Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Can A Conservative Be Both A Stiff And A Dork?

Standing athwart knowledge, facts, and logic yelling stop!

It seems that television, like reality, has a liberal bias.

So, I was on Piers Morgan’s show on CNN tonight. It was a shameful spectacle. He pretended to be a serious interviewer and I spent far too long pretending he was one too. My apologies to everyone who tuned in. I will have a more comprehensive response tomorrow on the Tyranny of Cliches blog.

I'm sure he will but the video speaks for itself. Despite all his speeches about how conservatives are better debaters because the world is liberal and conservatives are therefore forced to refine and improve their argumentation tactics, Goldberg does not do well when someone pins him down in person and expects him to support his wild statements.

The discussion extended to Twitter after Goldberg whined that Morgan was a secret liberal out to get him.

Goldberg tweeted:

Well, for those of you eager for a non edifying, exasperating, "conversation" -- tune into Piers Morgan tonight.

Want to throw a beer bottle at the TV? Watch Piers Morgan tonight.

I swear to all that is holy, that I went in expecting a reasonably normal conversation. Had I known, I would have reacted differently.

Yup RT : Morgan's strategy was to make sure you never got to fully answer 1 question before asking another. Waste of your time.

At the end of the day, proved the point of my book (which he didn't read): liberals lie about being liberals.


Uh NOT SO FAST "ad takes Romney’s words out of context but gets part of story right. We rate it Half True."
(Jonah Goldberg)
And there was extensive retweeting of supportive tweets.

Jonah Goldberg

+1 RT : Didn't see Morgan show; just read transcript. What astonishingly stupid questioning of a book author.

Morgan tweeted:
Jonah explained that liberals think they are not ideological, that they are centrists, but liberals really aren't.  Conservatives are honest, dorky ideologues who talk about Ayn Rand, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith. But liberals say they are not ideological because they don't think they are. Morgan broke in to ask about the "big story" of the moment, Clinton's ad on Obama and Bin Laden.

Goldberg said the ad was "gloating about" killing Bin Laden which is "reprehensible."  Morgan pointed out that Sen. John McCain criticized Obama's mention of Bin Laden in an ad after praising  Bush's capture of Saddam Hussein during the 2004 campaign. Goldberg said there was a big difference because McCain didn't mention Kerry; it was stupid to run the ad because people were now arguing about the ad. Morgan pointed out that Goldberg was "missing the whole point;" the issue began when Romney, in a clear-as-glass attempt to minimize Obama's achievement, stated that capturing Bin Laden was a waste of money, and then later stated that of course getting Bin Laden was the right thing to do. Goldberg said no, Morgan was using a "category error," "apples and oranges."

You might think that  "apples and oranges" was a lazy cliche often used by conservatives to avoid unfortunate hypocrisies and errors but you would be wrong because only liberals use cliches to avoid thinking deeply about issues. Goldberg was visibly flustered when Morgan told him about Romney's statement and stammered out a laugh, attempting to show disdain for Morgan's question by laughing at it.

Goldberg stated that Romney was saying that the War on Terror wasn't "simply a manhunt" and "in the larger context of it" he didn't see why Obama didn't capture Bin Laden. Goldberg said nothing about putting Bin Laden on trial because the United States is a nation of laws and summary execution of our prisoners is supposed to be a bad thing. That would be smart. He simply says that Obama should have done everything differently. Mistermix at Balloon Juice said, "These guys have been living in a Beavis and Butthead world where just saying “Barack Hussein Obama”, “Michelle is Fat” or “Just Like Jimmy Carter” gets a high-five from the other idiots in the room, and it’s starting to show" and he is right. Goldberg expected Piers Morgan to let him set the agenda and then get blown out of the water by Goldberg's crushing intellect and finely honed arguments. Instead, Goldberg said that he didn't think getting Bin Laden was an incredble thing to do and tried to shoehorn in a Joe-Biden-is-stupid joke.

