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Bernie Goldberg Thinks I’m a “Kool Aid Drinker” Since I Was Unimpressed by His Toothless Criticisms of the “Hard Right” on O’Reilly

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Posted on February 2 2010 11:08 am
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here

Am I a Kool Aid drinker? Well, this morning I’m actually a coffee drinker. The Kool Aid pitcher in the Swindle-Bey household fridge is just about empty right now.

I bring it up because apparently Fox News commentator Bernie Goldberg seems to think he knows what I’m drinking these days.

Last night I did a few live-blogging posts about the O’Reilly Factor. These were my comments about Bernie Goldberg’s appearance:

First here:

“The Hard Right is behaving more and more like the Hard Left and that’s very troublesome.” — Bernie Goldberg on The O’Reilly Factor right now.

I find it odd that Goldberg is criticizing “the Hard Right” but does not have the guts to name names.

It’s also strange that Goldberg has to poke at unnamed conservatives for tweaking Obama’s 57 states gaff and for putting dijon mustard on his hamburger.

And then here:

Coincidentally: Bernard Goldberg is back on track in his commentary after his previous segment’s wimpy criticism of “the Hard Right.”

He’s pointing out that the New York Times‘ coverage of the recent arrest of James O’Keefe is far greater than their coverage of the ACORN scandal which O’Keefe unearthed. This is a fantastic — albeit rather obvious — point. Yes, the Times is going to gang up on a Gen Y conservative activist instead of doing real journalism about a corrupt leftist organization.

Who could have seen that coming?

Bernie didn’t care for my remarks and decided to respond here at NRB:

Bernie Goldberg · 11 hours ago

I guess David Swindle was one of the conservative Kool Aid drinkers I was talking about on O’Reilly tonight. My point was that liberals wouldn’t give W credit for finding a cure for cancer. And now some conservatives are behaving as badly as the crazy left in their non-stop (often dopey) criticism of Obama. And I say that as someone who’s not a fan of the president. You may not agree with my take, David, but wimpy? Is that really the word you want to use? Here’s my guess: the word probably is a pretty good description of … you. Am I close?
No, Bernie, you’re not close.
Here’s the O’Reilly clip that I’m taking issue with for those who have not seen it:

[Is my idiosyncratic variant of conservatism the Kool Aid drinking sort? I'll let Bernie judge that. I imagine he'll be pleasantly surprised.]

I don’t disagree with Bernie at all that there are unreasonable, “Kool Aid drinking,” so-called conservatives who are really off the deep end. My email box is filled with them every day. I have to diligently patrol NRB’s comments section so I can delete the whack-job comments they leave. Frankly they shouldn’t even be dignified with the conservative label. Another C word is more appropriate: crackpot.

But these are just faceless trolls on the internet. They’re not anyone of consequence.

My problem with Bernie’s comments is this: he goes after “the hard right” and various unnamed broadcasters. WHO is Bernie talking about exactly? Which broadcasters, pundits, or bloggers is he targeting here for being Kool-Aid Drinkers? Because it’s very easy — and cowardly — to just make a generalization of “the hard right.”  It’s much more constructive to name a specific commentator of consequence and take issue with a statement they’ve actually made.

The end result of Bernie’s criticism of the “hard right” seems more to be self-serving rather than helpful for the Conservative Movement in the necessary task of purging the kooks. He can have his cake and eat it too. It makes him appear as a more moderate, “reasonable” conservative while getting to avoid the unpleasantness of actually having to make a substantive critique against an unnamed conservative “hero.”

If we’re going to confront the “Hard Right” who are sabotaging the conservative movement’s defense of America we need to do so in a way which will actually accomplish something. (And we also need to weigh how destructive the “Hard Right” broadcasters are in comparison to the “Hard Left” politicians in office.)

If Bernie would like to respond to this post here at NewsReal Blog — particularly if he’d like to name some names so we can critique the Kool Aid drinkers on the Right together — then he’s more than welcome to get in touch with me.

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