Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wurlitzer Prize of the Week for Wingnuttery™ - Bill Kristol and the New York Times

This week comes the news that the Gray Lady will add Bill Kristol to its stable of neocon stooges... like David Brooks, who slung a pipe to our skulls with his comparison of Bin Laden to liberal bloggers (video).

Ah, the Nyuk Nyuk Times -- former home to Little Miss Run Amok, who scampered through its halls unabated, stacks of notepads a-flyin', to shamelessly flack erroneous WMD stories. And who can forget fabricator extraordinaire, Jayson Blair? Or the stiletto-wielding tart MoDo: Take that Al Gore! And you, too, John Edwards!

With William The Bloody Kristol on board, the Nyuk Nyuk Times can whoop-whoop-whoop-whoop it up with the phoniest stooge of all. The infotainment value that a weekly dose of Bloody Bill can bring to Serious Punditry will surely elevate the laughing stock of the paper in the marketplace of Opinion as it bolts in the opposite direction of the nation's move toward progressive ideas. Who's next to grace its editorial pages? Ann Coultergeist? N'yaaah-ah-ah!

Hiring Bloody Bill, David Sirota explained, is "an absolute abomination from the standpoint of basic accountability. A pundit being factually wrong on almost everything he hung his hat on is rewarded by the largest newspaper in the world for his track record. If ever there was an example of the world of journalism literally thumbing its nose at basic accountability, this example of Bill Kristol falling up is it."

Perhaps the Pravda on the Hudson wishes to jettison what remaining liberal scent a bloodhound couldn't possibly detect from its newsprint by employing the man who admitted the term, liberal media, "was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures."

Once so suave, so soothing in tone, a fake thug but well-groomed, the Weekly "Double" Standard editor-in-chief, Beltway gadfly, and Faux News commentator has descended into Bush's inferno with a "bitter, sycophantic belligerence."

Who can blame the snarl repressed beneath his smile? Bloody Bill's been so wrong about so much.

[Read on... more wingnuttery and video after the jump!]

Earlier this year, media expert Eric Alterman ticked off a litany of Kristol errors buried in his wingnut kockeputzi (with emphasis):

...if one looks for a consistent pattern to Kristol's perpetual wrongness, it's not hard to discern. For Kristol is less interested in being correct than in advancing his side's interests. He's not a journalist; he's an apparatchik working undercover as a man of the press.
In 1993, Bloody Bill "made a name for himself by writing a strategy memo in which he altered the course of American politics by convincing Republicans not to compromise with the Clinton Administration healthcare plan but to destroy it." And indeed they did.

Universal health care for America's uninsured took a pie in the face as did Bill and Hill. Oh, a two-fer! Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. That's all that matters to Bloody Bill. Forget that he's "not merely wrong but spectacularly so." To Kristol, facts... pffft! Pffft! How inconvenient they are when the game afoot demands win-win-win regardless of whose lives may and will be lost. To note a few Alterman points:
* In the opening moments of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Kristol insisted, "We are now in the final days." He intoned, "If the President lied to the American People...he's finished."
* When the Starr report was issued, causing almost universal revulsion among Americans, Kristol wrote a cover editorial for his magazine that headlined the report Starr's Home Run, portraying its author as Mark McGwire and calling for Clinton's immediate impeachment.
* At the outset of the Iraq War, Kristol called predictors of Shiite-Sunni strife purveyors of "pop sociology," insisting, "Iraq's always been very secular" and that a US invasion would spread "the principles of liberty and justice in the Islamic world."
Bloody Bill on liberal "disloyalty":
"These liberals--better, leftists--hate George W. Bush so much they can barely bring themselves to hope America wins the war to which, in their view, the president has illegitimately committed the nation.... They hate Don Rumsfeld so much they can't bear to see his military strategy vindicated." After the massacre at Haditha, he said, "The anti-American left can barely be bothered to conceal its glee."...
In a stunning flip-flop and without apologies to Democratic critics, "Kristol himself now admits that Rumsfeld's strategy was a disaster."

Kristol's far-flung chazzerai appears decidedly in his defense of convicted felon, Scooter Libby, one of the WH leakers who outed CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Fox News Sunday debate on commuting Libby's sentence via CSPANJUNKIEdotORG.

