Sunday, January 13, 2008

Of course, I can't count, either

by Ken Houghton

UPDATE: Brad DeLong and Scott at LG&M both point to Spencer Ackerman, who got all the way through the piece and found it even worse than I thought.

The New York Times Public Editor describes their editorial columnists:
I agree with their effort to address an Op-Ed lineup that, until Kristol came aboard, was at least six liberals against one conservative who isn’t always all that conservative.

Six liberals?? Bob Herbert, yes, in that he often speaks for the underrepresented. Krugman has been radicalized by the Administration's incompetence, which I guess in Clark Hoyt's mind is the same thing. (So has John Cole, and I doubt many would confuse his entire oeuvre as "liberal."). Frank Rich is more of a bloviator, but let's put him in the category as well.

That's three. Who are the other three? Maureen "Michael Douglas chose Catherine Zeta-Jones over me and I don't know why" Dowd? Roger Cohen and Gail Collins, who between them have never seen a civil liberty they liked or a country that shouldn't be invaded? Caitlin Flanagan, whose most recent piece will be dissected by Bean and Melissa and the Usual Suspects, so I don't have to? [UPDATE: Bean, as expected, was Already on the Case. And Scott had an early pointer.] Is Hoyt counting Olivia Judson, since she writes about science, and believing that the world existed before September of 4004 BCE has become exclusive to "liberals"? Or Tom "my brain is flat" Friedman?

We have to assume that Hoyt—who used to know better—considers Friedman, Dowd, and Collins to be "liberals," while former Weakly Standard columnist Brooks "isn’t always all that conservative" (a statement that, if it were true, would appear to speak ill of Mr. Kristol's perceptions, skills, and possibly hiring practices).

Can someone please define "liberal"—a word Hoyt also uses to disparage his commenters—in such a way that Hoyt's definition is both (1) viable and (2) not restricted to "would be able to be printed without editing in The Weekly Standard"?

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