MEDIA
01/22/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Bill Kristol Not Even Trying Anymore At New York Times

If you've read this morning's op-ed from Bill Kristol in the New York Times, feel not alone. You are correct: it does, in fact, make no sense at all. Indeed, the piece is a perfect circle of nonsense. And yet, I understand it perfectly. Bill Kristol's contract to write these columns is about up, he probably won't be back, and he's doing his best to play out the string with as little effort as possible. This week is a special triumph for that mission: it's a column in which the columnist basically filibusters himself.

The basic ingredients are two big news stories that lack any meaningful connection, a smattering of insight that a bunch of people already had, and the conjunction, "but." Here's how it goes:

  • Bill Kristol watched Fox News Sunday, a show he is on.
  • He recaps a section of the most recent edition of the show he is on.
  • He restates something asinine he said on said show (Dick Cheney telling Pat Leahy to "go fuck himself" is "a beautiful statement of justice.")
  • He wanders around for a while.
  • "Have I praised the "Surge" in the past five minutes? No? Okay! SURGE!" (Twiddles nipples.)
  • BUT!
  • Rod Blagojevich! He's been in the news, right?
  • Adds some funny lines from the wiretaps.
  • As noted by others, Blago's wife is a foul-mouthed Cubs hater.
  • Fills more column space by including several lines of Rudyard Kipling.
  • As noted by others, Blago stopped short of a self-aware line in that poem.
  • As noted by others, HAIRBRUSH JOKE.
  • As noted previously, Blago was on wiretaps.
  • THOUGHTFUL MOMENT: "Hmm. I wonder if Dick Cheney has ever read Kipling?"
  • EUREKA: "Woo! I tied this all together! Off to copyedit."

Anyway, the New York Times has abused their readership by printing Kristol's effort-free nonsense for a year, and they've benefited from it because every time he's penned something, people everywhere react with outrage or mocking or fact-checking or criticism, and that's precisely why he was hired in the first place -- not for quality insight, but for the clicks that come from hosting a weekly intellectual highway accident. So, out of fairness, I'm including a link to this mess, but I urge you: do not click it. You'll only be giving the Times what it wants. Trust me: Bill Kristol wants you to read this about as badly as he wanted to write it.