U.S. Marines pulled ad from Lucianne Goldberg's website

The United States Marine Corps has pulled its ads from Lucianne.com, a website operated by Lucianne Goldberg, as a result of a complaint from LucianneWatch.com, a website that monitors and documents Lucianne.com.

Goldberg is a Manhattan literary agent who, in 1997, urged Linda Tripp, an employee in the public affairs office of the Pentagon, to secretly tape her phone conversations with Monica S. Lewinsky regarding Lewinsky's relationship with then-President Bill Clinton [The Washington Post, 1/20/01]. Tripp handed over these tapes, again with Goldberg's encouragement, to independent counsel Kenneth Starr [Newsweek, November 9, 1998]. Starr's investigation led ultimately to Clinton's impeachment.

Goldberg first emerged as a controversial figure in the 1970s when she was a paid spy in the 1972 George McGovern presidential campaign on behalf of Richard Nixon. [The Washington Post, April 2, 1998]. Today, she runs what she labels a “News Forum” website, Lucianne.com, which reaches an average of 170 viewers per million people per week* (according to Alexa.com, an Amazon.com company that collects and ranks Internet traffic). Talk Radio Network broadcasts her radio talk show, The Lucianne Goldberg Radio Show, weekdays from 8 a.m. - 9 a.m. (ET). In 2003, Goldberg made appearances on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews and Buchanan and Press.

On April 23, LucianneWatch.com founder Mark Page alerted the Marine Corps Recruiting Command (MCRC)'s advertising agency that ads for the Marine Corps were appearing on Lucianne.com. “I wanted to let you know that your advertising dollars are supporting an un-American Web site located at lucianne.com,” Page wrote in an e-mail to the ad agency. “This site is run by Lucianne Goldberg. ... We have found that most legitimate advertisers are unaware that they are even associated with these people. Most people are ashamed to find out that their advertising dollars are supporting the likes of Lucianne Goldberg.”

To illustrate the type of content that Page said regularly appeared on Lucianne.com, he wrote in the e-mail, “Let me give you a few examples of the questionable material commonly posted on Goldberg's Web site. Here are a few of the racist comments I have collected over the months:

[USER POST:] Blacks are criminals....its [sic] just that simple.

[USER POST:] Give them a good flogging and they might learn some manners. It worked once.

[USER POST:] Can we go back to, ”Whites Only" now?

[USER POST:] Arabs are nothing but low life cowards.

[USER POST:] ... not to mention millions of illegal Mexicans milking our system and committing violent/drug related crimes.

Page also included Lucianne.com postings about the death of longtime Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory, including:

[USER POST:] She was dishonest to the very end.

[USER POST:] One less Dem vote.

LucianneWatch.com reported the following:

The United States Marines, for example, were most unhappy to see that they were associated with Lucianne Goldberg:

I appreciate you bringing this to our attention because Lucianne.com was NOT an approved site for the Marines.com online advertising buy .... Lucianne.com was not even listed in the sites provided by any of our vendors for consideration! This was obviously a rogue advertising decision by one of our vendors - a clear breach of contract.

Our media team has identified the offending vendor, has notified them of the breach, have told them to remove the advertising immediately, and confirmed that it will be removed from the site no later than close of business today - if not sooner. In addition, due to this breach, our entire contract with the vendor is also being terminated

Marine Corps Recruiting Command - April 2004

We simply show Lucianne Goldberg's advertisers the kind of people they are supporting and they quickly end that support. ... To date the Marines, the Red Cross, Weight Watchers, the Navy, Sylvan Learning Centers, United Airlines, and SBC advertisements no longer appear on lucianne.com.

In addition to running her own website, Goldberg has continued to circulate discredited conspiracy theories about the Clinton White House in the mainstream media. For example, six years after Kenneth Starr formally declared in 1997 that deputy White House counsel Vince Foster's 1993 death was a suicide [Dallas Morning News, 7/15/97], Goldberg sought to raise the issue again in a 2003 interview. Asked to comment on Senator Hillary Clinton's book Living History, Goldberg said, "[W]e're losing a great historical chance here for her to have written a truly exciting book. I mean, wouldn't you like to know what really happened to Vince Foster? [MSNBC, Hardball, 6/6/03]"

Others in the online political community point readers directly to Goldberg's website. Slate.com's Mickey Kaus links to Lucianne.com in the “Links” section of his Slate.com blog Kausfiles, writing "Lucianne.com--Stirs the drink." Other websites that link to Goldberg's website include The Heritage Foundation's Townhall.com, The Drudge Report, and EagleForum.org, the website of conservative ideologue Phyllis Schlafly. High-profile companies -- including America Online, uBid.com, and ditech.com -- advertise on Lucianne.com.

Lucianne Goldberg is the mother of National Review Online editor-at-large Jonah Goldberg, who wrote the following about the Washington, DC, sniper in National Review Online in October 2002:

We know the Sniper is a Nation of Islam Muslim (which is to say he belongs to a cult that uses Islamic jargon). We know he's black. But I've got this nagging feeling we might find out that he also practices an alternative lifestyle -- I mean besides from all of the murdering. There's just something about this Batman and Robin act -- Malvo is his “ward”? -- that strikes me as odd, in a specific way. Call it a hunch. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Jonah Goldberg regularly appears on CNN programs such as American Morning, NewsNight with Aaron Brown, and Judy Woodruff's Inside Politics.

Correction: This item originally had an incorrect figure: an average of 170 million people per week; the correct figure: an average of 170 viewers per million people per week for the preceding three months. [back to article]