The Hand That Feeds Jonah Goldberg

Like I suspect many of you did last week, I popped off a note to National Public Radio the other day about Weekend Edition Saturday’s choice of National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg as a stand-in commentator. I’m afraid I didn’t keep a copy of my message, although I do remember copying them his Superdome post, pointing out that his comment about Bureau of Justice Statistics leaks damaging the Bush administration could only be valid if the reports they were putting out weren’t supported by the statistics, and wondering if they’d hire ex-Klansman David Duke as a guest commentator if he could keep his mouth shut about the blacks and the Jews for seven minutes.

Yesterday, I received what appears to be their stock response from Lee Hill at NPR’s Audience Services (emphasis mine).

We appreciate your comments regarding Jonah Goldberg.

Jonah Goldberg provided guest commentary for the vacationing Dan Schorr on the August 27th edition of Weekend Edition Saturday, in the “Week in Review” segment with Scott Simon. As you might be aware, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius served as guest commentator in the same segment the previous week while Dan was also away. When a staff member is away for vacation or travel, we occasionally find someone to fill their position, on a temporary basis, and they are held to the same high editorial standards expected of NPR employees.

While we appreciate your opinions regarding Mr. Goldberg’s column and remarks on the Internet, or any other news outlet, please know that these are independent of his recent guest commentary on NPR.

Apparently, a middle-of-the-road journalist like Ignatius is no different to NPR than a partisan hack like Goldberg.

I wrote back to Hill. What’s funny is that Goldberg’s latest column about himself — “Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers: Bush-blaming derangement” — begins with these words:

Back when NPR and other news outlets were reporting that New Orleans had “dodged the bullet” on hurricane Katrina I made an ill-conceived joke in The Corner about how the Superdome was going to hell-in-a-hand basket.

A “Morning Edition” story by John Burnett the day of Goldberg’s post does indeed focus on the French Quarter and how it made it through the first day post-storm. But perhaps Goldberg was so involved in chortling about his Superdome idea that he missed these words (from 4:33 into the story):

JOHN BURNETT: Freeman Spears (sp?), with the Orleans Levee District Police Department, tried to do his job and not think about what lay ahead for him. His house is located in East New Orleans, where police say many, many homes — perhaps hundreds — were inundated by floodwaters.

FREEMAN SPEARS: My house has about eight feet of water in it, but my family is safe and that’s all that counts. And I’m out here trying to help other people. And stop the looting.

Hundreds of homes inundated by floodwaters. That’s “dodging the bullet” to the Bush administration’s — ahem — water-carriers.