If this were a real blog, I’d have more crowing to do regarding theTimes‘ decision to drop William Kristol from its op-ed page. I wrote acolumn about his hiring for the American Prospect last year which hasbeen reposted here. The point I want to reiterate is this, when the Times was overwhelmed by complaints for the insult Kristol represented to its readership,editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, speaking to Politico, dismissedall criticism of this “serious, respected conservative intellectual” as”intolerant,” “absurd,” and indicative of a “weird fear of opposingviews.” Despite post-Jayson Blair promises of greater transparency, theTimes itself offered no new coverage of the controversy, and none ofKristol’s colleagues on the page apparently thought it wise to weigh in,either.
Now, apparently, Rosenthal has come around to the views of his critics.Kristol was a failure as a columnist and a weekly embarrassment to thepaper. Where’s the apology?
Meanwhile, the Post‘s Fred Hiatt may or may not regret his commentsabout Kristol here but it hardly matters. It’s pretty widely acceptedthat the Post‘s page is a conservative-driven hodgepodge that does notrival the Times for influence or respect, fairly or not. Kristol won’tdo much damage on page containing the likes of Krauthammer Tyrrell,Novak, etc…
Also, if this were a real blog, I suppose I’d have more to say inresponse to Jonathan Chait’s nasty TNR columns and posts on the debateover Israel, here.
I will however point out that by pointing toTime and Newsweek as evidence to subvert my thesis, he is eluding my point, which was addressed specifically to the punditocracy debate, notto the reporting. Reporting on Israel/Palestine has become much fairerto the complexities of the conflict during the past decades; thepunditocracy remains mired in the McCarthyite-style accusations ofChait’s boss, Marty Peretz and his mini-me James Kirchick. My columncontained an explicit criticism of the Nation‘s coverage ofGaza–indeed, I would not have published it if it did not. Where’sChait’s criticism of Peretz , who, after all, does not even own themagazine anymore, having been forced to sell it off after having nearlydestroyed it during his thirty year tenure, and his vicious McCarthyiteattacks on Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias and Spencer Ackerman, all of whomare more accomplished in their young lives than Peretz. (Unless youinclude negative accomplishments, that is.) Chait knows thistoo–indeed, just about everybody knows it. John Judis has recentlystepped up to the plate to criticize Peretz’s antics and been paid backwith more schoolyard taunts. Big deal. It only increases the respectJohn has earned out in the real world. So why the one-sided attacks byChait and not a word about the cancer inside his own magazine? Itdoesn’t take much courage, alas, to attack Alterman or Ackerman in TNR.