Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Jeffrey Goldberg Files

We finally found the ponies.

Yet Goldberg enjoys a sterling reputation. The Atlantic's wealthy owner, David Bradley, reportedly sent Goldberg's children ponies in order to convince the reporter to leave The New Yorker for the prestigious magazine. "He's incredibly persistent and makes you feel like you're God's gift to journalism," Goldberg said of Bradley. The Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz approvingly referred to Bradley's pursuit of "top talent."

But it seems as though, despite Goldberg's ability to escape accountability for his journalistic malpractice, he can't help smirking to attentive readers. The cover story of the January/February edition of The Atlantic featured Goldberg's meditations on the post-Iraq Middle East. It featured, of all things, a discursion into "a decrepit prison in Iraqi Kurdistan" where "a senior interrogator with the Kurdish intelligence service" tortured an Arab prisoner. Goldberg mentioned not a word of what his last dalliance with Kurdish intelligence yielded. To anyone who read his 2002 and 2003 pieces, it appeared that The Atlantic writer was returning to the scene of the crime.

Nearly 4,000 Americans and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and counting, will not have the same opportunity.