The New York Times has apparently fired Bill Kristol because he is a sloppy writer (Paul Krugman and Frank Rich were unavailable for comment).
The Daily Beast reports that the firing may have been the culmination of a series of Kristol shortcomings, one of which happened on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show:
Appearing once again on The Daily Show, Bill Kristol, Jon Stewart’s favorite whipping boy (‘Bill Kristol, aren’t you ever right?’), on Thursday night defended the McCain-Palin ticket, at one point informing the show’s host that he was getting his news from suspect sources. ‘You’re reading The New York Times too much,’ he declared. ‘Bill, you WORK for The New York Times!’ Stewart pointed out.”
That, apparently, was the last straw for the Gray Lady.
According to Times insiders:
The problems that emerged were more fundamental. Kristol’s writing wasn’t compelling or even very careful. He either lacked a talent for solid opinion journalism or wasn’t putting his heart into it. A give-away came in the form of four corrections the newspaper was forced to run over factual mistakes in the columns, creating an impression that they were rushed out without due diligence or attention to factual claims. A senior writer at Time magazine recounted to me a similar experience with Kristol following his stint in 2006-07. “His conservative ideas were cutting edge and influential,” I was told. “But his sloppy writing and failure to fact check what he wrote made us queasy.”
Whatever his propensity for errors (that’s what fact checkers are for, correct?) and sloppy writing (where are the editors?), Kristol will be writing for The Washington Post soon and, I suspect, enjoying more job security with a more financially viable owner.
Best of luck, Bill Kristol. Enjoy your new assignment.