Those are not my words. I do not speak or write that way. Rather, Jonah Goldberg began with those words as he penned a passionate polemic in “The Dispatch” explaining why he recently quit Fox News. His last straw apparently was a recent program Tucker Carlson produced for Fox News’s streaming service about January 6.
I stopped watching Fox News a year ago. I have better use for the time. When Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the national anthem, I wrote on these pages that I would stop watching football games if that disloyalty spread throughout the NFL. It spread, and I stopped watching. As a side benefit, I became so much more productive with that extra time. That prompted me to reevaluate my time budget for more savings. Do I really need Donna Brazile’s opinion about anything? How many more hours could my ears handle Jessica Tarlov? I never found myself deprived by the timely departures of Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Something. I understand why Fox News puts on both sides, and I am fine with their suctioning CNN and MSNBC viewers their way, especially as the Cuomo Boys become less relevant to the Biden White House than do the Jonas Brothers.
I do read the daily Fox RSS feeds. Having feared that the death of Roger Ailes and the downfall of Bill O’Reilly portended a Fox shift to the left, I am thrilled that Tucker Carlson apparently has emerged as 10 times more passionate and intense than O’Reilly while also being a decent family man, not someone whose behavior with women redefined the term “west bank settlements.” Hannity is Hannity; he is a great American. And Laura Ingraham is a zillion times better than Kelly. Now Shepherd Smith and Chris Wallace are gone. Our cup runneth over. Fox News and their ratings sweeps demonstrate they have figured out the magic even to dominate the coveted 25-49 demographic. Good for them.
I always liked Steve Hayes, and I found Jonah Goldberg OK. Now with President Trump out and Joe Biden in, I would have thought the remaining “Never Trump” caucus at Fox News would be copacetic with life and analysis. But apparently Tucker and Fox News have Mr. Goldberg more aghast than do Nancy Pelosi and her effort to destroy this country, rip apart our democracy at its seams as she did to a State of the Union address, and destroy our Constitution.
Alas, the foibles of human nature. This is what happens when politics and viewpoints get overlaid by blinding personal animosities. As an Orthodox rabbi, I follow Israel’s news as an additional passion. Remarkably, Israel’s political news parallels the American “Never Trump” phenomenon to a “T.” The Knesset (Israel’s parliament) has 120 seats. Arab Muslim parties seeking her destruction won 10 of those seats in the last election. Of the 110 seats won by Jews, 72 are held by right-wing parties and 38 by lefties. That’s right: all over the world, except in America, Jews vote right-wing by a margin of 2-1. Jews are the strongest backers of Great Britain’s Conservative Party. Jews in Russia and Ukraine hate communism, and one million of them moved to Israel where they changed the country’s political landscape to be 2-1 right-wing. Even in America, Orthodox Jews always vote 80-90 percent Republican. And yet, Israel’s coalition government is ruling from the center-left, not from the right, because one-fourth of those right-wingers are “Never Bibi.” They hate Benjamin Netanyahu’s guts so much that they would rather sit in coalition with Arab Knesset members loosely associated with the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood than to sit in a coalition that stands for the right-wing issues on which they campaigned and were elected.
And thus Jonah Goldberg.
In his “Screw It” article, Jonah wails that certain Fox News personalities are two-faced because they privately concede their dismay over many Trump characteristics, even how he mishandled January 6, but never do so publicly. Thus we learn they secretly texted Mark Meadows to try stopping the January 6 disturbance, but they never disclose that disdain to the public. Rather, they defend Trump on air. Why the duplicity, he asks?
That “duplicity” is the way of all life — and certainly in politics. I count some 2,000 Orthodox rabbinic colleagues who recoiled often over aspects of Trump: moments of his boorishness, his coarseness, his profanities. Privately, we wished so hard he would remain Pure Trump but just cut out some of that detritus. My colleagues among a pro-Trump Catholic bishop and several priests and Protestant pastors share those feelings. But we do not criticize Trump on the ideological battlefield when he is being attacked mercilessly by people who, though seemingly more genteel, actually are truly evil. That is not the arena to break ranks. When the camera lights red in the Fox News studio, that is the time to express deeper concern about how Pelosi is destroying this country with a phony investigation of a non-insurrection that she is leveraging in a desperate effort to turn public attention away from the Biden-Harris incompetence that has given rise to chaos and insurrection at the southern border, worsening racial divides, historic increases in urban violent crime, the emergence of a new crime concept called “smash and grab,” collapse of public education as pedagogic foci detour from reading, writing, and arithmetic to critical race theory, gender dysphoria, pronoun choosing, and sex-change activity without parental notification. Oh — and Afghanistan.
There was no insurrection on January 6. Goldberg has to know this. Other than one accused guy who was sentenced to five years for throwing a fire extinguisher at a cop, no serious penalties have been meted. Instead, the accused are locked in prison without bail, as in a Gulag, awaiting trials that will find no treason. The protestors who did come included characters dressed in circus outfits. The police were incompetent and, as barriers fell under the press of humanity, people surged aimlessly into an inadequately protected Capitol building, with most just following and carried by the stream as happens at a badly policed rock concert. Those of us who have studied any insurrection — George Washington against the Redcoats, the Confederacy against the Union, the Mensheviks and then Bolsheviks against the Tsar, Hitler’s minions against Weimar, the Irgun, Lechi, and Haganah driving out the colonialist-imperialist British and pro-Hitler Arab Muslims — know that January 6 was no insurrection. It was a blend of voter rage, circus, chaos, and a handful of people who probably were insurrectionists but forgot to tell anyone. If that day had been an insurrection, there would have been fewer moose costumes, more assault rifles and grenades, and a slew of dead Congressional representatives. Instead, a guy sat on Pelosi’s chair with his shoes on her desk. Nathan Hale? I think not. (READ MORE BY DOV FISCHER: Dare I Say That January 6 Was Not an Insurrection?)
If only Goldberg and Hayes would see beyond the personal and could report passionately on what Melissa Mackenzie has reported on these pages: that Pelosi has gone ultra vires and resorted to seizing as much government illegally as she can. She formed a supposed “congressional committee” that has barred the other party from designating its representatives. She is using subpoena powers to try getting her hands on the private personal data of Republican donors and backers. Just as she did the previous two winters in a row, as she produced Christmas Season Impeachment mini-dramas, she is trying for a third consecutive winter: the January 6 Insurrection – Impeachment III. However, all polling shows this Christmas cantata is failing with Real Clear Politics now aggregating Biden’s polling at minus 9.3 percent, Harris minus 12.2, and Pelosi at a whopping minus 24.1. We don’t need Marley’s Ghost to tell us that the Ghost of Christmas Future holds no gavel for Pelosi to wield.
In Memphis, there is a quirky dry goods store on its famous Beale Street called A. Schwabs. Founded in 1876 by Alsatian Jewish immigrant Abraham Joseph Schwab, its slogan always has been “If you can’t find it at A. Schwab, you’re probably better off without it!” I have always liked Steve Hayes and often Jonah Goldberg, but Fox News top brass may take comfort in knowing that — as happened when Greta Van Whoever and Megyn Kelly left, and when they finally stopped bailing out Bill O’Reilly, and now have bid adieu to Chris Wallace — if viewers can’t find Jonah Goldberg at Fox News, they are probably better off without him.
(After years of reflecting on the reality of Woke and other Left-Wing cancel culture, amid my two decades as a law professor, I now have decided to throw caution to the wind and go on Twitter. Feel free to follow me at: @DovFischerRabbi )
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