Columnist Jonah Goldberg is the token conservative on the Los Angeles Times’ op-ed page, which makes you wonder if conservatives should rethink their general opposition to affirmative action.
Goldberg hardly occupies the deep end of the intellectual pool, but his latest column about NPR and the firing of Juan Williams is a true masterpiece of fuzzy thinking.
The line that jumped out at me, though, was this one, in which Goldberg seems convinced that news or entertainment outlets are unduly influenced by pressure emanating from the left.
It’s obvious that NPR simply didn’t like the fact that Williams was sharing his talents with Fox News, even as a liberal. Less obvious, but perhaps just as telling, NPR seems to be lending way too much weight to the complaints of groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the left-wing gadflies at Media Matters for America. If you dance when outfits like these whistle their usual tunes, odds are you tilt to the left.
First, Williams’ liberal credentials — given the range of views he expressed — are certainly open to question. In fact, the only reason Fox could consistently bill him as a liberal, as opposed to a moderate, was because he worked for NPR.
Second, for years conservative groups such as the American Family Association and Parents Television Council (along with the Media Research Council and other Brent Bozell-backed satellites) have been waging campaigns against TV networks. Indeed, one can argue that Media Matters and other liberal orgs borrowed from their strategic playbook. Yet Goldberg seems oblivious to this fact, suggesting that bowing to pressure from outside advocacy groups is spineless and wrong — unless, I’d wager, he happens to agree with them.
As usual, “The Daily Show” probably offered the best take on the whole Williams flap (see below), which commanded so much attention because public TV and radio remain one of the favorite foils of conservative commentators and politicians, who see everything related to publicly supported arts as people soaking crucifixes in urine. Fox News’ hyperventilating response — as documented in the segment — is flat-out priceless.
The whole thing will blow over, eventually, since the chorus of attacks on NPR doesn’t need much incentive to break into song. But the story won’t subside before every blowhard in the punditocracy has their say.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|NPR Staffing Decision 2010|