Wolcott On Goldbergs Language

Wolcott on Goldberg’s Language Competencies

James Wolcott of Vanity Fair weighs in on the Goldberg/Cole debate. My favorite line:


“Yes, but Jonah speaks fluent Simpsons, which is why he’s so popular with campus conservatives as he goes about entertaining and mentoring the maroons of tomorrow.”

By the way, there was some poster at Daily Kos who misinterpreted me as saying that you need to know Arabic to have an opinion on Iraq. I listed 7 or 8 ways you could get to have a valued opinion of Iraq, of which that is only one. Personally, I prefer to get my analysis of French politics from people who speak French, but maybe I’m funny that way. Also if an analyst has a track record of getting things right, you might forgive him some of the desired bits of expertise. That isn’t true for Goldberg on the Middle East.

Breaking news: Oh my God! He actually said it!. Goldberg replied to this comment from my reader:


“But if you actually do get an oppurtunity to verbally castrate this weasel, ask him if he truly meant “In the weeks prior to the war to liberate Afghanistan, a good friend of mine would ask me almost every day, “Why aren’t we killing people yet?” And I never had a good answer for him. Because one of the most important and vital things the United States could do after 9/11 was to kill people.” ‘

He looks to be of military age. Ask him why his sorry a** isn’t in the kill zone.”]

Goldberg actually says,

“For the record, I did in fact mean it. I wrote it here. As for why my sorry a** isn’t in the kill zone, lots of people think this is a searingly pertinent question. No answer I could give — I’m 35 years old, my family couldn’t afford the lost income, I have a baby daughter, my a** is, er, sorry, are a few — ever seem to suffice.”

Goldberg helped send nearly 1500 brave Americans to their deaths and helped maim over 10,000, not to mention all the innocent Iraqi civilians he helped get killed. He helped dragoon 140,000 US troops in Iraq. And he does not have the courage of his convictions. His excuse is that he couldn’t afford to take the pay cut!

What is Goldberg going to say to the tens of thousands of reservists he helped send to Iraq, who are losing their mortgages and small businesses and have been kidnapped for 18 months at a time (not what they thought they were signing up for) by Rumsfeld? “Well guys, thanks for carrying out the policy I wanted to see, and for putting your own little girls into penury. I’d have loved to help out, but my little girl is more important than yours and besides, I like a good meal and I hear you only get MREs.”

A reader at Atrios’s Eschaton suggested this Salon profile of Goldberg.

The complete list of logical fallacies involved in Goldberg’s further comments and those of his fans is at Norbizness.