Also see: Glenn's Recommended Reading List
GLENN: Putting the radio back into Radio City, from Midtown Manhattan in Rockefeller Plaza, this is the third most listened to show in all of America. I'm glad you're here. Jonah Goldberg, who has been a frequent guest on the program, especially the last couple of weeks, friend of the program, he's the author of the number one New York Times Best Seller, Liberal Fascism, is on the phone with us. Jonah, I called you when I found out you were number one -- I think it was on Wednesday. You were hard at work. You were out in California -- to congratulate you on being a number one New York Times Best Seller. I couldn't be happier if it were happening to me. You so deserve a number one best seller on this particular book. Congratulations.
GOLDBERG: Glenn, I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am to you and your listeners. I was very happy with where I was on the list. But it was after the yeoman work that you did on your radio show and, of course, on the TV show that catapulted me to number one. So, you know, let me promise right here and now that I'm going to mow your lawn and wash your car for the foreseeable future. I am incredibly indebted to you and eternally grateful.
GLENN: Please, please, please. Jonah, let me ask you this.
GLENN: Because you debuted at number 3, did you not?
GOLDBERG: I debuted at 10 and then the following week went up to 3 and then ran out of books.
GLENN: These publishers, they honestly do not believe that conservatives can read.
GOLDBERG: No, that's right. They were -- Random House was, in effect, getting out of this business, of conservative book publishing when this book skyrocketed up and I think it's sort of shaking up a lot of the assumptions of the publishing establishment that, you know, conservative books still sell, that people want to read this stuff and that it's not all sort of, you know, it's not all the Charlie Rose that read books.
GLENN: It just, isn't it amazing, Jonah. Do you live in Washington?
GLENN: Yeah. Isn't it amazing when you come up to New York and you deal with the New York elite how they just, they just, it's almost like they talk to you as if you're, you know, autistic. You know, it's like, "Okay, Jonah, okay, well, we'll do that, we'll see. Can you make the words a little smaller? Because I don't know if people like you are going to read this. That's an awfully big word."
GOLDBERG: Well, I grew up on the upper west side of Manhattan and we were basically -- the Goldbergs, we were one of the very few politically conservative families around and we were sort of like Christians in ancient Rome. You know, you have to sort of, you hide in Riverside Park and you draw a little C in the dirt to see if the other guy's a conservative, too, and then you meet and try to talk about how you actually like Ronald Reagan.
GLENN: Right, right. Keep it down.
GOLDBERG: I grew up with all of that. I'm very used to it and it's never -- it never ceases to be frustrating.
GLENN: Yeah, and it never ceases to amaze me how -- let me rephrase this. Let me ask you this: I believe that -- I'm beginning to believe that these people in Washington, these Progressives are not this stupid when it comes to the economy. When people are celebrating and saying, oh, my gosh. You know, when Fannie Mae yesterday announces, what was it, a $3.65 billion loss in the fourth quarter alone, then says they have more losses on the way, they've got $700 billion in loans and they say 20% of them are already in default. So you know what's coming. How the liberals and the Progressives in Washington celebrate and say, oh, my gosh, you guys need to take on more debt. Jonah, talk me down from the tree where these guys -- tell me that they're this stupid. Tell me that they're not intentionally trying to take down our economy to be able to implement all of the things that they want to implement and make us into one giant socialist state.
GOLDBERG: Well, you know, I don't think that in their heart of hearts they think that's what they're doing but that doesn't mean that's not what they're doing.
GLENN: So then your case would be that they're that stupid.
GOLDBERG: Yeah, cognitive dissidence. It's not quite Leninist but, you know, Lenin has this phrase, the worse, the better. The worse things got, the more support they would get. And I think that sort of thought runs through a lot of the Democratic party these days, particularly because they want to make this a change election, they know if the economy gets worse, they'll do better and so they see nothing wrong with talking down the economy when a bad economy will hurt the Republicans, not them. And I think we see that in things that, you know, Harry Reid says all the time, we see that in the sort of glee with which the mainstream press is reporting that we're going to go into a recession, you know, which they know becomes in effect a self-fulfilling prophecy.
