Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Left, Right and Dead Wrong

The news that William Kristol may be joining the New York Times as an OpEd columnist to provide ideological balance--left, right and dead wrong--is a dreary reminder of the new Neo-Con heaven in the mainstream media. With Karl Rove at Newsweek, can Scooter Libby be far behind?

Kristol would bring to the Times not only a spectacular record for unfulfilled predictions about the future but a turgid style to inspire nostalgia for William Safire's bouncy wrong-headedness.

David Brooks' pedantic pop sociology must not be enough to cover the paper's conservative flank, so the Times is going all the way to the right edge of reason by hiring a writer who describes it as "irredeemable" and deserving of prosecution for treason.

But we may be missing the point. The move may have more to do with being democratic about talent than politics.

As Sen. Roman Hruska famously said in defending a Nixon Supreme Court appointee called mediocre, "Even if he is mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance?"

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