Washington Post demonstrates how crummy it is by writing obnoxious obit about Lucianne Goldberg

At newspapers, obituaries are typically written in advance.

The Washington Post had plenty to work with when the death of Lucianne Goldberg happened, but instead of remembering good, or at least balancing their summary, they selectively chose to remember the great muse of the right, internet pioneer, and accomplished woman from a time when women weren't allowed much accomplishment, by printing only cherry-picked tales of dubious sourcing that made her look phony.

It was garbage.  It stood in stark contrast to the insightful and warm-hearted tweets that overwhelmingly were the consensus on Twitter, from wildly different parts of the internet spectrum.  The notes of condolences to Goldberg's son, Jonah Goldberg, was a who's who of the right, containing kind and loving words from both the harshest of the NeverTrumps and the harshest of the MAGA people, side by side in perfect harmony, and was a sight to behold.  Lucianne Goldberg was a giant to so many, a great lady; she was loved, and she was consequential.

But the Post?  They decided to go small instead. 

Their headline and subhed ran like this:

Lucianne Goldberg, who leaked tapes at center of Clinton impeachment, dies at 87

Ms. Goldberg, a literary agent, urged former White House aide Linda Tripp to secretly tape her friend Monica Lewinsky, who had an affair with the president.

Not a word about Bill Clinton's tawdry, exploitative, despicable behavior; not a word about how, according to the Starr report, Clinton "finished the job in the sink," which is what Mrs. Goldberg ultimately brought to light based on Clinton's constant lying.  There was just the penny-dreadful act of leaking tapes and secretly taping, as if that would be the total sum of Mrs. Goldberg's life, which it wasn't.

In reality, Goldberg did a public service by asking the players involved to preserve the loudly circulating evidence.  That evidence went on to reveal the real Bill Clinton, whose presidency lowered the bar for presidential standards, but whose presidency was saved by a good economy.  The Post didn't understand the significance of that act, which revealed the truth about the Clintons, and just wanted to focus on the single act as sort of tawdry.  Then they led with this.

Lucianne Goldberg, a New York literary agent and conservative provocateur who took on a Machiavelli-style role in the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton by encouraging a former White House aide to secretly tape Monica Lewinsky discussing her affair with the president, died Oct. 26 at her home in Weehawken, N.J. She was 87.  

No, that's not the summary of her life, nor is it the essence of her.  Mrs. Goldberg was an entrepreneur, a radio host, an author, famously witty, a bona fide internet pioneer, a dragon lady if you like, and her historic role was in demonstrating that the establishment media were rotten to the core and the public was moving toward alternate news sources, such as what was then the Drudge Report.  When the story came out about how Newsweek suppressed its own scoop about Clinton's doings, that was a revelation about the media that had its ties to Mrs. Goldberg's courageous act.

She also was a career woman of great accomplishments, who went from newsroom errand girl at the various Washington newspaper outlets, and part-time political operative during the Johnson and Nixon administration years, to a famed literary agent who built her own successful business, and then went on to be a popular radio host and internet pioneer through her still-popular website, Lucianne.com.

The Post was more interested in this detail, though, reporting it as solemn fact even though it was clearly humor on Mrs. Goldberg's part:

She married a high school boyfriend, William Cummings, and divorced after three years. She worked in the late 1950s as a clerk at The Washington Post promotion department and, in 1963, started a one-woman media shop in the Press Club under Lucianne Cummings & Associates, which claimed to have satellite offices in London and Paris.

A friend, former Washington Star drama critic Emerson Beauchamp, told The Washington Post in 1998 that Ms. Goldberg once said she was practicing a British accent "so she could pretend to be her English secretary when people called."

Ah, proof!  Proof she was a phony!  As if succeeding in New York has never involved such sleights of hand.

They suggested her entire life was "an act" and she was a phony:

Ms. Goldberg carried such a big personality that there were always questions about whether her right-leaning political sentiments were genuine or a kind of performance art. Either way, her place in the Clinton scandal made her, to some, a conservative hero.


Performance art.  Sorry, pal — Lucianne Goldberg was always for real.

They certainly lapped up this part:

"And I said, 'You say you talk to her every day — how about taping your phone conversations?'" Ms. Goldberg recalled.

Ms. Goldberg even suggested the type of tape recorder: a Radio Shack model like the one she kept on her desk at her Manhattan office. Tripp wasn't sure.

"She always was reluctant," Ms. Goldberg recalled to The Washington Post in late 1998. "She said, 'I think it's kind of sleazy.'"

And they tried to paint her as sleazy in the authors she represented, which were numerous, and bestsellers, but these are the two that interested them:

Later, after a long career writing or ghostwriting sexy potboilers and representing such authors as Kitty Kelley and discredited Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman, she delighted in taking aim at Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Never mind that these were successful books that made money, testimony to her impeccable eye for what sells and what doesn't.  They wouldn't admit that if it bit them on the butt.

Now, the crummy obit about Mrs. Goldberg was not a matter of them being mean-spirited no matter whose obit they write.  This is the same Washington Post that ran lionizing obits with headlines like this:

Fidel Castro, revolutionary leader who remade Cuba as a socialist state, dies at 90

There was also Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's headline.  According to the Washington Examiner:

The Washington Post changed the headline of its obituary of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from "terrorist-in-chief" to describe him as an "austere religious scholar."

What we have here was a bid to find the smallest unflattering granular detail about Mrs. Goldberg at the expense of who she was.  In contrast, people on Twitter and those who knew her, such as Thomas Lifson and John Podhoretz, really did know who she was and could explain the significance of her life, or else just distill it down to what we remember about her.  Look at this fantastic tweet from writer Mickey Kaus:

That's a far more accurate description of who she was, which the Post completely missed.

There also was this:

Another thing they missed was that writer after writer paid grateful tribute to her because she was kind and had helped them:

There were a lot of these, and I was one of them.

Not a word about that in the Post obit.

They summed up with this flip comment instead, framing it as proof that she was unimportant:

"I was ready for my Warholian 15 minutes," she told the New York Times, "but it really wears you down."

Oh, what dreck.  They completely missed the story on her because they hated her.  Nobody is a worse prognosticator than a rabid hater, as Eric Hoffer once noted.  They went that route, and they came out looking small, stupid, ugly, and ignorant.

Image: Twitter screen shot.

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