Looking back at the worst year in journalism since Joe McCarthy peaked, when the leaky multimedia vessels of the busted stock bubble floated themselves on a tide of jingoism and patriotic bilge, two names in particular stand out against the veritable cenotaph of expired integrity. Many journalists went into the warmongering business this year, but I want to single out Marcus Gee of the Globe and Mail and Jonah Goldberg of the National Review.
Goldberg’s claim to fame was a National Review cover story wittily entitled Wimps, which argued in favour of an American invasion of Canada.
The piece falls somewhere between failed satire and genuine misanthropy, scraping together a few well-known (to Canadians) complaints about our high taxes, inferior military prowess and smug sense of superiority to arrive at the conclusion that we just don’t deserve to live next door to imperial America.
Goldberg’s ignorance was paraded in an appearance on a CNN shout show, where he demonstrated a bumbling lack of wit and intelligence that will be familiar to anyone, who has studied the decline of the English aristocracy. Worth preserving from his sack of grade-school spite is his contention that Rohinton Mistry — the India-born Canadian resident who cancelled a book tour after being shaken down by security thugs in every U.S. airport he visited — had been, well, asking for it.
“I have a real hard time believing that this guy wasn’t looking to get pissed off,” Goldberg later said to the Globe and Mail and, in roughly the same words, to CNN.
Goldberg is, of course, a member of the war party, that legion of hacks who, from behind their keyboards and stacks of White House press releases, campaigned for a swift and murderous application of America’s global security ambitions. Chief among their attributes is ignorance of history and an easy braggadocio in matters of death and destruction.