The editor of one of the Chicago newspapers lost his job years ago, but a local foundation gave him a desk and some sort of title, making his fall from grace much less embarrassing. He was there a while, doing nothing of note, and eventually got another job and moved out of town. It was decent of the foundation.
Now Newsweek and the New York Times are catching it for bringing on board Karl Rove and William Kristol respectively. Typical reaction, from Joseph Palermo at huffingtonpost.com: “So let me get this straight: Newsweek magazine has handed Karl Rove a column to rewrite the history of the Bush administration as he pleases, and The New York Times has just hired William Kristol as a commentator to spread his unique brand of intellectually dishonest warmongering? Talk about hangover from the Bush binge! Wow! Just when you think the corporate media cannot sink any lower they dive deeper into the morass and surprise you!”
That’s one way of looking at it. I think of Rove and Kristol as a couple of predators who used to terrorize the villagers but have finally been bagged and assigned cages in the zoo. A column is fun, but not so much fun if you can remember when you used to be running the country. Announcing Kristol’s appointment to write one column a week, the Times noted that he’d been a “fierce critic” of the paper who in the past had called the Times “irredeemable” and suggested the government prosecute it “for disclosing a secret government program to track international banking transactions.”
You can almost hear the Times giggle. What difference does it make if Kristol insists he stands by every word? He’s harmless now, neoconservatism is dead, and the enemy has hired him to perform. That’s my reaction.