Especially when the authority is unqualified. From our recent excursions into the blogosphere, a not so recent (2/5/05–for us there is no expiration date) post:
>I think it is time to be frank about some things. Jonah Goldberg knows absolutely nothing about Iraq. I wonder if he has even ever read a single book on Iraq, much less written one. He knows no Arabic. He has never lived in an Arab country. He can’t read Iraqi newspapers or those of Iraq’s neighbors. He knows nothing whatsoever about Shiite Islam, the branch of the religion to which a majority of Iraqis adheres. Why should we pretend that Jonah Goldberg’s opinion on the significance and nature of the elections in Iraq last Sunday matters? It does not.
That’s Juan Cole, professor of Mid-East History at the University of Michigan. He’s a qualified authority on the Middle East. The mass of pundits so frequently called upon to comment on Iraq and Iran, are not:
>In Iraq, the American liberators [many did–just not me and my brethren commentators] didn’t understand what would happen if brutalized Iraqis were left in a state of nature, and didn’t or couldn’t impose a humane order.
That’s David Brooks, not an expert on much.