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Wrong Again, Bill Kristol

Posted on Oct 20, 2008

Stop making nonsense: The NYT’s William Kristol.

The New York Times’ conservative stalwart William Kristol should receive some kind of award for being wrong with such baffling consistency while still retaining his job. Not only has he been credited (if that’s the right word) with steering John McCain toward picking Sarah Palin and waving his proverbial pompoms for the Iraq invasion, but he has just let fly with another doozy (or 10) in his latest column.

While we’re at it, can we just point out that it’s a little strange to have someone like Kristol continually talk about “media elites” as though he stood apart from that crowd? The proof that he is, in fact, a member of some kind of elite is apparent in his assertion that the public isn’t despairing over the current financial crisis. (And let’s not even start with his claim that “Islamophobia” hasn’t caught on since Sept. 11.) Say it out loud, Bill: “I write for The New York Times.” Now rinse and repeat if desired results not achieved.

William Kristol in The New York Times:

Last week, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press released its latest national survey, taken from Oct. 9 to 12. Americans are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country and of course concerned about the economy. But, as Pew summarized, “there is little indication that the nation’s financial crisis has triggered public panic or despair.”

In fact, “There is a broad public consensus regarding the causes of the current problems with financial institutions and markets: 79 percent say people taking on too much debt has contributed a lot to the crisis, while 72 percent say the same about banks making risky loans.”

This seems sensible. Indeed, as Sept. 11 did not result in a much-feared (by intellectuals) wave of popular Islamophobia or xenophobia, so the market crash has resulted in remarkably little popular hysteria or scapegoating.

And considering what has happened, the vulgar public on Main Street has been surprisingly forgiving of those well-educated types on Wall Street — the ones who devised and marketed the sophisticated financial instruments that have brought the financial system to the brink of collapse.

Most of the recent mistakes of American public policy, and most of the contemporary delusions of American public life, haven’t come from an ignorant and excitable public. They’ve been produced by highly educated and sophisticated elites.

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Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, October 21, 2008 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

Esp Now with those ‘internet Tubes’ and ‘The Google’.
hey Bill US “Liberals” were right about the bullshit lead up to the War. Infact I think some Repug pundits should be kissing some ‘Cheeto Eating Tin Hatters’ asses- Ah Scarborogh?
Guess we’ve been proven right by the independent International Red Cross that your ‘Enhanced Interrogation techniques’ Constitute Torture in it’s Traditionally Global interpretation
Guess ‘Trickle Down’ was exactly what we’ve been calling it for 2 1/2 Decades…“Shit Rolls Down Hill”.Funny how when you gut the levels below you, the bottom falls out beneath you too ah?
Seems to me a Smart person would have already figured out it was a good time to Sit down Shut Up and Hope no one points an accusatory finger your way too.Propaganda was also indictable in the post WW2 trials.You are soaked in all the Water you have carried for this Criminal Regime…And that includes their latest Puppet McCain.
Hey Bill….Let’s talk about McCains Anti communist party Doantions to a lil’ rag tag group in Afhgnaistan in the ‘80’s. or how about McCains ‘transition staffer’Timmons and his work for Saddam , or even a Quick Retrospect of the ‘acheivements’ of Mac’s Buddy Phil Gramm?
So What about an 8 yr old and a 60’s Radical???
Bill, it’s just another porkbelly ‘Bridge to nowhere’.
the Public is Once again Way ahead of the press on these truely condemning facts in McCains Historical ‘experience’.So You Say ‘Ayers’ we laugh and say ‘Timmons’
Oh By the Way your hard on for Palin is also riddled with associative problems….Last group publisized for Separatist ideas..Michigan Miltia and Timothy McVey. Not good. Last Big ‘End of Dayer’ to leave his scar on this country, Charlie Manson (also thought Death valley would be the refuge after Armegeddon, just like Sarahs pastor thinks about Alaska!). Again Not good. And as for her maternal convictions about being “Pro Life”- WHO would have ever guessed since she waited 8 hours to seek medical attention for her month premature Down’s Baby. And Of course the “Pro Lifers” who Blew up Planned parenthood clinics, assasinated MD’s and Pipebombed the Olymics in Atlanta.REALLY NOT GOOD!
Bill, Set down the Koolaid and take a LONG vacation, You just might finally come out of that Long Strange trip you’ve been on.
If nothing else ..try and have a little Self Respect,TRY not to make such an Utter ass of yourself quite so often,At least in public.

