Monday, January 26, 2009

Bill Kristol and New York Times Part

Former New York Times columnist John Tierney was a source of great entertainment to me. Tierney urged Americans to buy more foreign oil and not recycle.

After you fill up your tank, twist the rear-view mirror so you can gaze at yourself. Repeat these words: ''I'm good enough, I'm rich enough, and doggone it, people in the Middle East like my money.''

Doggone it, I miss Tierney. I know the New York Times felt Tierney's column destroyed the newspaper's credibility. In Tierney's defense, the wordsmith penned comedy classics. The humor in Tierney's column was unintended. That only makes the reading experience more rewarding.

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

The New York Times feared being labeled part of the so-called liberal media. The newspaper hired Times Bill Kristol. Members of the newsroom wondered why the Times would hire a writer that accused the publication of treason.

Kristol's columns were one disaster after another. The pundit wrongly attributed a Michael Medved quote to Michelle Malkin. Kristol cited a Newsmax bogus story of Barack Obama attending Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright's " "white arrogance" sermon." Obama was in Miami, at the time. Kristol printed a retraction.

In this column, I cite a report that Sen. Obama had attended services at Trinity Church on July 22, 2007. The Obama campaign has provided information showing that Senator Obama did not attend Trinity that day. I regret the error.

The most troubling aspect is a Times columnist using Newsmax and Michelle Malkin as source material. A college professor would laugh at this garbage in a research paper. The New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. rewarded these faulty research skills with a contract.

Less than a month left in the presidential campaign, Kristol urges John McCain "fire his campaign." Sarah Palin negative polling numbers hurt McCain. Kristol publicly lobbied for Palin and predicted Palin will make gas prices plummet. Kristol wrote a Times column "A Star Is Born?"

I spent an afternoon with Palin a little over a year ago in Juneau, and have followed her career pretty closely ever since. I think she can pull it off. I’m not the only one. The day after the V.P. announcement, I spoke with an old friend, James Muller, chairman of the political science department at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. He said that Palin “has been underestimated over and over again. She took on the party and state establishments here in Alaska, and left them reeling. She’s a very good campaigner, a quick study and a fighter.”

Palin swung and missed badly. Kristol did too by incorrectly predicting Republican strategist Mike Murphy would rejoin the McCain campaign. Kristol's Times tenure is marked by poor fact-checking and wildly off-the-mark predictions. The Times did not renew Kristol's contract. At least Tierney was funny.

The training ground for conservative commentary is the Weekly Standard and National Review. The majority of these pundits have no prior journalism experience and previously worked as GOP strategists. (Kristol was Dan Quayle's Chief of Staff.) These pundits don't have investigative reporting skills or informed policy knowledge. They came through the GOP political machine and write for the GOP political machine. The kicker is Republicans have created their own media empire and have the audacity to accuse other media organizations of bias. Kristol failed as a Times columnist because he wasn't a columnist. Kristol was a press secretary for the RNC.

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