EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays.
Dear Reader (Particularly those of you who identify as G-File readers),
Thursday night, during the final commercial break on Special Report, host Bret Baier got word through his earpiece that President Trump’s Twitter feed was . . . Gone.
“Gone? Like not there?” I asked.
“I think so,” Baier responded, sounding a bit like maybe he really didn’t.
Since commercial breaks are largely considered off the record, at least as far as I’m concerned, and Special Report is one of the few TV shows I actually care about being on, I will spare you any further dialogue. But I will always remember where I was during those eleven minutes when it seemed truly possible that the tweeting was over.
The questions flooded into my mind. How will CNN and MSNBC fill all the extra airtime? How will Sean do his opening monologue? Will Bill Mitchell spend his days refreshing his browser like a cocaine-study monkey hitting the lever over and over again, hoping this time it will pay off?
I thought of that scene in Excalibur when Lancelot and Guinevere discover King Arthur’s sword betwixt their adulterously naked bodies.
My favorite part was in the beginning when Hannity says, “liberal fake news’ CNN’s fake Jake Tapper.”
Wait, Fake Jake Tapper said something? Well, what did the real Jake Tapper say? Why does CNN use Fake Jake Tapper? Is the real Jake in CNN prison or something? I want to hear more about this doppelganger.
Anyway, both Hannity and the Times seem to be working from equally incorrect premises. Hannity thinks it’s ridiculous to point out that, for countless millions of Muslims, Allahu akbar has nothing to do with terrorism. Meanwhile, the Times seems to think that it’s bizarre that Islam’s signature phrase has been associated at all with terrorism. The Times doesn’t put it as bluntly as, say, Hillary Clinton, who said that Muslims have “nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism,” but it’s still missing the point.
It seems to me that the sane position is where the Venn Diagram overlaps. Islam isn’t purely about terrorism –terrorists kill more Muslims than non-Muslims, by a wide margin. But Islamic terrorism is Islamic. It draws on Islamic scripture, and the leaders of ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Iran know far more about Islam than any of the Westerners who say that Islam has nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.
It seems to me that the sane position is where the Venn Diagram overlaps.
And even if you think such distinctions are incorrect, and you truly believe that all of Islam is the problem, not just the terrorist sliver of it, think about what that means as a matter of policy. Billions of people are Muslims — as are millions of Americans, including many in our military. Treating them all as terrorists wouldn’t simply be unjust, it would be idiotically suicidal. By all means, let’s crush the terrorists. But that requires help from Muslims, not treating them all as evil. Lincoln understood this about the South. The Allies understood this about Germany and Japan. You’d think more people could understand this about Islam.
Various & Sundry
The latest Remnant podcast is out, and it was great fun. I had Andy Ferguson in to talk about why he’s not a TV pundit, what constitutes a real martini, whether evolutionary psychology is B.S., and other fun topics, including whether or not Steve Hayes is a horrible boss. We also have a new email address for the podcast: TheRemnantPod@Gmail.com. Please share comments, suggestions, etc. if you can. Subscriptions are going very well, but if you haven’t subscribed yet, I beseech you to do so, even if you’re not a regular podcast aficionado. It helps with everything from advertising to my self-esteem.
Canine Update: The beasts are well, though we have to remain constantly vigilant for ticks this time of year. Just as people rob banks because that’s where the money is, the dingo goes deep into the bush because that’s where the critters are — and that means into the heart of tickness. The other morning, she returned from a sortie deep in some brambles where deer are known hatch their evil schemes. She came back with, by my count, 13 ticks crawling on her. I spent the better part of the morning like a mommy chimpanzee, searching for them before they could implant. Also, Zoë is continuing her effort to understand what the spaniel’s strange fascination with tennis balls is. She really doesn’t see the appeal, but she sees me playing with Pippa, and I think she thinks I’m playing favorites and gets jealous. I try to make up for it in other ways. Still, anytime Pippa gets more attention than her, the Dingo pouts, fumes, or intercedes.
As I’ve explained a few times around here, now that my wife doesn’t work from home, we’ve had to rely on our dogwalker Kirsten on weekdays for the midday perambulations. I still walk the dogs every morning when I’m in town (save my birthday and Father’s Day) and at least once every evening. The Fair Jessica handles the big midday adventures on weekends, usually along the Potomac, and the first walk of the evening when she gets home. But on workdays, it’s Kirsten who handles the big adventure, which is great because they love her more than anyone on earth — with the merely possible exception of my wife and me. They also get to run with a full pack of dogs, which is what dogs really want to do, and their mischief batteries get drained to acceptable levels. But perhaps the best upside, at least for their fans from afar, is we get some terrific action shots. I bring all of this up because lots of people are complimenting me for some of the photos, and I want her to get the credit she deserves.
Update: Long after I packed this “News”letter into the pneumatic tube, I got word from Kirsten that Zoë has a crush on a dog named Ben. I may have to have this young man over to my house to discuss his intentions.
And now, the weird stuff.