Author Says Imus Just Wants To Be Cool

Look out: Bernie Goldberg is back. We just got an advance copy of his new book, Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right, and it's packed full of great stuff about why liberals hate conservatives and why some righties are "gutless wonders who sold out their principles for political power." You know Goldberg: He's the former CBS reporter who shocked the mostly liberal media establishment when he declared in the bestseller Bias that he was a conservative. Well, in his new book, he takes on both sides as only a former member of the mainstream media can.

Some of the chapters are priceless, like the chapter where he reveals a new liberal ailment: FDS, or Fox Derangement Syndrome. He tries to figure out why liberals hate the cable channel and determines that there is no rational reason. So it must be FDS. He suggests that they should love Fox because it is always populated with liberals like lawyer Lanny Davis and consultant Susan Estrich.

"All those lefties getting so much time on Fox should make your run-of-the-mill liberals happy, right? But it doesn't. Why? Two reasons: First, they don't even notice the liberals on Fox, in much the same way that a fish doesn't notice the water he's swimming in. Seeing liberals on the news seems so natural to liberals that it doesn't register as any big deal.

"Second, they do notice the conservatives who are debating the liberals. They stick out like the proverbial sore thumb. And their very presence--actually, their very existence--makes liberals mad," he writes. "This anger leads to a debilitating disorientation," he claims, which is made worse by Fox's slogan: "Fair and Balanced."

Some conservatives also need a whupping, and here he singles out shock talker Don Imus. Not because of his current controversy. But it's related. Goldberg, citing another race issue, says that Imus suffers from white guilt and wants to be cool. Conservative Gary Bauer, head of American Values, told me and some other reporters the same thing at breakfast today, saying that Imus's recent "vile comments" were his attempt to "be cool."

Goldberg references an Imus interview with Charles Barkley, the basketball star who wrote Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man? Here, Goldberg finds Imus pandering. After Barkley talked about what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King meant to him, Imus responded: "In my view, just as a white man, it doesn't seem to me that a lot has changed since those days." Says Goldberg, "This may be the dumbest single sentence uttered on the subject of race in the 21st century."

By Paul Bedard