goldberg_bf_416

BRYAN FAUST/Herald photo

Jonah Goldberg attacked the liberal bias in the country's political spectrum during a lecture Wednesday night at Grainger Hall. Goldberg, an editor and columnist-at-large of the National Review Online, specifically criticized the media's coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

Speaking as a sponsored guest for the Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow, Goldberg said the Katrina incident is "probably the biggest media scandal of the past 20 years" and the biggest criminals "were the cops themselves."

According to Nicholaus Pongratz, regional director for CFACT, the media's amplification of public issues is seen "too often" in the media.

Goldberg poked fun at the "hard left" media, saying after Katrina, the media thought it had done a commendable job and had redeemed itself in the eyes of the public.

"Everybody saw in Katrina what they wanted to see," Goldberg said in reference to the racial bias presented by the media.

According to Goldberg, the media tried to use Hurricane Katrina as an opportunity to blame President Bush.

Critical of liberal bias, Goldberg also criticized Bush's "compassionate conservative" persona, which Goldberg referred to as the Republican form of the "I want to feel your pain" relationship President Clinton tried to forge with the American people.

Goldberg said such compassionate conservatism applies personal views to political problems, adding "the government can't love you … and never will."

According to Goldberg, people should ideally look at the government as a neighbor.

In light of the controversial Hurricane Katrina, he said the government should help people in need, but need not — and should not — stick around.

"[The government] should do what it is supposed to do and nothing else," he said.

University of Wisconsin sophomore Chris Paulson said the discussion raised an interesting point.

"[The idea that] somebody so far to the right didn't always agree with Bush is important for liberals to understand," Paulson said.

However, Goldberg focused most of his criticisms on the "hard left's" bias in the media, condemning the liberal bias in reports on global warming and environmentalism.

Goldberg targeted those who blamed the Indonesian tsunami — caused by the movement of sub-oceanic tectonic plates — on global warming, by rhetorically stating it was "hard to do the math on that one."

In relation to his criticisms on natural disasters, Goldberg said the number of hurricanes has not increased in recent years and the data "flatly does not support it."

But Brian Shactman, chairman of College Democrats, said the numbers of Hurricane Katrina speak for themselves, and pictures do not lie. Shactman also said everyone saw the faulty relief response by the government, and added it is the "typical Republican response to blame the liberal media."

Shactman said the increase in the number of hurricanes each year and the warming of ocean water temperatures necessitates a deeper look into the possible effects of global warming.

University of Wisconsin junior John Nacker said he was not particularly knowledgeable about environmental issues, but said Goldberg's speech would help him construct his own opinions, agreeing with most of Goldberg's views.

Bary Lenser, a University of Wisconsin senior and frequent reader of Goldberg's columns in the National Review Online, said his disagreements with Goldberg's views are the interesting part.

"[He is] very witty more than anything," Lenser said.