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The Borat-Michael Moore comparison (yeah, Jonah Goldberg again)


By Lee Russ, Section OpEd
Posted on Fri Nov 24, 2006 at 05:34:26 PM EST

Jonah Goldberg certainly makes one wonder exactly what the media criteria are for a columnist, doesn't he? Not only does he seem to misunderstand the mechanics of elections and voting, but now he thinks Borat is a lot like Michael Moore. Or, more precisely, that Michael Moore "rose to fame catching people off guard and pulling similar stunts" to those pulled by Borat.

To which I say, what the fuck? It must be very hard to try to draw connections between even the simplest piece of comedic popular culture and the political figures you dislike, so you can demonize those with whom you disagree without seeming to even discuss them. Yet strangely, it seems mighty easy for those who choose this difficult task to find respected outlets for their handiwork. This Goldberg piece, for example, appears in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

I won't belabor the obvious point that Borat and Michael Moore have next to nothing in common. I will belabor the point that respectable media outlets really need to develop some sane criteria for who is allowed to use them for propaganda purposes.

It isn't just Moore that Goldberg flogs with spurious comparisons. Try this dandy of an attempt to backhandedly attack those who are critical of the Christian right:

Borat's more conservative defenders hail the film's allegedly implicit critique of political correctness. But this is a hard case to make when Borat's victims are almost all demons in the politically correct pantheon (Christians, rednecks, et al.). Borat never visits, say, Muslims who might sincerely return Borat's high-fives for Jew hatred.

Whoa, Jonah, you're really onto something there. Certainly you could ridicule the fact that politically correctness causes people to refrain from criticizing conduct they should know to be wrong by depicting true bigotry that is amply documented and extremely well known.

Oh wait a minute--that wouldn't be the same as lampooning political correctness at all, would it?

Not to mention that I think it's absurd beyond description to think that "Christians...are demons in the politically correct pantheon." At least I would think it was absurd if I had any earthly idea what it meant.

If Jonah Goldberg is as non-politically correct as he thinks he is, I'm guessing it's only because he finds it hard to be any kind of "correct."

Jonah Goldberg, ladies and gentlemen---lets have a big hand for the big lie, told in big stories in newspapers with big circulations.


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+ misunderst and the mechanics of elections and voting,
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