Monday, May 26, 2008

On this Memorial Day, Bill Kristol blesses us with another column. This time around he wishes for us to honor and thank our servicemen and women. Wonderful, who wouldn't concur with that urging?

However, if you read the column, one can't help but get the feeling that the main objective is to first and foremost remind us of how well things are going in Iraq -- with the thank the soldiers thing a second priority that conveniently fits in with today's holiday.

Kristol would find an excuse to extol the progress in Iraq to a bunch of kids playing stick ball on a street corner. It's a near pathological insistence, one that he's been wrong about for years.

Also, regarding Kristol, I chuckled when I read this from Dick Polman:
This means that the Times has now been forced to run four corrections on columnist Kristol's work, in the span of a mere six months since his debut. (In Kristol's lust on Monday to disparage Obama, he also managed not to "find" that GOP nominee John McCain had lost the Arkansas primary to Mike Huckabee by 40 points. But my favorite Kristol gaffe occurred in March, when he placed Obama in church on the occasion of a specific Jeremiah Wright sermon, whereas, in reality, Obama was stumping that very day in Florida.)

As I have previously noted (bottom item, here), this kind of sorry record is inevitable when a newspaper hires a partisan ideologue to do the work that is better left to real journalists. Fact-checking is a fundamental feature of such work, but derelictions will continue to occur as long as The Times persists in entrusting valuable op-ed real estate to a guy who, among other things, has persisted in cheerleading for the Iraq war in defiance of all empirical metrics.
It goes without saying Kristol has been an embarrassment to the Times since Day 1 of his hiring, but whereas Polman believes that columns with more accuracy would come from "real journalists" as opposed to a "partisan ideologue," I have to believe that there are plenty of opinionated, partisan columnists who would take exception to this comment. I would argue most respectable columnists don't have nearly the abysmal track record of Kristol's when it comes to frequency of errors. He's both lazy and willing to write anything to drive home a strained point -- no matter how far removed from reality or fact.

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