In the comments to this post (“Deflater Mouse” should win some sort of title for titles) over at Sadly, No!, J– says, “Goldberg’s grudge is anold one. He and his editor have adjusted it to fit the current political conjuncture.” I followed the link to this January 1999 article of Jonah’s and was reminded yet again why the National Review Online was the epicenter of principled political criticism during the Clinton Administration: because they held themselves to the same exacting, even unforgiving, standards of truth and accuracy that they demanded of their ideological foes.
CORRECTIONS, AS PROMISED
In keeping with my New Year’s Resolutions every Friday I will be running corrections. First, in my resolutions I got the quote from Caddyshack slightly off. Bill Murray doesn’t say “so I got that going for me, which is good.” He says “which is nice.” In my reference to the Pataveret from So I Married an Axe Murderer I substituted the Rockefellers for the Rothschilds. Many of you caught this and I even got a memo from Zog. I used the word Christendom in a way that some of you thought was inaccurate. I meant it to mean a geographical area rather than a community of believers, which isn’t quite right. But I should point out that what I said was still accurate considering Christians do revere the Ten Commandments. A while back I quoted Conan — Crush your enemy, see him driven before you etc. — and a number of you claim that quote actually comes from Ghengis Khan and others say its from Sun Tsu. I don’t really care. Movies often plagerize from, what do you call it? Oh yeah: life. Some die-hard Conan defenders were VERY upset that I said that Oliver Stone wrote Conan, instead of John Millius. Well, they both have writing credits. But Millius did direct. And in my Monday column I failed to make any pop culture reference whatsoever. I should also point out that nobody got the Animal House reference about “double secret probation.” That really surprised me.
And as History shows, this same rigorous devotion to intellectual honesty resulted in a work of scholarship we’ve all come to know and respect:
UDATE: Actor212 says in comments:
I don’t really care. Movies often plagerize from, what do you call it? Oh yeah: life.But this is central to his point!
Which actually — sadly — reminds me that I used to view Jonah much more with amusement than disgust (reversing the old Elvis Costello Method). Back during the Clinton years, he was a prolific, largely uncritical kitsch vacuum who paid the rent spitting his Mother’s second-hand venom, but was just as likely to interrupt a virtual lynching on The Corner to pursue an obscure point of Star Trek arcana. And occasionally, unlike the older kids in the clubhouse, he would retract a stupid remark, or even admit to a mistake. Usually about something breathtakingly trivial, but still, it was a glimmer of embryonic honesty in a sub-culture where humility is just a synonym for weakness. But with a Book on the shelves, Jonah’s actually convinced himself that he’s an Authority. An eminence grease. And now that his expertise is his fortune, he can no longer afford to admit that he’s wrong. It shakes investor confidence in the stock. Now, every mistake, evasion, or flat-out lie merely strengthens his point.
He’s gone from putz to asshole so fast that telling him to go fuck himself would be redundant.