One Joel Stein, a person we’ve never heard of, committed an embarrassing faux pas in the pages of the antique-media Los Angeles Times (“I Don’t Support the Troops”), which our good friends Hugh Hewitt and Michelle Malkin have disssected.
Hugh interviewed this poor guy on the radio, and Michelle has the transcript. Avert your eyes; it’s not pretty. This guy is below the intellectual level of the average American 8th-grader.
HH: Let me ask you a tough question, Joel, because this is the toughest one. J.P. Blecksmith was a young Marine lieutenant, graduated from Annapolis, killed in Fallujah on November 11th, 2004. Just a tremendous human being and man. If you meet his parents on the street, what do you say to them?
JS: That I’m so, so sorry.
HH: Do you honor the service that their son did?
JS: To honor the service their son…now this is a dumb question, but what do you mean by honor? That’s a word you keep using. I’m not entirely…maybe that’s my problem. But I’m not entirely sure what you’re…
HH: Honor usually means gratitude and esteem. Are you grateful for and esteem what he did? Honestly?
JS: Honestly? I admire the bravery. I don’t…you know, I feel like he did something I could never do, so I’m kind of in awe on some level. Am I grateful, that I feel like he protected me? Um, no I don’t.
HH: And so, do you think he died in vain?
JS: Yeah. I do. And that’s why I’m so horrified by all this, and why I don’t want empty sentiments prolonging the war.
HH: And the people who’ve died in Afghanistan. Have they died in vain?
JS: Well, if they haven’t, what have they accomplished?
HH: I’m asking you, Joel. You wrote the column. You tell me. Have they accomplished nothing?
JS: Well, um, do I think that I, as an American, are safer because of what they did?
HH: That wasn’t what I asked. I askd did they accomplish anything in going to Afghanistan.
JS: If I were an Afghani, I would probably…if I lived in Kabul, I probably would think that they accomplished something, sure.
HH: All right. Now have you read any books on the military? I mean, do you read this stuff at all, like Robert Kaplan’s Imperial Grunts?
JS: No. No, I’m not an expert at this at all. I mean, I think you certainly can tell.
And this guy is, apparently, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times. No wonder that paper is losing money and sinking into oblivion.
UPDATE: Chris Muir’s Day By Day has commentary on the Los Angeles Times’ descent into irrelevance; click to enlarge: