Phew, I'm glad someone else finally noticed. Reading Friedman's columns for years, and especially his abysmal Mercedes and the Fig Tree, or whatever it was called, has led me inevitably to one of two conclusions. The first possibility is he just makes up quotes. The second possibility is that he's getting a giant hand job from people who are smart enough (doesn't take much) to know what Friedman-san wants to hear.
He miraculously finds quotes which sound just like Tom Friedman doing a bad imitation of an Arab (Israeli, Japanese, whatever...) who happens to talk just like...Tom Friedman!
Anyway, Kevin Drum and Matthew Yglesias comment.