29 March 1999
The Howler review (part III): Kristol, perhaps all too clear
Synopsis: Bill Kristol said Gore had a character flaw. His staff seems to have the same problem.
Gore Internet gaffe gives critics club for campaign
Rowan Scarborough, The Washington Times, 3/16/99
Internet Al, Down on the Farm
Scrapbook, The Weekly Standard, 3/29/99
Peter J. Boyer, The New Yorker, 11/28/99
When Bill Kristol started the Weekly Standard, he promised us the most ethical opinion weekly in history. No, wait a minute, that was Bill Clinton, whose fibs Kristol loves to deride.
But now were confused about Kristols standards, and we think that he ought to explain them. When the press ginned up the latest scandal about how Al Gore cant stop fibbing and bragging, Kristol was there, on the front lines, describing Gores character flaws. Here he is, in the Washington Times, discussing Gores boast that he created the Internet (Rowan Scarborough):
SCARBOROUGH: This one is going to stick, said William Kristol, editor and publisher of the conservative Weekly Standard...I think this one will hurt Gore because its a boast and it expresses a deep character flaw of his, which is vanity, he said. People do have the sense that Gore is conceited and full of himself.
But people will have lots of senses about Gore, if major journals just make things up. And that seems to be what the Standard has done in its latest Scrapbook entry. Gores descriptions of work on the Gore family farm? Scrapbook dismissed what Gore said as preposterous, and directed us to an old New Yorker piece about Gores elegant Washington upbringing.
But then we looked up the Peter Boyer piece, pretty much knowing the sort of thing that wed find. And the paragraph directly before the one which Scrapbook cited described the very activities, down on the farm, that Scrapbook said hadnt occurred!
Here at THE HOWLER, naughty words cross our minds when we come upon this kind of writing. Why, it almost seems like Scrapbook was lying--was insisting that something couldnt have happened, when Scrapbook surely knew that it had. And then Scrapbook built on its own naughty fib, and pretended that Gore had been making things up! And Bill Kristol got fooled by his own journals writing, and began talking about Gores supposed flaws!
So were going to suggest that Kristol find out whos been writing this drek in the Standard.
And it wont be easy for him to do, because they dont sign those Scrapbook reports! Thats right--whoevers been putting this stuff in Scrapbook is far too slick to put his name on it! It will call on Kristols reportorial skills to figure out whos been writing this stuff.
Its known that Kristol hates deception. Its clear he hates all character flaws. Demonization? Its Kristols pet peeve. Aint it time for Bill Kristol to act?