December 1, 2005

Bernie Goldberg Makes Bogus Statements in an Online Chat

Posted by Eric Jaffa
August 27, 2005 @ 1:11 pm
Filed under: Media Watch

Bernie Goldberg serious expression, wearing a suit
Bernie Goldberg

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:

Once conservatives looked up to Dwight Eisenhower. Now they look up to Rush Limbaugh.

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:

George W. Bush isn’t civil. It’s not civil for a leader who took the nation to war over WMDs to make jokes about WMDs, as Bush did at a dinner on March 24, 2004 (video).

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.


BBC Website Will Have Downloads

Posted by Eric Jaffa
August 27, 2005 @ 10:09 am
Filed under: General

In 2006, the BBC will “let Web users download original BBC radio and television programming from its Web site for as long as seven days after it originally aired.”

I wonder why the BBC doesn’t plan to leave the files up indefinitely, like NPR.

The public benefit would exceed the cost of server space.


Choosing Textbooks in Texas

Posted by Eric Jaffa
August 27, 2005 @ 9:34 am
Filed under: Government

A book on the environment was rejected for use in Texas high schools based on conservative pressure.

The book is “Environmental Science: Creating a Sustainable Futureby Daniel Chiras.

What Chiras didn’t anticipate, however, was strong opposition from Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Texas Public Policy Foundation, two conservative lobbying groups. Chiras, a visiting professor of environmental studies at Colorado College, said the groups branded him “anti-free enterprise, anti-Christian and anti-American.”

The groups had several qualms with Chiras’ book. They decried his assertion that Americans, only 5 percent of the world’s population, generate 25 percent of the greenhouse gases widely believed to contribute to global warming. They labeled him “anti-free enterprise” for describing American industries’ roles in environmental pollution, and they compared him to Osama bin Laden for noting the pollution caused by the country’s airlines.

…Two other books were adopted instead, Chiras said. One, largely funded by the coal-mining industry, contains 62 pages on mining and only four paragraphs on its environmental impact. The other changed a time reference to avoid contradicting some fundamentalist Christians’ belief that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago. It amended a reference to ice ages from millions of years ago to read ice ages of the “distant past.”

Via Pandagon.