By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Hoyt’s mixed bag on Kristol

New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt’s column on the hiring of William Kristol is disappointing, but entertaining nevertheless.

It’s disappointing because he quotes the most unhinged, illiterate e-mails the Times has received so that he can claim that at least some Kristol-bashers are nothing but ignorant haters, and because he blows right past the criticism that Kristol “is an activist with the potential to embarrass The Times with his outside involvements.” Well, yeah. That’s disqualifying, or at least it ought to be.

But Hoyt is right on the money in flogging Kristol for publicly urging that the Times be prosecuted for committing the sin of journalism against the Bush administration. And he’s touchingly naive in saying that Kristol’s refusal to talk to him was “an odd stance for someone who presumably will want others to talk to him for his column.”

Does Hoyt really think Kristol is going to do any reporting?

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  1. Bill Baar

    Kirstol’s an opinion guy, an analyst.. he doesn’t report.

  2. Stella

    Far beyond the pale The NY Times has acted lemming-like in the past 10-15 years. Granting Kristol space is indeed masochistic to the extreme.

  3. Anonymous

    Bill Baar, Kristol may be an opinion guy, but one might presume that his opinions are based on facts. To paraphrase, Kristol is entitled to his own opinions, but he is not entitled to his own facts.The NYTimes has further embarrassed itself by hiring yet another jackass.–raj

  4. Anonymous

    “he quotes the most unhinged, illiterate e-mails the Times has received so that he can claim that at least some Kristol-bashers are nothing but ignorant haters”. Yeah, “progressives” are never guilty of propping up THAT strawman, right, Dan?

  5. Anonymous

    Come on Dan. Krugman is going on the Air America Fundraising Cruise (seriously, there is one.) Kristol has a point of view and the paper is airing it. I applaud the NYTimes for not engaging in political tokenism like the Globe does.

  6. Bill Baar

    ….but he is not entitled to his own facts.Who is in charge of denying here Kristol’s expression if he gets the facts tangled?A bit authoritarian of you here anon, about a guy opining on facts as he sees them, not reporting them.

  7. Anonymous

    This was tribal: if he were a con, and not a neocon, he wouldn’t have been hired.

  8. Anonymous

    we liberals don’t need to dig down into the letters and comments areas for unhinged, spit-flecked right-wing ravings. The blog proprietors themselves are kind enough to povide the sludge.

  9. Dan Kennedy

    Anon 3:08: Well, that’s interesting about Krugman. I didn’t know that. I’m not sure that he ought to — although you do have to make a distinction between opinion and partisanship. Air America is certainly liberal, but it’s not an arm of the Democratic Party or of a particular candidate. I don’t believe Krugman donates to political candidates, as Kristol does. (I checked Open Secrets.) But yeah, I’d prefer that he didn’t take the cruise.

  10. zadig

    It doesn’t matter if an opinion columnist has a slant. It’s safe to assume that they all do. Nobody denies that Krugman tilts to the left.The problem with Kristol is his well-documented habit of making stuff up and voicing opinions (often inflammatory and irresponsible) based on those incorrect “facts”. Nobody can accuse Krugman of any of that, but Kristol’s habits are well documented on the net.

  11. Anonymous

    Yeah, that’s interesting double speak but here I am. I’m a human being, an American. I think Krugman “makes things up” all the time. I can quote you things he’s said are true or things that would come to pass that are false. You could probably do the same about Kristol. I do know this, he’s on this cruise… this make him compromised and not suited to be a columnist at the New York Times? Of course not.

  12. Bill Baar

    How about some links on the made-up stuff?

  13. Dan Kennedy

    Bill: Kristol’s claiming without any basis that HRC was faking her tears was certainly “made up.” Even Hume seemed uneasy. Or is your challenge about Krugman?

  14. zadig

    I can add even more to the Kristol challenge, if that’s what Bill was getting at. And I can do it without any effort on my part, because Media Matters collected a whole bunch of false statements on Bill Kristol’s part:Media MattersNow before you get all “well, they’re a liberal hate site” or whatever else Michael Savage and Bill O’Reilly have said about it lately, I’d just point out that Media Matters’ critics have never been able to point out factual errors in their postings. They just whine about MM’s “agenda,” and “hate,” and stuff like that, without disputing the facts of their reporting.So if you can point to their Kristol research and identify factual errors, go ahead, but otherwise, they paint a pretty damning picture of Kristol as someone who plays fast and loose with what most of us consider “reality.”As for Krugman, I’d be interested to hear about factual errors on his part. You can say his opinions are wrong or slanted, and that’s fine, but if you’re going to question his facts, I’m going to ask for links.

  15. Bill Baar

    HRC faking her tears?Oh c’mon…that was Kristol’s opinion and as I guy from the land-of-Obama I can promise you there were many progressives and liberals who shared his opinion.

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