Yeah, OK, I’m A Strikebreaker

by Paul on January 17, 2008

Various blogs on the left end of the spectrum have been taking turns eviscerating a newly published (though long-anticipated) book by right-wing polemicist, er, columnist Jonah Goldberg. I don’t want to name the book, but it’s the one with the smiley face on the cover, wearing a Hitler mustache. The ‘thesis’ of the book is that modern liberalism is a fascist movement.

Of course, for that to actually be the thesis of the book would require that it be connected to a coherent, logical argument, and this book has none of that. Goldberg goes about ‘proving’ that liberalism is fascism by continually redefining and re-redefining his terms, and relying on the most obvious of logical fallacies. For example, he points to the Nazi movement’s promotion of healthy, organic food, and suggests a similarity with the modern organic food movement. In Goldberg’s world, apparently, since dogs have fur, and cats have fur, all dogs are cats. That example merely scratches the surface of the intellectual dishonesty throughout the book.

Should you be interested in reading take-downs of the the book, others have provided excellent ones. (And speaking of cats having fur…) Nonetheless, Goldberg has described it as “a very serious, thoughtful argument that has never been made in such detail or with such care.”

I think the true measure of Goldberg’s talent for inanity may have been seen last night on Comedy Central. Jon Stewart, a man who has been able to produce insightful and entertaining interviews with figures from across the political spectrum, was overcome by the nonsensical blather from Goldberg.

Apparently, Stewart wrestled with him for 18 minutes (one assumes desperately trying to pin the man down on some coherent point.) Of course, the airtime alloted for the interview on the show was 6 minutes, so what aired was severely edited, and so jumpy that Stewart actually apologized before airing it.

I’m hoping that Comedy Central will put the whole thing up on the web, though, based on my belief that Jon Stewart, a comedian, has more journalistic integrity than many of our modern journalists, I trust that the edited version is a fair representation. And it was painful.

Jon Stewart has been managed intelligent conversation with people who make my blood boil. It takes a certain horrible pathetic something to be so awful that what aired last night is the result. Jonah Goldberg is the apotheosis of Bush era right-wing “thought”.

(And by the way, yes, I do feel guilty for watching Jon without his writers. Even if it is “A Daily Show” not “The Daily Show.”)

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