Raghubir Goyal, the only one who still shows up

Sepia Mutiny has had a long tradition of writing about the exploits of Raghubir Goyal (born on July 6!), a White House press corps member who claims to write for an Indian-American magazine (“India Globe”) that may or may not actually exist. (Does it? Has anyone ever actually seen it?)

Goyal was of interest to us and others because of his status as “foil” for White House press secretaries eager to change the subject over the years, especially when hammered with too many tough questions about things like Enron, Abu Ghraib, missing WMDs, Katrina, civil war in Iraq, the President’s abject failure to privatize social security, and other various and sundry White House failures. Now, however, general interest in the Bush White House is winding down a bit, and reporters are often skipping press briefings. Goyal, however, is still faithful, as we see in a story in this week’s “On the Media”:

(Also see an earlier NPR “On the Media” story involving Raghubir Goyal here.)

I will miss Goyal; I cannot imagine his press credentials will survive into the Obama presidency. Indeed, his will be one of the very few faces from the Bush administration I will really miss. Appropriately, he is an unintentionally comic figure, with no particular qualifications or competency. And yet he continues to do his job as he always has, and no one has seemed to mind, except for a few alienated cynics.

Earlier Sepia Mutiny posts on Raghubir Goyal: here, here, here, here, and here.

Also, see the comprehensive Raghubir Goyal Watchdog site for some choice quotes.

11 thoughts on “Raghubir Goyal, the only one who still shows up

  1. claims to write for an Indian-American magazine (“India Globe”) that may or may not actually exist.

    India Globe is a newspaper that’s widely distributed in the Washington D.C. area to Goyal’s family and friends.

    Check out this 1999 exchange in which Goyal (presumably) cites his own publication while questioning James Rubin, (Christiane Amanpour’s hubby) who was then a U.S State Department spokesman.

    QUESTION: Pakistan and China have signed a — fighter plane deal – according to the India Globe newspaper. Do you have any comments on the military deal?

    MR. RUBIN: Well, I’ll have to check that India Globe newspaper report very carefully and have our other experts read it carefully and make an assessment based on their judgment of that report before I could comment on it.

    QUESTION: I have checked with the Pakistan and Indian officials, and they have signed it between Pakistan and China.

    MR. RUBIN: Well, if you’d like to come work for the State Department, then the fact that you’ve done some checking will help me be sure the report is true. But pending that, I’d like to have our experts check that out.

  2. Why would you think he wouldn’t play the same role in the Obama White House that he’s played under both Bush and Clinton? It’s interesting that nothing related to Mr. Goyal even shows up on the first page of a Google search for “India Globe” but maybe this explains it: “Goyal runs a paper called India Globe, of which he sends out some 10,000 copies.”

  3. QUESTION: I have checked with the Pakistan and Indian officials, and they have signed it between Pakistan and China. MR. RUBIN: Well, if you’d like to come work for the State Department, then the fact that you’ve done some checking will help me be sure the report is true. But pending that, I’d like to have our experts check that out.
    Goyal runs a paper called India Globe, of which he sends out some 10,000 copies.”

    :-) You’re killing me man!!! no more oi-al, the world needs goyal.

  4. So how does a paper with a local distribution of 10,000 copies get a regular White House pass? I’m sure those things are highly coveted. Just curious.

  5. So how does a paper with a local distribution of 10,000 copies get a regular White House pass? I’m sure those things are highly coveted. Just curious.

    I think 10,000 copies is probably highly inflated, especially since no one I know has ever seen a copy of “India Globe.”

    Still, I wonder: Sepia Mutiny gets around 10,000 readers a day. Is that enough to get me a press pass too?

  6. Come on people do you want to out he is a secret agent of RAW pretending to be a reporter.

    Oh!

  7. If Raghubir Goyal ever get a chance to do an interview with Iraq’s former minster of information Baghdad Bob it would be priceless.

  8. Amardeep! I’ve seen a copy of the India Globe. I think Raghubir Goyal had some connection with Express India also? In the days pre www, my family used to subscribe to both of these to know what was happening in the local desi community. India Globe and Express India were part of a media empire including a 1-2 hour radio show, and tv show (if I remember correctly.)

    10,000 circulation? I can’t imagine the circulation being that high.

  9. O Raghubir. Back when the Gannon scandal was going on, some political blogs wanted to investigate this character. His contact info is very easy to find. Someone call him and get him on as a guest blogger here! ;)