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Monday, March 17, 2008

William Kristol Regrets the Error

posted by on March 17 at 11:22 AM

And the NYT, one hopes, regrets the hire. This is squatting on the top of Kristol’s op-ed in today’s paper:

In this column, I cite a report that Sen. Obama had attended services at Trinity Church on July 22, 2007. The Obama camapaign has provided information showing that Senator Obama did not attend Trinity that day. I regret the error.

In his column today Kristol claimed that Obama was sitting in the pews when his pastor, Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., went off on the God-damn-America tirade that got Wright bounced from the campaign. But Obama was in Florida, not Chicago, when Wright gave that sermon. So who wrote that erroneous report that made it onto the op-ed pages of NYT? A right-wing faux news organization. Says Sullivan

Kristol’s facts depend on Newsmax, a far-right Internet propaganda vehicle. Which means to say: thanks to Kristol, the NYT’s fact-checking is now dependent on far right smear artists.

Kristol’s first column in the NYT also contained an “error.” In a January 13 column, the NYT’s public editor described the hiring of Kristol—who had recently called for the criminal prosecution of the NYT’s editors and publisher— as a “mistake.” I wonder what they’re calling Kristol at the NYT offices now?

RSS icon Comments


The NYT continues to dissappoint.

Posted by Unreliable MSM | March 17, 2008 11:27 AM

who uses newsmax as a source? this is ridiculous

Posted by Bellevue Ave | March 17, 2008 11:31 AM

So what? It's a stretch to think that Wright preached those dispositions only when Obama wasn't there - for 20 years!

Posted by raindrop | March 17, 2008 11:31 AM

Sounds like Kristol's working for the Clinton campaign!

Posted by Michigan Matt | March 17, 2008 11:33 AM

Kristol's a joke. Give him an enema, you could bury him in a shoebox. I'm no fan of commentators on the right, but Kristol is more unnerving than most. He has that smirky, little sneer of privilege and wealth. The kind of sneer that says he's never had one day of struggle or strife, never has worried about where the next meal is coming from, never had to worry about basic needs or survival. In fact, he isn't entitled, IMHO, to have an opinion about anything other than how the yachts are running up at Newport.

At least with Buckley - who was equally misguided - there was some erudition. This guy is just a Poison Penelope deathly afraid of losing his rank and riches. Also unlike Buckley, he's made a name for himself by being bitchy and mean.

Posted by Bauhaus | March 17, 2008 11:43 AM

I should think they will be calling him an ex-employee.

Posted by pragmatic | March 17, 2008 11:45 AM

Kristol has consistently been wrong.

He should resign and go retire to the "safe" Iraq he whines about.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 17, 2008 11:52 AM

Kristol is the poster child for the right's intellectual dishonesty and laziness.

Posted by Michael | March 17, 2008 11:52 AM

I somehow got on the Newsmax mailing list. Fortunately, Yahoo already knew to put it in the Spam folder.

Posted by Mike of Renton | March 17, 2008 11:55 AM

did he issue a correction for when he called Clarence Thomas "the most impressive Conservative in America today"?

because, you know, he's not. i think Bill may have meant "biggest fucking sellout joke in America today".

Posted by max solomon | March 17, 2008 12:07 PM
Sounds like Kristol's working for the Clinton campaign!

Read how the right wing influence merchants first worked to get Obama in the lead and then turned on him.,374100,374100,2.html/1

Posted by McG | March 17, 2008 12:09 PM

It's unnerving to think that raindrop @3 says "So what?" to a lie printed in the NYT. Would you feel the same way if a lie was told about your candidate of choice?

Posted by Really | March 17, 2008 12:13 PM

McG, correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't you the one peddling this Newsmax story on SLOG yesterday?

Posted by just sayin' | March 17, 2008 12:17 PM

@12: I meant 'so what' in the sense that Kristo's correction doesn't negate the point of his editorial.

Posted by raindrop | March 17, 2008 12:25 PM

Just sayin why do you refer to a Village Voice story as a Newsmax story?

I looked for the connection to Newsmax but couldn't find one. The story is written by Wayne Barrett who has been with the Voice since 1979.

Yes, I posted the link once before. I think how these right wing pundits are trying to manipulate the Democratic primary is an important story. This is basically calling out these right wingers as phonies.

Posted by McG | March 17, 2008 1:30 PM

Dan - thanks for calling this out. I was thus prepared when my local rag in Eugene printed the column today - *without* the preface calling out the factual error. It is scary that discredited news gets regurgitated through witless wire subscribers.

Here's the letter to the editor I just sent out:

I understand the legitimate need to balance "progressive" and "conservative" national columnists in your Opinion pages, but once again William Kristol has exposed himself as entirely untrustworthy and unfit for your pages, much less those of the New York Times. The chief Neo-Con media cheerleader for the dire threat posed by Saddam's WMD and the glorious outcome of our Iraqi invasion has revealed himself time and again to be a partisan hack with a penchant for stretching the truth.

In his Monday NYT column reprinted in the RG Tuesday, he claims Barack Obama was in the Chicago Trinity Church audience July 22nd for a particularly inflammatory sermon from his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. It is a stretch to claim attendance in the audience as the equivalent of absolute agreement with the speaker, but in any case, Obama was not in the audience. A simple fact-check could have told Kristol or his editors that Obama was in Florida on that day. The New York Times corrected itself online early Monday, forcing Kristol to add this preface - "In this column, I cite a report that Sen. Obama had attended services at Trinity Church on July 22, 2007. The Obama camapaign has provided information showing that Senator Obama did not attend Trinity that day. I regret the error."

This follows a similar factual error in Kristol's very first NYT column in January. My question to the Register Guard is why didn't you run the article with the same disclaimer preface which was available online long before you went to print. More fundamentally - why do you continue to print columns by a would-be opinion-maker who has so thoroughly discredited himself?

Posted by Will in Eugene | March 18, 2008 10:48 AM

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