Harry  Stein

Here is just a tiny, tiny sample of the reaction on the Huffington Post to the announcement that William Kristol will be writing a weekly column in the New York Times:

  • “William ‘the Bloody’ Kristol is a beady eyed warmonger.”
  • “Worthless suck up Kristol should be cleaning toilets in public restrooms for his GOP ‘friends.’”
  • “I will never, ever, buy another issue of the newspaper, I will never again be a subscriber to your newspaper and I will do my level best to avoid any purchases from any NY Times advertiser.”
  • “If the New York Times is going to hire a liar and a racist like Bill Kristol then they might as well hire Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, Bill O’Reilly, and Ari Fleischer.”
  • “Kristol is an arrogant warmongering prick. I can’t stand the sight of him.”
  • “Listening to Kristol, that war mongering crater face, is worse than listening to Bush, Cheney, and Richard Pearle all rolled up in one . . . I hate that decision and I will do everything I can to discredit this decision until they finally flush him down the toilet like the turd he is.”

And so it went, on this and dozens of other left-of-center sites. Sputtering fury. Vicious name-calling. Denunciations of the Times for this unspeakable act. Threats to cancel subscriptions and otherwise exact revenge.

For conservatives, long accustomed to self-serving liberal pieties about tolerance, the orgy of outrage at having to face an alien point of view was wonderful to behold, and no one enjoyed it more than the man at the storm’s center. As Kristol put it to Politico.com, with the obvious relish of the skinny guy on the beach who gets the girl in the fourth panel, “I was flattered watching blogosphere heads explode.” (This provoked a new round of outrage: “Lawd, this is one son of a bitch I detest,” a typical posting hissed. “Smarmy prick. I’m sure that amuses him even more.”)

Harry Stein

Harry Stein is a contributing editor of City Journal and author of eight books. The New York Times Book Review called his recent memoir, How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy: (And Found Inner Peace), "a wickedly funny and moral book." He has also written for numerous publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Playboy, GQ, and Esquire, for which he created the "Ethics" column. He lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

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