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By Bboy57, October 21, 2008 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

The case of Joe the Plumber does not resonate with the middle class who make nowhere near the 200-250K that he supposedly is worried about getting taxed the heck out of. Hey if you make that much, your in the upper echelon of the class strugle and though you work hard you need to give something back, that’s how the system is supposed to opporate. Most can’t relate how someone can’t make it on 150K or more clear , let alone much, much more than that for upper and some mid-management types!

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By Ga, October 21, 2008 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

It is simply AMAZING how often wrong conservative “pundits” such as George Will are.

The NonSequitur—“A Logical Analysis of Political Media”—as been documenting their many errors for years.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 21, 2008 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

People keep asking why Kristol still has a job when he lies all the time.

I have a better question: Why does Kristol still have a job when he’s so incredibly BORING!  Even Mo-Do on a bad day is more interesting (and less shallow).  And, believe me, Maureen Dowd’s bad days are very bad!

I don’t care about him lying: He’s a critic, not a reporter.  I expect him to cherry-pick data to support his argument. Why not? He’s a neo-conservative. That’s what they do. Castigating Bill Kristol for lying and cherry-picking is like castigating a rattlesnake for biting or a cat for being a thief.  It’s the nature and definition of the beast.

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By Matt, October 21, 2008 at 8:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The NYT has a horror of being labeled liberal, so thay gave this idiot a column.  At least Safire was occasionally thought provoking, but Kristol makes a stopped clock look like an oracle. Hopefully, after the election, he can be jettisoned and only Weekly Standard readers will be subject to his misguided nonsense.

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By mud, October 21, 2008 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

So give Mr. Kristol some sort of award for being wrong so consistently. We could call it the “Wrong way Peach fuzz” award. Tar and feathers might be more appropriate but continuing to give this gentleman air time is ridiculous and lends credibility to his prevarication bubble.

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By samosamo, October 21, 2008 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

By cyrena, October 21 at 1:33 am

Thanks for the heads up. I usually check TomDispatch on a more frequent basis but I have neglected to do so of late. Truely depressing and how tell tale that the wall streeters have conveniently insulated themselves from their own suicide. Truly a devastating situation all around. I have read where some sherriff finally refused to serve these eviction notices and wonder if that still holds or someone bent his arm to resume them.
This really comes to a crux of just what the hell is going on and why, with all this bailout money for the incompetent and criminal people in the financial fields to insulate them from suicide, that the people cannot be helped, especially for the homeowners that have kept up their payments and did not get suckered into some disney land fairy tale of a mortgage and owning the home of ‘way beyond’ their means. Either way the honest and legitimate homeowners deserve some help and allowances to maintain their hold on their home. Other wise we are just looking at another part of the GRAND LARCENY being perpetrated against americans by a truly criminal group of blood suckers hiding behind laws that protect them and lay the owners open for their worst nightmare. Proving that the ‘threat to the economy of america’ is a purely arbitrary thing. Just as any named threat to our country by our elected leaders is purely arbitrary for them and their cronies benefit.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, October 21, 2008 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

It would be interesting to find out who likes this guy?  Russ Limjaw ditto heads, I doubt most of them read the Times.  Propaganda must be put forth, and he, puts fourth.  His job is to make notice of differences so ridiculous, real issues never surface. We see the smoke and mirrors coming from all levels of the media, he insults the intelligence of the thing person, sadly most people do not think.

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By moe, October 21, 2008 at 7:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

and that is what I got rid of my subscription to the paper. Why support idiocy and incompetence in the name of fairness to all!!

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By BDAinNC, October 21, 2008 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

So why does he still have a job?  The guy lies, twists the truth, is wrong, etc.  So why hasn’t he been fired?  That is the real question.  The same with all the wrongheaded pundits on tv.  The Hannity’s and Scarboroughs and Dobbs who spew hate out onto the airwaves and then pretend they have nothing to do with the rage being expressed at McCain/Palin events.  I will tell you.  It is ratings.  We are all talking about Kristols column aren’t we?  So he wins in the end.  The only way to get rid of him is to make him irrelevent.  Do not watch him on tv.  Do not read his columns.  Do not comment on him.

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By longtimewatcher, October 21, 2008 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

“But is the ignorant crowd really our problem today? Are populism and anti-intellectualism rampant in the land? Does the common man too thoroughly dominate our national life? I don’t think so.”

It will be a sad sad day when Kristol and Palin’s “common man” “dominates” our national life.

He’s an intellectual, of sorts, and history tells us what happens to them when the “common man” reigns supreme.

This guy is ignorant and a danger to us all.

