Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Cole -vs- Goldberg: Round 5

Actually, I thought Juan Cole scored a TKO over Jonah Goldberg in Round 1, but apparently the referee didn't get the memo. So, now we're in Round 5, and Cole lays some serious wood on Goldberg:

But Goldberg is just a dime a dozen pundit. Cranky rich people hire sharp-tongued and relatively uninformed young people all the time and put them on the mass media to badmouth the poor, spread bigotry, exalt mindless militarism, promote anti-intellectualism, and ensure generally that rightwing views come to predominate even among people who are harmed by such policies. One of their jobs is to marginalize progressives by smearing them as unreliable.

The thing that really annoyed me about Goldberg's sniping was it reminded me of how our country got into this mess in Iraq. It was because a lot of ignorant but very powerful and visible people told the American people things that were not true. In some instances I believe that they lied. In other instances, they were simply too ignorant of the facts to know when an argument put forward about, say, Iraq, was ridiculous...

I hesitate to post Cole's entire article, simply because it's too long (and you can click over there yourself) -- but in it's length, recounts a story that has become all to familiar. Two years ago, right wing pundits such as Goldberg served up Bush administration fantasy and selected "intelligence" as gospel to a post-9/11 traumatized public. It would be so very easy to say we're all smarter in hindsight, but in fact, the reality based community was pretty damn smart in foresight.

More than two years ago, my gut was telling me the same things that Juan Cole was preaching from a point of middle east expertise. And I claim no particular expertise in middle east issues other than a bit of idle common sense. Yet the speciousness of the claims of folks like Powell and Rumsfeld were pretty clear to me - or at least ambiguous enough to warrant further hard evidence. Cole is right on the mark that BushCo shills like Goldberg, if not on the payroll, were certainly on the "preferred media playas" list.

Jonah, it's too soon yet for shills such as yourself to start playing history revisionists. There's a special media circle of hell awaiting the willing mouthpieces of Bush's brand of TEOTWAWKI.