at the home of Rush Limbaugh and assorted other racist reactionaries. Hosted by Rabbi Joseph Potasnik and Deacon Kevin McCormack, it is a place where you will hear talking points of the Israel lobby on a regular basis. It was where I heard Bard College’s chaplain Bruce Chilton defend Israel’s murderous attack on Gaza in January 2009.

I generally listen for 5 or 10 minutes on Sunday morning just to get up to speed on the latest talking points of the Israel lobby and then switch to WFAN, a radio station for sports fans as the call letters indicate. Once upon a time my radio dial was set to WBAI exclusively but their descent into 9/11 conspiracy-mongering and other such nonsense forced me to look elsewhere.

Generally Potasnik sets the agenda for the show, finding some pretext or another for Muslim-bashing. McCormack tries to appear a bit more reasonable, but is inclined to go along with most of the hate mongering.

Last Sunday I found myself more irritated then usual when Potasnik went on at some length about Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who was reported to have said: “White folk and the Jews done took this country. You’re in their home, and they’re gonna let you know it.”

It turns out that Potasnik was quoting from an article in Rupert Murdoch’s NY Post, the print equivalent of WABC, but when you go to the article, there’s no reference to the Jews taking the country, only White folks. In other words, the Rabbi was lying to his radio audience in order to deepen their hatred of uppity Black people, no mean feat given the demographics of this racist radio station.

Of course, it is almost impossible to separate fact from fiction in the NY Post, by some estimations the most worthless newspaper in the USA and clearly the sort of soiled toilet paper that constitutes Rabbi Potasnik’s weekly reading material.

As it turned out, Congressman Peter King was to be a guest later on. This mean-spirited bigot is one of their faves. Since I have been feeling more worked up about Zionist hasbara (propaganda) lately than usual after the murder of 9 people on the Mavi Marmara, I could not resist giving the Rabbi and the Deacon a piece of my mind. A while back I had posted another complaint on their Facebook, but it wasn’t quite as “in your face” as I would have hoped. This time I decided to contact McCormack directly through his own Facebook id. Below is a log of our exchanges:

Louis P:
What bullshit, complaining about Reverend Wright, when you and the rabbi use WABC as a bully pulpit. The home of Bob Grant of Dinkins “washroom attendant” fame. The home of Rush Limbaugh’s coon show comedy.

Deacon McCormack:
Louis + thank you for listening. Help me understand how a man of priviledge like Rev wright speaks in such general terms as all whites and all jews are responsible for all ills. Come on louis you got to give me this one. The guy is a racist and a hypocrite

Louis P:
Kevin, did you ever hear about the pot calling the kettle black? Also, don’t you agree with Jesus that those without sin should cast the first stone? WABC is an open sewer of race hatred. Surely, you must understand that you and the good rabbi were hired to help propagate the same hate messages as Rush Limbaugh and Bob Grant? Here’s your pal Peter King complaining about there being “too many mosques” in the USA. I guess its okay for him to say this and get the red carpet treatment from you.

Deacon McCormack:
Louis, frankly I am suprised that you would use the same tatics that you so readily claim some of the right wing radio show hosts do. Louis You really don’t know anything about me and yet you draw a broad brush stroke and say that at best I am a “dupe” of WABC and at worst a willful participant of some evil agenda. Would I be correct to assume that as an unrepentant Marxist you are to be painted with the same brush and as such the same crimes as Lennin, Stalin or Mao? Of course not!

Louis did you know my wife and have worked in the inner city developing summer programs for young kids and teenagers?

– Did you know I have worked with and continue to advocate for the undocumented community?

– Did you know that I have gay and straight, black, latino, jewish, & european friends?

You have every right to say what you want and infact I defend that right. But as I said before, Rev. Wrights words are despicable – especially for a self proclaimed Christian. As I Chriustian – I have a responsibility to speak out about injustice everywhere and anywhere I see it.

whether you are listening or monitoring (what does that mean anyway? & in case you don’t know – Most of the show can be gotten as a MP3 file if that helps you.) I appreciate that on some level the Rabbi and I are important to you. I read your blog from Time to time – (not “monitoring” it) ever sice you called me a “warmonger.” I don’t often agree w/ you, but I find you thought provoking.

Final thought for now – Louis I would very much enjoy meeting you for a cup of coffee or a dram to discuss, as men of passion, our world views. I’ll even buy the first round. Only catch – we have to assume the good will of the other until proven otherwise. Let me know – The offer stands.

Louis P:
Well, look. I don’t see much point in getting together since there is obviously a failure to communicate. If somebody said that there were “too many Catholic churches” or “too many synagogues” in New York, you and the rabbi would riff on that for 15 minutes about the terrible hate campaign against your fellow believers. But when I tell you that Peter King said that there were “too many mosques” in the USA, you have *nothing to say*. In other words, we are dealing with a disgusting double-standard. You guys scream bloody murder about anti-Semitic Blacks and Muslims but when a fellow rightwinger says something hateful about Muslims, that gets a bye from you. My understanding of Judeo-Christian values is that they are universal. Unless you two stop functioning as part of the rightwing racist mob at WABC, then at least drop the piety bit. It has nothing to do with Moses or Jesus. It is more about Rush Limbaugh and Peter King.


