January 12, 2010

Obama's "Rush to Judgement" Advisor

WASHINGTON, DC -- Obama's speeches always contain soaring rhetoric and sound bite-ready turns of phrase.  They also sometimes contain instructions to Americans about when we should be rushing to judgment and when we shouldn't.  Junior speechwriter Jonathan Goldstein is responsible for determining when judgment should be rushed and when it shouldn't be.  The Hell Gazette sat down with Mr. Goldstein at his home office this week to discuss this key position.

HG: Mr. Goldstein, you perform an important job for the President, don't you?
Goldstein: For the nation, actually.  If it weren't for my instructions - passed through the Commander-In-Chief, of course - people might judge when they aren't supposed to, or might not judge when they should.  I have to get both right, since both are dangerous situations.
HG: Can you provide some examples of each in the past?
Goldstein: Sure. This past summer there was a good example of when we should have been rushing to judgment: the President's kindly friend was arrested by an obviously racist police officer.  We definitely got that one right, as did a lot of folks in the press.
On the other hand, after the man-made disaster in Ft. Hood, we took care to caution people there.  Some folks thought right away it might have been a terrorist attack since it was a radical Muslim shooting innocent people while chanting "Praise to Allah".  We wouldn't have wanted people to jump to conclusions before all the facts were uncovered.  We still aren't sure that was terrorism, and it has been months now.
HG: It seems that we are warned against jumping to conclusions more often than we are instructed to rush to judgment.  Any reason why?
Goldstein: Well, our nation is run by lawyers, for one - they usually want to caution people to get all the facts on a case as a general rule.  Unless, of course, getting all the facts would hurt their case! [laughs]
Seriously, though, I think people in this country are too quick to judge as a general rule.  Except cases where bigotry is suspected - then we need to be very quick to judge and very quick to act. [makes stomping motion with feet]
HG: How about recent events: Harry Reid's remarks or the "pantie-bomber"?  Any guidance for folks there?
Goldstein: I'll give the same advice the President did about Mr. Abdulmutallab: that is a clear "do not rush to judgment" situation.  He is still only a suspect in a criminal case, after all.  As for Mr. Reid's remarks, it may seem counter-intuitive, but we need to be judicious there.  We wouldn't want to label someone a "racist" and ruin their career in what might have been a big misunderstanding, after all.

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