MSNBC.com's Bill Dedman clearly had a lot of fun debunking conservative commentator Jonah Goldberg's claim on his latest book jacket that he'd been twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. But while Goldberg conceded the point and his publisher promised to change the bio to drop the claim, the author has so many bios out there that he may never correct all of them -- not that he'd necessarily want to.
As Dedman gleefully explains, Goldberg did not actually receive a nomination, but merely entered the contest, which merely requires $50 and an entry form. Penguin, which published Goldberg's The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas, says it will remove the claim. Goldberg, for his part, says he didn't make the claim in his National Review biography, which has been updated to exclude it (thank god for the cache!). And Dedman, to drive his point home, included what he calls a "Where's Waldo" style game in which readers can find other Pulitzer nominee fakers.
But while Goldberg, Penguin, and National Review have sanitized the instances of his biography on which Dedman called him out, he's a prolific enough writer and commentator, with enough short bios on various websites and publications, that the notion he's a two-time Pulitzer nominee won't be easy to put to rest. USA Today describes him as a "Pulitzer-nominated columnist." So does C-Span. Talk Radio Network states that he has "twice been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize." The American Enterprise Institute's magazine says he was nominated for a Pulitzer. So does the News and Record of Greensboro, North Carolina. And that's just from the first page of a Google search.
Dedman may have won his point, but Goldberg's been trading on the notion he was nominated for a Pulitzer for so long, it will follow him around online long after he's officially disavowed it.