Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg
Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg on
Born March 21, 1969 (1969-03-21) (age 42)
Citizenship United States
Alma mater Goucher College (1991)
Occupation Journalist, author
Employer National Review Online
Religion Jewish[1]
Spouse Jessica Gavora
Children 1 daughter
Parents Sidney & Lucianne Goldberg

Jonah Jacob Goldberg (born March 21, 1969) is an American conservative syndicated columnist and author. Goldberg is known for his contributions on politics and culture to National Review Online, of which he is editor-at-large. He is the author of Liberal Fascism (2008), which reached #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list.

He appears on such television programs as Good Morning America, Nightline, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Real Time with Bill Maher, Larry King Live, Your World with Neil Cavuto and most recently the Glenn Beck Program and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He is also a frequent participant on


Early life and career

Goldberg 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.[when?] 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 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, 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.[2][3]

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.[4]

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. When the scandal broke, Goldberg defended his mother and Tripp during the ensuing media firestorm.[citation needed]

Current work

Goldberg has twice-weekly column at National Review Online, 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 poster at the National Review Online blog "The Corner".

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.[5] 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," [6] "propaganda," [7] and not "scholarly." [8] Other reviewers described the book as "provocative"[9] and "a wealth of challenging insights, backed up by thorough research"[10].


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 is 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.[11] 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."[12]

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."[13]

Francophobia and anti-Europeanism

Goldberg has publicly admitted to disliking France or, as he writes, being in the "frog-bashing business", using the derogatory term "frog" to designate the French: "the frog-bashing business has changed a lot since I first started just a few years ago".[14] He has also called for "the total destruction of France"; he later clarified his statement as meaning "the destruction of France as an idea".[15] Some commentators, like Brian Dunaway, consider that Goldberg's attitude towards the French is francophobic: "The poor souls that visit Goldberg’s columns know that he has made Francophobia a favorite pastime".[16] Other commentators, such as Timothy Garton Ash, explain Goldberg's attitude, among others, by a deeply rooted "anti-Europeanism" in the United States.[17]

Relations with other writers and public figures

On the political left, Goldberg has publicly feuded with 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".[18] Cole refused to accept and the wager was never made.[19] Goldberg later conceded that if Cole had accepted the bet, Cole would have won.[20]

Goldberg and Peter Beinart engaged in a discussion on[21]

Goldberg and Peter Beinart of The New Republic host a conservative vs. liberal webtv show, What's your Problem?, which originally could be found on National Review Online[22] but has appeared on[21] as of 2008.

Goldberg and others at National Review Online (including editor Rich Lowry) broke with conservative writer Ann Coulter over statements she made about the September 11, 2001 attacks that they considered irresponsible. 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".[23]

The 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."[24]

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."[24] Goldberg has referred to Olbermann as "MSNBC’s answer to a question no one asked."[25]

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.[26] More recently, Battlestar Galactica has become a favorite topic.[27] Goldberg also likes to link to "timewaster" online games in his postings at "The Corner".


Jonah Goldberg is married to Jessica Gavora, former chief speechwriter and a senior policy adviser to former Attorney General John Ashcroft,[28] and they have a daughter. Their dog Cosmo, "of indeterminate parentage and upbringing", also contributes articles to National Review.[29]

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


  1. ^ Goldberg, Jonah (2004-12-23). "Politicizing Christmas", National Review Online. Accessed 2009-07-01
  2. ^ Salon Media Circus|The jester of Monicagate
  3. ^ Article on the Lewinsky scandal at
  4. ^ "The Goldberg File", National Review Online
  5. ^ "Hardcover Nonfiction". The New York Times. March 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  6. ^ Feldman, Matthew. "Poor Scholarship, Wrong Conclusions". HNN Special: A Symposium on Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism. George Mason University (HNN). Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Griffin, Roger. "An Academic Book — Not!". HNN Special: A Symposium on Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism. George Mason University (HNN). Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ "Nonfiction Reviews: Week of 26 November 2007". Publishers Weekly. 2007-11-26. Retrieved 2007-12-24. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Who is 'Fascist'"
  11. ^ "Goldberg File" at National Review Online
  12. ^ Jonah Goldberg on the Iraq war in National Review Online
  13. ^ National Review article
  14. ^ Article where Jonah Goldberg admits being a "frog-basher"
  15. ^ Goldberg article calling for the "total destruction of France"
  16. ^ Article by Brian Dunaway claiming that Goldberg is a Francophobe
  17. ^ Anti-Europeanism in America
  18. ^ Goldberg on Iraq War in 2005
  19. ^ "Informed Comment"
  20. ^ "Goldberg concedes to Cole"
  21. ^ a b Jonah Goldberg and Peter Beinart on
  22. ^ "What's Your Problem?", National Review Online
  23. ^ National Review article
  24. ^ a b RealClearPolitics "Fox, John Edwards and the Two Americas"
  25. ^ "If Limbaugh is the Kettle, Democrats Are the Pot" by Jonah Goldberg,
  26. ^ Jonah Goldberg on National Review Online
  27. ^ Jonah Goldberg on Battlestar Galactica on National Review Online
  28. ^ "WEDDINGS; Jessica Gavora, Jonah Goldberg". New York Times. 2001-08-26. Retrieved 2007-05-21. 
  29. ^ "Cosmo Archive". National Review. Retrieved May 10, 2011. 

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