Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Jacob Goldberg (born March 21, 1969) is an American conservative syndicated columnist,[1] author, political analyst, and commentator. From 1998 until May 2019, he was an editor at National Review[2] (his syndicated opinion pieces continuing to appear there). Goldberg writes a weekly column about politics and culture for the Los Angeles Times[3][4] and holds a fellowship at the National Review Institute. In October 2019, Goldberg became founding editor of the online opinion and news publication The Dispatch.[5][6][7][8] Goldberg is the author of Liberal Fascism, which became a #1 New York Times bestseller shortly after its release in January 2008;[9] The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas, released in 2012;[10] and Suicide of the West, which was published in April 2018 and also became a New York Times bestseller, reaching #5 on the list the following month.[11][12]

Jonah Goldberg
Goldberg in February 2012.
Jonah Jacob Goldberg

(1969-03-21) March 21, 1969
New York City, New York, U.S.
EducationGoucher College (BA)
Political partyRepublican
Jessica Gavora (m. 2001)
Parent(s)Lucianne Goldberg
Sidney Goldberg

Goldberg is also a regular contributor on news networks such as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, appearing on various television programs including 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. Goldberg is an occasional guest on a number of Fox News shows such as The Five, The Greg Gutfeld Show, and Outnumbered. He is also a frequent panelist on Special Report with Bret Baier. From 2006 to 2010, Goldberg was a frequent participant on Goldberg also makes an appearance in Dinesh D'Souza's 2016 film Hillary's America.

Early life and career

Goldberg was born on the Upper West Side of Manhattan to Lucianne Goldberg (Nee Steinberger), a literary agent, and Sidney Goldberg, who died in 2005, an editor and media executive.[13][14] In speaking about his upbringing, Goldberg has said that his mother is an Episcopalian and that his father was Jewish and that he was raised Jewish.[15][16] After graduating high school in 1987, Goldberg left New York City to attend Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, from which he earned his bachelor's in 1991, majoring in political science.[17] Goldberg's class at Goucher, which was a women's college until 1986, was the second to admit men.[18] While at Goucher, Goldberg was active in student politics and served as the co-editor of the school newspaper, The Quindecim, for two years. Goldberg 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. He also worked for Delilah Communications, a publishing house in New York.

After graduating, Goldberg taught English in Prague for less than a year before moving to Washington D.C. in 1992 to take a job at the American Enterprise Institute.[19] 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. Goldberg was also invited to serve on Goucher College's Board of Trustees immediately after graduating in 1991, a position he held for three years.[20]

In 1994, Goldberg became 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.

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.[21][22] 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.[23]

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

Writing for National Review and other publications

Beginning in 1998, Goldberg was an editor and wrote a twice-weekly column at National Review, which is syndicated to numerous papers across the United States, and at National Review consists of fellow contributors such as Ramesh Ponnuru, Richard Brookhiser, and Dinesh D'Souza.[24]

Goldberg also wrote the "Goldberg File"[25] at National Review, a column that was generally lighter and more focused on humor and cultural commentary. Goldberg's column often made pop-culture references to works including Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, of which he has said he is a fan.[26][27] Goldberg was also a frequent contributor at the National Review blog The Corner, often authoring posts with light-hearted, comedic and pop-culture references.

Goldberg left National Review in May 2019.

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.

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. Goldberg is also the host of The Remnant,[28] an interview podcast focused on different political topics.


His book Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (ISBN 0385511841) 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.[29] 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,"[30] "propaganda,"[31] and not scholarly.[32] Other reviewers described the book as "provocative"[33] and "a wealth of challenging insights, backed up by thorough research".[34] The audiobook version of Liberal Fascism was narrated by Johnny Heller. Goldberg followed the book with The Tyranny of Clichés: 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. His most recent work, Suicide of the West, was released in 2018.

Pulitzer claim controversy

In May 2012, Goldberg was touted as a "two-time Pulitzer prize nominee" in the book jacket of his second book, The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas. NBC News reporter Bill Dedman pointed this out as misleading because Goldberg had in fact only been an entrant in the Pulitzer contest and had never been nominated as a finalist, as the moniker "Pulitzer nominee" would seem to suggest. Becoming an entrant in the Pulitzer contest requires only that either the author of a written work submit an entry form along with a small fee or that someone else does so on their behalf.[35] Following Dedman's reporting, Goldberg and his publishing company acknowledged the mistake and subsequently removed the line from the book jacket.[36]

Media appearances and commentary

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 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.[37] When he wrote in October 2006 that invading Iraq was a mistake, he called it a "noble" mistake and still maintained that liberal opponents of 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."[38]

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 "it 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."[37]

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."[39]

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."[40] Cole refused to accept and the wager was never made.[41] Goldberg later conceded that if Cole had accepted the bet, Cole would have won.[42]

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[44] but has appeared on[43] as of 2013.

