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Annals of Mendacious Punditry: When the Shill Enables the Kill

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Jonah Goldberg is the living, breathing embodiment of virtually all that is pernicious in the malignant socioeconomic and political structures collectively known as the American Empire. Yet tragically, this scheming sycophant to the cynical, privileged criminals of the US plutocracy reaches countless millions through myriad corporate media conduits as he weaves his sophistic arguments supporting nearly every morally repulsive aspect of United States foreign policy.

Rising to his position amongst the US mainstream punditry elite through vigorous and shameless self-promotion based on his mother’s involvement in the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, young Jonah quickly learned our culture’s ferocious appetite for the sordid, the lurid, and all that validates our collective pathological narcissism euphemistically called the American Dream. To this day, he skillfully crafts malevolent agitprop to convince and reassure us here in the United States that it is our unconditional right to murder, exploit, invade, and oppress as we preserve and advance the “American Way.”

To get a sense of the extent of his reach and his penchant for promoting himself, take a gander at the bio sketch he penned for himself. (This appears at National Review Online):

“Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online for which he writes his thrice-weekly column “The Goldberg File” and a contributing editor to National Review. Goldberg also writes a nationally syndicated column distributed by Tribune Media Services, which appears often such newspapers as the Kansas City Star, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Times, the Orlando Sentinel, San Francisco Chronicle, the Manchester Union Leader, and others. He also writes a regular media criticism column for The American Enterprise magazine. Mr. Goldberg was a contributing editor and columnist for the now-defunct Brill’s Content.

Mr. Goldberg is also a CNN contributor and regular panelist on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer. He is an occasional guest-host on Crossfire and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs.

Since Mr. Goldberg became editor of National Review Online, it rapidly become one of the dominant players in web journalism, earning high praise from The Columbia Journalism Review, Vanity Fair, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor. The New York Press concluded that National Review Online is “by far the best political online operation going today.”

Jonah Goldberg is a former television producer who has credits in a wide range of productions. He was the senior producer of Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg, the award-winning public-affairs program and he has written and produced two PBS documentaries. Prior to his work in television Mr. Goldberg was a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC. An award-winning journalist, his writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Worth, the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Public Interest, The Wilson Quarterly, The Weekly Standard, the New York Post, Reason, The Women’s Quarterly, The New Criterion, Food and Wine, The, and Slate.”

It is a tragic indictment of our so-called “Fourth Estate” that an enabler of egregious war crimes enjoys such a massive megaphone through which to shout his virulent lies.

Consider this assessment of Goldberg by Professor Juan Cole of the University of Michigan, a preeminent expert on the Middle East:

“Extremist rightwing hawks like Jonah Goldberg used their privileged position as pundits to terrify the US public that Iraq was a threat to the US. He repeatedly said in the buildup to the war that Iraq was a menace to the US, and he repeatedly brought up North Korea’s nuclear weapons as a reason for a preemptive attack on Iraq.

Iraq never has had nuclear weapons. Iraq never has been as close as two decades from having nuclear weapons. Iraq dismantled all vestiges of its rudimentary and exploratory nuclear weapons research in 1991. Iraq did not have a nuclear weapons program in 1992, 1993 and all the way until 2002, when Jonah Goldberg assured us Americans that we absolutely had to invade Iraq to stop it from imminently becoming a nuclear power just like North Korea….

Jonah Goldberg is a fearmonger, a warmonger, and a demagogue. And besides, he was just plain wrong about one of the more important foreign policy issues to face the United States in the past half-century. It is shameful that he dares show his face in public, much less continuing to pontificate about his profound knowledge of just what Iraq is like and what needs to be done about Iraq and the significance of events in Iraq.”(1)

*Now that we have some background on Jonah, let’s subject some of his writings to critical scrutiny:

On 12/15/06, Goldberg opined in “Iraq Needs a Pinochet”:

“I think all intelligent, patriotic and informed people can agree: It would be great if the U.S. could find an Iraqi Augusto Pinochet. In fact, an Iraqi Pinochet would be even better than an Iraqi Castro…

Now consider Chile. Gen. Pinochet seized a country coming apart at the seams. He too clamped down on civil liberties and the press. He too dispatched souls. Chile’s official commission investigating his dictatorship found that Pinochet had 3,197 bodies in his column; 87 percent of them died in the two-week mini-civil war that attended his coup. Many more were tortured or forced to flee the country.

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Jason Miller, Senior Editor and Founder of TPC, is a tenacious forty something vegan straight edge activist who lives in Kansas and who has a boundless passion for animal liberation and anti-capitalism. Addicted to reading and learning, he is mostly (more...)
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