Friday, August 12, 2005

Aren't summaries supposed to be short?

If you're like me, you're afraid to be seen with Bernard Goldberg's new tome, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. At the same time, however, you're curious to see who made the cut and why. Well, worry no more! Philip Dhingra has personally graced Not Right with his condensed version of the book, in which he does the dirty work for us.

What's the catch? Well, Dhingra's a big fan of the book; why he basically ruined any reason for buying the book is anyone's guess. On the other hand, I have no such qualms and am thus offering my own condensed version of Dhingra's condensation. The listed names offer a telling glimpse into the pit from whence right-wing ideology ferments.

Because the numerical list seems based entirely on what Goldberg was (or wasn’t) thinking at the time, a better way to showcase his list is to divide it into Stereotypical Categories. What follows are my categories, Goldberg's names, Dhingra's comments and my replies:

Obvious Satans of the Earth

1) Michael Moore--He doesn't deserve to be talked about. Which is why he’s at the top of the list.

3) Ted Kennedy--How can he have a conscience if he was against the Iraq War? He should be pro-life like the pro-war crowd!

4) Jesse Jackson--While he is a great orator, his focus is on provocation. As opposed to demagogues like Ann Coulter and Bill O’Reilly, who are civilized.

6) Jimmy Carter--is getting improper credit for being a champion of human rights. Yeah, not enough.

20) Howard Dean--has maintained a rambunctious and angry attitude toward Republicans. As opposed to John Kerry, who is too conciliatory and stiff.

37) Al Franken--In an interview Goldberg had with Franken, Franken sounds like an idiot by randomly yelling the word "Liar." Aww, look who’s mad!

Indeed, Goldberg’s personal feuds pepper the entire list. Anyone who has read (or has even heard of) Goldberg's previous book Bias knows that the author has a long-standing grudge against CBS, alleging that the channel is liberal because they fired him or something. Goldberg shows his own bias against the major networks (particularly CBS) on his list, starting strong and then branching off into a weird game of "Seven Degrees of Dan Rather":

12) Dan Rather--He has bias, and either he doesn't know it or he won't admit it. Actually, he does and he did. But does that make Bush’s sketchy military records any less important?

13) Andrew Heyward (Pres. of CBS News)--not owning up to the phony Bush story;

14) Mary Mapes (former producer for CBS's 60 minutes)--aired the story!

We get it, Bernie; you hate CBS! Obsess much? Oh, the list goes on and on!

46) Barbara Walters--is doing more harm to journalism by also interviewing celebrities and asking dumb questions. Whereas Fox News interviews politicians and asks dumb questions.

52) Markos Moulitsas--dailyKos is possibly the busiest political site on the Internet, but it's also a center for pessimism and defeatism toward the United States. Or at least the Bush White House. Same thing, right?

53) Ian McGibboneyjust kidding. Even Goldberg can’t hang with me.

55) David Westin--He is partly responsible for blurring the lines between entertainment and news by putting fake journalists on air (see next entry). The next entry is not Jeff Gannon, as one might suspect.

56) Diane Sawyer--How can Diane Sawyer claim the title of journalist, when she does a shallow interview with Britney Spears? Who supports the president!

Judicial Activision

7) Margaret Marshall--overturned an age-old tradition of marriage being an exclusive sacrament between males and females. The worst court decision since the end of that slavery tradition.

16) John Edwards--made big bucks winning a case that used more emotion than science, which in no way resembles the basis behind “Intelligent Design.”

22) Michael Newdow--got a court to make it illegal to say the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Which everyone immediately obeyed.

40) Scott Harshbarger--built a child-abuse case against a day-care center's owners using solely testimony from forty children. Yet we’re supposed to believe the couple of owners?

A Day at the Racists

30) Latrell Sprewell--Sprewell's arrogant comments in public show just how spoiled some professional athletes have become. Said the rich and famous author who throws tantrums against CBS News.

47) Maxine Waters--is obsessed with race. Well, yeah, she's in the Congressional Black Caucus.

57) Ted Field--has helped spread rap music. A vaccine has yet to be discovered.

67) Randall Robinson--a major proponent of slavery reparations [but] slavery was a long time ago. So don’t forget about that interest!

79) Harry Belafonte--criticized Colin Powell as kissing-up to Bush and the white establishment. Why can't blacks be conservative? Because conservatives are the white establishment, duh!

Schoolhouse Crock

50) John Vasconcellos--worked with California schools to pioneer the doctrine of "self-esteem." [...] education in America hasn't improved. Uniforms, vouchers and No Child Left Behind—now that’s education reform!

68) Katherine Hanson--a hysterical feminist, Goldberg’s catch-all epithet for any woman with an opinion.

72) Ward Churchill--not so much [for] his incendiary comments, but rather the academic community that gives extremists like him tenure. Which I believe he had before his comments?

Left-Coasters and Other Celebrity Freaks

81) Tim Robbins--He also says he's about peace, but he's also mean to people. People like Goldberg, who hates Tim Robbins.

83) The Dumb and Vicious Celebrity (ex: Linda Ronstadt, Martin Sheen, David Clennon, Janeane Garofalo); 84) The Vicious Celebrity (ex: Alec Baldwin, Wallace Shawn, Sean Penn, Janeane Garofalo);
85) The Dumb Celebrity (ex: Cameron Diaz, Fred Durst, Kate Hudson, Janeane Garofalo)--I think Janeane’s cute too; but still, three separate spots?

91) Barbra Streisand--How can such a beautiful and talented singer have the heart to bash Bush? Because she has a heart. There's your answer.

95) Courtney Love“Ho.” He would know.

96) Eve Ensler--Her play is silly for its over-use of vagina-related content, […] making Goldberg feel un-hip for not liking the play or its message. I suppose he drives a big truck too.

99) Matthew Lesko--He promotes dubious methods on how to milk the government for "free money." He is a symbol for self-centered free-riders. Only the Bush neocons are supposed to know those things!

Of course, Goldberg is nothing if not Fair and Balanced. He also admits that several right-of-center figures are also Screwing Up America, though apparently in the sense that they're representing the right a little too honestly:

21) Roy Moore--judges should not partake in activism or loose interpretations of the law. Not that blatantly, anyway.

25) James Koppjustifies murdering an abortion practitioner. He should not play God. That’s Bush’s job.

44) Dennis Kozlowski--his company is a conglomerate that acquires little companies and streamlines them by shutting down plants and firing employees. Besides, he was too obvious about it.

45) Ken Lay--fraudulently generate[d] millions of dollars from 1996 to 2001. Deserves to be slapped on the wrist, hard.

61) Michael Savage--has given conservatives a bad name by making cruel personal attacks and for getting caught by a live mike.

66) David Duke--has run for US President twice as a Republican, which itself is embarrassing enough.

70) Jimmy Swaggart--goes too far in his criticism of homosexuality by mentioning in a sermon that he would kill gay men. He should know that real bigots just do it.

100) Rick and Kathy Hilton--deserve blame for raising Paris Hilton. Agreed.

And, last but not least, the one summary that puts Goldberg’s entire manuscript in perspective:

8) Paul Krugman--Goldberg is unable to find a quote of Krugman's that is hysterical or extreme, so Krugman's flaw is that he consistently argues against Bush's policies without sounding foolish. So his flaw is that he debates without sounding foolish? For whom is that a flaw?

In his criticism of those who are screwing up America, Bernard Goldberg forgot one important name—his own.

7 comments:

Phillip said...

janeane garofalo is a hero of mine, so it does my heart good to see that she was mentioned thrice. they always shout loudest against the ones they consider dangerous (hillary, dean, etc).

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