  1. “but when you go to the article, there’s no reference to the Jews taking the country, only White folks. In other words, the Rabbi was lying to his radio audience in order to deepen their hatred of uppity Black people, no mean feat given the demographics of this racist radio station.”

    I think another motive was to play up and in this case invent anti semitism, which is a fundamental part of Zionist propaganda.

    Comment by James — June 28, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

  2. I knew there was something about you I liked. Wink, wink, smiley-face.

    Comment by dave — June 28, 2010 @ 8:07 pm

  3. Did he just use the “one of my best friend is black” defence?

    Comment by Antonis — June 28, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

  4. That filth pig Peter King makes my skin crawl. Exactly what constituency in NY elects such an abject asshole? Who are these voters and what do they do?

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — June 28, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

  5. –Louis did you know my wife and have worked in the inner city developing summer programs for young kids and teenagers?—

    You gotta love it when people use their charity work to show how giving and selfless they are. It’s not really charity then, is it ?

    Comment by purple — June 29, 2010 @ 4:42 am

  6. Wonderful stuff Lou. Such power and passion, smiting them hip and thigh as always. I have been thinking lately of the importance of your online writing to me and no doubt thousands of others. May you go for another hundred years.

    best wishes


    Comment by Gary MacLennan — June 29, 2010 @ 6:43 am

  7. Beautifully reasoned and written, and nice on religion and universalism. Here’s more on that:

    “There is an elementary moral principle which is called the principal of universality. The principle says if something is right for us, it’s right for others. If it’s wrong for others, it’s wrong for us. If you can’t accept that principle, you should have the decency to shut up. So either you accept that principle or you say, ‘OK, I’m a Nazi, I’ll do anything I like. No more discussion of right and wrong.’”
    —Noam Chomsky, Preventive Warriors

    Rabbi Shammai and Rabbi Hillel were born a generation or two before the beginning of the Common Era. They are usually discussed together and contrasted with each other, because they were contemporaries and the leaders of two opposing schools of thought (known as “houses”). . . . The Talmud tells that a gentile came to Shammai saying that he would convert to Judaism if Shammai could teach him the whole Torah in the time that he could stand on one foot. Shammai drove him away with a builder’s measuring stick! Hillel, on the other hand, converted the gentile by telling him, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Go and study it.”
    —from “Hillel and Shammai”

    Comment by Jim Holstun — June 30, 2010 @ 2:49 am

  8. Jim,

    Hope you are well.

    “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

    Louis, why don’t you want to meet with the individual?

    The man’s comments about his freinds and charity work made us laugh. Not because it was funny though but more as a reaction to relieve our frustration.


    John Kaniecki

    Comment by john kaniecki — June 30, 2010 @ 1:48 pm

  9. Louis, why don’t you want to meet with the individual?

    Because it would be a waste of my time.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 30, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

  10. Louis – In the tradition of fair play you choose to leave my last response to you off you blog. If you’re as dedicated to the truth I felt the WHOLE conversation should be shared. For those interested here is the last part of the discussion.

    Well Louis, the offer still stands.

    For the record I don’t think Congressman King is a racist and I think it is important to put a man’s life in context. As i assume you did, I lost friends on 9/11. The choice of being engulfed in flames or jumping to death still screams in my head. I know many of the widows and their kids. It is tough to shake. If my guests don’t sound correct I guess they remember too. I know not all muslims support these actions, but the dearth of there condemnations is deafening. Iman Ralf blames america for 9/11 and when asked to respond he deflects.
    Rev. Wright speaks racists words that if a white person did would cause them to loose any professional or public standing and your response is – Peter king says there are too many mosques – To each his own.
    I believe your dedication to human flourishing is better than that type of knee jerk response.
    Israel is easy to beat up but where is the outrage of abuses to freedom of Speech, civil and women’s rights in Saudia Arabia, Iran, and the likes?
    Where is the concern over the way Christians are treated in Turkey?

    I think we would both be better served if individuals could be seen in their complexity rather than in a few sound bites. Do I dare say that that is the achilles heal of Marxism?

    I wish you well brother, Thank you for your challenges to me. I do take them seriously. I admire your passion, I wish you would allow my humanity and good will to be part of your equation. Until our paths cross again . . .

    Kevin Mac

    PS: Seriously what does “monitoring” really mean?

    Comment by Kevmac71 — July 12, 2010 @ 10:45 pm

  11. Louis. You are right on the money about Rabbi Potasnik. He dominates the show and the Deacon just goes along with it. Which is the way Potasnik likes it. The show was good years ago when Rev. Bryan Shafer was one of the hosts until it was decided to eliminate the Protestant and just have the Rabbi and his stooge. I have had experience with the Jewish National Fund and Rabbi Potasnik cannot stand to hear the truth. Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Gennaro Pasquale — June 6, 2015 @ 1:00 am

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