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August 31, 2005

Jonah Goldberg speaks


Jonah Goldberg, ladies and gentlemen:

I think it's time to face facts. That place is going to be a Mad Max/thunderdome Waterworld/Lord of the Flies horror show within the next few hours. My advice is to prepare yourself now. Hoard weapons, grow gills and learn to communicate with serpents. While you're working on that, find the biggest guy you can and when he's not expecting it beat him senseless. Gather young fighters around you and tell the womenfolk you will feed and protect any female who agrees to participate without question in your plans to repopulate the earth with a race of gilled-supermen. It's never too soon to be prepared.

Scott Lemieux responds to Jonah Goldberg's non-apology, which reads:

Perhaps Professor Bainbridge -- of whom I am a fan -- thinks something really awful will befall the denizens of the Superdome and therefore making a joke at their expense is wrong. My guess is that it will simply be a really unpleasent time for the remainder of the day, but hardly so unpleasent as to sanctify them with refugee or some other victim status. [Jonah Goldberg, NRO]

Image courtesy of Geoff Arnold, via Boing Boing.


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It gets worse naturally. He then becomes the 300th inside-the-beltway reactionary to connect the hurricane's name with Katrina van den Heuvel, and then bitches about too much attention being paid to poor people. It's all part of his plan to destroy NPR's remaining credibility from the inside.

On the surreal side, Bush's response to the disaster has been so poor that they're actually, unanimously turning on him at The Corner.

Communicate with serpents? Easy. Go to and chat with an array of slimy creatures

I love how when disaster strikes, conservatives can't even bother to pretend they give a shit about other people. They care more about the destruction of property than the destruction of human lives.

I guarantee you that I gave more to the Red Cross yesterday than Jonah did, and I don't have a nice cushy "pundit" job that my Mommy got for me.

He'd accept "any female" that submits? Hehe.

Most of the last two days you've had shits like "tweety" Chris matthews and such going "who in their right mind would have stayed? They had a week of warnings and plenty of time to get out."

Well... yes some were stupid, but most were poor and lacked a means to get out or a place to go. There were a lot of elderly and disabled as well. Most of the "thousands" of projected fatalities will come from this group.

Anyone who can deride coverage of the "poor" as being too extensive is nothing more than a sociopath. There are plenty of them who call themselves conservatives.

But the storm hit everyone, in every class and many who thaought themselves part of Pat Robertson's "investor class" are this very night realizing that they have lost everything. Many had hurricane insurance, but no flood insurance.

FEMA funds will cover some, but no where near all that they have lost. Many will find that they just had their wealth redistributed by mother nature and they are now on the short end of the stick.

My guess is that it will simply be a really unpleasent time for the remainder of the day

Do you ever get the sense that some of the country club republicans have had lives so privileged that they simply can't imagine anything worse than an unpleasant afternoon? This sort of callousness is really the failure of moral imagination.

Definitely. I always figured that Jonah Goldberg had less moral imagination than a cottonmouth. How much moral imagination could it take to imagine the horror of being trapped in a stadium that's missing it's roof and filling up with water, toxic waste, and snakes? Snakes, and suicides, and god knows what else.

I heard on Rachel Maddow's show that the people holed up at the Superdome outnumber the Louisiana National Guard stateside--especially since they've deployed several thousand Guard members to Iraq.

Of course, all the super large wheeled vehicles have gone off to Basra or somewhere. So the folks in the Superdome are going to have to wait.

A Colonel from Homeland Security told everyone to be happy that the flood waters weren't rising any higher because the lake and the city have achieved equilibrium. Oh great. I mean, not to denigrate the hard work of the Corps of Engineers, but what good are the levees now? How are they going to get all the water out of the city?

Yes, Jonah Goldberg, that's right, making jokes at the expense of working-class people who have been killed and made homeless by a semi-natural disaster is wrong.

Yes, it is.

You nitwit.

There was a time some 35+ years ago when the National Review was intellectually stimulating, even if one did not agree with it thoughts.

But NR has sunk into a pit of ugliness. Wit long gone, it is now an exposition of adolescent narcissism. Jonah appears to carry his namesake's blessing to every argument he touches.

I don't generally wish suffering even on those with whom I have profound moral disagreement. Jonah Goldberg really needs some suffering though. It's not for retribution, but just so he can know what it is to be human. Humans understand eachother's suffering. Goldberg is a lizard.

My apologies to lizards everywhere.

He's his mother's son alright.

Clearly, Goldberg's joke was tasteless and cruel. As the magnitude of the disaster became apparent, however, his tone changed markedly. Note his apology: "Not to drag it out, but this really has turned out to be a far more awful disaster than I ever dreamed it would be. My thoughts and prayers to those affected and my apologies to those offended for my making light of it. It'd be nice if the Huffington Post types could understand that I did not make jokes after the death toll and damage were known, but before -- when the media seemed to be making the usual spectacle of itself. But that's really neither here nor there. Anyway, here's hoping for the best. It's really become no joking matter and, at least in hindsight, it never was. Donations to the Red Cross relief effort can be made here. And, yes, I'll be making a donation."

Also note where he writes "But, while watching this footage of these poor people with absolutely no place to go and with the prospects of the city being closed for months it's pretty obvious -- as I said -- the hardships affecting the poor become more pronounced and disproportionate. Your heart really does have to go out to these poor souls. I still don't think grief and misery can be measured economically, but as this disaster stretches out over time, it seems impossible to deny that the grief and misery will be extended longer the further down the economic ladder you go. I sympathize for more for a middle class family which has lost everything it worked for than I do for some thug having a grand time smashing a jewelry shop window. But looking at these poor women carrying their kids aimlessly through the muck with no place to go, you have to concede their lot would be much better with the means to find a dry bed at the end of the day."

Ah, Jonah. You try to be witty and cute, and you think you can be the conservative PJ O'Rourke, but he has something you don't - class. And, I might add, wit. Writing skills, too.

you think you can be the conservative PJ O'Rourke

Uh, isn't that a redundancy?

Anyway, PJ pisses me off sometimes, but you're right, he's infinitely preferable to that festering pusbag, Jonah Goldberg.

And don't make apologies for him, Tom -- it was clear even on Monday that this was no joking matter, and his subsequent posts reveal that he really doesn't give a shit.

PJ sucks too, the smug bastard. He and Cris Hitchens should attend meetings together.

Jonah's behavior is a pattern. That he has been shamed on this occasion does not excuse his past.

Not unless he can make the intellectual leap that the suffering, despair and death that he sees in NO is but a smaller version of what he has championed elsewhere in the world. And, that having had such an awakening, he acts upon it.

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