Monday, July 25, 2011

Ambassador Bolton

Has been a bugbear of mine since his ludicrously obstreperous appearance on David Dimbleby's presidential election night show in 2008. Clearly John Bolton feels more comfortable in the company of his own sort. And so it was that he appeared on Fox News on Friday night, and in spite of the reported arrest of a lone, blond-haired Norwegian man with apparent extremist political and religious views, the massacre was still in his opinion, unlikely to the the work of local right-wingers.

Charlie Brooker also saw this bizarre interview:

"Some remained scarily defiant in the face of the new unfolding reality. On Saturday morning I saw a Fox News anchor tell former US diplomat John Bolton that Norwegian police were saying this appeared to be an Oklahoma-style attack, then ask him how that squared with his earlier assessment that al-Qaida were involved. He was sceptical. It was still too early to leap to conclusions, he said. We should wait for all the facts before rushing to judgment. In other words: assume it's the Muslims until it starts to look like it isn't – at which point, continue to assume it's them anyway."

What this confirmed for me was the now almost absolute association in American political discourse, especially that of the right, between fact and opinion. If I believe something to be so, then it must be, and more's the point, you must also believe it to be so.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I commend you on your civility for referring to John Bolton as Ambassador Bolton. There is only one word beginning with "a" that I would put in front of his name. I can't stand Bolton but there's something compelling about him. It might be his complete and unequivocal self-regard.

GC said...

Yes, when I said in my last post that there aren't many people more self-righteous than a Colombian kidnap victim, I perhaps out to have mentioned "A" Bolton as a particular example of this minority group.

scott said...

If you can't "believe" in climate change, or evolution, or science in general, or birth certificates, why should you believe in the facts in the case of Oslo? The tinfoil hatters even have a counter-narrative to Oklahoma City--McVeigh et al. were actually far-left extremists. Perhaps they heard Rush say that. Ditto!

norm said...

The political pendulum has swung as far to the right as I have seen it swing in my lifetime. I think the loony toons who blew up the Trade Center in New York helped keep the pendulum swinging to its right longer than what was natural. Violence on the part of the right is only natural as it feels the weight of the pendulum pulling society back toward the center and the left. Examples of this pull are the Arab Spring and the US electing a black man as president. Norway is a good example of the right not wanting to let go. The man acted alone but he was acting on thoughts that are current in the right's way of thinking today. I expect the 2012 election here in the US to be pivotal in the world's political swing back from its hard right swing. The mid term results were a factor of low turnout, in the next national election this will not be the case, the current House is toast.