I am grateful for the headline. That way I know who to root for in the story.
Yair Rosenberg writes for Tabletmag:
Earlier this month, The Atlantic announced the appointment of longtime reporter Jeffrey Goldberg as its 14th editor-in-chief. As the publication’s press release noted, Goldberg has written 11 cover stories for the magazine, and interviewed an impressive array of world leaders, including President Obama, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, Britain’s David Cameron, Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Jordan’s King Abdullah.
Across the political and media spectrum, most cheered Goldberg’s appointment. As Conor Friedersdorf, an Atlantic writer who has often differed with Goldberg politically, put it, “[he] subscribes to the core values that enable the finest work we produce.” At the same time, some criticized the choice on account of Goldberg’s prior support for the Iraq war, and his perceived interventionist bent on matters of foreign policy.
And then there was the anti-Israel hub Mondoweiss, which attacked the appointment because it whitewashed the fact that Goldberg was a Jew.
Gosh, that sounds awful. Let me have a look at that awful awful Mondoweiss piece:
Today’s breathtaking announcement by Atlantic media’s owner David Bradley that Jeffrey Goldberg will become editor-in-chief is curious not for the accolades it showers on the star writer — “no greater journalist writing in the country today” — but for the laundering it does of his resume.
There is no mention of his one book about Israel, Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. No mention of the fact that Goldberg emigrated to Israel and served in its armed forces as a corporal. No mention of his Iraq war resume, giving America grounds for invasion with bad reports on Saddam’s connections to Al Qaeda and his manufacture of chemical weapons. No mention of Goldberg’s substantial Israel portfolio. The word Israel appears only once in the announcement, in the delectable phrase, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.
It would seem that both the Atlantic and Goldberg are determined to pivot and rebrand. I’m no longer the go-to expert on Israel, no longer the war-drum-beater who told the world that Israel was about to attack Iran, I’m no longer the most powerful Jewish reporter in the country. I’m Jeffrey Goldberg, American editor in a literary line that goes back to Hawthorne, Emerson and Robert Frost. And so much for the fearful anti-semitism of my youth; I’m past all that.
Bradley says that “Jeff’s best-known writing” is “long-form narrative for the print magazine.” Well that’s not entirely accurate. Narrative has never been as important to Goldberg as information and driving an argument. And he is surely best known today for his writing about the Middle East, notably those flat tires in Iraq and his promotion of Israel, like his first and only book.
The media establishment is today a self-protection racket, for all the journalists who supported the greatest foreign policy disaster in U.S. history. “In five years, however, I believe that the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality” — Jeffrey Goldberg said that in 2002, Yousef Munayyer reminds us today.
Goldberg has appeared at numerous Zionist events, for instance the American Jewish Committee conference, and Zionism 3.0, where he was introduced by Charlotte Halle, English edition editor at Haaretz, as “for many, the preeminent voice among American Jews.”
The word Jew made no appearance in the Atlantic announcement. Here’s the cleansed resume paragraph from Atlantic media:
As background only, here is Jeff’s story in brief: raised in New York, Jeff attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he edited the Daily Pennsylvanian. Beginning his career as a crime reporter for The Washington Post, Jeff moved through The Jerusalem Post, The Forward, New York magazine, The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker. Jeff joined The Atlantic in 2007. Across his nearly-10 years with us, Jeff has written many of our most-successful cover stories, including this year’s “The Obama Doctrine,” and has interviewed many world leaders on our behalf including King Abdullah of Jordan, Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, and the former British Prime Minister David Cameron.
For the record, Goldberg made aliyah to Israel in his early 20s (30 years ago) and spent several years in Israel. “The Diaspora was the disease, and Israel was the cure,” he wrote in his book. He felt that a red river of anti-semitism flowed just under the surface of American life, and even after he decided to come back stated that America was “unhealthy for Jews and Judaism.” He came back because he realized he wasn’t all that comfortable with Israeli culture, and because he was journalistically ambitious, which is of course no crime.
Goldberg said when his book came out in 2006 — “I love Israel, with all its flaws. I’m deeply committed to its safety and its future” — and he demonstrated as much with all his reporting that promoted the American involvement in Israel’s battles in the Middle East. Like the famous Point of No Return in the Atlantic in 2010, which pressured the United States to take action against Iran before Israel launched its jets within the next year. That article was one of several that earned him the reputation that even his colleague Robert Wright noted: a “channel” for Benjamin Netanyahu.
Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, that is. Just in case you all forgot who Benjamin Netanyahu was…
Not long ago (2011) Goldberg observed, shrewdly (and he’s nothing if not shrewd), that while he vehemently disagrees with the left’s position that Zionism is a settler ideology, the left “has the wind at its back.” Five years have passed, and the wind has become a simoom: we’re in the 50th year of the occupation and leading Israel Zionists talk fearfully about growing fascism in Israel and on September 29, as he was negotiating this job, Goldberg at last cashiered Netanyahu with a piece in the Atlantic titled the “Unbearable Smallness of Netanyahu.”