Morgan said, "Come off it, Jonah!" Morgan protested that getting Bin Laden was both militarily and politically risky and conducting a successful mission was beneficial to Obama. Morgan said he was not "batting for Democrats" but why shouldn't Obama's campaign mention his elimination of Bin Laden? Goldberg said, "If you're not batting for Democrats you're doing a wonderful approximation of it." (Either you agree with Republicans or you are the enemy.) Morgan emphasized the importance of the capture of Bin Laden to the American people and Goldberg responded that Obama could have stabilized Pakistan or solve the Middle East problems instead, without letting us know how Obama could have done something that nobody else has been able to do for 100 years, including many years in which we had Republican presidents.

Morgan, again, asks Goldberg for his point and Goldberg responded that Bin Laden was just a figurehead. Morgan pointed out that computers filled with messages to his people were found and Goldberg, fed up with being forced to listen to facts instead of being able to giggle through a number of dirty-stupid-liberals jokes, began to get frustrated. "You're trying to box me in," he protested. Goldberg rolled his head from side to side and asked, "Are we really going to have" this argument and "but I don't want to have this argument because I don't think it's an interesting argument." The decision to get Bin Laden was fine but the ad was not.

Morgan asked why the ad was stupid and we can see why he annoyed Goldberg so much; Goldberg is milk-fed veal who performs his comedy routine before AEI and college Republican clubs. His books are filled with quotations and bits of history and science but he does not know his material well enough to defend it in person.  When he is interviewed by someone who does not have the same agenda he flounders, gets frustrated, and stubbornly insists on going back to performing his routine. He is a very, very bad interview subject--without wit or charm or knowledge, or even the ability to adapt to a different medium and have give-and-take with a television host.

Godlberg reiterated that the Obama ad was bad, that it wasn't "taking a victory lap," it was "neener-neener-neener" and tried to change the subject. Barack Obama, he said, should have said that the American people should march in step and obey him like the Navy Seals who captured Bin Laden. Incredibly, Goldberg used his malicious hypothetical to claim that Obama would then be using one of those liberal cliches about turning everything into the moral equivalence of war.

Let's go to the transcript so you can see for yourself.

MORGAN: If Barack Obama had been on the record two or three years ago, saying -- and Mitt Romney was the president at the time -- and said I do not believe it is worth spending this kind of money, going after one guy, are you telling me with a straight face, again, that Mitt Romney wouldn't have capitalized on that if he had then taken out Osama bin Laden?

He wouldn't have reminded his number one challenger that he said he wouldn't have spent the money?

GOLDBERG: Well, first of all, your characterization of what Mitt Romney said, I think, is off.

MORGAN: No, it's not.

GOLDBERG: Of course it is.

MORGAN: No, it's not.

GOLDBERG: Mitt Romney was talking about fighting the war on terror in the context of fighting one -- coming after one man.

Romney was talking about Bin Laden in the context of George Bush's attempt to dismiss the importance of America's Most Wanted, whom he could not capture.

[GOLDBERG: ] He never said if I have the opportunity, you know, he wasn't spending all of this money. That's not what Barack Obama did when he got Osama bin Laden. It was a pretty cheap operation. No problem with --


MORGAN: (Inaudible)?

GOLDBERG: It didn't cost --

MORGAN: (Inaudible)?

GOLDBERG: Are we really going to do this sort of high school debating tactic crap?

Facts not only have a liberal bias, they are high school debating crap.

 MORGAN: I'm curious what you're thinking what (inaudible).

GOLDBERG: I would put it at -- I don't know, $50 million, $40 million.

The honored Goldbergian technique of pulling crap out of your ass might be good enough for Goldberg's usual audience but doesn't work with Morgan.

MORGAN: Wow. That's cheap in the Republican world?

GOLDBERG: That's cheap in comparison to what the cost of the war on terror is.

MORGAN: No wonder the country got into the mess it did.

GOLDBERG: I suppose that that's supposed to be a really telling point. I'm not quite sure how it is.
Goldberg is unwise enough to repeatedly try to force Morgan to reveal his secret liberal bias and liberal fascism. Forcing someone with evidence to discuss that evidence is unwise. Goldberg has repeated his lies so often that he now believes them. He genuinely seems to think that conservatives are right and everyone else is wrong.

MORGAN: I'm just saying the Republican administration obviously led to a huge financial collapse. You wouldn't dispute that.

GOLDBERG: I would and I would also say Barack Obama has spent much, much, much, much more money than the Republicans.

