“As for the columnists, Friedman is the worst. He hasn’t had an original thought in 20 years; he’s an embarrassment. He’s perceived as an idiot who has been wrong about every major issue for 20 years…”
It’s not an ideological dispute, the Observer says, but rather the sense that the paper’s editorials and columns are boring, ineffectual, poorly written and poorly read. The story was based on interviews with more than two dozen current and former Times staffers, mostly on condition of anonymity out of fear of editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal.
Rosenthal was described as a petty tyrant, and lazy in his supervision of an opinion staff that is widely seen outside the newsroom as the voice of the Left-wing establishment.
“Then there’s Maureen Dowd, who has been writing the same column since George H. W. Bush was president…”
The Examiner‘s Gene Healy‘s list is good, but he mentions briefly at the top, but doesn’t include in his final top five, what I would personally crown as the number one worst op-ed of the year–the New York Times piece arguing that conservative Dallas ”willed the death” of JFK (by getting a communist to shoot him?) But not just that NYTimes item, variations on that same malignant fantasy polluted op-ed pages from coast to coast, for weeks.
For readers who saw our JFK 50th anniversary coverage here at punditfromanotherplanet during November, I hammered this leftist “Dallas-did-it” myth nonstop, including savage pieces by George Will, and others. While my personal choice doesn’t necessarily rise to the level of number one worst op-ed, I’m glad to see that it at least got an honorable mention.
Gene Healy writes: Picking the year’s worst op-eds — an annual tradition in this space — wasn’t easy in 2013. There’s the Slate writer who announced you’re “a bad person if you send your children to private school”; the New York Times piece arguing that conservative Dallas ”willed the death” of JFK (by getting a communist to shoot him?); and the fellow who worried that allowing more high-skilled immigration would exacerbate “America’s Genius Glut.”
If you’ve been losing sleep over the genius glut in American punditry, rest easy. That threat’s a long way off.
To narrow the choices and give this pudding a theme, I’ve decided that 2013’s malicious listicle will focus on the perverse affinity for executive power of our alleged “Thought Leaders.” In a year when presidential incompetence and power lust ruled the headlines — when record numbers of Americans feared big government — the leading lights of the American commentariat clamored for more presidential power. Go figure.
Early on in President Obama’s summer of scandal eruptions, communitarian honcho Amitai Etzioni was incensed that anyone dared invoke the I-word. After all, the president likely “did not know diddly squat” about IRS harassment of the Tea Party.
Only a constitutional amendment making it harder for Congress to impeach the president could save us, Etzioni insisted. But since we manage fewer than onepresidential impeachment per century, how much harder could it be?
In this column, Dowd’s father figure disappoints her once again. Instead of “hurl[ing] a few missiles, Zeus like,” at Syria, Obama had been contemptibly weak: “When it came time to act as commander in chief, he choked,” reverting to “Barry, president of the Harvard Law Review.” Apparently, only a legalistic sissy would ask Congress to authorize a war.
Jonah Goldberg writes: I’m not a big fan of speaking ill of the dead soon after their passing, so I was reluctant to write my column today on Helen Thomas. But the swirl of phoney-baloney praise and love for the woman was just too much. And since she would probably not be back in the news again, I waited a couple days and then took my shot (I see Jonathan Tobin felt likewise). Read the rest of this entry »