Here’s some bad publicity (if there’s such a thing) for an author who’s doing pretty well at the moment.
National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg published his second book Tyranny of Cliche’s: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas at the start of this month. It’s currently listed at No. 56 on Amazon’s Bestsellers list. On the book’s jacket, Goldberg’s bio says he has “twice been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.” But as msnbc.com points out, Goldberg has never been nominated for a Pulitzer.
“His publisher, Penguin Group (USA), said the error was unintentional and it would remove the Pulitzer word from his book jacket when it’s time for the first reprint, ‘just like any other innocent mistake brought to our attention.'”
In a chain of emails accidentally forwarded to msnbc from Penguin with comment from the publisher, Goldberg calls the whole thing a “bull@!$%# story.” When asked for comment, Goldberg told FishbowlDC by email that he’s sure he read the bio on the book before it came out, but that he “didn’t know it was a “mistake” when he saw it. “It’s a pretty dumb story if you ask me — which I suppose you are. As [msnbc] notes, lots of people have made the mistake. I’m glad to correct it, of course. But it was an honest error.”
Goldberg has had work submitted for a Prize (which is simply a matter of filling out an application and paying a $50 fee) but has never been selected by the Pulitzer committee as a finalist.
The good news: Both Goldberg and his publisher were forthcoming on the matter. “We will submit the correction to online retailers like Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com, which use our flap copy for their descriptive copy,” the publisher told msnbc. “Jonah is also correcting any other bios that have the error.”
And now for the bad news: msnbc.com reports that this isn’t Goldberg’s first brush with embellishing details. In 2008, National Review reported that Tribune Media Services, which runs his column, “nominated” him for a Pulitzer. Who knows, maybe Goldberg will seek pr advice from a well-known literary agent (and his mother) Lucianne Goldberg, who once advised ex-Clinton aide Linda Tripp to tape record conversations with Monica Lewinksy.
Then again, maybe not.