Nobody Likes A Snitch, Jeffrey Goldberg

The party taking the brunt of the damage is journalism itself.

Jack Engelhard

OpEds Jack Engelhard
Jack Engelhard
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To be honest, the name Jeffrey Goldberg is new to me. Wait. Not quite true. In my neighborhood back in Montreal, especially around St. Urbain Street, there were quite a few Goldbergs and one or two of them may even have been named Jeffrey, as in Jeffrey Goldberg.

All of them, I later learned, even the ones who were up to no good at the poolroom on Fairmount Street, turned themselves into great physicians. (Who knew?)

So we are talking about somebody else, a Jeffrey Goldberg from New York who became a journalist. So from now on when we say Jeffrey Goldberg we are referring to a journalist who originally made a name for himself, Jeffrey Goldberg, by taking part in blogging shameful innuendos about Sarah Palin, otherwise known as deranged Sarah Palin syndrome.

But that was before – though still the same Jeffrey Goldberg when we wonder how come he is suddenly so famous?

Everywhere you look, it’s Jeffrey Goldberg. What did he say? What did he do? Did he discover the cure for some disease?

No, that would be Jeffrey Goldberg from Montreal.

This Jeffrey Goldberg – did he find a way to end war? No. Did he find a way to start a war?

Maybe he did, and this too takes some doing.

Is gossip-mongering the new and preferred language of diplomacy?
Bylining for the Atlantic magazine, he wrote an article that makes nobody look good, including himself.

He does the Obama Administration no favors when, intentionally or not he shows anonymous “un-named” sources as being catty, petulant and juvenile. He has them pointing fingers at Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu using the most vile kind of street-talk – and that’s why Jeffrey Goldberg has been getting all the coverage.

Suddenly his name pops up everywhere and somewhere it says that he is a leading authority on the Middle East, if that’s any reason to cheer.  

As harmful as he’s been to both Administrations, America’s and Israel’s, the party taking the brunt of the damage is journalism itself.

For there was a time when journalism demanded at least two named sources before a story was allowed to run.

Anonymous sources? We called that gossip.  

That there is friction between Obama and Netanyahu, of that there is no doubt. But when people like Jeffrey Goldberg (and Tom Friedman) are given first-hand access to the private musings of America’s public officials, we can only wonder how low we have sunk in relations between our two great allies.

Is gossip-mongering the new and preferred language of diplomacy? The smack-talk against Netanyahu (if the reportage is true) sounds like someone speaking his mind from the State Department, reflecting the unvarnished views of John Kerry and… the views of Jeffrey Goldberg. 

This Goldberg is always happy to rub it in against the Jewish State and those were choice words against the Israeli leader – primarily the expletive “Chicken-bleep.”

Imagine the cowardly thrill of publishing your own thoughts while using “un-named sources” for cover.

This much is true. Yes, you can start a war by using “un-named sources.” Surely – as we see – you can create bad blood by tattling, tattling a lie or tattling even the truth. If every private talk, from one home to another, from one country to another were made public, the world would cease to exist. We’d all be at each other’s throats.

This needs to be repeated – talebearing is the lowest form of behavior even if the message is true.

Nobody likes a snitch, Jeffrey Goldberg.

That is why, back in Montreal, you would never have been allowed to play with the boys.

Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. New from the novelist, the Middle East/media thriller “The Bathsheba Deadline.” Engelhard wrote the int’l bestseller “Indecent Proposal” that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore.  Website: