Politics & Policy

Corrections, Clarifications, & a Question


Okay, it’s Friday. Friday means mea culpa in the land of the G-File. There isn’t too much worth correcting or clarifying today. But let’s do it anyway.

First, a lot of you took offense or exception to my downplaying of the significance of encryption and web privacy. I haven’t really changed my mind on this yet, though I’ve had a few things pointed out to me that deserve further attention. Let’s just say I’m keeping one foot on home base as I do more reading. But for now, I stand by my guns that there is no obvious difference between a wire tap and a computer tap — so long as the Feds still need to get a warrant.

The second most popular bit of dissent was my glib assertion that banning DDT saved the bald eagle. On this I guess I’ve got to retract a bit. This is in fact a far more open question than I realized. I’ve talked to a few people I trust a great deal (including Reason magazine’s science correspondent, the inestimable Ronald Bailey). As it stands now, I am stepping away from that bald-faced declaration and saying that it is unclear. Ironically, if the ban of DDT is not the cause of the Eagle boom, then the larger point of my column is only bolstered: that enviros and other Lefties are willing to lie to further their political agendas. Those who want to read the case in favor of DDT (for want a better way of putting it) can go to junkscience.com which apparently shares a vast number of readers with the Goldberg File, since about fifty of you guys sent me the URL so I could be de-programmed.

Speaking of lying, several of my Monday morning editors were stunned when I overlooked the church burning hoax as a primary example of the tendency of the Left to lie. You were right. I was trying not to make the liar-with-the-pants-on-fire central to the column, which is why I probably didn’t think of it. Still the entirely bogus church-burning epidemic is a great example. If you don’t know what I am talking about, see Michael Fumento’s piece in Commentary (registration & payment required). But come right back!

Yesterday’s column about Eddie Adams and his photo of General Loan, had a few typographical problems several of you caught, and we’ve cleaned them up for posterity.

Now, as to the burning issue of gay guys playing “candygram for Mongo” with each other. Yes, “Candygram for Mongo” is a line from Blazing Saddles. This was a movie made by the acclaimed and hilarious filmmaker Mel Brooks. He is not to be confused with abysmal and derivative schlockmeister inhabiting his body these days. Cleavon Little trying to defeat the monstrous Mongo (played by Alex Karras, former footballer, and lovable bear of man who played the Dad in the Shakespearean television series Webster) pretends he’s a Western Union delivery boy and delivers him an exploding Candygram. Now, what this has to do with anonymous gay sex, I do not know. It’s just one of those things that just sounds dirty, like “taming the puma,” “shaking hands with Abe Lincoln,” or “Staying late at the Cato”

All sorts of readers wrote me saying that I would be inundated by suggestion that men’s figure skaters might be more likely to be “Candygram for Mongoers.” But apparently no one was shocked by this assertion.

I guess that’s about it on the corrections and clarifications front. My apologies I didn’t get anything a lot juicier wrong.

But maybe there is something you people could help me with. Everything was going great with our efforts to transform NR Online into a web site with its head and its heart wired together for some full-tilt boogie for freedom and justice. And then, suddenly, on Wednesday G-File and homepage readership dropped far beyond the normal fluctuation. Anybody have any ideas why this could be? Have all of you people suddenly decided to go back to solitaire or Doom? Are you afraid of new content? Were you burned by acid or something? (What’s that from?) Or are you all just on vacation? Anyway, inquiring minds want to know.

In the meantime, please note that the Couch’s first television review is up and running. Also we have been posting some pretty cool stuff on the homepage and I think that unless the Pope specifically told you not to, you should come over and explore the site more.


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