When The New York Times announced that William Kristol will be a weekly columnist for its Op-Ed page, the first thing it said about him is that he’s “one of the nation’s leading conservative writers and a vigorous supporter of the Iraq war.”
Which prompted a friend to ask two questions: 1) “Hasn’t America suffered enough from the actions of these nut-jobs?” And 2) “Is Kristol the Times’ move in anticipation of the Murdochization of The Wall Street Journal, sort of the way CNN moved to the right to counter Fox News?”
Well, 1) Apparently not. And 2) WSJ’s news columns are more likely to feel Rupe’s impact than the editorial page, which is already so far right it can’t move further in that direction. If anything, its vicious brand of conservativism is more likely to be moderated in pragmatic support of Rupe’s global business agenda.
(Jan. 16 — Have a look: “Murdoch to Bury the Leder? Rethinks Journal Strategy”)
Meanwhile, the lead editorial in this morning’s Times, “Looking at America,” offers at least some assurance that, despite losing the zip in its prose with the departure of Gail Collins as editorial page editor, it remains the most outspoken establishment newspaper opposing the BananaRepublic. Except for the tooth-fairy conclusion — a rose-tinted final sentence about hoping to look in the mirror after the 2008 presidential election to “see, once again, the reflection of the United States of America” — today’s editorial is a serious year-end critique.