The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Jonah Goldberg Only Steals From the Best

Posted on | January 19, 2019 | Comments Off on Jonah Goldberg Only Steals From the Best


Plagiarism — passing off someone else’s work as your own — is generally a career-destroyer in journalism, and what Jonah Goldberg has done in recycling an idea borrowed from Ace of Spades is perhaps not exactly plagiarism. Like, it’s not as if he cut-and-pasted entire sentences, but rather that he failed to attribute the basic idea to the guy who originated it. By his lack of attribution, Goldberg essentially cheated Ace of credit he deserved. The weird thing is that, less than three years ago, Jonah did acknowledge Ace’s authorship of the “political MacGuffin” idea in a May 2016 column about Trump’s campaign where the “MacGuffin” was the GOP nomination. But now in January 2019, Goldberg returns to the same idea — this time, with the border wall as the “MacGuffin” of the government-shutdown melodrama — and cheats Ace out of his proper credit. Maybe it’s not a career-destroying plagiarism scandal, since Goldberg had previously acknowledged Ace’s authorship in an earlier iteration of the same theme, but it sure as hell ain’t fair or honest.

By the way, my entire blogging career was stolen from Ace.

Circa 2005-2006, I was feeling trapped in the newsroom of the Washington Times and, in my idle moments, would toggle over to Ace’s and literally laugh out loud at his stuff. Ace was having fun, and I was like, “I want to do that for a living.” I met Ace at CPAC 2006, hanging around outside the Omni Shoreham Hotel smoking cigarettes, basically fangirling all over him like my daughter would behave if she ever met Harry Styles. Then in 2007, I recommended Ace to my friends at the Young America’s Foundation for a sort of blogger junket to their West Coast student leadership conference in Santa Barbara, which was nice. That was where I learned how seriously Ace takes his anonymity, by the way. He presciently understood that the Left would sooner or later want to destroy his life, and so he guarded his true identity to such an extent that he was actually registered in the hotel as “Ace of Spades.” Also, that 2007 West Coast YAF conference was the occasion when I got a Drudge-linked front-page scoop on a story based on Phillip Klein’s notes of an interview, but I digress . . .

When the Washington Times changed editors in 2008 and I took that as my cue to leave, I knew that blogging was a thing I could do, and the madcap “what’s-he-gonna-say-next” aspect of Ace’s work was my basic inspiration for this gig. And sometimes it’s demoralizing to me to realize how far short I fall of my original ambition. Ace is remarkably productive, and consistently so, and he somehow manages to stay focused on the daily D.C. melodrama in a way I simply can’t anymore. Like, I just don’t see any point in writing about whatever is the top-of-the-hour thing on Fox News. Why should anyone want to read my take on the Breaking New Development in the Ongoing National Crisis? What’s the point in adding my own voice to the incessant mooing of the Pundit Herd?

The fact that Ace is able to keep going, and is still a daily must-read, is remarkable. He’s been doing this for 15+ years, OK?

Thursday night, I took my daughter and one of her school friends out for a late-night snack at Sheetz and while we were sitting there eating our delicious MTO meals — Sheetz is da bomb — I was reading Ace on my phone and laughing out loud at his take on the Google “you-can’t-say-‘family’-because-that’s-homophobic” story. And rather than trying to explain what I was laughing at, I just handed the phone over to my daughter: “Read this.” She didn’t seem to get it, but that’s OK. My point is to illustrate what I mean when I say it’s demoralizing to compare myself to Ace. I’d seen the same Daily Caller scoop by Peter Hasson that Ace was commenting about, and had intended to comment on it myself, but was busy Thursday working on my American Spectator column and intended to get around to the Google story later. But once I’d seen Ace’s take, I was like, “Why even bother now?” Because he absolutely murdered it:

Hi, I’m a transexual weirdo in a polyamorous relationship with multiple other dregs. We hope to live together in a collective f–k-pile. We would like to be called a “family” like a boring heterosexual family of 2.5 kids and a dog. We hate stereotypes but it’s okay to stereotype heterosexuals because Breeders, Am I Right?

You’d have to read the whole thing to understand how funny that sentence was in context, because Ace has an impeccable sense of comedic timing that enables him to deliver that line just so. Now I’m doing the Harry Styles fangirling thing again, but Ace deserves more praise than he usually gets and this Goldberg ripoff situation reminds me how wrong it is to take Ace for granted. That ewok is a National Treasure, and if he were to keel over from a heart attack, it would be a loss as painful as Andrew Breitbart’s untimely death in 2012. So now I suppose the question is, what are we gonna do about Jonah Goldberg? How are we going to avenge the injustice Jonah has inflicted on Ace?

We don’t want to be like the Left, doxxing the guy and then assembling a mob to surround his house and frighten his children. Or do we?

One of the reasons Jonah felt he could diss Ace like this, you see, is because he is arrogant enough to think there won’t be payback. And I honestly don’t want to declare war on Jonah. Despite his recent transition to being a testosterone-deficient #NeverTrump soy boy, I still have fond memories of when Jonah was one of the Good Guys, even though there were always signs he might be a bit wobbly, like when NRO purged Ann Coulter over . . . what? It’s been so long I’ve forgotten, but that was one of those incidents that made me mark down Rich Lowry’s name in the “unreliable” column, and I seem to vaguely recall that Jonah played a role in the Coulter purge although, as I say, it’s been a long time and details of that incident are now very fuzzy in my memory. But I digress . . .

My point is not to recount the entire history of Goldberg’s slow-motion descent into an absurd parody of a controlled-opposition RINO, but rather to say that if this is the Franz-Ferdinand-at-Sarajevo moment that leads to all-out #WAR, I’m enlisting with the Ewok Army.

Of course, it’s still possible diplomacy can prevent the needless effusion of blood. There needs to be an “intervention” with Goldberg, to try to save him from turning into Rick Wilson or Tom Nichols or Max Boot.

Oh, dear God, why did I just write the name “Max Boot” and remind myself of his existence? The other day I saw a clip of Max Boot on CNN and there are no words to describe how creepy he is.


Somebody should show that clip to Jonah and ask him: “Is this who you want to be?” Is it your life’s ambition to become a cartoon caricature of an effeminate ex-Republican doing guest spots on CNN to feed their liberal narrative? Because that’s your ultimate destination if you keep hanging around the #NeverTrump crowd. Selah.





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