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Page September 20, 2022



Goldberger: I was furious with the coverage.

 I called it “media mooning,” that basically did what the media often does and that is, it basically pitches a story in a way that gets maximum audience attention, or, you know, if it were television the maximum number of viewers or the maximum number of readers and that was that this is a march to Skokie.

And it was never a march through Skokie; they were not going to be in front of the homes of any survivors or any members of the Jewish community in Skokie.

It was about 25 people that were going to be picketing back and forth in front of the village hall, and no matter what we said to the press we could never ever get it reported accurately...and the only reason that I could, I mean I never could divine why we could never – I mean, we said the same thing consistently; it was never ever written anywhere--but once it got started in the media the media preferred it I think because it made it a more dramatic confrontation.  

So I mean that was my view. Maybe it's a cynical view, but I call it journalistic mooning; I wrote a little speech about journalistic mooning that that they were you know, that the media was hyping the situation because of what, of course, you had a Jew  and a Nazi and freedom of speech and anything they could do to make the story more engaging, including spinning it, was done and it infuriated me….

… My ethnic and religious background became, you know, it was a fascination. And you know, that wasn't the plan in the beginning if you will, there was no plan, obviously, if you read anything I've written about it, the case, I was not, I didn't go looking for this case; it walked in the front door and it was the right, it was what the ACLU should have been doing at the time, just as it should do the same thing today, but it was the fascination between, you know, firstly of the clash of with a Jewish lawyer out there. And my religion in my view, wasn't a distortion, but it surely wasn't what the case was about.

Shapiro:  Sure, it's a distraction. So the case was about free seech basically, and I'm sure you didn't care for the particular speech being spoken…

Goldberger: No! (Chuckles)

Shapiro:  …but you cared about what would happen to your country if people were prevented from speaking…?

Goldberger: Absolutely. There were two factors—that, and another one which we were really very clear about, and that is that lawyers shouldn't be running from cases like this. Because you know the First Amendment needs to have a lawyer no matter who the person is that's exercising  their free-speech rights. 

And so there was a lot of criticism of me, although it may have been within the Jewish Community more than within the press, although it was reported in the press,  as to, you know, 'Why would a Jewish lawyer do such a thing? And why would any lawyer do such a thing?' And I kept saying, well, that's the whole point. If you can frighten lawyers off from doing this sort of thing then you have no rights.

September 20, 2022
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