101, If You Count the Byline

Columbus Alive | July 28, 2005
Bernard Goldberg, author of "Bias" and one of those writers who produce books for a very specific audience of people who already agree with them politically, has released his latest, "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And Al Franken Is #37)" (HarperCollins).

More a parlor game than an actual book—in fact, Goldberg seems to have written it in a few hours engaging in no more serious research than Googling his targets—even reviewing it is risking taking it too seriously, but his is a fun game to play.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that it’s the margianlized and mostly powerless left that’s screwing up America, with number one being Michael Moore, whom doesn’t even get a write-up like the other 99 enemies of the state, only a full-page photo, as if what terrible damage Moore’s done the country is so evident it doesn’t need to be explained (I’m not going to defend Moore; although it's interesting to note that his own literary career mirrors Goldberg’s, they simply address different built-in audiences).

Moore being Public Enemy Number One is even less surprising when you see the list, which includes Michael Jackson, Eminem, Ludacris, the executive producer of "Fear Factor" and the guy who created those Boys Are Stupid t-shirts.

The political listees are the regular rogues gallery, including Howard Dean, John Edwards, Al Sharpton and Al Gore—losers whom Goldberg continues to kick even though they’re down and, in some cases, out. Token conservatives are included just so you can’t accuse him of bias, but they’re of the most extreme variety—a pro-lifer who murdered an abortion doctor, for example—making for a weak cover.

And Goldberg’s hypocritical logic needs a strong and heavy cover. In the same paragraph that he decries Hollywood liberals comparing Bush to Hitler, for example, he compares them to the Taliban. He laments those who bash the president, but puts former president Carter on his list. And perhaps the most egregious example is #95, Courtney Love, who’s one-word entry is simply “ho,” which comes after an entire chapter Goldberg devoted to discussing how awful it is that gangsta rappers demean women by calling them ho’s.

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