Jonah Goldberg

Renowned metallurgist Rosie O'Donnell proclaimed on TV on Thursday that Sept. 11, 2001, was a more significant date than most of us realized. It was, in her words, "the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel."

This, of course, came as news to steelworkers, welders, blacksmiths, firefighters, manufacturers of samurai swords and other fools who hadn't realized that steel is forged in magic furnaces using dragon breath and pixie dust.

O'Donnell made this and other profoundly stupid comments on the daytime talk show "The View," ABC's update of the ancient practice of women chattering around the village well.

The former "queen of nice" seems to think that the show is the perfect venue to audition for grand marshal of the next tinfoil hat parade. If you visit O'Donnell's Web site (www.rosie.com), you'll find her application's supporting materials: all sorts of unadulterated moonbattery presented in the Esperanto of global derangement - a form of instant-message-style free verse. For example, she writes about the British sailors and marines held prisoner in Iran:

the british did it on purpose

into iranian waters

as

US MILITARY BUILD UP ON THE IRANIAN BORDER

we will be in iran

before summer

as planned

come on people

u have 2 c

i know u can

You may be unfamiliar with such psych-ward stylings, but I get e-mail written like this all the time. Perhaps if you believe the jackbooted thugs are at your door, it's reasonable to think you don't have time to spell out your words.

Anyway, in last week's rant, O'Donnell focused on World Trade Center Building 7, which has become the grassy knoll for 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Asked if the government was responsible for its collapse, she coyly replied that she didn't know, wink, wink. All she knows is that it's "impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved" and that, for the "first time in history, steel was melted by fire." Wink, wink, again. For the record, fire can melt steel, and buildings collapse when heat weakens steel. But that misses the point. The point is we shouldn't have to argue with crazy people.

Still, not even the heat of ridicule can weaken O'Donnell's steely resolve to make an idiot of herself.

That's fine. Normally we expect such outbursts from the poor souls who rage against unseen threats at bus stations and public libraries. But even the rich and famous have a right to mutter inanities, shout non sequiturs or shriek possum recipes.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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