GLENN: Well, you know what, Jonah, do you watch or listen to my program very often? Because I am leading the charge on I think we are in deep, deep trouble economically.
GOLDBERG: No, I think -- I'm not saying that they're wrong necessarily but I don't think you were happy about it.
GLENN: Okay. No, yes, yes, you're right about that. I'm terrified out of my mind about it, yes. Okay. First of all, because I want to talk to you about something entirely different.
GLENN: Another article you wrote, but I've got to ask you this, or at least maybe congratulate you on this. You are the worst person in the world with Keith Olbermann.
GOLDBERG: Again, yes, I think two more and I'm in eighth.
GLENN: What were the worst person in the world for?
GOLDBERG: It was a clip from your show which they took off context.
GLENN: What a surprise.
GOLDBERG: And Olbermann basically says I called FDR and Obama Hitler. That's not what I said. I mean, you were there. You know we were constantly defining our terms and saying what we were talking about and all of that. And then, you know, Olbermann says, "Goldberg still doesn't understand what fascism is, he still thinks it's like socialism, he doesn't even know that fascists were beating up socialists in the streets in Italy." And, you know, the response to that is, okay well, you know, Stalin beat up and murdered several million socialists. Does that mean he was antisocialist? Does that mean he was a fascist? Hitler killed a bunch of Nazis. Does that mean he's not a Nazi? I mean, it's this no-nothing kind of sheep Sophomoric scoring that you come to expect from someone like Olbermann.
GLENN: It's really disheartening to see that this guy, especially on debate nights, does well in the ratings.
GLENN: He is a growing force and, you know, God bless him. I mean, freedom of speech. You have a right to do that. It's disheartening because he is so full of opinion and his -- I mean, a lot of his stuff comes from blogs. It's not even good sources. And then when you see something like that. Even me, man, I'm a rodeo clown. I'd never run with a story like that.
GOLDBERG: Yeah. Beck I'd never run -- you can't take things out of context but this guy's a growing force and truly a propaganda machine.
GOLDBERG: What drives me crazy, I'm a free speech guy. I don't mind having lots of different voices on television, the media.
GLENN: Me, neither.
GOLDBERG: It's great you want to have the O'Reillys, the Hannitys, all of that is great. Opinion is great. I have no problem with it. My problem with Olbermann is that MSNBC cast him as a straight newsman whenever they want to and his fans in the quote/unquote main street press are hailing him as the new Edward R. Murrow.
GLENN: I know.
GOLDBERG: Whatever he is, he is not that. Certainly not what they think he had war R. Murrow was. He's not a straight newsman and he gets to have it both ways and, you know, the conservative talkers, they have to be very up front. You know, they're conservative. They're giving their opinion and it would never occur to, you know, the news networks to run them as anchors as well.
GLENN: There's no way anyone would run me as an anchor. There's no way -- you know what's amazing, there's no way that they would put Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly at Fox over to ask questions during a debate.
GOLDBERG: Yeah, they know there's a difference between Brit Hume and O'Reilly and I think they have no clue that there's a difference between Keith Olbermann and Tom Brokaw.
GLENN: It's a frightening trend. I want to talk to you, this goes to the point of your book, Liberal Fascism. Your point, correct me if I'm wrong, is liberals need to know their history. You need to know where you came from. You need to be able to see that there were real nefarious people involved. Conservatives need to do it as well. You need to look at history to know where you're going.
GOLDBERG: That's right. And, you know, conservatives understand that, you know, they've got skeletons in their closet. Liberals just seem to always think that right now at this very moment, they are the good guys, that they are not responsible or they don't have to worry about the fact that their predecessors also thought they were the good guys and did some really terrible things.
GLENN: Now, you have a new article out, and tell me the connection to Obama, to Weather Underground because it's kind of shifting sand here on the connection. It's not a real strong connection, right?
