There was a silver lining for Jonah Goldberg in Piers Morgan's ambush interview of him allegedly concerning his new book, "The Tyranny of Cliches." Jonah couldn't have written a better script to illustrate his book's theme.
Someone really should explain to Morgan that when a host invites a guest to discuss the guest's book, the host ought to at least make a good-faith effort to pretend he has the slightest interest in allowing the author to expound on the book's contents -- as opposed to using the author as a prop to indulge the interviewer's own arguments against conservatives and their toxic opinions.
That someone might also inform Morgan that it's a perversion of the Socratic method for an interviewer to badger a guest into admitting the rhetorical premises of the interviewer's opinions rather than lead him through carefully constructed logical arguments to those conclusions -- never allowing the guest fully to answer his questions, never listening to his responses, making every one of his follow-up questions a classic non sequitur and putting words in the guest's mouth for the purpose of constructing and then demolishing various straw men.
The central theme of Jonah's book, which he explained in response to the only germane question Morgan posed in the interview, is that though pretty much everyone is ideological, conservatives are honest about it, and liberals are not. Liberals lie about their own ideological proclivities, mostly to themselves but also to others.
Let me briefly unpack the interview to illustrate precisely how accurate Goldberg is and how, during the interview, Morgan became a personification of the book's theme -- all without having the slightest clue he was doing so.
Early in the interview, Morgan launched into an accusatory tirade about conservatives' unfair criticism of President Obama for his decision to take out Osama bin Laden. As Goldberg pointed out -- in between Morgan's interruptions -- most conservative criticism has been directed not at Obama's decision but at his unpresidential gloating about it after promising he wouldn't "spike the football" and at Obama's ad suggesting that Mitt Romney wouldn't have made a similar decision.
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