Michelle Goldberg

Michelle Goldberg is a senior correspondent at The American Prospect. She is also the author of Kingdom Coming and The Means of Reproduction.

Recent Articles

Proselytizing Discrimination

Are religious-right leaders like Rick Warren to blame for the rise of anti-gay laws in Africa?

Pastor Rick Warren speaks at the Global Summit on AIDS & The Church at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
In recent weeks, there's been an international outcry against the viciously anti-gay legislation currently making its way through the Ugandan parliament. Homosexual sex is already illegal in Uganda, but under the new legislation, it would be punishable by life in prison or, in some cases, the death penalty. Gay-rights advocacy would be criminalized and carry a sentence of seven years in prison. Anyone who knows a gay person would be obliged to turn them in or face three years incarceration themselves. The governments of the United States, France, and Canada have condemned the bill; Stephen Lewis, the U.N.'s former special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, recently called it "a veritable charter of malice -- [it] has the taste of fascism." But celebrity American evangelist Rick Warren, a man with enormous influence in Uganda, has so far refused to condemn the bill. When asked, he gave Newsweek this non-response: "The fundamental dignity of every person, our right to be free, and the...

Palin for President!

Palin's book is full of half-truths and self-congratulation. But for a woman aimed at 2012, such inaccuracies may not matter.

Sarah Palin is running for president. At least, that is the conclusion that leaps from the pages of her mawkish and mendacious blockbuster book. Going Rogue: An American Life is an extended justification of her performance in the 2008 election and an attempt to claim her crown as queen of the tea partiers. Palin and her ghostwriter, Lynn Vincent, do an expert job of weaving an alternate reality in which Palin's only mistakes lay in her deference to the cynical Washington insiders surrounding John McCain and in her underestimation of the viciousness of liberal elites. It positions her as the tribune of authentic Americans writhing under the bootheel of the subversive cabal that has captured the White House and concludes with a chapter that looks a lot like a campaign manifesto. By now, even those who have tried to ignore Palin's re-emergence at the center of public life probably know the gist of Going Rogue . Various bloggers have catalogued its lies and evasions, though it's so rich...

Democrats Leave Women Behind

Health-insurance reform was supposed to end the cruelties our system inflicts on patients, not create them.

(AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
We've reached a point where health-care reform threatens to leave access to abortion in worse shape than it is right now. The Stupak Amendment, added to the health-care bill in last-minute negotiations this weekend, goes beyond the existent ban on federal funding of abortion. By prohibiting anyone receiving federal health-insurance subsidies from buying plans that cover abortion, it's almost certain to compel many plans to drop abortion coverage for everyone. Almost all progressives have realized that passing health-insurance reform was going to require some bitter compromises. But it's both maddening and heartbreaking that a pro-choice president and a Democratic Congress are poised to give the anti-abortion movement its biggest legislative victory since 2003's Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. Right now, most employer-based health insurance plans cover abortion. The reason for this is depressingly mercenary -- it's cheaper for insurance companies to pay for a termination than for...

A Feminist Case for War?

One of the few remaining rationales for maintaining the
occupation is protecting Afghan women. Is that enough?

Malalai Joya (Flickr/AfghanKabul)
Women for Afghan Women (WAW), a nongovernmental organization that runs women's shelters, schools, and counseling centers in three cities in Afghanistan, has watched with alarm as American opinion has turned against the occupation. An American withdrawal, its board members say, would be catastrophic for the women they work with. "Every woman who we have talked to in Afghanistan, all the Afghan women in the NGOs, in the government, say the United States and the peacekeeping troops and NATO must stay, they must not leave until the Afghan army is able to take over," says Esther Hyneman, a WAW board member who recently returned from six months in Kabul. In fact WAW, which has over 100 staffers in Afghanistan and four in New York, is, with some reluctance, calling for a troop increase. "Women for Afghan Women deeply regrets having a position in favor of maintaining, even increasing troops," it said in a recent statement. "We are not advocates for war, and conditions did not have to reach...

Something Rotten in the State of Texas

Why is the execution of a potentially innocent man less scandalous than an affair?

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas recently replaced members of the Forensics Science Commission, indefinitely delaying a hearing about the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham. (Flickr/Rita Quinn)
It's lucky for Gov. Rick Perry of Texas that he's not suspected of doing something truly shocking, like having an affair. Instead, it merely seems that he's helped cover up a homicide. Apparently that's not enough to make much of a national splash. Last month, The New Yorker published a remarkable piece by David Grann about the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004 for a crime that all the evidence suggests he didn't commit. In 1991, Willingham's house caught on fire, burning his three daughters to death. Ill-trained investigators accused Willingham of arson. At his trial, a family therapist who had never met Willingham was called as an expert witness and suggested that Willingham's heavy metal posters indicated that he might be a satanist. Because Willingham couldn't afford decent representation, it was many years before a friend of his managed to get qualified experts to take a look at the case. Grann described the investigation conducted by Gerald Hurst, one of...