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View Diary: A Shameful Episode for the Los Angeles Times (211 comments)

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  •  From Hiram Johnson To Juan Cole (none)
    From back in February, Juan Cole said all you need to know about Goldberg.
    Some Highlights:
    I think it is time to be frank about some things. Jonah Goldberg knows absolutely nothing about Iraq. I wonder if he has even ever read a single book on Iraq, much less written one. He knows no Arabic. He has never lived in an Arab country. He can't read Iraqi newspapers or those of Iraq's neighbors. He knows nothing whatsoever about Shiite Islam, the branch of the religion to which a majority of Iraqis adheres. Why should we pretend that Jonah Goldberg's opinion on the significance and nature of the elections in Iraq last Sunday matters? It does not.


    If Jonah Goldberg had asserted that he could fly to Mars in his pyjamas and come back in a single day, it would not have been a more fantastic allegation than the one he made about Iraq being a danger to the United States because of the nuclear issue. He made that allegation over and over again to millions of viewers on national television programs, to viewers who trusted his judgment because CNN and others purveyed him to them.

    Jonah Goldberg is a fearmonger, a warmonger, and a demagogue. And besides, he was just plain wrong about one of the more important foreign policy issues to face the United States in the past half-century. It is shameful that he dares show his face in public, much less continuing to pontificate about his profound knowledge of just what Iraq is like and what needs to be done about Iraq and the significance of events in Iraq.

    The reason Mr. Goldberg is alarmed that I pointed this obvious fact out is that he wants to kill thousands of Iranians and thousands of US troops in a war of aggression on Iran. If the American public knows that there is a lively struggle between hardliners and conservatives in Iran, and that an American intervention there would be a huge disaster and would forestall the natural evolution of Iran away from Khomeinism, then they might not support Mr. Goldberg's monstrous warmongering.

    That is why he attacked me.

    So let me propose to him that we debate Middle East issues, anywhere, any time, he and I.

    Otherwise he should please shut up and go back to selling Linda Tripp tapes on Ebay.

    It is shocking that the Times put this bozo on the opinion page and with the same move, dumped Robert Scheer. There are not enough profanities to express how incredibly goddamned fucked up this move was. It was as if they are channeling General Otis, the extreme right wing, anti-union publisher of the Times who was trashed in an even better smackdown decades ago. This one you can take notes on.

    Robert Gottlieb and Irene Wolt* Thinking Big: The Story of the Los Angeles Times, Its Publishers and Their Influence on Southern California, G.P. Putnam's Sons: NY, 1977. 603 pp.

         "San Francisco Special Prosecutor Hiram Johnson, a leader of the state's progresssive movement {1909} . . . duiring a mass meeting in Los Angeles's Simpson Auditorium, {in a response to a question about General Otis of the Los Angeles Times }

         "In the city from which I have come, we have drunk to the very dregs the cup of infamy; we have had vile officials; we have had rotten newspapers; we have had men who sold their birthright; we have dipped into every infamy; every form of wickedness has been ours in the past; every debased passion and every sin has flourished. But we have nothing so vile, nothing so low, nothing so debased, nothing so infamous in San Francisco, nor did we ever have, as Harrison Gray Otis . . .

         "He sits there in senile dementia, with gangrened heart and rotting brain, grimacing at every reform, chattering impotently at all things that are decent, frothing, fuming, violently gibbering, going down to his grave in snarling infamy. This man Otis is the one blot on the banner of Southern California; he is the bar sinister upon your escutcheon. My friends, he is the one thing that all California looks at, when, in looking at Southern California, they see anything that is disgraceful, depraved, corrupt, crooked and putrescent-that is Harrison Gray Otis." p. 79

    General Otis is smiling in his grave.

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