Monday, August 11, 2014

The AZ Daily Star, Jonah Goldberg and the Curse of Deadlines

Posted By on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 12:30 PM

It's always tricky to opine on topical matters and hope that nothing changes before your words see print—a lesson the conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg learned the hard way last week, when a column criticizing President Barack Obama for failing to act to stop an impending massacre of Kurds in Iraq went online last Thursday shortly after Obama announced the start of a bombing campaign against the fundamentalist ISIS (or is it ISIL?) forces.

New York magazine's Jonathan Chait had some fun tweaking Goldberg for his column:

The column builds to this indignant conclusion:

You have to give Obama points for consistency. He remains as blasé about mass slaughter today as he was in 2007. Back then he presented our options as a choice between doing nothing and “deploying unilaterally” to put American troops in harm’s way. He plays the same rhetorical games today, insisting that critics who want to provide military aid to, say, the Kurds or the Ukrainians are really proposing war. And since no one wants war, we should accept our new role as bystander to slaughter.

It’s quite a legacy you’re working on there, Mr. President.

Fortunately for the Yazidi, but unfortunately for Goldberg, Obama announced a plan to aid the Yazidi and launch air strikes against ISIL last night at 9:30, two and a half hours before the the column appeared.

Even more amusing, the Arizona Daily Star went ahead and posted Goldberg's column—under the headline "Obama consistent in indifference to slaughter"—a full day after the bombing began, at 7 p.m. on Friday night.

Hmmm. Maybe it would have been a good idea to substitute something else, given the actual situation on the ground? Or is that plan to replace the editors at the Star with robots that have no ability to discern whether something is still relevant already underway?

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