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That Stale Salon Smear: Tancredo Speaks
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June 21, 2003, 05:00 AM
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Recently, I gave the liberal webzine Salon.com and its enforcer Max Blumenthal a good boot for their stale smear of the immigration reform movement in general and VDARE.COM in particular.

There`s a convention in the trade that most publications will allow other journalists to respond when they have been attacked. But I didn`t bother sending a Letter To Salon.com`s Editor because I know from experience that no convention, rule or scruple applies when immigration enthusiasts are reacting to criticism.

Thank God for the internet!

However, Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), perhaps the most prominent national immigration reform leader, did write. And this week, Salon.com finally published his letter. (Click here and do a lot of scrolling down. Or read it at the end of this article!)

Some VDARE.COM readers expressed concern that Blumenthal quoted Tancredo apparently distancing himself from us. I said at the time that Blumenthal`s word was not worth the paper it was written on – and, indeed, it now materializes that Tancredo was understandably baffled at being asked about the genesis of the name "VDARE." (Click here for our explanation. To those readers who are asking for a snappier explanation: I`m writing, I`m writing!)

It`s significant, of course, that Blumenthal would regard as controversial the fact that VDARE.COM is named after the first English child born in the New World – and sadly indicative of the ethnic animosity that motivates so much immigration enthusiasm.

VDARE.COM and Tom Tancredo exist in different worlds. We exist to take risks and drive the debate. His is the responsibility-racked life of the elected official. (I know – I used to work for one. It was awful.) But we have respect for him and what he does.

For Salon.com and Max Blumenthal, we have only contempt.

Tom Tancredo`s Letter On Salon.Com, June 17, 2003 (All hyperlinks in original).

[Read "Vigilante Injustice," by Max Blumenthal.]

When I read Max Blumenthal`s Salon article "Vigilante Injustice," I was once again reminded of how masterfully the practitioners of creative writing can ply their trade. A conversation I had with Mr. Blumenthal was cut and pasted to produce a depiction of my observations which I hardly recognized.

Although it always annoys those like Mr. Blumenthal, who would rather interpret and characterize the position of others than report them, I wish to restate how I feel about the immigration reform movement.

If there are people motivated by racism who consider themselves supporters of immigration reform and my efforts in the Congress, I do not want nor do I need their involvement. Immigration reform is a legitimate topic of debate for a host of reasons — national security, the economy, the environment, the decline of the civic institutions of democracy, etc. Indeed, it is a growing topic of debate by millions of citizens across our country because of these reasons. The issue has nothing to do with ethnicity or race.

I did indeed decide to take all links off the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus Web site. I realized that, unfortunately, because of "guilt by association" tactics like Mr. Blumenthal`s, we would have to spend too much time responding to alleged comments of any member of any organization to which any link existed. That is obviously not a productive use of my time or the time of my staff. There was no specific organization, of those that had been listed, from which we were going to remove the connection.

Finally, when I was asked about the genesis of the name "Vdare," I replied truthfully that I did not know. Mr. Blumenthal characterized this response as culpable "befuddlement" on my part. Nonetheless, I can say that I was aware of editor Peter Brimelow`s solid credentials as a professional journalist, and I had no reason to believe that this online magazine is anything but a legitimate contributor to the vast library of resources on this vital issue. After looking over Vdare`s recent work, I have not changed this opinion.

— Tom Tancredo

[Republican Tom Tancredo represents Colorado`s 6th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.]