Bernard Goldberg Interview Summary

I had the opportunity to interview Bernard Goldberg this morning as we drove around Washington DC, as he kicked off the publicity campaign for his new book, The 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And Al Franken Is #37). Unfortunately, my very full schedule today kept me from posting about the interview until now — and that’s too bad, because Goldberg has definitely declared himself on a mission with this book.
Most of the people who frequent the blogosphere have read his seminal book on media bias, prosaically titled Bias. When I mentioned the fact that the book inspired me and many others to take action to combat the pervasive cultural bias in the media, he told me that the problem is much wider than that. “This takes on a much bigger subject, and this is the culture at large,” he said. “Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives, I think we can agree — I hope we can agree — that we’ve become a nastier, less civil, more selfish America than we ought to be.”
Goldberg talked extensively about the other portions of the culture that he sees eroding standards in the public arena, apart from the news media, and he makes clear that he believes it to be a critical issue for American culture. He allowed that a list book tends to make the book more fun, but he spent a lot of time researching the people on his list.
When he wrote Bias, he described himself as an old-fashioned liberal, the way Hubert Humphrey and John Kennedy promoted liberal values. Now he has openly declared himself as a conservative, because as he puts it, the liberals make it impossible for him to stay with that association. “I am not — underline not — a liberal the way Al Franken and Michael Moore are liberals. … Look, I think most liberals in America are decent people. The issue is that the people speaking loudest for liberals, the voice of liberal America, they are the ones doing the harm to this culture.”
One other issue popped up in our talk. A source informed me that CNN scheduled Aaron Brown to interview Bernard Goldberg tonight on its prime-time broadcast, but Aaron Brown personally refused to do the interview. CNN later rescheduled Goldberg for an interview tomorrow morning. When I asked Goldberg for confirmation, he did tell me that CNN had canceled the prime-time interview. “I have no Constitutional right to appear on CNN, and Aaron Brown has every right to refuse me,” Goldberg replied. “However, I think we can all agree that this is an important subject. Brown has no trouble interviewing Al Franken … I think this says something about Aaron Brown.”
Our interview was supposed to run fifteen minutes, but Goldberg graciously allowed me to keep him going for over 30 minutes this morning. I will start posting the transcripts of this interview after dinner, where you can hear his thoughts on debating race, his next projects, and how you can help him rethink his top 100. Keep checking for updates, as Goldberg does not hold back at all during our conversation, as you can certainly see from this taste of it.

2 thoughts on “Bernard Goldberg Interview Summary”

  1. 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America

    Many of the names on his list you may not have heard of, so you will have to check it out for yourself. It’s nice to know that the former President of my alma mater made the list at #87.
    100. Rick and Kathy Hilton
    99. Matthew Lesko
    98. Sheila Ja…

  2. Great Move, AB

    According to Captain Ed, CNN’s Aaron Brown refused to interview fellow journalist Bernard Goldberg, author of Bias. Hm. I’m not really surprised by this. I’ve only watched Aaron Brown a few times. To be honest, the guy just rubs me…

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