The 100 lists I hate

I’m supposed to do Donny Deutsch’s show (with Linda Stasi) later today regarding Bernie Goldberg’s 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. And, yes, I should be ashamed of myself for giving this unimportant exercise in unjournalism more publicity. The nice folks at CNBC spared me reading the thing and sent me a nice summary by email. All Goldberg is doing is taking the most basic trick of soft news editors, unnews editors — that is, city magazines, feature sections, talk shows: He’s making a meaningless list and having a meaningless debate about it. But his list isn’t just meaningless. It’s just mean. Oh, I also hold some of his choices in less than high esteem. But what Goldberg is doing here is lumping together people who are truly hateful (terrorists) with people who don’t agree with him. He’s holding his own cable TV shoutfest without having the other side on to shout back. It’s silly. But what’s even sillier is that he uses this to pontificate about how he thinks America should be run. SpeakSpeak is giving him hell for it. But I like Jon Stewart’s response to his pompous prudery best:

Goldberg: Once upon a time, not too many years ago, a drunk in a bar wouldn’t use the f-word. Now-he may be your pal-but Chevy Chase goes to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC at a gala where people are wearing tuxedos-and-gowns and calls the president of the United States a dumb blank.

Stewart: Once upon a time, Thomas Jefferson f**ked slaves.

Perspective, people.

LATER: Well, I hope the appearance goes better than this:

John Davison, editor at 1UP.com, deserves kudos for having the guts to walk off of the set of The Big Idea (CNBC) when it became evident that he’d been tricked into appearing on a show designed to do nothing but bash video games. It takes balls to walk off a show like that when things go sour because of manipulation instead of honest debate. It also takes more than a little self-respect. The nice thing about being a member of the media, though, is that you can still get your opinions out when you’re comments are edited from existence by a two-faced TV broadcast.

Here’s Davison’s saga.

AFTERWARDS: Bernie sure comes off as the angry, nasty, self-important, humorless prig. He went after Linda Stasi, who was very nice, and played the paranoid victim with Donny Deutsch. It’s on tonight at 10p, if the Supremes don’t preempt it.

OH, AND: My first point: America isn’t screwed up.

: HUH: Well, now I have no idea what’s happening. Deutsch has an entire show on polygamy.

The 100 lists I hate

The 100 lists I hate

: I’m supposed to do Donny Deutsch’s show (with Linda Stasi) later today regarding Bernie Goldberg’s 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. And, yes, I should be ashamed of myself for giving this unimportant exercise in unjournalism more publicity. The nice folks at CNBC spared me reading the thing and sent me a nice summary by email. All Goldberg is doing is taking the most basic trick of soft news editors, unnews editors — that is, city magazines, feature sections, talk shows: He’s making a meaningless list and having a meaningless debate about it. But his list isn’t just meaningless. It’s just mean. Oh, I also hold some of his choices in less than high esteem. But what Goldberg is doing here is lumping together people who are truly hateful (terrorists) with people who don’t agree with him. He’s holding his own cable TV shoutfest without having the other side on to shout back. It’s silly. But what’s even sillier is that he uses this to pontificate about how he thinks America should be run. SpeakSpeak is giving him hell for it. But I like Jon Stewart’s response to his pompous prudery best:

Goldberg: Once upon a time, not too many years ago, a drunk in a bar wouldnít use the f-word. Now-he may be your pal-but Chevy Chase goes to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC at a gala where people are wearing tuxedos-and-gowns and calls the president of the United States a dumb blank.

Stewart: Once upon a time, Thomas Jefferson f**ked slaves.

Perspective, people.

LATER: Well, I hope the appearance goes better than this:

John Davison, editor at 1UP.com, deserves kudos for having the guts to walk off of the set of The Big Idea (CNBC) when it became evident that he’d been tricked into appearing on a show designed to do nothing but bash video games. It takes balls to walk off a show like that when things go sour because of manipulation instead of honest debate. It also takes more than a little self-respect. The nice thing about being a member of the media, though, is that you can still get your opinions out when you’re comments are edited from existence by a two-faced TV broadcast.
Here’s Davison’s saga.

AFTERWARDS: Bernie sure comes off as the angry, nasty, self-important, humorless prig. He went after Linda Stasi, who was very nice, and played the paranoid victim with Donny Deutsch. It’s on tonight at 10p, if the Supremes don’t preempt it.

OH, AND: My first point: America isn’t screwed up.

: HUH: Well, now I have no idea what’s happening. Deutsch has an entire show on polygamy.

