Jonah Goldberg

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Jonah Goldberg
Jonah Goldberg by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Goldberg speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2012.
Born Jonah Jacob Goldberg
March 21, 1969 (1969-03-21) (age 53)
Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
Citizenship United States
Alma mater Goucher College (1991)
Occupation Journalist, Senior Editor, author
Employer National Review
Political party Republican Party[1]
Spouse(s) Jessica Gavora
Children 1
Parent(s) Sidney and Lucianne Goldberg

Jonah Jacob Goldberg (born March 21, 1969) is a Jewish-American mainstream conservative syndicated columnist, author, and commentator, who was derided as a so-called cuckservative by alt-right opponents for his opposition to Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Goldberg writes about politics and culture for The Los Angeles Times, where he is a weekly opinion columnist, and National Review, where he is a Senior Editor. He is the author of Liberal Fascism (2008) and The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas (2012). Generally moderate in outlook, he supports limited immigration to the USA, stating in 2006 "I'm quite fond of immigration - legal immigration, that is",[2] and opposes Trump's proposed restrictions on Muslim immigration.[3]

He has appeared on various television programs including Special Report with Bret Baier, Good Morning America, Nightline, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Real Time with Bill Maher, Larry King Live, Your World with Neil Cavuto, the Glenn Beck Program and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He is a frequent guest on a number of Fox News shows including The Five, The Greg Gutfeld Show, and Outnumbered. From 2006 to 2010 he was a frequent participant on He also appears in Dinesh D'Souza's film Hillary's America.

Early life and career

Goldberg grew up in the Upper West Side in Manhattan.[4] He graduated from Goucher College in 1991. His was the second class at Goucher to admit men. He was active in student politics at Goucher and was the co-editor of the school newspaper, The Quindecim, for two years. He and Andreas Benno Kollegger were the first men to run the paper. He later interned for Scripps Howard News Service, United Press International, and other news organizations.[when?] He also worked for Delilah Communications, a publishing house in New York.[when?]

After graduation, he taught English in Prague for under a year before moving to Washington to take a job at the American Enterprise Institute in 1992 [1]. While at AEI he worked for Ben J. Wattenberg. He was the researcher for Wattenberg’s nationally syndicated column and for Wattenberg's book, Values Matter Most. He also worked on several PBS public affairs documentaries, including a two-hour special hosted by David Gergen and Wattenberg.[citation needed] Goldberg also served for three years on the Board of Trustees of Goucher College.[when?]

In 1994, he was a founding producer for Wattenberg's Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg. That same year he moved to New River Media, an independent television production company, which produced "Think Tank" as well as numerous other television programs and projects. Goldberg worked on a large number of television projects across the United States, as well as in Europe and Japan. He wrote, produced, and edited two documentaries for New River Media, Gargoyles: Guardians of the Gate and Notre Dame: Witness to History.

He joined National Review as a contributing editor in 1998. By the end of that year he was asked to launch National Review Online (NRO) as a sister publication to National Review. He served as editor of NRO for several years and later became editor-at-large.[when?]

Clinton–Lewinsky scandal

Goldberg's career as a pundit was launched following his mother Lucianne Goldberg's role in the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal, when he wrote about the "media siege" on his mother's apartment in The New Yorker.[5][6]

Goldberg has spoken of his mother and the Lewinsky scandal:

My mother was the one who advised Linda Tripp to record her conversations with Monica Lewinsky and to save the dress. I was privy to some of that stuff, and when the administration set about to destroy Lewinsky, Tripp, and my mom, I defended my mom and by extension Tripp... I have zero desire to have those arguments again. I did my bit in the trenches of Clinton's trousers.[7]

These tapes became the focal point of the Lewinsky scandal. Goldberg was privy to the tapes and the conversations his mother had with Tripp because he served as a vice president of his mother's now-defunct literary agency.

Current work

File:Jonah Goldberg.jpg
Goldberg in 2007

Goldberg is a Senior Editor and has a twice-weekly column at National Review, which is syndicated to numerous papers across the United States, and at He also writes an occasional "Goldberg File" column at National Review that is typically longer, and more culture- or interest-oriented. Goldberg is also a frequent contributor at the National Review blog "The Corner", often authoring posts with light-hearted, comedic and pop-culture references.

In other online media, in addition to appearances on, Goldberg is a frequent participant in programs produced by the center-right Web site, including the weekly Ricochet Podcast and The Ricochet Roundtable, which features Goldberg, columnist Mark Steyn and Ricochet co-founder Rob Long.

