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I really don't believe you, Jay - Elf M. Sternberg
I really don't believe you, Jay
Jay Nordlinger and Glenn Greenwald are having an exchange about a creepy video in which various people pledge to "serve the president," in this case Barack Obama. I agree that the video is indeed very creepy, but it's not particularly original. Nor is it particularly political.

Greenwald is making the point, a point well worth making, that American politics is all about killing people: when we talk about who we want killed, how we want people killed, how far we're willing to go to have people killed, etc., we're talking Serious Shit, and the men who go on Sunday morning talk shows and talk about killing people are Serious Men. When it comes to saving lives, how we want lives saved, how far we're willing to go to have lives saved, well, that's just dirty fucking hippie peace-love-and-life talk. That's not Serious at all.

Greenwald backs into this conversation while discussing the Bush cult of personality, and how it still persists, and those who backed it are still considered Serious Men because of their willingness to discuss war, which is all about killing people and is therefore Serious Shit, even though they were wrong or they lied to us or supported the liars.

But one of the most fascinating bits of the exchange came when Nordlinger claimed:
Greenwald spends some time on two figures in particular: Angela Williamson and Monica Goodling, appointees at the Justice Department. I regret to say that I had never heard of either of them, or their doings. It's not that my memory is "either very short or very selective." It could be that I'm not always a very attentive reader of the newspapers.
I find this totally incredible. Jay Nordlinger is the senior editor of the National Review, the paper edition, a magazine founded by William F. Buckley and supposedly one of the most politically astute and aware publications in the American press.

And he's never heard of Monica Goodling? This woman went before congress, she was in the news for weeks! Monica Goodling was the woman assigned by John Ashcroft to vet incoming candidates for various positions to make sure they were loyal to President Bush. She required political appointees to take personal loyalty oaths to the man, not the office or the Constitution. She went before congress and was castigated for her neglect. She was the pivotal player in the whole Attorney General hiring scandal!

Even more importantly, four columnists in Jay's magazine, Byron York, Jonah Goldberg, Andrew McCarthy, and (Jesus Jumping Christ) K-Lo, all spent column inches either defending or applauding Monica Goodling. This begs two important questions:
  1. How can you become senior editor at "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion," and not pay attention to controversies within your own movement?
  2. How can you become senior editor at "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion," and not have any recall at all of what your own underlings are writing?

Current Mood: shrill
Current Music: Space: 1999 OST

3 comments or Leave a comment
From: technoshaman Date: September 14th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I saw a T-shirt at the 3rd and Pike bus stop today:


And part of me thought about buttonholing him and saying "just what the FUCK makes you think that's funny? Because if you're serious, you're committing a felony just by wearing it." There's free speech, and there's terroristic threats... and where the line is is up to whichever twelve of his peers get to try him, but if it were me, I would vote to convict, and not change my mind.

As for the National Review, this is *why* paper journalism is dying... it SUCKS! Not worth it except for wrapping fish! Say what you wanted to about Bill Buckley, I respected the man as a debater and journalist (and loved his delivery... such an expressive face!), and he ran a good paper. His passing was the end of an era...
From: technoshaman Date: September 14th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, tweet-back; I passed the link to this to @kegill (whom I only found out very recently you knew); she's tweeted it</em>...
tagryn From: tagryn Date: September 14th, 2009 10:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Same old same old. When its the other side doing it, its a Huge Outrage, but when its "my" side doing it, not a big deal, and after all the other guys were so much worse. Greenwald and Nordlinger are both unapologetic partisans, so no surprises here.
3 comments or Leave a comment