Thank you Jon Stewart and The Daily Show for trying to set the record straight while facing an unalloyed hypocrite and fabricator like Jonah Goldberg. I had never heard of this fellow or his "book" but as soon as I heard the gushing torrent of disjointed gibberish posing as "history" pour out of his mouth I thought to myself: "This must be Lucianne Goldberg's kid." Sure enough, a quick Google search and my suspicion was confirmed. Only from the loins of a reactionary thug could such acidic progeny spring.
Although Stewart's interview segment was heavily edited for obvious reasons, it was made clear quite quickly that Mr. Goldberg's professors at Goucher College had done a piss poor job giving him even the most basic understanding of American history or politics.
I'm sure on the right-wing talk radio circuit and on Fox News Goldberg is a star -- but let's get real. Anyone who tried to write a "serious" scholarly work that made these kinds of insane and unsupportable claims about the ideological pedigree of fascism would be laughed out of the academy faster than you could say "Linda Tripp."
I think the interview was more horrifying than "entertaining." This bitter, privileged young man knows exactly what he's doing. The producers at The Daily Show should have thought twice before giving him a forum. But at least Mr. Stewart was willing to challenge Goldberg on mainstream television about his preposterous contentions.
Historians toil in archives and send out manuscripts to peers for review. We work hard to try to keep the record straight. We're lucky if any of our books cross over into the trade market at all and our cash-strapped University Press publishers spend next to nothing on promotion and more often than not run off only a few thousand copies. And then we're subjected to the likes of Goldberg's blathering diatribe against straw-man "liberals" pretending to be a book?
I had assumed that Regnery Publishers produced Goldberg's monstrosity, Richard Mellon Scaife's outfit that brought us "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" and Michell Malkin's ranting about how wonderful it was to intern Japanese Americans during World War Two. But I was saddened to see that a reputable publishing house produced Goldberg's "Cleveland Steamer."
I don't usually go in for book burning, being a good "liberal" and all. But with Goldberg's book I'll make an exception. (Call me a "liberal fascist.")