George Packer

Jacob Levich jlevich at
Mon Sep 23 19:09:37 MDT 2002

At 10:23 AM 9/23/2002 -0400, Louis wrote:

>As it turns out, Packer is a regular contributor to the Nation Magazine
>and Dissent. ... Born in 1960, around the same time as Berube, Packer has
>carved out a niche for himself as critic of the left in the mainstream
>media. It absolutely infuriates me to see these kind of careerists turning
>into finks for the liberal wing of the ruling class.

He wrote a piece in the New York Times magazine shortly after 09/11 saying
that the attack had a silver lining, because it allowed people like him to
wave the flag proudly again.

George was my contemporary in college (not everyone born in 60 grew up to
be a fink, I hope ;-) and was always more of a Cold War liberal than any
kind of serious socialist. He idolized Bobby Kennedy, for instance -- and I
remember having a fairly heated argument with him because he couldn't, or
wouldn't, see that the report of the Committee on the  Clear and Present
Danger (the key neolib text that became the excuse for the Reagan arms
buildup) was factually wrong and transparently biased.

He had a major relationship with  Betsy Kolbert (then also a left-liberal
of sorts) late of the TImes and now writing tedious long-form distillations
of Received Wisdom for the New Yorker.


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