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Unlike Sarah Palin, I Learn Something New Every Day

December 7, 2009

And today’s fresh bit of knowledge is particularly ugly. It seems that Fred Malek, a beltway insider adviser of Sarah Palin’s, was the henchman responsible for Richard Nixon’s attempted purge of Jews from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). If you believe his story, he was practically a bystander in the act; if you believe Nixon’s tapes, he had a more active role:

Nixon: One other thing I want to know. Colson made an interesting study of the BLS crew. He found out of the 21—you remember he said last time—16 were Democrats. No, he told me in the car, 16 were registered Democrats, one was a registered Republican [inaudible] well, there may have been 23. And four were Declined to States. Now that doesn’t surprise me in BLS. The point that he did not get into that I want to know, Bob, how many were Jews? Out of the 23 in the BLS, would you get me that?

Haldeman: [White House deputy assistant] Alex [Butterfield] is getting it.

Nixon: There’s a Jewish cabal, you know, running through this, working with people like [Federal Reserve Chairman Arthur F.] Burns and the rest. And they all—they all only talk to Jews. Now, but there it is. But there’s the BLS staff. Now how the hell do you ever expect us to get anything from that staff, the raw data, let alone what the poor guys have to say [inaudible] that isn’t gonna be loaded against us? You understand?

Haldeman: Is Alex working on that?

Ehrlichman: Malek.

Nixon: Oh, Malek is. Oh.

Timothy Noah wrote about this in a 2007 Slate piece called Nixon’s Jew Count: The Whole Story. I learned about Palin’s involvement with Malek from Christopher Hitchens’ new essay in Slate. Just when I think my contempt for her has hit its peak, she finds a new way to ratchet it up.

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