Friday, January 4, 2008

yet MORE on Kristol at the NYT.

I think the NYT appointing Kristol to its op ed page is a bigger story than it looks like on the surface. It's not just tracking the HR activity at newspaper, but a reflection, and message, to East Coast establishment.

Kristol Expands His Audience Thanks to New York Times

January 1st, 2008

The New York Times’ decision to add Bill Kristol to its stable of weekly columnists seems pretty shocking to me and not only because Kristol, as pointed out by Josh Marshall, has virtually charged the Times with treason. As the main foreign policy muse of David Brooks — call him Kristol-Lite — Kristol was already communicating his views on the Times op-ed page quite effectively, I thought.

More than that, if you look at the list of those Times columnists who specialize in foreign-policy (Tom Friedman, Roger Cohen, Nicholas Kristof), you can see that the addition of Kristol tilts the balance even more sharply — unanimously, in fact — towards interventionism. Like Kristol and Brooks, all three tend to see (a) foreign policy in highly moralistic terms and (b) the U.S. (and Israel) as “exceptional” in that respect. For liberal (or humanitarian) interventionists, such as Friedman, Cohen and Kristof, as for neo-conservatives, Munich and all that followed it loom larger in the way they see the world than Vietnam or, more recently, Iraq. Indeed, while Kristof was quite skeptical of the Iraq War — or at least the administration’s stated reasons for starting it (thanks in part to Joe Wilson) — the others (Cohen at the International Herald Tribune) were pretty darn supportive, if for no other reason than Saddam Hussein was a brutal and tyrannical ruler.

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