  • Right of Center

    Let me see if I got this straight. You don’t like Goldberg because of his “soft unnews” and meaninglessness. And then you praise Stewart’s non-argument and call for “perspective”.
    And, then, while you are ‘ashamed’ to accept money to discuss all this fluff, non-news, nothingness on network tv, the fact that you HAVEN’T READ the damn book in the first place doesn’t trouble you.
    Fu*k perspective, how about a little less hypo*racy!

  • Patricia

    Jon Stewart was not being a pompous ass?! Please! It’s a NewThink hat trick: Insult Jefferson, say a four-letter word, and sneer at a “right winger” all at the same time!
    I think you should go on the show, admit you didn’t read the book, and do a satire on silly shows filled with people yakking about things they know nothing about.
    I usually agree with you. Not this time!

  • pm

    Don’t be ashamed of promoting “unjournalism.” That “trick” foisted on an unsuspecting public by unnews editors has been the staple of such diversions as Entertainment Weekly for years.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    RoC: For the record, I’m not accepting money to promote his book. I flunk that IQ test.
    PM: Exactly right. That’s how I know it so well….

  • owl

    Is this the best you have Jeff? I agree with above posters on this one…..
    Of course what I really find interesting about this book and author, is the blackballing. After what we have seen promoted on every MSM outlet, it is interesting to watch MSM behavior…..no book could top this. Bugs in jars.

  • Right of Center

    In the new world of perfect parsing, I have to ask does “I’m not accepting money to promote his book.” mean you are not receiving any compensation for your appearance on CNBC?

  • Mike G

    Alas, Jeff, as you and I both know, probably Goldberg had a thoughtful book proposal about the culture wars and some editor said “Why don’t we make it a list book?” The dirty little secret of media is that publishers, who think of themselves as the high end of media, dumb it down faster and more ruthlessly than anybody, even TV….

  • http://www.rollingdoughnut.com/ Tony

    Even if the publisher did make it a list book, Goldberg didn’t have to put write it. His name is on it, he must stand by it. So ignore that.
    I watched the Jon Stewart interview with Goldberg. Disagree with the provided Jefferson quote, but Jeff is dead-on accurate in his assessment of Goldberg’s prudery. Goldberg tried to corner Stewart on how crass America is becoming. Right, because we’re being forced to not change the channel or even to turn the television off.
    We’re not crass, just capitalists.

  • Right of Center

    In the “dumb it down” department I am not sure how commenting on a book you have not read is some kind of counter-current.
    I am sure one could (sadly) write a b+ college term paper from reading Cliff’s notes. But afterwards is it wise to pontificate about the lax educational standards of others?
    “Look at all this crap and fluff!”
    “oh, by the way, I’ll be on CNBC’s Crap and Fluff show at 3pm eastern, don’t miss it!”

  • http://rpv.blogspot.com Ripclawe

    Jon Stewart’s response is idiotic. He could have said Caligula bleeped horses and it would have been the same level of sense. But it works for his crowd.
    SpeakSpeak really shouldn’t try to come to Courtney Love’s defense. That’s a losing battle.

  • tesh

    jeff, your tiresome sophistication

  • Catherine

    Patricia and Ripclawe clearly didn’t see Jon Stewart’s whole interview with Goldberg and/or they have no sense of humor. Goldberg was arguing that the culture has become so much more crass over the last howevermany years and that the people in his book are responsible for making it that way. And Stewart’s point was that culture has always been crass, according to some people, and isn’t it more crass that we had slaves at one point than that people say the F word more?
    You’re right, he could have used the Caligula reference and it would have worked, but slavery and the F word had already been mentioned in the interview and so it was really FUNNY when Stewart made that retort. He could have also said something about how parents in the 50s were appalled at Elvis shaking his hips and wanted rock and roll banned. It would have made the same point but wouldn’t have been nearly as funny.
    What I thought was really funny was that Goldberg said “kike”, “faggot”, and “spic” but when he got to the derogatory term for black people he said “the n word.” That was funny.

  • http://liesandstatistics.blogspot.com Shinobi

    I thought Stewarts interview was right on. I think the point he made that really stuck was that Goldberg is complaining about all these people (Barbara Streisand was it?) that have absolutely no real power. Goldberg completely ignores the politicians who are actually making real decisions that affect our country and goes after people whose faces are on TV and who use the F-word.
    I’m not going to bother reading the book because I can tell by the people included in it that his analysis is purely superficial. He is more concerned with everyone’s manners than whether or not they are good people. Nice is different than good.
    Give it to him good Jeff!

  • Angelos

    Exactly Catherine!
    The whole interview puts the profane Jefferson retort into context.
    And Stewart is right – no matter what religious freaks and right wingnuts say, there ware never any “golden days” of righteousness and purity.
    People have always fucked, cursed, self-medicated, been unfaithful, murdered, etc. ALWAYS.
    Just because you couldn’t say “pregnant” on “I Love Lucy” doesn’t mean the era was any purer, especially when you consider the westerns that were huge at the time, in which murder and gunfights and the whores on the saloon’s second floor were glorified.
    And as for winger hypocricy, did Dick “Go Fuck Yorself” Cheney make the book? Did the Republican strategists who portrayed Max Cleland as a traitor make the book? Did any TV preachers who impoverish people in the name of the lord make the book? Did Rick Sanrorum make the book?
    Republicans and religious people are the LAST people to have any claim on morality.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    This isn’t a matter of morality, it’s a matter of civility. Constant calls of hypocrisy on this issue are tiresome.
    I can write “fuck”; I can say “fuck” to my pal; but it is *not* hypocritical to say, at the same time, that it would be loathsome for me to shout “fuckfuckfuck” at your children — or saying “fuck” to a crowd at the Kennedy Center.
    Stewart is of course the pompous ass in this story. Snark takes pomposity to new, uncharted regions by disguising an unshakable sense of superiority (the definition of pomposity) with flip commentary. Chevy Chase shares this bloated sense of superiority, but he jumped the shark long ago; Stewart, who is hot now, will one day appear to be just as talentless and irrelevant as Chase, and will also only be able to get a rise out of people by spouting obscenities in inappropriate settings — little different than an old man exposing himself to children on the street.
    I’ll note that Stewart was terribly unsuccessful as a normal comic with normal talk shows; only when he picked up the schtick of exciting and stroking the sensitivites of the left has he found a career. His humor hasn’t improved; the left merely roots for him because now he’s sticking it to their enemies.

  • Owen

    I saw the interview. Stewart was convinced that the book should have been about “powerful” (political) debasers instead of cultural debasers.
    It seemed to me that Stewart could go to any book store and pick out at least fifty of the book he wanted off the front racks. Isn’t there room in the bookstores for Goldberg to write something else? And more importantly, isn’t our culture big enough to sustain more than one conversation at a time?

  • http://marginalizingmorons.blogspot.com/ CaptiousNut

    So instead of discussing the content or thesis of the book, people are resorting to ad hominem on the author and drawing equivalences with historical immorality?
    Is this a new tactic?

  • W.J. Dean

    Goldberg’s point, it seemed, wasn’t that we as Americans were ever good — it’s that however bad we were 50 years ago, that time looks awfully virgin white compared to today.
    In other words, we’re becoming worse with each passing generation and are dismissing as ordinary what was unthinkable years ago.
    Stewart actually proved Goldberg’s point by uttering “fu*$” on a television show. That “Gone With the Wind” caused a furor with “I don’t give a damn” shows how low we’ve sunk.
    And that brings up another point: you can scoff at the so-called Bible thumpers who rant about the decline of society, but to claim that society is just the same as it was 50, 100 or 200 years ago is a laughable argument.
    I’m looking forward to the day when progressives, after defending gay marriage, say the privilege should be denied for polygamists, cousins, and men and sheep.
    When that day comes — and it will — John Stewart and the rest of you will have to choose between being called self-righteous religious nuts or, in order to be “tolerant,” you surrender your last ounce of morality by announcing “anything goes.”

  • Right of Center

    Lost without a compass is worse that lost with one. If you have one, at least there is some hope you can find your way back.

  • rick_d

    I can always tell when someone who doesn’t routinely watch “The Daily Show” is criticizing it by the fervored belief that they’re lefty lapdogs, and that’s that. What they do do on the show, often brilliantly, is to skewer stupidity, hypocrisy and dishonesty of all stripes. That they likely do it more frequently at the expense of the party in power shouldnít be a surprise nor taken as proof of anything more than the requirement to be topical. Plenty of the show’s venom is unleashed on the left. What they do *best*, however, is to skewer the media, especially the newsmedia. Pity thatís lost on the humorless.
    Goldberg was out of his element on the program and it showed. His stint as a low-budget Bill Bennett has run its course–somebody please tell him.

  • APF

    Goldberg’s book actually does include polititians, etc.; not just celebrities. Stewart’s comments along those lines missed the mark, IMO (unless he’s also upset about the “vaginal cream” segment his own writers came up with for before Goldberg’s interview–which was apparently cut due to time constraints–or the segment parodying the media coverage of hurricanes, because There Are So Much More Important Things To Worry About). Stewart also poses a false dichotomy when he made the slavery comment, unless he really feels that slavery was abolished due to people cursing and being impolite. Is it not possible to miss some of the “virgin white” aspects of culture that was alluded to in the comments here, while also acknowledging the social progress that has taken place WRT things like slavery, etc? I think it is, and Stewart did himself a disservice by proving–to an extent–Goldberg’s point.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    A question: the other night, there was a disruption in my neighborhood because a naked man was in somebody’s back yard, masturbating.
    The police seemed to think that there was a difference between somebody masturbating in public and somebody masturbating in private.
    Should I have gone out and told the police that they were being hypocrites? And if not, how is this different?
    People on the right know the answer to this question. People who shout “hypocrite” themselves will probably not even understand why I even tell this story, but I’d like to be surprised by unexpected clarity and insight.

  • http://www.memritv.org Cog

    Once upon a time Jon Stewart was a comedian. Now he only calls himself that when someone asks him to back up one of his political statements.

  • http://www.12sides.blogspot.com Horatio

    You’re right Jeff. Please spare me the ludicrous “good ol’ days” crap. After all, if we keep going back and keep going back, things get so perfect and wonderful that we had public torture and dismemberment.

  • Right of Center

    And we *still* have public torture and dismemberment!
    Perpsective, people.

  • Angelos

    WJ, isn’t/wasn’t polygamy a widely accepted tenet of, wait for it… Mormonism? A religion?
    Right or wrong, cousin-marriage is already legal in 21 states. Has been for years. Try Google, it’ll keep some of your ignorance hidden.
    How come it’s only the wingers who are so obsessed with sheep and dogs (hi Ricky!)? Are you so worried about your repressed proclivities that you NEED all these laws and religious shields? One gay marriage, and you’re off to that horse-fucking farm that was in the news a couple days ago?
    What is it? Please tell me.
    Whay, when a rational human being (i.e. a liberal) says that the legal benefits of marriage should be made available to all who wish to enter into such an arrangement, does a damned winger starts to rant about sex with dogs!?!?!?
    Or, public masturbation… carson, you forgot your meds again.

  • Dak

    “isn’t it more crass that we had slaves at one point than that people say the F word more?”
    Our time of slavery was when the entire world didn’t consider it crass, and all practiced slavery. We evolved ahead of most of the world in that we were amongst the first to shed blood to abolish this hideous practice. Why does the left not celebrate THAT?
    Our woman couldn’t vote…they still can’t in other countries.
    We had slaves….they still do in other countries…notably the ones that want to take us over.
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/006645.php
    Why can’t the left applaud instead of denigrate their country.

  • w.j.

    First John Stewart proves Goldberg right….and now Angelos, too!
    Keep going, Angleo. Your proclivity to be a potty mouth to people you don’t know only makes my case even stronger.

  • Angelos

    Just keep thinking about those sheep, WJ. You can keep Rick and his dogs company.
    Meantime, your boys in the White House are endangering national security and talking about blowing up Mecca, which should do wonders for Americans abroad. Safer indeed.
    But yes, Babs is destroying America. Annoying America maybe…
    Perspective, dear wingers, perspective.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    Or, public masturbation… carson, you forgot your meds again.
    Sidestepping is the best we can do here?
    The “good old days” of which we speak are simply the days in which we consider some actions inappropriate in some contexts.
    If the argument is, as the left *claims*, merely a matter of morality, and that any action you commit yourself should be allowable in the public square, then masturbation on primetime TV cannot be objected to by many adults.
    But that masturbation on TV is clearly indefensible (at the moment), so the left has to retreat to the same sensible position that the right has on other vulgarity and obscenity: it’s a matter of civility. As a community, we generally don’t want to see images of masturbation made freely available on the public airwaves at all hours, where it can be watched by children who cannot, in reality, be leashed and caged 24/7.
    But there is little difference between that masturbation and Janet Jackson’s boob or Chevy Chase’s mouth. The left’s only argument is derision of others as prudes and hypocrites. But if that’s so, the left is just as prudish and just as hypocritical for not advocating other similar fare.

  • http://knownunknowns.blogspot.com slickdpdx

    Unfortunately, the actions of this producer and news presenter are all too common. They are not exceptional. Its just that there are always more people who aren’t media savvy to be burned the same way.

  • Del

    Goldberg has become a right-wing hack. Just the fact that he sits on Fox News talking about media bias makes him a joke already, and I even agree with his criticism about the mainstream/liberal press. But this book just makes him seem even more of a partisan, and a sell-out. This is just a list to bash liberals. There are many I agree with and would be on my list too, but how about some of the right-wing hatemongers too, like: Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Rush LimBULL,…. He lost all credibility he ever had with this book, and damages the credibility of his previous books as well. This is the author that wrote Biased, and it turns out he’s biased himself.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    Cheers to John Davison, btw, for walking off that set.
    Oddly enough, the partisanship seems to be flipped on video game violence. While I hear some on the right grouse about it, it’s politicians on the left (like Hillary Clinton) who actually try to make political hay out of it.

  • APF

    The biggest anti-videogame crusader/blowhard, Jack Thompson, is himself a Republican (although thankfully not a politician)

  • http://erasend.blogspot.com kingdom2000

    Jeff left out the most important part of Jon Stewart’s interview: The observation that 1) the list is 97 out of 100 are liberals. 2) That he lists mostly Hollywood people with loud mouths but little power. He pointed out that why create a list of people that talk a good game but don’t actually do anything. Instead make a list of those in Washington that actually do have the power. That create, influence and change the law for their on ends. For example, lobbyiests, congressman, chief of staffs, you know those that truly do damage America.
    Not the “cultural” nonsense and cop out that this writer took. He took the easy rode to that book writing about Hollywood because its easy and would probably sell a few extra books. No, frankly he doesn’t deserve any of the attention he is getting because he is clearly a hack.

  • Franky

    With all the problems we have from corrupt dems and super-corrupt repubs, Goldberg thinks Barbara Streisand is a threat to America. What world do you have to live in to think that way? But unfortunately it’s all par for the course with wingnut politics these days – “what no wmds? quick look over there two queers are kissing!”
    He also decries the lack of civility and a new nastiness in politics, the split between left and right. Then apparently states at the beginning of the book:
    “And it won’t take you long to notice that there are a lot of liberals on the list, which, of course, is just how it ought to be. If I were compiling the list years ago, say, when I was in college, there’d be a lot of conservatives on it. But this isn’t years ago, and besides, I’m smarter now than I was back then.”
    On how many levels of dumb do you have to operate to avoid having your head explode at the hypocrsiy?

  • nobody important

    Jefferson didn’t fuck slaves; he raped them. It still doesn’t make Jon Stewart funny. So here’s a joke for you all:
    How can you tell when a Leftist is lying?
    When his lips are moving.
    Ha, Ha, Ha, etc…

  • whodat

    Angelos misses the point. So what about NAMBLA then? Call names and rip religion and think people demand all these laws & shields but some people, who are also rational human beings, believe marriage is only intended for man & woman. Where’s the left mention of the slippery slope on this issue? And who made you keeper of the seven keys?
    Hey everybody–it’s Angelos’ opinion–fall in line! You must be a wingnut to think gays shouldn’t marry! Everything else in the world is inconsequential because we are in a war and the president is a goof! Fix thine eyes!
    And all these people ripping Bernard Goldberg–he’s as fine a journalist as there is. Maybe he has convictions about this list of people. He was against the grain before all this talk of blogs and MSM. It got him canned. Too bad for CBS. Had they paid heed to his words they would be the garbage news operation they are now. And Del, the book was called “Bias”. And he’s no longer a member of the MSM so who cares if he has a bias? It’s irrelevant.

  • Charlie (Colorado)

    Okay, in among all the semi-ignorant (actually, Cheney does come up in the book, and Goldberg makes a distinction between a private remark among to adult men and and public prurience aimed to shock) and straight out asinine, there’s still a question I can’t figure out: if you wouldn’t read the book, didn’t want to promote the book, didn’t enjoy the experience, and weren’t getting paid to appear … why did you go?

  • Catherine

    Dak, what the F are you talking about? Oh sorry, I think I’m being crass. Seriously though, your slavery argument is just weird, although it did make my (and Jon Stewart’s) point–American society has gotten BETTER, not worse over the last few centuries, in spite of the fact that people say fuck more. The things that matter (human rights, civil rights, democratic ideals, etc etc) have gotten stronger. Isn’t that what we should be worried about? Not this “red herring” of an argument, as Jon Stewart called it, that our society is going down the drain because of reality TV? Hey, I’m as disgusted by Britney Spears as much as the next person, but I’m not ready to say our society is sicker than it’s ever been just because she’s a whore and makes money at it.

  • John

    American Liberalism is in decline.
    An ideology which employs censorship, indoctrination of school children, a lock on all major mediums of communication, and other coercive means and still can’t regain it’s former stature is in serious trouble.
    Fortunately for Liberalism, there is a steady supply of incurious and lazy thinkers who continue to bang the drum, without the least bit of skepticism regarding the foundation of their beliefs.
    I don’t watch Jon Stewart, I literally can’t stomach his smugness. I’m aware that his shtick is generally considered intelligent and witty, perhaps this is an indication of our overall social decline.
    Liberalism?
    Sorry, been there, done that, as has Mr. Goldberg.

  • http://moveleft.com Eric Jaffa

    Jon Stewart mentioned slavery while arguing that our society is getting better even if expletives are becoming more acceptable.
    You can watch the Jon Stewart interview with Bernie Goldberg at:
    Crooks and Liars

  • Franky

    John,
    Just so I can see where you’re coming from, could you recommend any one you believe to be witty and intelligent? (as i hope is obvious someone who combines both traits rather than just say intelligent).

  • Patricia

    Amen, John.
    “Isn’t it more crass that we had slaves at one point than that people say the F word more?” No, slavery was immoral, not merely crass. To compare the two is ludicrous. So because we had slavery we now must normalize the degradation of culture, of women and men, of sexuality itself?
    If Jon Stewart wants a list book about politicians, why doesn’t he write one? At least Goldberg’s book is not forced upon you the way that media crassness is–and don’t tell me to turn it off, it’s everywhere.
    What people do in private is their own business–so put all the booty videos and four-letter worlds on one channel and the porn sites on one domain, and let the rest of us truly choose what we view.

  • Franky

    Others have asked but just to chip in – why did you go on a program to discuss a book you hadn’t read?

  • John

    Franky,
    I like Coen Bros. films and the work of David Mamet.

  • Franky

    All good artists to a tee (on a sidenote, the Coen brothers do so well because they lack snobbery when depicting the lives of people who come from parts of America that are not DC, NY or LA – the morons in Hollywood consistently get that wrong either glorifying every person who ever set foot in a red state or casting them as white-sheet wearing hicks. What’s obvious is that the Coen brothers really have a lot of affection for their characters whether it be in Fargo, Raising Arizona or Brother Where Art Thou).

  • Dr. Fager

    Goldberg makes a valid point about the decline in civility in our society. Stewart responds with a comment so irrelevent as to be a non sequitur. And you cite it as tit for tat?

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    I think what the left sees in that comment as “great wit” is the suggestion that when our discourse was less potty-mouthed, we had a trifecta of slavery, rape, and important men raping slaves. This fits in with the leftist ideology that most, if not all, religions are bad and are more at fault for evil than a cause for good.
    This pompous snark ignores actual history, though. It was very religious factions in earlier centuries that worked hardest to combat slavery against great odds… not materialistic comedians sitting in comfortable TV studios and angry Democrats with badly-spelled placards.

  • Franky

    carsonfire,
    you seem increasingly detached from reality. So “materialistic comedians sitting in comfortable TV studios” didn’t help free slaves? ok. That’s just flat-out weird.
    And how did you get to religion? I mean if you’re going to make so many jumps in one post all to create one straw man argument that no one here has advocated, why bother debating here at all as it seems you would be much more comfortable debating yourself.
    It was a simple point that Stewart made – people who talk about the crassness of our present culture (which by the way I’m ambivalent about) and compare it to culture 50 years ago are forgetting all the bullshit of that age: second-class status for blacks, casual anti-semitism, rampant sexism etc. But Stewart’s point was insightful at the same time because he highlighted how many parts of today’s bastardized right (not all) are much more concerned about such trifling things such as Jasnet Jackson’s breast rather than the wholesale corruption of our political class. Don’t talk about millions without healthcare, talk about two guys getting married. Don’t talk about a botched pointless war that has created thousands if not tens of thousands more terrorists, let’s discuss Spongepants Bob.
    The fixation on the culture war not only shows your contempt for half of the country you live in (but keep telling us what a patriot you are) but also how you’re not fitted to discuss the issues that face this country.

  • http://rpv.blogspot.com Ripclawe

    Captain Ed is saying Goldberg got set up and now I see how the 1up editor got set up. Its one thing to have a heated debate, its another to create and ambush guests. unprofessional.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    Franky: could you put some line breaks somewhere in your rants about people referencing cultural issues on a post related to cultural matters? Just a request for bad eyes.

  • http://liesandstatistics.blogspot.com Shinobi

    I think it is one thing to have to have interviews where the interviewer or other guests on the show thinks the book you wrote is crap, and another to be invited to talk about video games and end up being the poster apologist for video game violence and how it is destroying our society. But maybe I’m biased.
    Also, Carson, snark much? Your post made no sense, way to not respond to criticism.

  • Angelos

    whodat, the “slippery slope” argument is the winger’s favorite argument against progress. What, you’re going let blacks vote? What’s next, women!?!?
    Uh, yeah.
    I mentioned legal marriage for gays, as an example. YOU brought up the man-boy-love. Ricky “Frothy mix of fecal matter and lube” Santorum brought up sex with dogs. WJ has a thing for sheep. And carsonfire somehow jumped to masturbation on TV. He can simply stop watching Showtime and Skinemax.
    The crudest talk today comes from wingers and thumpers and Bush-voting rednecks, who spew hate and bigotry in real-world terms. A lot worse than some random bleeped f-bombs on Comedy Central, or unbleeped ones on HBO.
    Franky, they NEED to stay detached from reality. They haven’t been told a single truth since their Dear Leader wasn’t elected president. Reality and truth just cannot be tolerated.

  • Patricia

    “Don’t talk about millions without healthcare, talk about two guys getting married. Don’t talk about a botched pointless war that has created thousands if not tens of thousands more terrorists, let’s discuss Spongepants Bob.”
    Who is NOT talking about these things? Check out any newspaper or TV channel sometime.
    And what do Janet Jackson’s nipple and the f-bomb have to do with racism and anti-semitism? If we stop characters swearing on TV sitcoms, will that signal the KKK to return?
    That’s it for me. This makes no sense.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    Shinobi: That’s not snark. I really do have very bad eyes, I would like to see some line breaks in Franky’s posts (he breaks only once after each paragraph, whereas everybody else here has the good manners to break twice), and this is a thread replying to a post about cultural issues (and hence, I don’t get Franky’s “cultural war” complaint; I don’t use that term, he does).

  • Krusty Krab

    Glad you guys like Goldberg. I suppose that means he’ll sale some copies of his book and his mom will be proud.
    I find it kind of strange that on one hand you would harangue Jeff over a lack of civility, when frankly Bernie is utterly lacking in civility himself, starting especially with his sensationalized nasty little book and ending with his butt ugly personality.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    Who’s haranguing Jeff over a lack of civility? I actually agree with him that the Goldberg book is a waste of space. And I agree with him that America isn’t screwed up (in general terms).
    I’ve never read a book by Goldberg, but I do know that, at the same time, Stewart is a pompous ass with a free pass from a confused mass.

  • Franky

    Wow, apparently these additional spaces in between the paragraphs really do make a difference in some people’s comprehension.
    Consider it done.

  • APF

    Franky: I think it’s possible to simultaneously praise the social progress America has undergone over the years, while at the same time lamenting other positive aspects of culture that have fallen by the wayside.
    Also, plenty of people talk about and analyze government from all different perspectives. I disagree with Stewart’s contention that people shouldn’t discuss things they are interested in, just because there are other things which may or may not be more important. If Goldberg wants to complain about Babs, let him. If no one is interested, the book won’t sell and its failure will discourage others from writing/publishing along those lines.

  • Franky

    APF,
    I think you’re entirely right that we can praise social progress and lament lost aspects of our culture, but don’t you think it’s more than a little telling people hark back to an age like the 50’s which on so many levels was a bad one – all because there were less curse words?
    The point I was trying to make (can’t now remember if Stewart was too) is that this has become typical of a party that thrives on the culture war, that is energized by discussions of the confederate flag or gay marriage all as a way of deflecting attention from the larger corruption that is increasingly taking over the heart of our political class.

  • APF

    “don’t you think it’s more than a little telling people hark back to an age like the 50’s which on so many levels was a bad one[…]”
    Telling? I think it depends on how old that person is. Overall I don’t think it “tells” much however; I think you’re wrong in suggesting it’s only racist, misogynistic throwbacks who talk about the “good old days” while glazing over all the bad things back then.
    […]
    I don’t personally know any conservatives who are energized by discussions of the Confederate flag, and most people I know on both sides of the aisle are energized by discussions of issues like gay marriage. Also, I can only speak to my own experience, but most people I know ARE interested in discussing issues of corruption and abuses of power, at least if they’re at all interested in discussing politics. So I’d disagree with that point too…

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    Thanks, Franky!
    That’s awfully civil of ya. :)

  • http://moveleft.com Eric Jaffa

    APF –
    Bernie Goldberg can criticize Barbra Streisand wihout most people caring.
    It’s when he calls her one of the hundred people who are “Screwing Up America” that people object.

