An old editor of mine at Brill’s Content (at least I think that’s how I know him) writes a spectacularly dumb item about my column today. I think he’s upset about the things I don’t say but which he thinks I should so it would be easier for him to write something halfway intelligible. He writes:
Oh, wait, I get it. Goldberg isn’t actually, seriously, soberly advocating the extrajudicial assassination of a journalist for publishing material in contravention of a direct order from the state. He’s just having fun with the discontinuity between “left-wing accounts of the intelligence community,” which tend to portray spooks as hyper-efficient bloodthirsty killers, and the curious fact of Assange’s continued purchase on life. See! Liberals are stupid, because they think spies are bad, but look—Assange isn’t “a greasy stain on the autobahn already,” so liberals are wrong, spies aren’t bad, therefore liberals are stupid. Q.E.D.
As for really depriving Assange of his life without due process of law, Goldberg thinks that’s just a hair over the line: “[A]ssassinating a hipster Australian Web guru as opposed to a Muslim terrorist is the kind of controversy no official dares invite. That’s fine. And it’s the law. Ultimately, I don’t expect the U.S. government to kill Assange, but I do expect them to try to stop him.” When your respect for the law keeps you from murdering people you really want to murder—well, that’s true patriotism.
Anyway, this game of Jonah’s is fun, so back to our opening question: Why hasn’t he been punched, hard, in the face yet today? After all, he upsets liberals, and we all know that liberals are violent thugs, right? “The left” routinely justifies the “glorification of violence” and “gangsterism” of “black riot ideology” and wants to kill all white people as badly as Hitler wanted to kill all Jews. Liberals engage in a “symphony of violence” and, as Goldberg astutely points out in his book, are fascists. So how come some angry liberal hasn’t decked him yet today, fascistically? Just asking. We don’t think, by the way, that anyone should physically assault Goldberg. That would be illegal.
By the way, your blogger used to edit a column that Goldberg wrote long, long ago in a magazine far, far away. He liked him, even! Goldberg can be charming when he isn’t talking about Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, or how people who disagree with him are Nazis.
Sigh. A couple things. One, if Cook wants to weasel out of being a jerk by saying nice things about me at the end, he shouldn’t have bothered. And if he thinks I need to be punched in the face, I invite him to give it a whirl himself. If memory serves, it could lead to a fun few minutes for me. Oh, and he might bother actually characterizing my book correctly. When he was at Brill’s Content he had much higher standards.