HuffPo vs. Bill Kristol and His Errors [Kevin D. Williamson]
That's all you got?
The HuffPo reports Bill Kristol's departure from the Times thus: "His career was brief, perhaps most noteworthy not for Kristol's conservative opinions, but for the errors he made." And then there's a piece from Greg Mitchell claiming to document "Bill's greatest bloopers." Here's what Mitchell comes up with:
As you surely know by now, Bill Kristol wrote his final column today for The New York Times, sparing the paper any further embarrassment. But, as usual, he did not spare us all a good belly laugh: The news of his demise came in a brief tagline at the end of a column that, amazingly, opened, "All good things must come to end." It's about the alleged end of golden conservative era.
A fitting end for a column that often made The Times read like The Onion.
Let's recall some of the highlights of his one-year (plus two weeks) reign:
— His very first column earned a correction, when he misattributed a Michael Medved quote to Michelle Malkin.
— Several other corrections followed, including in one case, two for one column.
— Who can forget when he told Jon Stewart he was getting wrong information because he was relying too much on....The New York Times. Stewart replied: "But you work for The New York Times, Bill!"
— He touted, of all people, Clarence Thomas as a GOP vice-presidential candidate. Or, as the sage wrote of McCain, "He could persuade the msot impressive conservative in American public life, Clarence Thomas, to join the ticket." Persuasive? How can you be persuasive when you never speak?
— Later, smitten with Sarah Palin in a brief stopover in Alaska, he pushed her for Veep, publicly and privately. ...
So that's Mitchell's grand tally: misattributing a quote from one conservative pundit to another conservative pundit. The rest of this—having something funny said to him by Jon Stewart, touting Justice Thomas as a VP pick (an excellent idea, in fact)—could be argued to represent bad thinking, but these are not errors as such. Kristol surely had his share of corrections, but compared to the Times's typical day—say, getting the point of a story 180 degrees wrong in a way that just happens to align with the editors' partisan preferences—Kristol's offenses were pretty mild, at least so far as documented by Mitchell.
And you'd think that a post claiming to document Kristol's "bloopers" would at least get into the specifics of that two-for-one:
In his column on Monday, Bill Kristol said he could not find a recent primary in which the candidate who would go on to win the nomination lost by as big a margin as Barack Obama lost by (41 points) in West Virginia. Mitt Romney won the essentially uncontested Utah primary on Feb. 5 with about 90 percent of the vote.
Also, the California Supreme Court is based in San Francisco, not the state capital, Sacramento.
Again, an embarrassing oversight, but not exactly "Dewey Defeats Truman." And not exactly the worst of the Huffington Post, for that matter.
(Am I the only one a little chapped by the Clarence Thomas bit? Setting aside the waste of valuable time, I'd love to see Greg Mitchell debate Clarence Thomas on just about anything: law, politics, moral philosophy. Thomas is one of the most impressive men in American public life. Mitchell, whatever his merits, is an ankle-biter by comparison.)
01/26 11:27 AMShare