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The New York Sun.

White House Whitewash
March 12, 2003

The New York Times yesterday ran out a lengthy profile of the Weekly Standard magazine and its editor William Kristol under the headline, “White House Listens When Weekly Speaks.” The conceit of the piece is contained in the headline. The article goes on to quote a columnist for the Nation magazine, which is one of the White House’s nastiest critics. Then it quotes the editor of The New Republic, a magazine that is another of President Bush’s nastiest critics. Then it quotes Senator McCain, who is another acid critic of President Bush. Then it quotes James Carville, a Clinton operative. And Carter Eskew, a Gore operative. Not a single person who actually works at the Bush White House is quoted, even on a background basis.

The Weekly Standard is a fine magazine, but it is tainted a bit in the Bush administration, which prizes loyalty, for its association with Senator McCain’s presidential campaign. A better headline over the article might have been, “The Weekly Standard: Where Liberals and Bush Critics Think That President Bush Gets His Ideas.” The whole idea of the article is kind of patronizing toward the White House: as if the Bush administration is so mentally feeble that it needs Bill Kristol to do its thinking for it. The article also fails to acknowledge other magazines and journals that are influential with the Bush administration. The Manhattan Institute’s City Journal, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, and Commentary magazine probably are listened to at the White House at least as much, if not more, than the Weekly Standard is. But they aren’t as fashionable with the Times’ set of liberal sources.

©2003 New York Sun



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