Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Why does William Kristol work for the New York Times

What does it say for the state of journalism in America, that a leading national paper hires (for nepotistic reasons) a political operative/propagandist with on-going ties to a current administration who had previously urged criminal prosecution of the paper and who has been systematically incorrect about the invasion and occupation of Iraq and then lets him write poorly written articles about Iraq in which he continues his history of factually challenged opinion?

What does it say that the quality of one's opinion seems to have zero impact on the quality of one's salary? In a rational world, wouldn't the person who said this (and other such things):

We are tempted to comment, in these last days before the war, on the U.N., and the French, and the Democrats. But the war itself will clarify who was right and who was wrong about weapons of mass destruction. It will reveal the aspirations of the people of Iraq, and expose the truth about Saddam's regime. It will produce whatever effects it will produce on neighboring countries and on the broader war on terror. We would note now that even the threat of war against Saddam seems to be encouraging stirrings toward political reform in Iran and Saudi Arabia, and a measure of cooperation in the war against al Qaeda from other governments in the region. It turns out it really is better to be respected and feared than to be thought to share, with exquisite sensitivity, other people's pain. History and reality are about to weigh in, and we are inclined simply to let them render their verdicts.
...wouldn't that person have to be shamed into not issuing any more public pronouncements? Shouldn't the sheer magnitude of wrongness preclude that individual from being hired by the New York Times?

And what about journalistic ethics? Have those been tossed aside? William Kristol is part of the inner elite of the Bush administration and the neoconservative movement that helped bring America it's most disastrous foreign policy blunder in American history - a blunder which military historian Martin van Creveld has called the most foolish war of the Common Era (aka A.D.) That makes Kristol a story ... he's the sort of person the paper should be writing about in the interest of informing the American public about the radical foreign policy agenda adopted by the Bush administration. Instead, the paper gives a mouthpiece to a man who is part of movement that seeks to dismantle what the paper is supposed to be in the service of: liberal democracy.

William Kristol is the editor of the Weekly Standard and regular commentator on Fox News, both of which routinely demonize the New York Times. Who will the Times hire next ... Rush Limbaugh?

Update: I could have save myself of writing this post if I'd noticed that Eric Boehlert had already written a superior one.

1 comment:

Sheldon said...

I forget from where it came, but there is an argument that the conservative movement's accusations that the mainstream press is liberally biased is a conscious strategy to shift discourse towards their direction, that is to the right. Accusations of liberal bias has the effect of bullying the media into making an effort to not appear to be "liberal". Thus they overcompensate by pandering to the right. William Kristol's being hired at the NYT might just be an example of how successful this strategy works quite well.

Furthermore, we are cutting the pre-Kristol NYT too much slack. It was their unskeptical reporting through Judith Miller and others that also paved the way into the Iraq war.