Let me cut to the most egregious of Bloody Bill's remarks in the above video; there are so many to refute. Kristol prefers a Libby pardon. To delve into his wanton partisanship and warped sense of justice, witness Kristol in 1998:
On the November 22, 1998, edition of This Week, discussing Clinton's impeachment hearings before the House Judiciary Committee, Weekly Standard editor-in-chief William Kristol said that he believed the committee would approve articles of impeachment against Clinton, adding, "I think it's significant and I think they should." Kristol then asserted that the "most striking thing" about the first day of hearings "was the failure of a single Democratic member of that committee to say perjury is a serious matter, lying under oath is a serious matter, and then to, if they want to then argue it shouldn't be impeachable, let them make the argument." He continued:
KRISTOL: Not a single person said, tried to explain to the American people why lying under oath by the president of the United States is not an impeachable offense. I thought it was, I mean, and I say this not as a Republican, but in all honesty, the Democratic Party has had many great moments in its history. I did think November 19th, 1998, was really a day of disgrace for the Democratic Party. They simply refused to condemn perjury and refused to explain why they weren't simply telling the American people perjury's no big deal.
Kristol in 2007:
On the July 3 edition of NBC's Today, however, Kristol defended Bush's decision to commute Libby's sentence and asserted that Fitzgerald should never have pursued the charges in the first place:
KRISTOL: Scooter Libby does not deserve to go to jail. I would remind Joe Wilson that Scooter Libby did not leak Valerie Plame's name. Richard Armitage told [syndicated columnist] Robert Novak, we now know, about Valerie Plame's name, so this was an investigation that should never have happened. There was no underlying crime."
As Media Matters for America noted, although Libby did not reveal Plame's CIA identity to Novak -- who publicly disclosed it in a July 14, 2003, column -- Fitzgerald alleged that Libby did discuss Plame's CIA employment with then-New York Times reporter Judith Miller on three occasions prior to the publication of Novak's column.
With one hand Bloody Bill eye-pokes President Clinton for perjury and obstruction in a civil case over a blow job. With the other, he waves off a criminal conviction -- four felony counts that included perjury, obstruction, and false statements -- against Scooter Libby for his involvement in the destruction of national security assets. To compare the two as Kristol did during the Faux News clip is not only dishonest, but wingnuttery at its worst. Yet, you can almost hear Kristol whine, "But Libby is a victim of soicumstance!"

ThinkProgress compiled a list of Kristol's rhetoric that must have soi-tanly pleased the GOP's shill team:
- “It is insane for this country to be obsessing … about a small prisoner abuse scandal,” referring to Abu Ghraib. [5/16/2004]
- “Cheney’s statement” that Ned Lamont’s primary victory helps al Qaeda “is indisputably correct.” [6/13/2006]
- “The voters in Florida, I guess, who elected him” are responsible for former Rep. Mark Foley’s illicit sexual behavior. “Maybe they should have known better.” [10/3/06]
- Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is “sort of the opposite of Lincoln. He would have been with Stephen Douglas in 1858″ in appeasing slave owners. [2/10/07]
- Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) saying the war is lost “is much more disgraceful than anything Trent Lott said” about the country being better off if it had maintained racist segregation policies. [4/22/07]
In July, Bloody Bill declared, Why Bush Will Be A Winner! The column provoked David Corn to retort, "Who knew Bill Kristol had such a flair for satire?" Corn enumerated the stooge's blunders:
On Sept. 18, 2002, he declared that a war in Iraq "could have terrifically good effects throughout the Middle East." A day later, he said Saddam Hussein was "past the finish line" in developing nuclear weapons. On Feb. 20, 2003, he said of Saddam: "He's got weapons of mass destruction.... Look, if we free the people of Iraq we will be respected in the Arab world." On March 1, 2003 -- 18 days before the invasion of Iraq -- Kristol dismissed the possibility of sectarian conflict afterward. He also said, "Very few wars in American history were prepared better or more thoroughly than this one by this president." He maintained that the war would cost $100 billion to $200 billion. (The running tab is now about half a trillion dollars.) On March 5, 2003, Kristol said, "We'll be vindicated when we discover the weapons of mass destruction."
With nearly 70% of Americans opposing the Iraq War and wanting U.S. troops to get out, what audience does the Nyuk Nyuk Times possibly think would read Mr. Kristol's disingenuous tripe?

Is this simply a ploy to attract the eyes of media watchers, fodder for the left blogosphere? Someone's gotta view the ads!

Or is it to tickle the heart of darkness beating in the Wingnutosphere? Yaadadeeee, yaadeda. The Gray Lady must be lonely to sweep the last crumbs of journalistic integrity out the door by inviting Bloody Bill to its table.

What of more current Kristolizations?

In the Dec. 31 edition of the Weekly "Double" Standard, Kristol's stoogerific column announces, "We are now winning the war." Then he continues on to berate his former employer for picking Putin as Time's Person of the Year instead of Gen. David Petraeus. His fallacy: "Our liberal elites are so invested in a narrative of defeat and disaster in Iraq that to acknowledge the prospect of victory would be too head-wrenching and heart-rending. It would mean giving credit to George W. Bush, for one. And it would mean acknowledging American success in a war Time, and the Democratic party, and the liberal elites, had proclaimed lost."

Can we expect more of the same Kristol stoogery from the Nyuk Nyuk Times? Soi-tanly!

For this, the Gray Lady can share this week's award with the PNAC neocon founder, William "The Bloody" Kristol.