  • edddie

    carsonfire wrote:
    I’ve never read a book by Goldberg, but I do know that, at the same time, Stewart is a pompous ass with a free pass from a confused mass.
    If you didn’t realize that have three rhyming words in the last part of that sentence, then you have a tin ear. If you did realize it and thought you were being witty or clever, well, you weren’t. You were being an idiot.

  • Duneview

    The threshold for idiocy must be pretty low in edddie-land if the main qualifier is a triple-rhyme.
    Btw, I think your “d” key is stuck.

  • FC

    Shorter Jeff:
    I was offered face time by CNBC to discuss a book. I haven’t read the book, but I said yes anyway. CNBC sent me my talking points via email. Blogs rule, MSM drool.

  • whodat

    Angelos-
    eegads! I don’t consider Bush to be my dear leader, far from it. As far as the slippery slope being the fav tool of the right? C’mon man. 7 years of Bush–who has been using it lately (and rightfully so). And you brought up two rational human beings so I brought up nambla as an example. But tell me–what is the difference between man/boy and other same sex couples?
    It’s dumb to jump to conclusions like beastiality. But it’s also not fair to rip on people just because they believe gay marriage is wrong.

  • Angelos

    …what is the difference between man/boy and other same sex couples…
    If you really need to ask, whodat, I am truly scared for you, and those around you. You are a dangerous person. Because if you can make the above comparison, you must not have any problem with fucking your neighbor’s 13-year-old daughter, because after all, she’s female, so what’s the problem?
    Yes, yes it is fair to rip on people who think extending legal rights to ALL citizens is wrong. Look, I don’t give a damn if your Holy House of Hatred doesn’t want to recognize gay unions on a religious level. Who cares? It’s all fairy tales and brain-dead following anyway. We’re talking basic legal recognition – of spousal rights, of visitation rights, of inheritance, of parenting decisions, etc.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    If you didn’t realize that have three rhyming words in the last part of that sentence, then you have a tin ear. If you did realize it and thought you were being witty or clever, well, you weren’t. You were being an idiot.
    Pardon the distraction, but my action was inspired by Reverend Jackson. If you’re offended by the rhyming long ended, then my apologies extended.

  • http://www.scoopstories.typepad.com Scott Butki

    Hmm, this thread reminds me of a post I read and liked the other day about Stewart’s interview:
    http://talknation.org/?p=123
    And anyone should not only presss Goldberg about Cheney’s f bomb but that he didn’t apologize it but said it felt good to say. Nice role model.
    You know, I think I’m going to go start my own list of the 100 ways Goldberg is screwing up America.

  • whodat

    Brain Dead following? Christianity has satisfied some of the most intelligent minds ever. But since that is not what this post is about, I’ll get back to the issue and spare you the apologetics. I mentioned nambla obviously because I think there IS a difference. The point being YOU think of gay relations as normal. SOME view it as immoral as relations with animals or children. But you won’t even consider or tolerate that because of what YOU think to be right. And your rambles about religion show that you are tolerant of all beliefs, save the religious point of view. The scary thing is your closed mind and relativism. And the fact you think you have it all figured out.

  • Angelos

    What, you don’t think you’re right about YOU’RE opinion? Of course I have it figured out. Sheesh.
    I think of gay relations as normal, in the sense that people are born that way. Shouldn’t a person of god like yourself accept all god’s creatures? Or would that make too much sense for you?
    I can’t be tolerant of organized religion, when the very basis is exclusion of the different.
    “SOME view it as immoral as relations with animals or children.”
    SOME are hateful, ignorant idiots. Don’t be one of SOME. The fact that SOME could equate two adults (who happen to be of the same sex) finding emotional and physical union together, with the disgusting acts of bestialty and pedophilia, now THAT is a tragedy. Church- and government-sanctioned tragedy.

  • nobody important

    Beware of the natural falasy, that if it’s natural then it’s good. Many genetic conditions are ‘natural’, but they sure aren’t good. There is a lot of evidence that pedophilia is, at least paritally, inate as well.
    Arguing that it’s morally wrong to deny equal rights to gays is a lot stronger than arguing that homosexuality is natural, therefore good.

  • nobody important

    All ogranized religions are exclusive. They exclude anyone who doesn’t believe what they promulgate. They also have rights, like the right to assembly with like-minded people.
    And the Catholic Church doesn’t exclude gays, they just teach that homosexual behavior is a sin.