15 Jan 2008

Kristol’s Opinions Unfit to Print, says Public Editor

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Clark Hoyt, the latest toadying lapdog sycophant yesman occupying the bogus role of “Public Editor” at the New York Times, the voice supposedly speaking truth to journalistic power, yesterday defended the outsider, anti-liberal establishment point of view by explaining exactly why Bill Kristol does not belong on the Times’ editorial pages.

Kristol is a particularly polarizing figure in a polarized age. While he holds the full range of conservative Republican views on economic and social issues, he is most identified today with ardently pushing for the war in Iraq, a war sold to the American people on the basis of weapons of mass destruction that did not exist, though a fair reading of Kristol’s statements includes broader arguments. Today, the public widely sees the war as a mistake, but Kristol remains its aggressive, unapologetic champion. In his first column last Monday, he warned against electing a Democratic president who would “snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory in Iraq.”

Rosenthal said: “Some people have said we shouldn’t have hired him because he supports the war in Iraq. That’s absurd.”

That is not why I think Sulzberger and Rosenthal made a mistake, and I agree with their effort to address an Op-Ed lineup that, until Kristol came aboard, was at least six liberals against one conservative who isn’t always all that conservative. I’ve heard all the arguments against Kristol — he is “wrong” on Iraq, he is overexposed as editor of The Weekly Standard and a regular commentator on Fox News with nothing new to say, he is an activist with the potential to embarrass The Times with his outside involvements — and one of them sticks with me:

On Fox News Sunday on June 25, 2006, Kristol said, “I think the attorney general has an absolute obligation to consider prosecution” of The New York Times for publishing an article that revealed a classified government program to sift the international banking transactions of thousands of Americans in a search for terrorists. …

Kristol’s leap to prosecution smacked of intimidation and disregard for both the First Amendment and the role of a free press in monitoring a government that has a long history of throwing the cloak of national security and classification over its activities. This is not a person I would have rewarded with a regular spot in front of arguably the most elite audience in the nation.

2 Feedbacks on "Kristol’s Opinions Unfit to Print, says Public Editor"

Lazarus Long

“The most elite audience in the nation”? Oh, Crap! Give me a break! They didn’t look so elite when they were being covered with the dust of a disintegrating office building and running with that ‘deer in the headlights’ look on their faces.

David Iams

I read Hoyt’s review of the column and found it more cautious than you sggets. While Hoyt gives reasons for not liking Kritoll’s appointment, he notes that it is up to review in a year. Kristol has not written anything notable yet, but it took Safire a while to burst into flame.
Give Kristol a chance.


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