Saturday, December 29, 2007

Email to Management of the New York Times on Hiring William Kristol

Dear Executive Editor and Managing Editor of the New York Times

Imagine my shock and dismay when I discovered that the New York Times, the only "liberal" thinking newspaper left in the United States stooped to the level of tabloid journalism by hiring William Kristol for a weekly column.

Then imagine the chuckle that crossed my face when I read this story on Think Progress this morning who reminded us that William Kristol wanted the New York Times prosecuted, to wit:
After the New York Times in 2006 disclosed a secret Bush administration program to monitor international banking transactions, right-wing pundit Bill Kristol said this:

“I think it is an open question whether the Times itself should be prosecuted for this totally gratuitous revealing of an ongoing secret classified program that is part of the war on terror.” [Fox News, 7/2/06]

“I think the Justice Department has an obligation to consider prosecution.” [Fox News, 6/25/06]

There used to be a time not long ago when journalism in America was something to be looked up to and, for the bad guys, feared. Richard Nixon learned that the hard way.

Now we live in a world where journalistic excellence comes in second or even third behind corporate profits. Not long ago we were provided with stories about how the revenues of the New York Times are declining. We read just this week that the venerable Washington Post may go out of business for similar reasons.

The only reason the New York Times could stoop to this level of wannabe status is to try to bolster your sales by drawing more neoconservatives to your newspaper box. Having a creep like William Kristol on your columnist list may do that. Having Kristol there also diminishes the fantastic balance to other "news" outlets that you now have with Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd and others. You already have David Brooks and Bob Herbert dirtying the otherwise excellent op-ed pages of the Times. Why further degrade yourselves with Kristol.

Personally I hope this foolish move on the part of the New York Times comes back to bite you in your balance sheet. You deserve to be bitten there.


Craig Faanes

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