Levees Not War is strongly opposed to Kristol’s becoming a New York Times columnist because that paper would give him an even more prominent platform (in addition to his magazine The Weekly Standard and his appearances on Fox News) from which to push for war with Iran as lustily as he pushed for war with Iraq—a ‘regime change’ he believes is going just fine.
The following letter has been e-mailed and snail-mailed to the publisher and editors of The New York Times. Names of executive and managing editors, etc., along with the Times’s mailing address, appear below, along with some choice quotations from the opinings of William Kristol.
Dec. 30, 2007
To the Editors:
The New York Times’s decision to hire as a columnist William Kristol—a writer who is amply on record attacking the Times, usually with a sneer—is as perversely self-destructive as Bush’s 2005 appointment of John Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Both are cases of deliberately hiring an antagonist who does not even believe in the fundamental principles of the institution he has been hired to “serve.”
In choosing its columnists, The New York Times has traditionally striven for a balance across the political spectrum—usually writers of no particular ideology. In Kristol, however, you are getting not only a right-winger but a neoconservative ideologue who bases specious arguments on talking points, not on facts or actual investigation. He has been so consistently, persistently wrong on so many issues that it staggers the mind—unless one is a true-believing viewer of the Fox News Channel. (In 2002 he foresaw that war with Iraq “could have terrifically good effects throughout the Middle East.”) Really, you could not hire a more discredited commentator if you chose Dick Cheney.
After leading the fight against the Clinton health care initiative in the early ’90s, Kristol was a cofounder and chairman of the militaristic Project for the New American Century. He dismisses diplomacy and calls for war against Iran with every breath he takes, and claims that the Iranians would embrace a U.S. attack on their country and use the occasion to overthrow their government. (Sound familiar?) When Al Gore won the Nobel, he said on Fox News Sunday, “this man got the Nobel Peace Prize for bloviating about global warming. I mean, it’s a prize given by bloviators to a bloviator for nothing.”
Who at the Times seriously thinks that hiring Kristol is a good idea? Was this a promise made to the Bush White House in apology for having printed Risen and Lichtblau’s 2005 report (a year after it was ready, before the 2004 election) about the government’s illegal wiretapping program? (“Hire Kristol and we won’t crush you”?) If the Times goes ahead with this terrible idea, then you owe moderates and liberals a serious counterbalance. Give us Barbara Ehrenreich two days a week, and Thomas Frank and Joe Conason, too.
This hire, coming after Arthur Sulzberger’s careless remark  earlier this year—“I really don’t know whether we’ll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don’t care, either”—makes us wonder, seriously, if the Times is trying to bring about its own downfall. My wife and I have subscribed to the Times for twenty years, and I don’t think we’ve ever been so unhappy with a decision by the paper’s management. It bodes ill.
Kew Gardens, New York
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The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
Letters to the Editor : firstname.lastname@example.org 
Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr., Publisher
Bill Keller, Executive Editor : Executive-Editor@nytimes.com 
Jill Abramson, Managing Editor : Managing-Editor@nytimes.com 
John M. Geddes, Managing Editor : Managing-Editor@nytimes.com 
Andrew Rosenthal, Editorial Page Editor
Clark Hoyt, Public Editor : email@example.com 
Scott H. Heekin-Canedy, President, General Manager
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The Nation’s David Corn  wrote a strong column when Kristol was appointed 2007 as a columnist at Time magazine (from which the pundit has since stepped down).
- Iran halting its nuclear weapons program is “another feather in the cap  for Iraq invasion.”
- The U.S. should “put everything ” behind Iraq escalation so we can bomb Iran and Syria.
- Markos Moulitsas [of DailyKos] is the “left-wing blogger  who was not respectable three or four years ago.”
- “Sober, serious ” people want over 100,000 troops in Iraq when Bush leaves office.
- Let’s “stretch our Army and Marines ” for “another year or so” in Iraq.
- A presidential pardon for Scooter Libby  would remove the “cloud hanging over his White House and over the war.”
- College men are “very happy ” that Plan B will now be sold over the counter because they can have “a wild night” and “the burden is off them.”
- On S-CHIP veto: “I’m happy that the President’s willing to do something bad for the kids. ”
- Al Gore  “got the Nobel Peace Prize for bloviating about global warming.”