Seems like Goldberg has chosen just the right time to pivot.
Steve Sailer writes: “Brooklyn-born former Israeli army prison guard Jeffrey Goldberg has been named editor of The Atlantic, capping a memorable journalistic career of succeeding by failing. Goldberg is one of the many advocates of the U.S. Iraq Attaq of 2003 whose careers haven’t been hurt at all by helping plunge his country (or co-country) into an utterly unnecessary foreign policy catastrophe…”
“Unlike Editor Goldberg, I don’t have a co-country. So I take it personally when my fellow Americans get slaughtered due to the conventional wisdom of Invade the World / Invite the World.”
COMMENTS AT STEVE SAILER:
* In 2002, I read Scott Ritter’s little book on Iraq, which as I recall basically predicted everything that has happened since then: ethnic cleansing and Sunni-Shiite conflict, a dangerous quagmire for US soldiers, and a completely destabilized Middle East and ascendant Islamism. He was convicted later of exposing himself online to a federal agent who claimed as part of a sting operation to be 15. He obviously has issues, but it sounded to me plausible he might have been deliberately targeted by people who knew his peccadilloes and wanted payback for opposing the Consensus.
* David Remnick should write the Jeff Goldberg story: about how a lowly Israeli prison guard fulfilled the destiny of his race by ultimately editing the magazine of Emerson, Holmes, and Longfellow and turning it into even more of a critical studies clickbait factory.
* It is remarkable how, post 2001, some Jews have pushed their own peculiar agenda and their own particular ethnic interests off on this country, without even feeling the need to disguise it much. I guess the rest (the interests of gentiles) is just commentary.
* Goldberg served his country (his actual country, that is) by standing guard over captured rock-throwers, so I’ve no doubt that he’s a very brave man. He also suffered at the hands of “juvenile pogromists” on Long Island (his wikipedia page makes for rather funny reading).
* I don’t see the problem. He clubbed Palestinians over the head to protect Israeli nationalism. Now he’ll be clubbing Americans over the head to prevent American nationalism. All in the name of Jewish Supremacy.
* Interestingly, Jeffrey Goldberg, Stephen Glass, and Sabrina Rubin Erdely, are all Penn graduates and wrote for the school newspaper there. What an incubator!
Although he didn’t attend Penn, “award-winning” journalist and longtime editor of The New Yorker, David Remnick, was also a strong advocate of Iraq Attaq; and now almost 15 years later we’re getting advice from him on Russia. It also appears that his wife and son work at the NYT.
I have a feeling that earlier this year, President Obama decided to grant Jeffrey Goldberg all that Air Force One interview time for some of the same reasons that Fidel Castro chose him for a chat back in 2010: Jeffrey Goldberg is just a lot of fun to have around and he gives really great advice…
* Goldberg’s Wikipedia page quoutes him on his hatred for the “Irish pogromists” who made his adolescence on Long Island miserable and how he says that’s why he fell in love with Israeli muscle-flexing.
* In Goldberg’s mind, nationalism is a privilege reserved for Israel.
* As far back as 1965 I became convinced that The Atlantic was a front publication for America’s intelligence community. The content was sophisticated but was always just a little off, a little not quite right. I confess that my opinion was based on nothing more than my reading between the lines of the magazine. Yet, in over fifty years I have found nothing that changed that early opinion. Appointing Jeffry Goldberg editor only confirms my long-standing belief. Move along! Nothing to see here.
* I have no idea how the editor of The Atlantic gets chosen, but of all their regulars, Goldberg has always been the one to write the most blinkered and provincial articles-all Israel, all Zionism, all the time.
Of course, I exaggerate, but as with many other public intellectuals of his tribe, a lot of America simply doesn’t exist in this guys’ mental landscape. And much of their writing is cogitation of a certain specialized hair-splitting type that feels far removed from the historical Anglo-Saxon mindset.
Even in today’s Atlantic, much of Goldberg’s stylistically undistinguised writing comes across as that of an outsider nerd banging on about his special concern, a lot like Coates. Unlike the New York Times, The Atlantic’s print edition still doesn’t come across as (((The Atlantic))).
How did Goldberg get the job? Where do the reins of power at The Atlantic lead and who holds them?
* People have been speculating about George Plimpton’s Paris Review literary mag for a long time.
I would want to be on George Plimpton’s side.
I’ve never seen anybody make the accusation, but Tom Wolfe’s Ph.D. is from Ground Zero of CIA recruitment: the American Studies program at Yale.
* I forgot that Jacob Weisberg was for the Iraq War. And then he spent the next 6 years collecting his “Bushisms” mocking W’s speech.
* I think Mickey Kaus might have been against it. At the least, he was not really for it. Kaus is (to my mind) a sensible guy, and one of the better, more lucid writers, who was ever at Slate – an E-zine that went rapidly down hill after Michael Kinsley left it. Like NPR, it now exists as a parody of itself.