Aside from being a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors, he has written for The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Public Interest, The Wilson Quarterly, The Weekly Standard, The New York Post, and Slate. The Los Angeles Times added Goldberg to its editorial lineup in 2005.

His book Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (ISBN 0-385-51184-1) was published in January 2008. It reached #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list of hardcover nonfiction in its seventh week on the list.[8] While in preparation, the book had a number of different subtitles, including "The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Whole Foods" and "The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton". After being published in paperback, the subtitle was changed to The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Change. Some historians have denounced the book as being "poor scholarship,"[9] "propaganda,"[10] and not scholarly.[11] Other reviewers described the book as "provocative"[12] and "a wealth of challenging insights, backed up by thorough research".[13] The audiobook version of Liberal Fascism was narrated by Johnny Heller.

Goldberg followed the book with The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas in 2012. The paperback edition of Tyranny of Cliches came out on April 30, 2013. Goldberg himself narrated the audiobook version.

Goldberg has created several short videos for the conservative education website Prager University. His videos focus on topics in political science.[14]

Despite having claimed to be twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, Goldberg has never been a nominee.[15] In May 2012, Goldberg admitted never having been nominated, but only one of thousands of entrants.[16][better source needed]


Frequent topics

Some frequent topics of his articles include censorship, meritocracy, liberty, federalism and interpretation of the Constitution, his attacks on the ethics and morals of liberals and Democrats, and his disagreements with libertarians also appear often in his writings. He was a supporter of the Iraq War and has advocated for American military intervention elsewhere in the world. He has defended historical colonialism in places such as Africa as more beneficial than it is generally given credit for; in one column, he suggested that U.S. imperialism on the continent could help solve its persistent problems.[17] When he wrote in October 2006 that invading Iraq was a mistake, he called it a "noble" mistake and still maintained that liberal opponents to the war policy wanted America to fail: "In other words, their objection isn't to war per se; it's to wars that advance U.S. interests... I must confess, one of the things that made me reluctant to conclude that the Iraq war was a mistake was my distaste for the shabbiness of the arguments on the antiwar side."[18]

He popularized and expanded on a commentary by the late Time writer William Henry III. Henry had written on the subject of multiculturalism and cultural equality, stating that "[i]t is scarcely the same thing to put a man on the moon as to put a bone in your nose." Goldberg stated that "[m]ulticulturalism — which is simply egalitarianism wrapped in rainbow-colored paper—has elevated the notion that all ideas are equal, all systems equivalent, all cultures of comparable worth."[17]

He has criticized the idea of "social justice" as meaning "anything its champions want it to mean" or "'good things' no one needs to argue for and no one dare be against."[19]

Relations with other writers and public figures

Goldberg has publicly feuded with people on the political left, like Juan Cole over U.S. Iraq policy, and Air America Radio commentators such as Janeane Garofalo, who has accused him of being a chickenhawk on the Iraq War. On February 8, 2005, Goldberg offered Cole a wager of $1,000 "that Iraq won't have a civil war, that it will have a viable constitution, and that a majority of Iraqis and Americans will, in two years time, agree that the war was worth it."[20] Cole refused to accept and the wager was never made.[21] Goldberg later conceded that if Cole had accepted the bet, Cole would have won.[22]

Peter Beinart and Goldberg engaged in a discussion on[23]

Goldberg and Peter Beinart of The New Republic for a time hosted a conservative vs. liberal webtv show, What's your Problem?, which originally could be found on National Review Online[24] but has appeared on[23] as of 2013. Goldberg and Beinart continue to debate one another, most recently at an event sponsored by the Young America's Foundation at the University of Virginia in 2012.[25]

Goldberg and others at National Review Online (including editor Rich Lowry) broke with conservative writer Ann Coulter over anti-Islamist statements she made about the September 11, 2001 attacks that they considered unacceptable. Coulter stopped writing for National Review Online after the publishing of her column on September 13, 2001, opining that "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."[26]

In his book Crippled America, then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized Goldberg, referring to him as "truly odious", and sarcastically called him "brilliant" for wrongly predicting that Trump would probably withdraw from the race rather than file financial disclosures.[27]