MORGAN: Would you dispute that after eight years of Republican administration the country went into a huge economic collapse?

GOLDBERG: No, but that's a timeline question.

When those biased facts and reality rear their ugly heads, Goldberg simply dredges his memory for one of those super-smart conservative phrases that will make the mean facts go away. The fact that Obama was left with an enormously expensive financial disaster is irrelevant because Goldberg's ideology tells him that Obama spent more than Republicans. The facts disagree, the little liberal bastards.


GOLDBERG: (Inaudible) came afterwards, yes.

MORGAN: Again, we're talking about ideology, as you put it.


MORGAN: Isn't the ideology that $50 million is cheap? I don't know what it cost, the mission, actually, but (inaudible) cheap is part of the problem here?

GOLDBERG: I think the debate tactic of getting -- of sort of standing on a soap box and waxing poetic about how much I think this operation cost is cheap. That said --      
MORGAN: But you're criticizing the cliched ideology of the liberals here, and I'm playing devil's advocate. I'm not saying you're wrong. But I'm saying when it comes to cheap ideology, chucking out statements like $50 million is cheap --

GOLDBERG: Well, I didn't chuck it out. You pried it out of me. You begged me for an answer.

MORGAN: That's good journalism, isn't it?

GOLDBERG: Maybe, yes.

MORGAN: Isn't that the point of an interview about this kind of issue?

GOLDBERG: Well, you're cross-examining me. You're not interviewing.
Awww, poor Jonah. The mean tv interviewer isn't lobbing him softballs and tittering along at the stupid stupidity of those dirty hippies.

MORGAN: What do you think the whole debate about Obama's too cool? Republicans throwing this back at him, saying you can't be on entertainment shows, doing the slow jam with Jimmy Fallon. You can't be on the cover of "Rolling Stone" magazine. Nobody will take him seriously.

This is the wrong kind of thing. I mean, are they really expecting us to believe that if Mitt Romney was president, he wouldn't do stuff like this occasionally?

GOLDBERG: I would think he would do stuff like that. I don't think he'd be on "Rolling Stone," because I think "Rolling Stone" would burst into flames before that happened. But --

MORGAN: Is it legitimate --


GOLDBERG: I don't think that's quite the (inaudible). I think he certainly has every right to do it. I don't think any -- I don't know of anybody who says he can't do it. But at the same time, I do think some of that act is wearing thin. You can only be cool for so long in American life, and I think in life in general.

MORGAN: I watched him at the White House Correspondents Dinner. I was there. And he had a ready wit, charm, delivery, great comic timing. You couldn't dispute it. Everybody was falling about laughing. He got more laughs than Jimmy Kimmel did. You can't dispute the guy is quite cool.

Heh. Morgan is either rubbing it in or he actually thinks Goldberg cares more about America than about making money peddling his hateful trash.

And why would Americans not like to have a cool president? Doesn't it resonate quite well around the world to have a guy that can sing like Al Green, that can crack jokes like the best comedians? I mean, isn't this good for America?

GOLDBERG: I think as -- all in all, it's better to have a cool president than a not cool president. But if the choice is a cool president and 8 or 10 percent unemployment in a declining economy and a country that seems to be going in the wrong direction and structural unemployment for young people at 50 percent, I'd rather have a dorky president who fixed those problems.
Conservatives become very peeved when the Democrats don't come in and clean up their messes for them.  They are also incredibly peeved that Obama is cool. Robber barons are not known for their coolness; the right clung to Donald Trump as their ticket to cool but he let them down. Everyone will let them down because sexism, racism and greed are not cool. Hatred is ugly and common and old.

MORGAN: Is Mitt Romney a dork?

GOLDBERG: He's a stiff, to be sure.

MORGAN: What's the difference?

GOLDBERG: Oh, the etymological differences are small. I think --

MORGAN: Is there a difference between a stiff and a dork?

GOLDBERG: I would think there probably is, yes.

MORGAN: Can you enunciate for me?

GOLDBERG: I would say the latter is more of a geeky nerd sort of type. And Mitt Romney is not that. Mitt Romney --

MORGAN: Could you be a stiff and a dork?

GOLDBERG: Oh, absolutely. Yes.