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By nrobi, October 21, 2008 at 3:43 am Link to this comment

In the article describing William Kristol, as missing the mark in his latest opinion-editorial piece in the New York Times, Andrew Sullivan, gave kind words and sentiment to the pundit William Kristol.
His selection of words regarding said person, were in point of fact extremely misinformed and absolutely wrong. Mr. Kristol, was and is a congenital liar. He has not uttered one truth in his pundit life. He uses prevarication, like people breathe.
Mr. Kristol, states for a certainty, that the people of America would rather have a Republican president to lead them out of these perilous times, rather than a man with a vision and hope for the future, Sen. Barack Obama.
Nothing in this latest article proves my point more than, the fact that he quotes the latest Pew Poll and states for a certainty that s percent of the American public see that the only way out of this mess is with a Republican president.
Another point that makes my statement more than applicable, is the fact that he deliberately places himself above the fray by stating the fact that he counts himself one of the people instead of the political punditry and not one of the intellectual elite who “prognosticate” their way through life, hoping to be right at least once.
How wrong is this picture! Mr. Kristol, is not only one of the intellectual elite who prevaricates at every chance he gets, but, he is wrong almost 0 of the time.  He cannot string two sentences together without so much as a prompting from the White House,(he uses White House talking points memos), but his ideas have the ring of the writing of whichever current White House Press Secretary is in that position.  I, see no difference between the White House version of “truth” and Mr. Kristol’s.
Could there be such a long umbilical cord? Does he really believe that we the people, believe the clap-trap that he spouts daily on the Fox News Channel, and weekly in his column for the New York Times? Seriously people come on get a life if you read this columnist.  He is by far the worst of the neo-conservative columnists that have appeared in the last 25 years.

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By cyrena, October 21, 2008 at 2:33 am Link to this comment

“..By samosamo, October 20 at 3:04 pm #
•  Sad! Here is a jerk, the poster child of a jerk, describing the people NOT being in freaked out mode about a monumental disaster that will cause so much harm that people are not just killing themselves but their entire families as the realization or feeling of not being able to provide for them takes hold, if what I have read or been allowed to read in the msm about suicides and family suicides is accurate.”

I think it IS accurate. (what you’ve been reading, since it might be the same as I’ve been reading…though not from the msm). So, I think I’ll post a short intro and the link to the entire piece here:

The Rising Body Count on Main Street: The Human Fallout From the Financial Crisis
Sunday 19 October 2008

by: Nick Turse,

“Americans, ground down under the weight of poverty, have been suffering for years. The current economic meltdown is beginning to shed light on an ongoing crisis.

On October 4, 2008, in the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles, Karthik Rajaram, beset by financial troubles, shot his wife, mother-in-law, and three sons before turning the gun on himself. In one of his two suicide notes, Rajaram wrote that he was “broke,” having incurred massive financial losses in the economic meltdown. “I understand he was unemployed, his dealings in the stock market had taken a disastrous turn for the worse,” said Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Michel R. Moore.

  The fallout from the current subprime mortgage debacle and the economic one that followed has thrown lives into turmoil across the country. In recent days, the Associated Press, ABC News, and others have begun to address the burgeoning body count, especially suicides attributed to the financial crisis. (Note that, months ago, Barbara Ehrenreich raised the issue in the Nation.)

  Suicide is, however, just one type of extreme act for which the financial meltdown has seemingly been the catalyst. Since the beginning of the year, stories of resistance to eviction, armed self-defense, canicide, arson, self-inflicted injury, murder, as well as suicide, especially in response to the foreclosure crisis, have bubbled up into the local news, although most reports have gone unnoticed nationally - as has any pattern to these events.

  While it’s impossible to know what factors, including deeply personal ones, contribute to such extreme acts, violent or otherwise, many do seem undeniably linked to the present crisis. This is hardly surprising. Rates of stress, depression, and suicide invariably climb in times of economic turmoil. As Kathleen Hall, founder and CEO of the Stress Institute in Atlanta, told USA Today’s Stephanie Armour earlier this year, “Suicides are very much tied to the economy.”

Excellent piece that you won’t read in the New York Times, (even though I still read the NYT as well)Full article at the link.

Back in the days of the first Great Depression, it was mostly the bankers and the failed stock brokers who were jumping out of the windows of the Wall Street buildings, and the ordinary folks were able to tough things out in line at the soup kitchens, and stretch the rations.

Not so now, in a world that cares nothing about the unseen and unheard of casualties.

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skulz fontaine's avatar

By skulz fontaine, October 20, 2008 at 11:12 pm Link to this comment

Isn’t Bill Kristol scheduled for a war crimes tribunal? If’n not, he sure as hell should be.

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By spinsLPs, October 20, 2008 at 10:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bill Kristol is like a weatherman.  They both can be wrong most of the time and still keep their job.

