Skip to main content

In another classic example of the wanker's prose, Jonah Goldberg has penned a column for the Los Angeles Times that proves he can't tell reality from satire.

Brought to you by...
News Corpse
The Internet's Chronicle Of Media Decay.

The column begins with a quotation from Saturday Night Live's news spoof about the the recent news conference held by FEMA wherein they planted agency stooges who pretended to be reporters asking real questions. Any ethical journalist would be appalled at such a fraudulent tactic designed exclusively to deceive. But Goldberg, of course, is not an ethical journalist. He actually dismisses the deceit by saying that...

"There's no such thing as fake questions, after all, only fake answers."

What the HELL does that mean? If there are no fake questions then there are no fake answers either. There may be false answers or lies, misrepresentations, obfuscations, or diversions. But all of those are as real as 90% of the answers that come out of the present White House.

If anything, Goldberg has it bass ackwards. There are indeed fake questions. They come from people who are fake reporters or reporters who have surrendered their independence to powerful figures in government. For examples of fake questions see Armstrong Williams or Jeff Gannon.

Goldberg goes on to excuse FEMA's deception by asserting that all of the media is guilty of the sort "foolishness" FEMA was caught committing. I can't really argue with the notion that the media is rampantly foolish, but Goldberg supports his claim, not by citing instances of media failures, but by citing comedy shows that mock the media. He points to Stephen Colbert, and Jon Stewart as evidence that the media is fake. Somehow it has escaped him that Colbert and Stewart are comedians and not journalists. The fact that they are more informative, relevant, and honest than most news enterprises is just a coincidence that delivers a sad commentary on the state of the news media.

Ultimately, in a fit of classic dementia, Goldberg declares that Murphy Brown is to blame for the problem of parsing fact from fiction. That's right, the same sitcom character that vexed Dan Quail. Goldberg says the show is...

"...about a fictional TV newswoman who talked about real newsmakers as if they were characters on her sitcom. When Brown had a baby out of wedlock, Vice President Dan Quayle criticized the writers of the show. Liberals then reacted as though Quayle had insulted a real person."

Not exactly, Jonah. It was Quail who insulted a fictional character as if it was real. Liberals just laughed at him for doing so. (By the way, he was also insulting every real, unmarried woman who chose to carry a baby to term). And now we laugh at you for ascribing all the flaws of modern journalism to the same figment of a TV scripter's imagination.

It is Goldberg, however, who is the joke. His attempt to compare the inexcusable dishonesty of the FEMA event with the antics of comedy programs would be hilarious if it weren't so depressing. Whatever his opinion of political satirists, he ought to be able to tell the difference between them and government agencies whose mission is to protect real people from real disasters.

Originally posted to KingOneEye on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 06:27 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site