Boy Oh Boy – Bill Kristol Hired by NY Times

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


bill_kristol.jpg Uber hawk Bill Kristol has just been signed up by the New York Times as an op-ed columnist, according to the Huffington Post. Here’s a collection of some of Kristol’s greatest neocon hits (also here, but suffice to say, the man’s approach to foreign policy is that no problem can’t be solved with an air strike or two).

The hire bugs me for three reasons. First, it highlights the fact that there simply isn’t any price to be paid in punditocracy for being WRONG. Kristol was as wrong as anyone could be on Iraq, and continued to insist the war was going well long after anyone with a connection to reality (even the Bush Administration!) had stopped claiming success.

Second, it demonstrates how extreme conservatism has a place in the mainstream press, but extreme liberalism doesn’t. The man advocates military strikes on Iran, Syria, and Burma (of all places!). That’s extreme by even today’s conservative standards. Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert don’t balance that out. But will Dennis Kucinich end up on the Times‘ op-ed page? Of course not.

Third, if the Times wanted a conservative voice, it could have hired someone who has something interesting to say about the struggles conservatism currently faces in this country. Instead it hired someone whose approach is to repeat the most ridiculous and discredited pablum of the right, so as to help legitimize the illegitimate. And Kristol’s willingness to say the indefensible is obviously a career move. Every time two people share a “Did you see what Kristol wrote??” moment, the man’s star burns a little brighter.

In short, Kristol is intellectually dishonest and almost comically extreme. He is a caricature. He contributes nothing but increased polarization to the national debate. And now his writing will sit in the most hallowed space in journalism.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest