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Jonah Goldberg

Here are the Frequently Asked Questions for the Goldberg File:

What is this Dreck?

The Goldberg File was a once-daily, now thrice-weekly column written by Jonah Goldberg, editor of National Review Online.

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What time of day does it appear?

This is something of a mystery. It largely depends on several complex and interrelated factors. Among them are: how much the author had to drink the previous evening; whether the webmaster for National Review Online is having a flashback and/or the relative severity of that flashback (if he is screaming about “spiders” and “Grover Cleveland” the file may not be up until the evening); the workload of the author; the subject matter; the location of the author; the mood of the author.

How long has this been going on?

The “Goldberg File” began in September of 1998, during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. Rich Lowry, Editor of the Print version of National Review Online (just kidding), offered Goldberg the opportunity to post various observations and whatnot about the scandal. It quickly grew into the monster it is today.

What do you do with the old ones when people are through with them?

All old columns can be found in the G-File archives (though sometimes the glue sniffing webmaster forgets and this requires some prodding from Goldberg). There is a link at the bottom of every Goldberg File which leads to the archives.

Who is Jonah Goldberg that I should give a rat’s ass?

He really isn’t anybody of import at all and you shouldn’t give a rat’s ass about him, partly because who really wants a rat’s ass? Who would take it in exchange for your lack of concern about Goldberg? In fact what a silly thing to say.

What is his background?

Right now, an endless expanse of pizza boxes, empty cans of beer and back issues of newspapers, porn magazines and Commentary magazine.

I didn’t mean what was physically in the background behind him you idiot. I meant what is his professional background etc.

Goldberg is from New York City, and much of his life is alternatively classified or boring. He attended Goucher College and taught English in Czechoslovakia for a while (it was still Czechoslovakia back then). He is currently the editor of National Review Online, a columnist for Brill’s Content and the media critic for The American Enterprise. He also writes regularly for IntellectualCapital.com. Formerly he was a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute. He was a television producer for several years. He produced the weekly PBS series Think Tank. He wrote and produced two one-hour PBS documentaries, “Gargoyles: Guardians of the Gate” and “Notre Dame: Witness to History.” He worked on several other programs. For a very long time, Goldberg was the Vice President of the Lucianne Goldberg Literary Agency. He got the job through flagrant nepotism, as he is the son of Lucianne Goldberg — a fact that embroiled him in several scandals emanating from the President’s pants. A longtime writer, he has written for the New Yorker, Food & Wine, The Wall Street Journal, The Public Interest, Slate, Commentary, Reason, The Wilson Quarterly, The Weekly Standard, National Review and elsewhere. For two years he worked on a book ranking the most influential conservatives. He never finished it and gave the advance back to the publisher. For this reason his next book will be 101 Cat Food Recipes for Writers on a Limited Budget.

What is National Review Online?

It is the website for National Review magazine, the best conservative magazine in America. NR Online is trying something new. It wants to be a fully functional web-magazine that provides unique web-only content. Other than the Goldberg File, NR Online provides numerous web-only features, articles and reviews. Readers can find them all at www.nationalreview.com. They can also click on the “Home” button on the Navigation Bar to the left. The site is currently being redesigned. Navigation will be easier, but there will be no porn.

Why do you anthropomorphize the website? It doesn’t “want” or “try” to be anything. It’s just a bunch of ones and zeros on a hard disk somewhere. It has no intentionality whatsoever. That is unless you are claiming it has an emergent quality like in the that Star Trek the Next Generation where the Enterprise became “intelligent.”

Did you get any dates at all in highschool?

Sorry. Where can I find porn on your site?

We said, you cannot find porn.

Goldberg is constantly referring to his Webmaster’s problems with controlled substances and the law. Surely he isn’t serious?

The last time someone called Goldberg “Shirley” he buried a ballpoint pen in the guy’s forehead. Until Goldberg gets his bail money back from the Webguy he will not answer any questions about him.

Who is this “couch” Goldberg keeps referring to?

Because Goldberg works largely in solitude in his Washington, D.C., apartment, he has grown, er, eccentric. Close readers of the Goldberg File differ as to how serious Goldberg is, but the running conceit is that he often talks to his furniture, which he calls his staff. He is especially close to his couch.

Goldberg once asked readers in a poll whether a mature professional should still be talking to his furniture. Readers seemed to think so and actually voted to have the couch write its own television column. Whether Goldberg actually thinks his furniture is intelligent is a mystery. Some believe this is simply another voice or nom de plume which he assumes in his writing. They cite as evidence other personas and pseudonyms Goldberg has assumed, including: Mahfouz Samsonite Jones (Jail House Revolutionary Pamphlets), Tiffany Sprinkle (various Penthouse Forums, Juggs), Bud Gretnick (Household Repair), Mahatma Sri Rashneesh (Transcendance Quarterly).

Is he really as fat as he claims he is?

Well, not quite; smaller pundits do not orbit around him as he claims. But we are all merely the imperfect shadows of our ideal forms. Goldberg is more dedicated to pursuing perfection in this area than most. He is getting larger and larger all the time. Indeed, he recently introduced his readers to “Joe.” Joe is his belly. Joe is growing in influence.

Why does he often say peculiar things and then say “What’s that From?”

This is a very popular feature of the Goldberg File. Because he wasted much of his life watching television, Goldberg has an extensive knowledge of things that have no discernible use. One of them is dialogue from film and television. Often he will refer to a line of dialogue and ask readers to submit their guesses as to what film or TV show is being referenced. In fact it is so popular, “What’s That From?” has become its own feature. You can visit it by clicking here. (Unfortunately, the acronym for the feature is WTF, which — according to readers now or formerly in the armed services — is a martial abbreviation like Snafu, Fubar, etc. WTF apparently stands for “What the F— —k.” But hey, WTF?)

Why do the Hotline and National Journal’s Cloakroom constantly pick on Goldberg?

Last year, Goldberg asked readers to vote in Hotline’s poll for who should replace Pat Buchanan for host of Crossfire. Goldberg won the non-binding poll, but not without earning the good-natured enmity of the staff at Hotline. Apparently they were sufficiently inundated with faxes that they were unable to receive their racing forms.

What is “Corrections and Clarifications Friday” all about?

Alas, because Goldberg watches Baywatch everyday and can name the main characters in almost every Marvel comic book from 1976 to 1986, he occasionally makes errors. Far more often, he simply writes things that make readers say, “Is this guy higher than a moonbat?” Nevertheless, readers are invited to point out real errors of fact or perceived errors of logic. On Fridays – though not every Friday — Goldberg discusses it all. Some suspect Goldberg includes deliberate errors to encourage feedback; Goldberg says he would prefer to scrap the tradition.

Nonetheless, while readers are encouraged to submit corrections, they are requested to put the word “correction” in the subject header so Goldberg can find them when he needs them.

If Goldberg is the one writing this FAQ sheet, why is he talking about himself in the third person?

Reasonable people may differ on this point. Some think it is because he is a horse’s ass. Others believe it is because it’s easier. A few think it is a homage to the Bob Dole on the “Real World” skit from Saturday Night Live (“Who ate Bob Dole’s Peanut Butter?”). But really, most people don’t care.

Does Goldberg really hate the French, or is that just an act?

He really seems to hate the French, doesn’t he?

Did he make up the term “Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkey?”

No. While he wishes he did, that line is from the Simpsons.

Can Jonah Goldberg be hired for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and other speaking engagements?

Yes. He can be booked for all speaking engagements through Keppler Associates. In fact, you can find a picture of him there. Actually it’s just his head. We imposed it on a healthy man’s body.

Is he linking to his speaker’s bureau in a shameless attempt to bilk money out of his readers?

No. He feels quite a bit of shame.

What are Goldberg’s Politics?

He is an unapologetic conservative, who flirts with Libertarianism the way Doc Holliday flirted with opium dens. But he is ashamed of his Libertarian desires and, as a result, often mocks Libertarians unfairly. This is often called Libertaro-phobia (for a good reason).

Will this FAQ sheet ever end?

Yes.

When?

Now.

One more question.

Okay

Seriously, what about the porn?

Okay, fine. Meet behind Ramesh’s desk. I’ll hook you up. I just had to say that stuff because the suits might read this.

Cool. Did you see the Simpson’s last night?

Yeah, is it me or is Marge starting to look hot?

Yeah, I’ll tell you what I’d like…hey! Is this thing still on?

Damn! Hit stop! C’mon man! Hurry!



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