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By C.P.T.L., October 20, 2008 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

William Kristol has not been wrong once, not ever. He has been false, untrue, mendacious, many times. There is a difference and it is deadly important.

The absurdity of such things as that he writes for the New York Times and disallows that he is a “media elite” is secondary to the dire matter that a propagandist, a categorical liar has gained an unchallenged position in our national dialog, what should be an intellectual forum. His propaganda masqueraded as opinion has been deadly to thousands and ruinous to counties.

You have implied that he ever meant to be truthful. The fact is that he was, and is, deliberately false and there were no mistakes. The man lies with a purpose, to the extent he can get away with it: it is his job.

Kristol presents ‘anti-truth’, deliberate statements of the opposite of truth entered into discussions on T.V. or into the national dialog through his writing.

His are debate tactics and propaganda ploys exploiting the audience’s perception of him as a person with expertise, exploiting the audience’s trust.

He is an intellectual impostor exploiting the news ‘analysis’ forum where it is expected that one’s intent is to present the truth as they see it. He exploits the respect others would grant an honest person’s opinion - which is perhaps where you have gone wrong when you imply he was mistaken, granting him benefit of the doubt, benefit of the doubt he has been proven to be not worthy of.

To call him “Wrong Again” is silly, it’s trite and not logical - and after all these years - and all the clear proofs of his purpose and intent - a tedious mischaracterization.

As humor it is not funny. As commentary meant to ‘analyze’ the man, or journalism meant to describe a thing, or a person, or an event as accurately as possible, the statement is simply wrong.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 20, 2008 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

Ain’t it funny?  Billy works down the hall from the guy that just won the NOBEL PRIZE for economics and thinks he can out-argue and out-point Paul Krugman on the economy!

Kristol’s greatest strength is his capacity for self-delusion.  He’s kept on the Times to show they are unbiased, but he has none of the flair of William Safire and none of the grace of David Brooks.  He doesn’t even have the passion of Cal Thomas (who doesn’t write for the Times.

Paul Mulshine, here in Joisey on the Newark Star-Ledger is a far, FAR smarter, abler and FUNNIER Conservative than Kristol ever will be. I RESPECT Paul Mulshine even as I disagree with him. I respect William Safire.  I respect David Brooks.

I don’t respect William Kristol.

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By thebeerdoctor, October 20, 2008 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

For all who have pangs over Obama’s apparent lack of boldness, look at it this way: folks like William Kristol live in the pundit never-never land that enables frauds such as Bush and McCain to operate with validity. Some people fervently pray that Barack will be the leader out of this, which seems doubtful at best. But the lesser of the two evils? You betcha!

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By samosamo, October 20, 2008 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

Sad! Here is a jerk, the poster child of a jerk, describing the people NOT being in freaked out mode about a monumental disaster that will cause so much harm that people are not just killing themselves but their entire families as the realization or feeling of not being able to provide for them takes hold, if what I have read or been allowed to read in the msm about suicides and family suicides is accurate. Such a monumental disaster that one can look at the w & dick play book and see it written that this type of disaster is THE major threat to our national security; the threat to our national economy and monetary system brought on by those in charge and NOT one damn bit of accountability brought to bear on them, culpability in a word, totally guilty as accused and charged.
BECAUSE, it is easier to use an ‘unfettered’ attack on our country to occur that will be just like the movies to stir and convince the people of a 24/7 terror state to be. I KNOW that these ‘heads of state’ can and should be shipped off to the Hague for war crime trials and prosecution(after all they themselves declared it to be a war) but they have also set themselves up for prosecution here at home for their actions, IF there were a governing or law enforcement agency with the balls to step forward and start the process. I would even think at this late stage of the game that to prevent any sort of self ‘pardoning’ that these actions take place in the next administration where hopefully the new congress and the presidency will have more people that DON’T have incriminating skeletons in their closets so as not to be swayed into a position of no action OR are so outraged with all these blatant violations of the law and of their office for their personal gains that accountability will happen.

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By voiceofreason, October 20, 2008 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

William Kristol is the poster boy for elite for crying out loud. Is he serious when he attributes to the American system the fact tha in the last depression we didn’t go facist like so many in Europe. This can only be attributed to the election of 1932 and Roosevelt’s leadership. America has always teetered on the verge of facism, perhaps never more then now. Sinclar Lewis wrote a book in 1935 called “It Can’t Happen Here” in which he clearly demontrates that oh yes it can and only the populism of Main Street will prevent it. I believe that all of us on Main Street are hoping, nay praying, that Obama is the kind of leader that Roosevelt was and will carry us through this very dangereous time without the full blown acceptance of the Facist state that looms so near.

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