- The New York Times’ weekly book review column published an interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Alice Walker.
- Walker went on to endorse a book by notorious anti-Semite and conspiracy theorist, David Icke.
- Many Jewish advocacy groups and other authors questioned TheNYT’s decision to publish the response without questioning or acknowledging the book’s rampant anti-Semitism.
The New York Times published in its weekly book review column an interview with acclaimed author Alice Walker who appeared to openly and unrestrictedly endorse a book by an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist.
Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple, named a few books on her nightstand, one of which was And The Truth Shall Set You Free by David Icke.
“In Icke’s books there is the whole of existence, on this planet and several others, to think about. A curious person’s dream come true,” Walker responded in the interview, which was originally posted Dec. 13.
The response appeared to go unquestioned, and is drawing ire from several Jewish organizations and publications as well as other authors and the Twitter community.
Icke, as Tablet Magazine first pointed out, is a prolific conspiracy theorist who, among other theories, believes the world is run by reptile-human hybrids and that aliens built the Egyptian pyramids.
He also often refers to a book that is notoriously considered the most widely distributed anti-Semitic work of modern times, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in Walker’s recommended book as well as in other writings and lectures.
A few of his anti-Semitic remarks include questioning whether the Holocaust actually happened, claiming racist far-right groups are actually Jewish fronts and Jews are often behind anti-Semitic attacks.
The Anti-Defamation League, an international organization that aims to fight “anti-Semitism and all forms of hate,” tweeted Monday the organization is “deeply disappointed that [TheNYT] would print Alice Walker’s unqualified endorsement of a book by notorious anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist David Icke.”
Many authors on Twitter pointed out the disturbing recommendation. (RELATED: Poll Finds Memory Of The Holocaust Fading Fast In Europe)
When you see how the NY Times is going all-in to promote their interview with Alice Walker, where she recommends the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of David Icke, it’s easy to understand how THEY missed the rise of white supremacist terrorism. https://t.co/D05k2XFJsp
— Ron Hogan (@RonHogan) December 15, 2018
The Color Purple author Alice Walker recommends a book by anti-vax 911 Truth wacko David Icke that contends it’s ok to say the Holocaust didn’t actually happen also but if it did the Jews funded it. Mental. https://t.co/0IpheOz1Vq
— Terry Glavin (@TerryGlavin) December 17, 2018
Others questioned TheNYT’s decision to publish the recommendation without acknowledging the history of the book or the author.
My latest: The New York Times just published an unqualified recommendation of an insanely anti-Semitic book that dubs the Talmud “among the most appallingly racist documents on the planet,” and says Jews bankrolled the Holocaust and control the KKK https://t.co/tPQpuEGme3
— (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) December 17, 2018
‘So Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, tell us which books are on your nightstand!’
‘I have books by Somaly Mam, David Icke, Daniel Black and Maya Angelou’
‘Sorry who has the second one again?
‘Cool’ https://t.co/aWFCibiZdM pic.twitter.com/cUaAw6MBSk
— Jack Sommers (@jack_sommers) December 17, 2018
This isn’t the first time Walker touted Icke’s questionable work, as Tablet Magazine also pointed out, and listed several instances through the years in which Walker has heaped praise on Icke and his often anti-Semitic writings.
It’s also not the first time Walker’s views on Israel and the Jewish community have been questioned.
TheNYT responded to the criticism in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation, saying the author’s views do not reflect those of TheNYT or its editors.
“By the Book is an interview and portrait of a public person through the lens of books; it is not a list of recommendations from our editors. The subject’s answers are a reflection on that person’s personal tastes, opinions and judgments. As with any interview, the subject’s answers do not imply an endorsement by Times editors,” the statement reads.
“Moreover, our editors do not offer background or weigh in on the books named in the By the Book column, whether the subject issues a positive or negative judgment on those books. Many people recommend books Times editors dislike, disdain or even abhor in the column.”
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