ARROGANCE: Rescuing America from the Media Elite

Bernard Goldberg, Author . Warner $26.95 (310p) ISBN 978-0-446-53191-7

Most people who hit the top of the bestseller lists with their first book would enjoy their success, but Goldberg (Bias ) would rather grouse about how little media attention he got and how even his new publisher (he was previously with Regnery) doesn't understand why liberal bias in journalism is a "crucial" issue. His analysis of the media's "leftward" slant in coverage of social issues, buttressed by his own experiences as a CBS News correspondent and tales from anonymous colleagues, is not without its persuasive qualities, though undermined by rather obvious deck-stacking, condescension toward opposing viewpoints and intermittent outrageousness. He also drops hints about how news organizations bully interviewees to eliminate anything that might contradict what they broadcast—an act of arrogance transcending ideological lines—but quickly drops that story in favor of more liberal-bashing. And despite his admonition to media professionals to "stop taking [criticism] personally," Goldberg repeatedly makes it personal, taking shots at Barbara Walters, for example, or accusing New York Times columnist Frank Rich of attacking him as a favor to a college classmate. That's only a fraction of his complaints against what he sees as the paper of record's ideological stance, which he considers both far more pervasive and more important than the Jayson Blair scandal. (Nor, he says, is it a new problem, recycling criticisms of Stalin-era Moscow correspondent Walter Duranty that have recently gained favor among mainstream analysts.) Goldberg isn't just a lone voice in the wilderness, either, as interviews with Bob Costas and Tim Russert offer supporting perspectives. Still, this is pure, unadulterated Goldberg, with precisely the same combination of insider knowledge and righteous indignation that made him a hit the first time around. Expect robust sales. (Nov.)

Forecast: The publisher has announced a first printing of 325,000 copies and plans to run radio ads in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Chicago and print ads in most major papers and book review journals.

Reviewed on: 11/10/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
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