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30 January 2002

Our current howler (part I): Easy to be hard

Synopsis: Poor Bernie! A disconsolate author just couldn’t imagine how Kinsley could be so unfeeling.

Commentary by Bill O’Reilly, Bernard Goldberg
The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News Channel, 1/28/02

Bernard Goldberg getting the cold shoulder at CBS
Peter Johnson, USA Today, 3/11/96

Poor Bernie! The big wet tears rolled down his cheeks when he appeared with O’Reilly Monday night. Bill set up the "personal story:"

O’REILLY: In the second "Personal Story" segment tonight, fallout from Bernard Goldberg’s book, Bias, currently number one on The New York Times best-seller list. Our pal Michael Kinsley calls the book dumb, which means it must be great. Mr. Kinsley also attacks Mr. Goldberg as being drunk on self-righteousness. Now since we’ve been through the same thing with the fanatical leftist Kinsley, we can sympathize. But Mr. Goldberg joins us now.

Bill was just being polite to a guest—but Bernie was boohooing audibly. In fact, the best-selling author had even consulted a shrink, Kinsley’s meanness had hit him so hard:

GOLDBERG: Right, right. I’ve spoken to a psychologist about this.

O’REILLY: Oh, that’s interesting.

Bill didn’t know what to say! But as it turned out, Bernie hadn’t sought help for himself. He was only trying to get a read on how Kinsley would be so unfeeling:

GOLDBERG (continuing directly): Well, you know, but I didn’t do an interview or anything, but I spoke to a psychologist. And she says it’s not about journalism. It’s not about television. It’s about who they think they are. So few write about liberal bias. You don’t understand this, Bill, because you don’t feel this way. But they feel as if it’s an attack on their very being.

O’REILLY: Yes, I’ll never get that. If somebody disagrees with me, and we do it every night in the e-mail, I think that’s interesting. You know, make your point. I want to hear it.

GOLDBERG: Yes, but the proof is in the pudding, as they say, pardon that cliche. If they felt the same way, then they wouldn’t attack on the most vicious, nasty, you know, level that they do.

You could tell that Bernie was shaken. "Most of the reaction has been positive," he told Bill. "Even the negative reaction has been civil. But the personal stuff is real interesting, isn’t it? The personal stuff—Kinsley says it’s a dumb book, as you said."

But then, it was also a very dumb interview. Imagine the cattle, sitting at home, listening to Bernie weep and play victim—then reading the things which he himself said in his own brilliant small tome. The truth is, Bernie hadn’t been such a big Sensitive Guy when he was the one sitting down at the keyboard. On the second page of his book, for example, Bernie says this about CBS, with "Dan," of course, being Dan Rather:

GOLDBERG (page 10): If CBS News were a prison instead of a journalistic enterprise, three-quarters of the producers and 100 percent of the vice presidents would be Dan’s bitches.

And no, we didn’t make that up. That was fine for Bernie to write, but when Michael Kinsley called him "dumb," he pretended that he had to see a shrink to figure out how scribes can be so cruel.

Translation: There’s nothing this phony won’t do and say to get the cattle to go buy his droppings. Goldberg’s weeping appearance on Monday night was the latest bit of well-staged herding—an attempt to get the cattle aroused about those perfidious lefties. We just hope the herd recalls Bernie’s angst when they get to this part of his book:

GOLDBERG (page 109): Dan Rather made sure I was kept off the air (or off his evening newscast, anyway), which is death to a television reporter. Peter Johnson, who writes a TV column in USA Today—and who would break his nose on Dan’s behind if the anchorman ever stopped quickly—wrote that many of my colleagues dismissed me as "dead wrong, an ingrate, a nut, or all of the above." [emphasis added]

Do you see a certain recurrent theme in the Great Author’s smutty renderings? Of course, Goldberg’s colleagues were saying the things which Johnson reported, as Goldberg himself recounts in his book. But, just for daring to write the truth, Johnson got smutted by Bernie. All throughout Goldberg’s book, meanwhile, Rather and other CBS execs are compared to figures from organized crime. Various individuals are smutted around in the manner displayed above. The book closes out with an image of Goldberg shooting Rather in the eye (with his remote). But when Kinsley states an obvious fact—this is, in fact, a very dumb book—our poor little victim goes on TV and wonders how people can be so hard. We found ourselves wondering something quite different—how people can be such big phonies.

Yes, Bernie’s appearance showed what he’ll do to rouse the slumbering cattle. But last week, Goldberg made an appearance PBS which shed light on some issues from Bias. At least when Bernie met Marvin Kalb, he didn’t waste time with the weeping and crying. Instead, he gave a revealing account of the worst form of "liberal bias."

Next: Bernie loves flogging that Jennings Moment. We’ll show you what Pete really said.

Following closely: Back in 1996, Johnson wrote some intriguing pieces about the CBS-Goldberg flap But it’s hard to see why Goldberg is so peeved with the alleged Rather shill. On March 11, 1996, for example, Johnson wrote an article from Goldberg’s point of view—one which detailed the network’s reprisals for Goldberg’s piece in the Wall Street Journal. "Just ask Bernard Goldberg," Johnson wrote. "He’ll tell you that hell hath no fury like a newsroom scorned. His professional life has been in shambles since Feb. 13."

We’re not real sure why Bernie slimed Peter. You know he just hates that kind of contention. At any rate, we couldn’t help chuckling at one quote from that piece. Bernie had explained to Peter how he was trying to kiss and make up:

JOHNSON: [Goldberg] sent notes to Engberg and anchor Dan Rather, the latter being a perennial target for conservative politicians. "The biggest mistake I made is that I didn’t put myself in Dan’s shoes right from the beginning," Goldberg says.

Yikes! If Dan had "stopped quickly" in 3/96, would Peter Johnson have been his real problem?


The Daily update (1/30/02)

Et tu, Pru-de? Even Wes Pruden now seems to be caught in the web of deceit Michelle Malkin uncovered. The Loudest Pundit in All the Land had let us know that "no serious reading of international law allows the al Qaeda detainees to be defined as POWs" (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/29/02). Why, if you raised any questions about that matter, you were probably "far less concerned with freeing the innocent than with allying [your]self with America’s enemies at every turn." Indeed, there’s a very good chance that you were just part of some "neo-Stalinist front group." The "compulsive anti-Americanism" involved in this stance was quite clear to the vigilant scribe.

Oops. Here is the Washington Times in an editorial this morning:

THE WASHINGTON TIMES: Who is a prisoner of war? Rowan Scarborough’s disclosure in this newspaper of dissension in the ranks of the Bush administration on the status of the detainees at Camp X-Ray demonstrates just how difficult answering this question may be.

Secretary of State Colin Powell wants to give prisoner-of-war status to the al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners, which puts him at odds with both the president and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. There are good reasons to treat the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war as a matter of great seriousness, not the least being that we have troops around the world, and we want them to be accorded its protections. Mr. Powell, one of the few old soldiers among the president’s men, brings an important point of view to the argument.

The Times goes on to say that it isn’t persuaded by Powell’s position. But isn’t it strange that the paper would have mixed feelings about so clear-cut a matter? Surely, we can all thank Malkin for her latest service—for helping us see the neo-Stalinist anti-Americanism now clearly taking hold at the Times.

Counsel Clark for unlawful warriors
Michelle Malkin, The Washington Times, 1/26/02

Mr. Powell and the POWs
Editorial, The Washington Times, 1/30/02