The Full Monty: I Reply to Tailgunner Bernard Goldberg

Bernard Goldberg’s new book “100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (and Al Franken is #37) lists me as #15. Here’s the <a href=”
“>full list for your edification.

I’m fascinated by the fact that I obviously annoy the neofascists and McCarthyites so much. I mean, all I do is type words into a keyboard and splatter ink across white paper. And yet, to hear Goldberg et al. tell it, I’m destroying America—which is to say, their vision of America. Which is weird. They control the three branches of the federal government, most of the mainstream media (when’s the last time you saw Ralph Nader or Noam Chomsky on the tube, sitting next to Ann Coulter?) and most state governments as well, yet a cartoonist and essayist can nevertheless drive them nuts.

Well, whatever.

Goldberg, as if this comes as a shock, is intellectually dishonest. In his entry for “Boondocks” cartoonist Aaron McGruder (Goldberg has a hard-on for cartoonists, including three of them in his top 100 list), he references a speech McGruder gave at which he insulted Condi Rice and other right-wing extremists. Thing is, that speech—delivered at a party for center-left magazine The Nation—is famous for the way McGruder savaged liberals. Some of them even got up and left while he was talking. Sure, he tossed off a few anti-Condi slags, but leaving out the fact that McGruder is an equal-opportunity disser is, well, plainly the work of a liar.

Al Sharpton (#17). John Edwards (#16).

Which brings us to the Ted Rall section.

Even on the furthest fringes of the America-bashing Left, distinctions have to be made: there is loathsome and there is beneath loathsome. And then there’s Ted Rall. [itals Goldberg’s]

Bear in mind that Goldberg’s thesis behind his book is that the Evil 100 contribute to the coarsening of American culture. As if an enemies list isn’t coarse. As if Courtney Love’s one-word entry (“Ho.”) put the English language through its most rigorous paces. Most notably for this intro, though: Goldberg is a bit of a plagiarist. Much of what he writes about me is lifted from my website or other online sources, and he starts out with “loathsome.” Regular Rallblog readers will recall that the right-wing New York Press listed me as #2 Most Loathsome New Yorker” a couple of years ago. Gee, I wonder where he got that.

Rall is the editorial cartoonist, columnist, radio commentator, and all-around creep, whose work often borders on the psychopathic. He is to reasonable debate what hyenas are to opera.

Goldberg’s local opera company must be an interesting one. Also: how can cartoons be “psychopathic”? Then he goes on to discuss my Pat Tillman cartoon, conveniently leaving out the fact that Tillman was killed by “friendly fire”—an incident the government covered up and repeatedly lied about.

And though his diatribe against Tillman was so offensive that most outlets refused to run it, it was by no means an aberration. [Rants about my comments about Reagan, and then Bush 43, follow.] Rall obviously doesn’t see himself as the aformentioned all-around creep that he so obviously is.

And so on. If you want more, check out the “beach reads” table (yes, really) at your local Barnes & Noble.

Still think Jon Stewart’s cool? Consider this: he invited Goldberg to publicize his neo-McCarthyite tripe on “The Daily Show.” He’s never asked me. Or, to my knowledge, Aaron McGruder. Nor Jeff Danziger (the third cartoonist) referenced and slagged in the book.

Keep fighting the coarsening, Bernie.

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