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December 19, 2005

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (New York Times Edition)

Todd Gitlin asks why the New York Times continues to give air to David Brooks. It's a very good question.

TPMCafe || Letter Unprinted by the New York Times : By Todd Gitlin
From: Media
To the Editor:
Re: "Multiple Reality Syndrome," by David Brooks (Dec. 4):

Mr. Brooks writes that earlier in the Iraq war "Sometimes I'd come away from off-the-record conversations and background briefings [with administration officials] feeling my intelligence had been insulted, because even in private, officials would ignore realities that were on newspaper front pages."

I have just reread Mr. Brooks' dozens of columns on Iraq. He wrote that "senior members of his administration are capable of looking honestly at their mistakes" (Dec. 9, 2003). He described the Bush administration as "drunk on truth serum," practicing "honesty and candor." (Dec. 13, 2003). He proclaimed that Mr. Bush has "exceptional moral qualities" (Nov. 23, 2004), and that "two years from now...Bush's [inaugural] speech, which is being derided for its vagueness and its supposed detachment from the concrete realities, will still be practical and present in the world, yielding consequences every day." (Jan. 22, 2005).

But he never informed his readers that Bush and his team insulted his intelligence. Thanks to Mr. Brooks, 27 months into his column, for finally getting around to telling us.

Todd Gitlin

Posted by DeLong at December 19, 2005 12:05 PM