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March 31, 2006

Can't Do Better Than That?

Jonah Goldberg writes:

Does anyone in their right mind think that Think Progress would be rallying to [Jill Carroll's] woman's side if she emerged from her captivity saying George W. Bush was right and the people who kidnapped her were terrorist animals? Please. They'd be prattling on about how she lost her mind.

Bullshit. Worse than that, obvious bullshit. If Carroll emerged a rightwing partisan, it's possible that the left would make a herculean effort to never mention her again, but there's zero chance a single liberal commentator this side of Counterpunch would ever question her sanity. As the right has. What's annoying about Jonah is that his writing shows enough obvious glimmers of intelligence, erudition, and political savvy that he's clearly aware his hypothesis above is bunk, but too dishonest to restrain himself from taking such an obvious cheap shot.

March 31, 2006 | Permalink

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Jonah Goldberg tries to defend himself against charges of insensitivity by being, well, a dufus. He says, Does anyone in their right mind think that Think Progress would be rallying to this womans side if she emerged from her captivity sayin... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 31, 2006 5:20:18 PM

Comments

but there's zero chance a single liberal commentator this side of Counterpunch would ever question her sanity.

Disagree. I already see people on the "left" saying, "Wait a couple of days; let things calm down for her. Then find out what she thinks." It seems pretty reasonable to think that the moment right after the trauma is not the best moment to get thoughtful comments on the trauma. The difference is that they aren't, and wouldn't in the case of a Bush supporter, be dicks about it.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Mar 31, 2006 1:34:53 PM

"Glimmers of intelligence and erudition"? You are a generous person! Ah, further proof that the left is far kinder than the right!

Posted by: Pepper | Mar 31, 2006 1:41:42 PM

Another argument that fits perfectly into Jonah logic:

IF [event that never has and never will occur] THEN [project my own selfishness onto my opponents]

And always punctuate with a one-word snotty remark ("Please.", "Whatever.", etc.)

Posted by: PapaJijo | Mar 31, 2006 1:50:58 PM

I happen to think that "the people who kidnapped her were terrorist animals." What that has to do with Bush is beyond me though.

Posted by: Adrock | Mar 31, 2006 1:54:29 PM

I haven't commented on this previously, and I don't see any particular need to address her comments personally, but are you denying that Stockholm Syndrome exists?

If not, then is seems reasonable to question whether or not someone who has recently been held captive and seems to be speaking positive of their captors is affected by this syndrome.

Obviously, one can not make a diagnosis from such limited data, but one can make speculations I would think.

Posted by: Dave Justus | Mar 31, 2006 2:47:51 PM

I agree with Adrock,

What stake would the left possibly have in denying that the people who kidnapped her were insurgents/kidnappers/really really bad people? Its not because the Iraqis were all perfect humans that the left thought bush's war was a bad idea. Its because we thought that anarchy, civil war, and mass indiscriminate violence would ensue. And by gum, it has. But, one might argue, what does *that* have to do with Bush's war--because he's insisting that none of those things are happening. Even if Jill caroll emerged saying "I hate the Iraqis and we should nuke them all" what on earth would that have to do with her supporting bush? Bush *isn't* planning on nuking the iraqis. He's still insisting that they are all very nice people and that the real problem is still Saddam (who, last I checked, we had in custody). The most disturbing thing Carroll could say to the "reality based community" is something that neither she nor any sane person is going to say "everything is going great in Iraq, I wasn't even kidnapped, its safe for all journalists and women to travel the streets and interview ordinary Iraqis because all the m en are occupied building schools..."

Oh, she's not going to say that? Because it wouldn't be true? God bless her for doing her journalistic duty and god speed her swift recovery from her ordeal.

aimai

Posted by: aimai | Mar 31, 2006 2:50:33 PM

The dishonesty is worse when comparing his comments regarding Scalia to those about Carroll:

Jonah 1:01AM - starting to bug me . . . would be nice to say something remotely critical of her captors . . . getting a very bad vibe.

Jonah 9:28AM - "controversy" over Scalia is idiotic. I don't care what the gesture means. The venue of the question was inappropriate . . and at its core was the assumption that Scalia is a biased judge. And, while not techinically inappropriate, the question was cliched, tired and without any news value . . . Scalia's response may not have been ideal, but it was perfectly human and understandable


So we have two incidents where a newsworthy figure makes an unexpected statement (or gesture). Scalia's is 'perfectly human and understandable', but Carroll's gives poor Jonah 'a bad vibe'.

