Jonah Goldberg on The Tyranny of Cliches, Creating NRO, and the Firing of John Derbyshire


"Liberals are sure they're in the reality-based community and anyone who disagrees with them either has a bad brain, or in some other way rejects empiricism and science, and they are the only ones working with the building blocks of facts and reason," says National Review's Jonah Goldberg, author of the new book, The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas.

"And I call bullshit on that."

Goldberg, who became the editor of National Review Online in 1999, is responsible for creating the tone and format of the highly trafficked website, which built on the magazine's venerable reputation while signaling, as he puts it, "that this is not your father's National Review." Goldberg's new book, which follows his best-selling 2008 Liberal Fascism, argues that liberals should stop claiming their ideas derive solely from science and fact but never ideology–a way of arguing that stifles honest debate. Liberal arguments sometimes take the form of hackneyed cliches meant to sound self-evident but that in reality disguise a political bent, such as "violence never solves anything" or "I may disagree with you but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

Goldberg sat down with ReasonTV's Nick Gillespie for a wide-ranging discussion about liberal and conservative discourse, his early vision for National Review Online, and the firing of long-time National Review contributor John Derbyshire for writing a racist article in Taki's Magazine. Goldberg also explains why he plans to vote for Mitt Romney despite his lack of enthusiasm for the presumptive GOP nominee.

Approximately 30 minutes.

Shot and produced by Jim Epstein; additional camera by Meredith Bragg.

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