Friday, December 23, 2005

Michael Kinsley Proves Once Again He Is 'Jerk Of The Year'

There seems to be something about the holidays that compels some people to prove time and again, as if people can't remember, what jerks they have been in the course of the year.

This is certainly the case with Michael Kinsley, a flat failure as editorial pages editor at the L.A. Times, a man who entered into discreditable disputes with a number of persons, introduced goofy reforms, purged honorable people from his staff, and finally got canned unceremoniously by the new publisher, Jeff Johnson, perhaps on orders from alarmed Chicago Tribune executives.

Regardless of all this, Kinsley can't stop blabbering away at what he considers idiotic or ridiculous at the Times.

The latest sign that this man is unstable comes in an article in Slate in which he assails MoveOn activists who have been protesting the removal of the leftwing activist Robert Scheer from the Times Op-Ed page.

"As it happens, I was bounced a few months ago from the job of running the L.A. Times opinion pages. So I am enjoying the fuss (over Scheer) from afar," Kinsley writes. "But it's still ridiculous. The premise is that the op-ed columns and other opinion pieces are not exercises in persuasion but simple counters: If you have more of them, you win. There is no room for the notion that reading something you disagree with might change your mind, or simply be more enjoyable than repeated ratifying of what you already believe."

It's not a bad point, but Kinsley is gone now and, thank goodness, will be forever. He ought to let other people make it.

Just for the record, I approve of Scheer's ouster from the Op-Ed Page after many years of being a Johnny-one-note always opposed to American policy in foreign affairs.

But not everyone agrees. More than 6,000 letters were written protesting Scheer's removal, and MoveOn and other progressives and liberals have come also to Scheer's defense. They have every right to do so, since this is a free country.

As for Kinsley, it remainds me of Sen. Stephen Young of Ohio, who used to reply to some letters by writing back: "I thought you ought to know, before I inform the FBI, that some nut is writing me letters under your signature."

Kinsley, the ersatz liberal, perhaps should be committed, and I don't necessarily mean consistently of one view. Maybe committee to an asylum until he can simmer down.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could never understand why Kinsley was hired. His soundbite style of writing was dreadful. And I was hardly alone on the news staff in wondering how someone who lived in Seattle could possibly oversee editorials and columns about Los Angeles.

12/23/2005 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff Johnson misssed a big opportunity when he let Michael Kinsley go. He should have kept him and pitted him against Pat Buchanan or vice versa. Pat would have chewed the little weasel to pieces as he did on crossfire. This would have delighted the conservatives and kept some of the lefties happy.

12/23/2005 9:34 PM  
Blogger shelly sloan said...

The previous commentor is right on the button.

Pat Buchanan has forgotten more about policy and nuances than the "little weasel" ever knew.

But the public reading his tripe would have never had the pleasure of watching the "little weasel" squirm as Buchanan neatly emasculated him in public and then pulled down his pants so everyone could see the vacuous nature of his rhetoric.

So, bring back Kinsley (in a perp walk, preferably) and bring on the lions.

12/25/2005 8:41 AM  

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