Jonah's comment about Scalia - "may not have been ideal, but it was perfectly human and understandable" would have been a reasonable response to Carroll's comments - instead of speculative musings about something more sinister being afoot. It goes without saying that this was the point of the TP post - not about his right to free speech, but their right to refute his pointless and careless commentary.

Posted by: boo | Mar 31, 2006 2:55:36 PM

Try to remember: partisans are not scientists. The smarter the partisan, the better -- not worse -- able to work through the normal cognitive dissonances associated with partisanship's implicit ukase to toe the day's party line.

As a result, it is never worth engaging those partisans with a glimmer of intelligence or erudition. It is only when something cracks the frame (cf Bartlett, Bruce and current GOP fiscal policy) that you can begin to engage their higher faculties.

Doughy Pantload has not yet been confronted with somethihng that cracks his frame. 'Til he does, he will spin the con, period.

You can mock them, though. That's always fun.

Posted by: wcw | Mar 31, 2006 3:26:46 PM

Thus far the right wing tizzy fit has been based pretty much exclusively on an interview and tape Carroll did after she was dropped off at the Iraqi Islamic Party office. They had her sign statements declaring that her captors treated her well and that she was unharmed. At that point she was probably unsure if she was actually "free" or not, so she kept herself composed and held on to her own, working out the situation and being extremely careful. Likely we will all have to wait for some time before we learn much more about her experience.
I'd like to see Jonah sweating it out under the same circumstances.

Posted by: sprocket | Mar 31, 2006 4:15:44 PM

You mistake quickness of thought for wisdom. Jonah is, I would say, the owner of a series of psychological pathologies, insecurities, and deep-seated issues that act as a sort of BIOS before the operating system of his mind even can boot up.

His need to self-identify as "right-wing" and champion "right" things is a psychological mechanism that is engaged before his "erudition" and "intelligence" are. Those tools, insomuch as he even has them, are employed to re-arrange the data his sense organs bring in in a manner to conform with already pre-drawn conclusions.

People are not so much rational as they are creatures of rationalization.

Look no further than Scalia; people always point to his "judicial brilliance." But he's only "brilliant" in the capacity to arrange any given set of circumstances into an argument in favor of what you knew he was in favor of before the circumstances were given to him.

That's what passes for wisdom in conservative circles.

I think there's left-dogma, too, but the idea of being "liberal" and subscribing to a kind of scientific method wherein disproved ideas are discared in favor of models which seem to work is more of a "non-conservative" ideal.

Posted by: joshdobbin | Mar 31, 2006 5:26:10 PM

Look no further than Scalia; people always point to his "judicial brilliance." But he's only "brilliant" in the capacity to arrange any given set of circumstances into an argument in favor of what you knew he was in favor of before the circumstances were given to him.

That's just a perfect description of Nino.

I'm simply agog that these people are going after Carroll, have you no decency sirs? The answer is trending no.

Posted by: Pooh | Mar 31, 2006 9:17:53 PM

You people need to stop whining about this stuff and just give Nazis like Goldberg the beating they rightfully deserve. No, I'm not joking. Someone should just walk up to the guy and deliver 5 or 6 shots to the head. It's what we did to the skinheads in Toronto when they started to become a problem and it worked. And it will work against the Goldberg's too since they'll realize there's a real price to pay for their hatemongering.

Posted by: Robert McClelland | Mar 31, 2006 9:47:06 PM

You people need to stop whining about this stuff and just give Nazis like Goldberg...

Ok, bobby just lost the conversation according to Godwin's law.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 1, 2006 10:31:40 AM

If Carroll had been murdered by her kidnappers, the right would have made her into a saint.

Posted by: Rob | Apr 1, 2006 12:36:27 PM

No, Rob, I don't think that's right. Had her kidnappers murdered her, the right would have insisted that she was a jihadist-sympathizing slut who got what she deserved. That's essentially what they did when Marla Ruzicka was killed and remembering the cold-hearted stomach churning things they wrote then I made it a point to try as much as possible to avoid reading anything they would have to say when I learned of Jill Carrol's release. The people on the right lack humanity.

Posted by: mrgumby2u | Apr 2, 2006 3:30:32 AM

" What's annoying about Jonah is that his writing shows enough obvious glimmers of intelligence..."

Such as?

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Apr 3, 2006 9:23:56 AM

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Posted by: peterwei | Oct 21, 2007 11:54:59 PM

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