the Goldberg conundrum
Isn’t Goldberg an almost ludicrously enthusiastic booster for the Sopranos? I know– the point of the Sopranos isn’t that the characters are people you want to emulate or agree with. Couldn’t that be the case here, as well? Why does the production of a play or any other kind of art suggest an endorsement one way or the other about what the art says?
This is like an awful lot of other things that Goldberg is perpetually aggrieved about. The way that he threads the needle between holding views very similar to other writers while still maintaining that those writers are fundamentally malign is that he always imputes the very worst motives to the people he criticizes and yet assumes everyone agrees that his own motives are pure. That’s helpful, for a professional writer, because it helps build a brand where you can at once hold rather progressive views on a controversial subject like Israel, but still get to excoriate pretty much everybody who holds nearly the same views as you do. The ability to be righteously offended is of great value to the professional pundit.
Of course, it’s destructive to a discourse that isn’t personality driven, or that has a basic assumption of common ground and fairness. But Goldberg’s never been much interested in fairness, or equity, or the assumption of good faith. He’ll just continue to hold largely sensible views on Israel and scold everyone else who does the same; it’s a niche, and he guards it jealously.