According to conservative talk show host Lars Larson, James Kim is at fault for trusting a government map. What an idiot. I’m talking about Larson, not Kim.
Kim died when he and his family tried to take a treacherous Oregon back road after they missed a turnoff to Gold Beach via state Highway 42. They ended up stuck in snow. After a week, no rescuers had appeared. Kim left the car and set out on foot to seek help.
He succumbed to hypothermia. A tragedy. Thankfully, his wife and two children survived.
Wednesday Larson talked about the Kims on his local Portland show. I heard some of it live. Last night, while watching “Survivor,” we saw KOIN promos for the 11 o’clock news. They showed Larson criticizing Kim. But there wasn’t anything about this on the actual news.
Maybe Larson or KXL complained. Indeed, Larson comes off sounding like an insensitive right-wing blowhard. Which is exactly what he is. An archive of his December 6 show can be listened to here (click on the bottom 12/06/06).
I didn’t have the time or intestinal fortitude (Larson often makes me want to barf) to listen to the whole four hours. But I sampled segments of the show and got a pretty good feel for how Larson spun Kim’s death. Here are some excerpts from after the 3:44 mark.
Should this have happened? Should we tell people “you’ve got to make good decisions” and not be so dependent on the government?...He [Kim] looked at a map, which is a document not always generated by the government, but usually government is involved, and he decided based on a map to drive up a road that he’d never been on. He knew nothing about that road.
Larson then goes on to criticize the decisions Kim made. Not turning around and going back the same way when the snow got deep. Taking a side road instead (which, I heard elsewhere, was a rational attempt to get to a lower elevation). Trying to walk out instead of staying with the car.
At the 3:10 mark a caller says that it makes sense to look for help after a week of being stuck. The omniscient Larson responds that Kim’s family was rescued on Monday, so if he had stayed put for two more days he wouldn’t have died.
And if George Bush hadn’t invaded Iraq on the basis of faulty intelligence almost 3,000 American troops wouldn’t have died. But I don’t hear Larson castigating the Idiot in Chief for making that wrong decision. Not to mention all the wrong turns Bush has made subsequent to the invasion.
Nobody is infallible. Not Kim. Not Bush, And certainly not Lars Larson. But Larson and Bush think that they are. They have 20-20 vision when it comes to pointing out the supposed mistakes of others, yet manifest complete blindness when they look at their own shortcomings and misunderstandings.