Heavyset American Jonah Goldberg has a new book coming out about how the people he disagrees with are not merely wrong, but are also poisonous hateful cheaters and liars and fascists and tyrants. The dust jacket claims that Goldberg has "twice been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize," which is true in the sense that I am a three-time World's Greatest Dad nominee.
As MSNBC.com's Bill Dedman notes, Goldberg's claim to have been a "nominee" rests not on the fact that he was judged as a runner-up by the Pulitzer Committee—he most certainly was not, at all, ever—but on the fact that his bosses twice put his name on a little form and mailed it to the Pulitzer folks along with a $50 fee. For $100, you can be a Two-Time Pulitzer Nominee just like Jonah Goldberg!
All of which makes Goldberg an entrant, as opposed to a nominee. When it announces winners, the Pulitzer Committee also lists the three runners-up, or "nominated finalists," an honor that Jonah Goldberg has never, ever received in his life, ever.
Of course that hasn't stopped him from claiming to be a Pulitzer Nominee for years, even though he was caught in the same scam the last time he wrote a book.
The weird thing is, the transparent flimsiness of the so-called "nominations" appears to be well-known in Goldberg-land. Goldberg's sad lonely colleague Kathryn Jean Lopez openly praised him in 2008 for nabbing a nod not from the Pulitzer folks, but from the kingmakers at Tribune Media Services, which syndicates his column:
Guess who has been nominated for a Pulitzer? Yes…the P word. Can I even say that around here?
Tribune Media Services (his syndicate) has nominated our Jonah for a Pulitzer in opinion journalism.
Now, if they only know what's good for them …
In other words, Lopez understood the "nomination" to be nothing more than a hollow gesture from his bosses, and still thought it was worthy of congratulations. Also: Why did Tribune Media Services nominate him just twice? Why isn't he a FIFTEEN TIME PULITZER NOMINEE? Not worth the $750?
Goldberg told Dedman that he is withdrawing the Pulitzer claim and will correct future editions of his book. Here's hoping there are no future editions of his book.
Full disclosure: I used to edit a column Goldberg wrote in Brill's Content magazine. He's changed!