Jonah Goldberg, Intellectual Lightweight and Hack Journalist

Repost from the old site.
I guess my main issue with this guy is that he fashions himself as some sort of a scholar. Not that the Right lacks scholars. William Buckley, Ludwig von Mises, Frederick Hayek, Winston Churchill, Hell, Giovanni Gentile (!), are all at least welterweight intellectuals. You might disagree with them, but they don’t write garbage.
Jonah Goldberg is a pretend scholar. He drifted into fame on the back of his ultra-right wing Momma, Lucianne Goldberg, a very rich lady who ran a rightwing publishing house. She put sonny boy in charge as vice president anyway through no talent or degree of his own.
Lucianne was the charmer that helped use Linda Tripp to publicize the completely preposterous charges that led to the near-impeachment of a US President on one of the corrupt episodes of US politics since the election of Grover Cleveland by a fraudulent Electoral College in the 1870’s. Before that, Dred Scott. Before that, Aaron Burr murdering a fellow politician while a nation cheered.
Modern conservatism has been a process of sinking lower and lower morally to the point where they are about as close to the ground as slugs and worms. And Jonah Goldberg.
This book is just stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid. Now, mind you, I don’t mind stupid. Give me pro wrestling and a beer anytime. I just want it properly labeled as such. This is pro wrestling stupid labeled as serious intellectual discourse. Instead, it’s just right-wing Kuru. Like Kuru, modern conservatism pretends to be a tasty intellectual dish while secretly rotting your brain.
This book is all about why fascism is really a leftwing philosophy. You know, how leftists, liberals, Communists and all the rest are really fascists. Yeah, he says that.
Throughout the book, he explicitly denies the long-standing connection that sane historians and political scientists have long established between fascism and the rightwing movement. As in, fascism is a movement of the far right wing. As in, Communism is a movement of the far left wing. As in, conservatives have as much in common with fascists as liberals do with Communists.
All of these distinctions are lost on Goldberg in his quest for the Holy Grail or Rightwing Propaganda. Goldberg wasted three years of his life writing this book, which is useful for lining bird cages but for little else.
What is truly sad is that this book shot to #3 on the New York Times best-seller list. That means that lots of Americans, many of whom think they are intellectuals, actually bought this book and ate intellectual Alpo as they consumed its 400 pages.
This book has turned into a modern day opus among conservatives. I am on a list with many conservatives, and it is clear that many are highly intelligent. But something has happened. Conservative Kuru has set in and their brains are starting to rot. They don’t make much sense when they write. They think Jonah Goldberg is a great intellectual thinker of our time. All the signs are there.
Some reviews of this immensely sad and frightening book here, here, here and here.
Oh Hell, just gimme Giovanni Gentile. He’s horrible, but at least he’s a real and even great thinker. You’ve got to have a list a trace of respect for a guy who counted Fichte, Marx, Hegel and Nietzsche among his influences, and Croce calls him the most rigorous neo-Hegelian in modern philosophy.

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10 thoughts on “Jonah Goldberg, Intellectual Lightweight and Hack Journalist”

  1. What’s really sad is that neocons like Goldberg pass as mainstream “conservatives.”
    Whether it’s Goldberg for the LA Times, Jennifer Rubin and Charles Krauthammer for the Washington Post, or David Brooks and formerly William Kristol of the NY Times, this list of mainstream “conservative” writers looks more like a Bar Mitzvah guest list.
    They’re just a bunch of neocon scum.

      1. “Jonah Goldberg is not a Joo. His mom was an Episcopalian who married an old jewish man’s money.”
        Wow, that sucks. Everyone thinks you’ve get big jew connections and you really don’t.
        I’m confused though. I thought jews trademarked the name Goldberg about the same time when the trademarked the word Holocaust. They really don’t like anyone else using either.

      2. Well, even if he’s not Jewish by law (which depends, because reform Judaism has accepted patrilineal Jewish heritage since around 1983), he still has a foot in the tribe’s circle.
        Besides, judging by his views, he might as well be a Jew.
        I’m confused though. I thought jews trademarked the name Goldberg about the same time when they trademarked the word Holocaust. They really don’t like anyone else using it either.
        Hehe, good one.

        1. “he still has a foot in the tribe’s circle”
          I don’t know. Zhirinovsky has a jewish father and is very antisemitic. The most famous russian skinhead, Tesak, has a polish-jewish last name.

    1. Maybe not.
      But still, his name could definitely be on a Bar Mitzvah guest list.
      Not to mention his neocon views.

  2. Sigh, this post makes me nostalgic for William F. Buckley.
    Sure he was a noxious fascist, but damn could he use the English language properly.
    It also reminds me of that Latin American (I think) ultra-reactionary guy who wrote all those aphorisms. Someone posted his name in here a while ago. Could someone remind me who I’m thinking of?

      1. Just read some of those aphorisms. This one is especially fitting for this site:
        “The racist is annoyed because he secretly suspects that the races are equal. The anti-racist is annoyed because he secretly suspects that they are not. “

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