August 27, 2005 @ 1:11 pm
Filed under: Media Watch
Bernie Goldberg, author of “100 People Who are Screwing Up America (and Al Franken is #37),” wrote in an online chat Thursday:
Once liberals looked up to JFK. Now they look up to Michael Moore.
I could reply:
Of course, neither statement makes sense.
Presidents are one thing, commentators are another thing. John Forbes Kerry was as JFK-like a presidential candidate as the Democrats could have nominated in the past election.
Bernie Goldberg claimed during the chat that he’s an “old fashioned liberal.” I’d sooner believe that Bernie Goldberg is the King of Sweden.
Self-descriptions are cheap. If he’s an old-fashioned liberal, why isn’t Bernie Goldberg speaking up for liberal causes instead of trashing people who do?*
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly calls himself a “traditionalist” to try to distinguish himself from other conservatives and achieve quasi-neutrality. Bernie Goldberg is trying the same.
Also from the Washington Post online chat with Bernie Goldberg:
Geneva, Ohio: Are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney on your list? It would seem in view of the debacle they’ve involved the country in Iraq they should be at the top of your list.
Bernard Goldberg: I’ve heard this a lot, and understand your point. But the book is about the culture. It is not about politics. The few politicians in the book are there, NOT because of how they voted on this issue or that, but because of something else they’ve done — something uncivil, for example. We may disagree with George Bush on policy, but I think he’s a decent man.
If the book is about civility and not politcs, it’s a helluva coincidence that the book knocks critics of George W. Bush to such an extent.
The #1 on Bernie Goldberg’s list, Michael Moore, directed a popular movie critical of George W. Bush last year; Al Franken, who is mentioned in the title “100 People Who are Screwing Up America (and Al Franken is #37)” regularly criticizes George W. Bush on his radio show.
Either it’s a coincidence, or Bernie Goldberg is lying.
Regarding Bernie Goldberg’s claim that under a standard of who-is-civil, George W. Bush doesn’t belong on the list:
John Kerry called Bush’s jokes “stunningly cavalier“.
* Nothing would be wrong with speaking out for liberal causes and also criticizing liberals when they deserve it. But aside from mentioning that he’s for Freedom of Speech during an interview with Jon Stewart, I haven’t observed Bernie Goldberg, who claims to be an “old-fashioned liberal,” speaking out for liberal causes.