The news media

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 and more a populist, tabloidy network."[45]

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."[45] Goldberg has referred to Olbermann as "MSNBC's answer to a question no one asked."[46]

Family and personal life

Goldberg is married to Jessica Gavora, chief speechwriter and senior policy adviser to former Attorney General John Ashcroft.[47] Their first dog, Cosmo (previously known as Snowball), adopted from the Washington D.C. shelter in 1999, enjoyed years of fame as one of the first avatar dogs on a prominent website, and much of Goldberg's early web output was devoted to explaining why Cosmo was important to him and to his family. They have one daughter. He lives in the Palisades, Washington, D.C. neighborhood.[48][49] Goldberg's brother, Joshua, died in 2011 from a fall. Goldberg's father, Sidney, died in 2005, and is survived by his mother, Lucianne.[15]

Authored books


  1. "Jonah Goldberg articles". Tribune Content Agency. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  2. "The End of an Era". May 31, 2019.
  3. "Jonah Goldberg". Retrieved 2018-08-12.
  4. "Jonah Goldberg | National Review". National Review. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
  6. "Jonah Goldberg is 'ideologically grounded, but I feel politically homeless'". Columbia Journalism Review.
  7. Rowland, Geoffrey (March 1, 2019). "National Review's Goldberg, Weekly Standard's Hayes to launch conservative media company". The Hill. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  8. "Stay-Puft Socialism, Luxurious Infanticide". March 1, 2019.
  9. "The New York Times Non-Fiction Best Sellers of 2008", Wikipedia, 2018-06-05, retrieved 2018-08-12
  10. Klein, Joe. "'The Tyranny of Clichés,' by Jonah Goldberg". Retrieved 2018-08-12.
  11. Suicide of the West. Crown Forum. 2018. ISBN 978-1101904930.
  12. "Hardcover Nonfiction Books - Best Sellers - May 20, 2018 - The New York Times". Retrieved 2018-08-12.
  14. "WRITER DECLARES SHE WAS G.O.P. SPY IN M'GOVERN CAMP". Retrieved 2018-08-12.
  15. Goldberg, Jonah (2004-12-23). "Politicizing Christmas", National Review Online
  16. "The Hop Bird | National Review". National Review. 2005-06-17. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
  17. "Chick Politics National Review". National Review. 2001-04-18. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
  18. Pressley, Trustees of Md School Sue Anne; Writer, Washington Post Staff (1986-05-11). "Goucher College To Admit Men". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
  19. "Jonah Goldberg | AEI Scholar". AEI.
  20. "Taking Conservatism Seriously | National Review". National Review. 2001-06-08. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
  21. "Salon Media Circus|The jester of Monicagate". Archived from the original on June 19, 2006.
  22. "Article on the Lewinsky scandal at". Archived from the original on February 14, 2006.
  23. "The Incredible Shrinking Clinton". 2004-06-23. Retrieved 2015-09-12.
  24. "The Masthead | National Review". National Review. 2017-12-19. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  25. "The G-File | National Review". Retrieved 2018-08-16.
  26. "Jonah Goldberg on National Review Online". 2003-06-17. Archived from the original on 2013-12-19.
  27. "Tales from New Iraqica: They didn't leap the shark". 2006-10-10. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  28. "The Remnant With Jonah Goldberg". National Review.
  29. "Hardcover Nonfiction". The New York Times. March 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
  30. Feldman, Matthew. "Poor Scholarship, Wrong Conclusions". HNN Special: A Symposium on Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism. George Mason University (HNN). Retrieved 31 May 2011.
  31. Griffin, Roger. "An Academic Book – Not!". HNN Special: A Symposium on Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism. George Mason University (HNN). Retrieved 31 May 2011.
  32. 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.
  33. "Nonfiction Reviews: Week of 26 November 2007". Publishers Weekly. 2007-11-26. Archived from the original on December 10, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-24.
  34. "Who is 'Fascist'". Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  35. "Pulitzer Prize", Wikipedia, 2018-07-27, retrieved 2018-08-13
  36. "Conservative author Jonah Goldberg drops claim of two Pulitzer nominations". NBC News. May 9, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  37. "Three Cheers For Aristrocracy". 1999-12-13. Retrieved 2015-09-12.
  38. Goldberg, Jonah (October 20, 2006). "Iraq Was a Worthy Mistake". National Review Online. Retrieved 2015-09-12.
  39. "What is Social Justice? – PragerUniversity". YouTube. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  40. "Cole Goes On". 2005-02-08. Retrieved 2015-09-12.
  41. "Playing With Human Lives Goldbergs". Informed Comment. February 8, 2005. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  42. "Juan Cole Pests". National Review. 2007-01-18. Retrieved 2015-09-12.
  43. "Jonah Goldberg and Peter Beinart on". Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  44. ""What's Your Problem?", National Review Online". Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  45. "Fox, John Edwards and the Two Americas". 2007-03-16. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  46. Jonah Goldberg (2007-10-05). "If Limbaugh is the Kettle, Democrats Are the Pot". Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  47. "Weddings: Jessica Gavora, Jonah Goldberg". New York Times. 2001-08-26. Retrieved 2007-05-21.
  48. "About Jonah".
  49. "The Urban Bane That Is D.C. Speed Cameras". February 26, 2018.
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