MORGAN: Jonah, it's been a pleasure.


MORGAN: Nice to see you.  
 GOLDBERG: Nice to see you.

The two of them were still going at it in Twitter today.
 At one point Morgan tells Goldberg to man up.
Piers Morgan@piersmorgan
Stop bleating like an overgrown baby - if you think I was unfair to you, come back and try your luck again.
Fat chance.


Kathy said...

Every other "statement" out of Doughy's mouth is a tired, threadbare cliche. Also Know As: Right Wing Talking Points.

Ironic thing is we Libs do occasionally indulge in a bit of clicheing; you know "Make Love Not War" and "Nucular [nuclear] Power Plants are a LOT more radioactive than Jane Fonda!"

Now and then.

Kia said...

What's interesting is that in these exchanges so much of his response to questioning is attempts to socially shame Morgan, to make him feel as though he doesn't know how to behave. It's all the intellectual currency he has, and he thinks it's the true coin of the realm.

Mr.Wonderful said...

Jonah is not without wit, but he's so fundamentally dishonest, so tendentious and so much the unwavering propagandist, that it's all for naught. Morgan, meanwhile, displayed the kind of tenacity I saw in a minor BBC interview show one night, when an anchor refused to let a mid-level spokesperson for the Gov't. evade and misdirect. The interviewer asked and re-asked and insisted on a substantive answer, and I thought: If this sort of thing ever happened on American tv the world would stop on its axis.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I'd have summed this entire episode up with "FAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRTTTTTTTTT".

But then, I'd have to get Roy Edroso's permission.

Pete said...

Well, you're cross-examining me. You're not interviewing.

Remember Colbert at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Dinner? The bit when he explained what the job of a journalist is? Maybe Jonah, um, didn't get the joke.

Substance McGravitas said...

(Either you agree with Republicans or you are the enemy.)

You have to admit it gives Jonah a larger pool of Crazy Liberal anecdotes to draw from.

Anonymous said...

I may not like Piers Morgan because of his association with British Cell Phone hacking, but he's never been a pushover.

Susan of Texas said...

It's very amusing to see Goldberg ignore facts that might help his case in favor of lazy cliches.

Pete said...

The turkey was on NPR this morning, and I missed half his clichés because I was laughing too hard at the other half. In a discussion about …

Anonymous said...

What a pathetic face-mullet pudding-bag Jonah is.

Calls it an "unfair interview" because Morgan didn't simply agree with everything he, Jonah, said and confronted him with hard questions and inconvenient facts. Proving once again that wingnuts love dishing it, but when it comes to taking it, it's time to call the waaaahmbulance....

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there's a stated policy at NR on Jonah doing media appearances. If it's unstated, it's probably just "Aw, fuck."

Susan of Texas said...

My favorite comments on Goldberg's posts about the interview congratulate him for winning the argument. The amount of self-delusion is impressive.

There is no way liberals will ever be able to convince tribalists to change their minds. We will have to force their leaders to control their followers.

Anonymous said...

I believe the accusation that an opponent is trying to "Box him in" is one of Jonah's favorites. He thinks it sounds clever, or educated, in some way. Oddly enough, it doesn't.


Susan of Texas said...

Surely a celebrity talk show host can't outthink one of the right's leading intellectuals??

Goldberg flopped terribly, as he always does when the host is not a right-winger. He was fine on Glenn Beck's show because everyone agreed with him, setting up and knocking down strawmen.

Take the spending issue--he'll say Obama spent more even though the facts say otherwise, then say that liberals don't use facts, they use ideology. How can you argue with someone who simply insists his enenmies are doing everything that he is doing? He is utterly oblivious and stubbornly stupid.

Anonymous said...

Wow that was gorey. Can't watch the baby seal clubbing again.

pseudonymous in nc said...

MORGAN: Could you be a stiff and a dork?

GOLDBERG: Oh, absolutely. Yes.

MORGAN: Jonah, it's been a pleasure.

I hope you catch the subtext there. Morgan's an arsehole, but that was a nice signoff. Pretty easy when you have somebody who is not very bright, not very good at interviews, and overestimates his capabilities on account of being part of the wingnut welfare sandpit.