Regarding Fox News, Goldberg said, "Look, I think liberals have reasonable gripes with Fox News. It does lean to the right, primarily in its opinion programming but also in its story selection (which is fine by me) and elsewhere. But it's worth remembering that Fox is less a bastion of ideological conservatism[clarification needed] and more a populist, tabloidy network."[28]

Goldberg has criticized liberals for disliking Fox News, claiming they have no "problem with the editorializing of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann or Chris Matthews, they think it's just plain wrong for conservatives to play that game."[28] Goldberg has referred to Olbermann as "MSNBC’s answer to a question no one asked."[29]

Humor and lighter topics

The "Goldberg File" frequently involves humor, often at the expense of liberals. Alec Baldwin, who Goldberg insinuates cannot read, has been a frequent target of such jibes. Goldberg also makes occasional allusions to Star Trek.[30] Later, Battlestar Galactica became a favorite topic.[31] Goldberg also likes to link to "timewaster" online games in his postings at "The Corner".


Goldberg is married to Jessica Gavora, former chief speechwriter and a senior policy adviser to former Attorney General John Ashcroft,[32] and they have a daughter. Their first dog, adopted from the Washington DC shelter, was named Snowball, at first, and then Cosmo: Cosmo's picture often accompanied Golberg's writings. [33]

Goldberg's brother, Joshua Goldberg, died on February 10, 2011, from injuries he sustained in a fall. Their father, Sidney Goldberg (1931–2005), was Jewish, and their mother, Lucianne Goldberg, is Episcopalian. Goldberg himself was raised Jewish.[34]


  1. "List of Registered Voters" (PDF). District of Columbia Board of Elections. 30 May 2016. p. 3871. Retrieved 13 February 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. (Mar 29, 2006)
  3. (Dec 9, 2015)
  5. Salon Media Circus|The jester of Monicagate Archived June 19, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  6. Article on the Lewinsky scandal at Archived February 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  7. "The Incredible Shrinking Clinton". 2004-06-23. Retrieved 2015-09-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Hardcover Nonfiction". The New York Times. March 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-05. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Feldman, Matthew. "Poor Scholarship, Wrong Conclusions". HNN Special: A Symposium on Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism. George Mason University (HNN). Retrieved 31 May 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Griffin, Roger. "An Academic Book – Not!". HNN Special: A Symposium on Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism. George Mason University (HNN). Retrieved 31 May 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Paxton, Robert. "The Scholarly Flaws of Liberal Fascism". HNN Special: A Symposium on Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism. George Mason University (HNN). Retrieved 31 May 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Nonfiction Reviews: Week of 26 November 2007". Publishers Weekly. 2007-11-26. Archived from the original on December 10, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-24. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Who is 'Fascist'". Retrieved 2012-05-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Pulitzer Prize#Difference between entrants and nominated finalists
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Three Cheers For Aristrocracy". 1999-12-13. Retrieved 2015-09-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Goldberg, Jonah (October 20, 2006). "Iraq Was a Worthy Mistake". National Review Online. Retrieved 2015-09-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "What is Social Justice? – PragerUniversity". YouTube. Retrieved 28 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Cole Goes On". 2005-02-08. Retrieved 2015-09-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Playing With Human Lives Goldbergs". Informed Comment. February 8, 2005. Retrieved 2012-05-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Juan Cole Pests". National Review. 2007-01-18. Retrieved 2015-09-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Jonah Goldberg and Peter Beinart on". Retrieved 2012-05-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. ""What's Your Problem?", National Review Online". Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Archived from the original on 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2013-05-22. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "L'Affaire Coulter". Retrieved 2015-09-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Donald J. Trump (2015). Crippled America. Threshold Editions; 1 edition. p. 144. ISBN 978-1-5011-3796-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. 28.0 28.1 "Fox, John Edwards and the Two Americas". 2007-03-16. Retrieved 2012-05-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. Jonah Goldberg (2007-10-05). "If Limbaugh is the Kettle, Democrats Are the Pot". Retrieved 2012-05-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "Jonah Goldberg on National Review Online". 2003-06-17. Archived from the original on 2013-12-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. "Tales from New Iraqica: They didn't leap the shark". 2006-10-10. Retrieved 2012-05-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. "WEDDINGS; Jessica Gavora, Jonah Goldberg". New York Times. 2001-08-26. Retrieved 2007-05-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "Cosmo Archive". National Review. Retrieved 2013-11-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. Goldberg, Jonah (2004-12-23). "Politicizing Christmas", National Review Online. Accessed 2015-09-12

External links

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