Comparing Abu Ghaif to FDR’s Wheelchair
Matthew Yglesias reads the following from Jonah Goldberg and has to react to what appears to be incredible stupidity:
There were more than 35,000 pictures of FDR taken. Two show him in a wheelchair. Why? Because the press almost unanimously agreed that – despite the huge news value – depicting FDR as a cripple would be bad for the war effort. The few dissenting photographers from that consensus were routinely blocked or deliberately jostled by the senior photographers so as to shield FDR from embarrassment and the public from its “right to know.”
Matt reminds Mr. Goldberg of the following:
Okay, this is a subject I know virtually nothing about. I do, however, know that FDR became president in 1933 after winning the 1932 election. The war in Europe didn’t begin until 1939, and the United States didn’t enter the war until 1941. Under the circumstances, that “depicting FDR as a cripple would be bad for the war effort” can’t be the primary reason nobody ever did it.
Matt at least admits that he does not know much about the press and FDR but Matt clearly knows more than Jonah “I’ll write on any topic of which I know shit” Goldberg (OK, that’ my quote but Goldberg is generally clueless about almost everything he opines on). But I think Matt left Mr. Goldberg off easy when one consider the main theme of this incredibly pathetic NRO post:
In the process of debating the merits of publishing, and now continually hyping, the Abu Ghraib photos, I keep hearing that it is contrary to the American journalistic tradition to let patriotism or concern about the negative effects of bad news interfere with coverage. I have no idea where this idea comes from … But my aim isn’t to score ideological points about liberal bias. This isn’t about attacking liberals. Most of the “giants” of journalism were, after all, liberals protecting liberal politicians and liberal objectives.
That’s right boys and girls. Having pictures of the President in a wheelchair is on par with those pictures of Americans abusing Iraqi prisoners. I’m sorry – but this is truly a disgusting comparisons even for those wretched creatures over at the National Review.
[And yes, one of Matt’s readers reminded him that Goldberg’s stupid and disgusting piece was written over three years ago.]
Update: Joshua Marshall finds something more recent from Jonah Goldberg to pick on:
HERE’S A GOOD question for you: Why have public schools at all? … Consider Washington, home of the nation’s most devoted government-lovers and, ironically, the city with arguably the worst public schools in the country.
Josh simply demolishes Goldberg’s argument. But I have another question. I consider my hometown newspaper, the LA Times, to be quite good. So why did it ask such a serial idiot as Jonah Goldberg to pen such stupid op-eds on a regular basis?