Best Chronicle Columnist - 2005
We used to like the Sporting Green's Ray Ratto, but he hasn't been the same since his lobotomy. Goodman, on the other hand, is a consistent voice of reason, ghettoized in the otherwise unreadable Datebook. As a lovably cranky television columnist in San Francisco, Goodman is miles from the TV industry's hubs in New York and Los Angeles, and he knows it: He's a TV junkie writing for TV junkies, who care not a whit about General Electric's stock price or who's eating with Jeff Zucker at Spago. (In 2003, Goodman was up for the TV critic's job at the Los Angeles Times, a much larger megaphone for anyone ranting about the tube, but he quickly turned it down.) "We have a new definition of 'bad television,'" Goodman began a recent column, "and it replaces 'anything UPN does,' but is a bit more unwieldy in concept. Here goes: If C-SPAN passes, then C-SPAN2 passes, that's bad television." Not long ago, he had a line about Jon Stewart that would suit Goodman just as well: "People relate to his opinions because they think, 'That's what I would say.'"