Monday, January 26, 2009

Kristol Klear

Here at Dowd Central we tend to ignore the other lesser New York Times columnists like the ones that win mere Nobel Prizes. However, we are sad to bid adieu to William Kristol, the beneficiary of the Gray Lady's year-long conservative columnist internship program. Alas, his lackluster style and casual approach to fact-checking doomed his tenure.

For a neocon with an unblemished record for never being right about anything, he went out the same way he came in, passing on blatant falsehoods as divine truths. Anyone who can read, let alone write, these sentences without gagging is well beyond delusional:

Conservatives have been right more often than not — and more often than liberals — about most of the important issues of the day {snip} Conservative policies have on the whole worked — insofar as any set of policies can be said to “work” in the real world. Conservatives of the Reagan-Bush-Gingrich-Bush years have a fair amount to be proud of.
This is about his fifth post-election column where he waxes nostalgic and praises the conservative movement on its many accomplishments proving that he is well-ensconced in the Denial Stage of Grief. It's unlikely he will ever move to Bargaining, let alone Guilt.

Hallmarks of his style included bland over-generalizations, contrived anecdotes (his tendancy to find classic works of literature in airport newsstands made Friedman's propensity for citing cabdrivers seem charming), and cliched quotations. His farewell column included a full paragraph of fairly familiar Thomas Paine. Bartlett deserved cowriter credit on most of his columns.

Even fans of Kristol Meth's fevered fantasies noted that he saved his best stuff (such as it was) for The Weekly Standard treating his Times column much as Mick Jagger treated his solo albums. He even went so far as to bite the hand that fed him on the Jon Stewart show.


Rumor has it that Bill will be taking his schtick to the Washington Post on a monthly basis because Charles Krauthammer doesn't quite fill their quota for second-hand neo-con idiocy.

Us fans of Maureen appreciated Kristol for one huge favor he regularly did for Maureen: He served as a lightning rod for criticism over the Op/Ed page. He quickly replaced the Dowdster as the Times's most reviled columnist. Like Kristol's favored flypaper theory of fighting terrorism, the shear number of haters he drew far dwarfed the quantity of any native critics of Dowd. With Bill gone, Maureen will once again become the focus of unhinged hatred vaguely directed at the Times.

We have only one hope and plea to Andrew Rosenthal: Please, please, please hire Megan McArdle. For Dowd's sake.

1 comment:

JP Farrell & Associates, Inc. said...

With what shall we line our birdcages now?