GOLDBERG: Right. Basically Obama, when he was coming up in Chicago politics, one of the people that you sort of have to go and kiss the ring of is this guy, Bill Ayers, who is a professor at the University of Illinois and sort of a local powerhouse in Progressive politics in Chicago and he's a former member of the Weather Underground. He was a bomb maker for them. He claims responsibility for sending bombs, attacking all sorts of government institutions. The Weather Underground declared war openly on the United States of America, has blood on its hands and Ayers --
GLENN: They called for -- they actually said -- now, was it this guy who said it or just the Weather Underground that said, kill your parents -- what was the quote? I read it in --
GOLDBERG: I don't have it right in front of me but it's kill your parents, kill your family, you know, attack the government, something like that, that's where it's at. And that has been widely attributed to Bill Ayers himself. And when he was asked by the New York Times on total irony on September 11th, 2001 about his work making bombs for the Weather Underground, they asked him if he had any remorse and he said, no, I wish I had done more. And, you know, that was the same day a couple of hours later that the Pentagon actually gets blown up, all these attacks. And, you know, can't be held accountable for the bad timing. But he was unapologetic, as far as I know remains unapologetic and there seems to be no cost for these former radicals to sort of reenter polite liberal society and be treated with respect and deference and, you know, imagine -- I mean, imagine if some guy was even remotely connected to bombing a church during the civil rights, you know, era.
GLENN: But let's just say a bomb maker, a bomb maker.
GOLDBERG: Yeah. For the right there is never any forgiveness, and I'm not saying there should be any forgiveness for a guy who has anything to do with blowing up a church. But my point is that there is this assumption that anyone too far to the right is permanently illegitimate but anyone who's too far to the left, well, you know, they were young, they were passionate, they cared too much and that it's okay to sort of have this segue. And academia and the universities are full of these people, these former radicals, Weather Underground, FDS, Black Panthers, fan of the Black Panthers. And the Black Panthers who Hillary Clinton was a fan of, the liberal elites these days were probably fans of in their youth. They were an openly fascistic terrorist organization, declared terror on the United States in the name of racial superiority, who ambushed cops and shot them in cold blood in the back, who murdered, you know, people willy-nilly, and yet we have Hollywood making pro Black Panther movies, Tom Wolfe writes about the radical sheep of the Black Panthers who go to a cocktail party on the upper west side of Manhattan. I mean, imagine having a cocktail party for Klansmen. I mean, there is an enormous double standard in the culture that the further you move to the left, you may be misguided or wrong but you are never evil, you are never bad and the further you move to the right, the closer you get to pure evil.
GLENN: You know, you were talking about, imagine a cocktail party for Klansmen. I think they are fundraisers for Robert Byrd. I think that's what they're called now. Jonah, congratulations again on the book Liberal Fascism, number one New York Times Best Seller. Nobody deserves it more than you do. No book more importantly deserve it more than that and I encourage anybody who hasn't picked this book up yet to please pick it up. It is number one on the New York Times.
I know you're a conservative. So it's hard for you to read other than "Sam I Am."
GOLDBERG: Well, maybe we'll get some hand puppets and we'll --
GLENN: We'll act it out for them, that's great. Jonah, thank you very much. Congratulations.
GOLDBERG: You're the man.
GLENN: Jonah Goldberg, author of Liberal Fascism. I have to tell you, the best thing about this audience and thank you so much for being a member of it, is that you are curious, that you are -- you are looking for answers. You are not just looking for the typical answer, that you are engaged on trying to figure things out. You know, I'm so encouraged to hear from listeners from both sides of the aisle that listen to this program and say, "You know what, Glenn, I mean, I used to believe this; I don't think I believe this anymore. I think I'm -- I can't be a Republican. I don't know what conservatives even stand for anymore because they're so tied to the Republican party. I don't know, you know, about liberals, what do they stand for anymore. They've just become Democrats, they're just selling their soul to the devil." Find out the truth. Find out what's really going on. Find out what you really believe in. And I've got to tell you, that is this audience.