The left attacks the New York Times
The liberal left is in an uproar. And no, the howls are not coming from the childlike snowflakes on campus, who shut down speakers, or the even from the anarchists. This time, it is coming from the intellectual arm of the left, like the New Republic magazine, Vox, and the readership base of the New York Times.
What has incurred this wrath? Nothing the president has done. It's that the New York Times has hired Bret Stephens, until recently a deputy editor and columnist at the Wall Street Journal, to add his voice to the Gray Lady's op-ed page.
Stephens can be best described as a run-of-the-mill establishment conservative from the neocon camp. During this past year or so at the WSJ, he stood out for his hysterical ravings over Donald Trump's campaign and then his presidency. Of course, being a vociferous anti-Trumper is not what has the liberal base upset at the Times hiring Stephens. It was his first column (and some of the non-Trump-related things he said in the past) that has the liberals on the warpath.
What precipitated this kerfuffle was Stephens's debut column of April 28 at the Times. There, he had the temerity to question the 100-percent certainty of the proponents of man-made global warming.
And please note: Stephens is not what the left would call a climate denier. In interviews, he says he actually believes in man-made global warming (or maybe it's man-made climate change now). In his NYT column, Stephens merely questioned the certainty liberals demand that society place in their global warming hypothesis.
That was bad enough, but what got the liberals down on their knees chewing the rug was how Stephens led off his column. It went like this:
"When someone is honestly 55 percent right, that's very good and there's no use in wrangling. And if someone is 60 percent right, it's wonderful. it's great luck, and let him thank God.
But what's to be said about 75 percent right? Wise people say this is suspicious. Well, and what about 100 percent right? Whoever says he is 100 percent right is a fanatic, a thug, and the worse kind of rascal."
– An old Jew of Galicia
Essentially, Stephens was saying the radical Greens are fanatics and thugs (all true) – in the pages of the liberal mothership, no less.
To the liberal mind, Stephens committed a high sacrilege, for next to abortion, man-made global warming is most sacred dogma of the left. To have even a hint of doubt on the certainty of this proposition raised in the op-ed pages of the New York Times is akin...well, akin to the supreme ayatollah burning a Koran in the center of Mecca at high noon.
Take Sarah Jones of the New Republic as one example. She unloads, writing that Stephens is the least of the problems at the Times, as the newspaper "is awash in out-of -touch, medicare columnists who are badly out of sync with the era in which we live."
Over at Vox, Jeff Stein voices the same complaint against Stephens as did Ms. Jones. And to show what a narrow bubble these liberals are in, he writes:
The Times's editorial page is a bit like the Supreme Court: Its opinions set the framework for the national debate, and its members tend to stay there for decades. so Stephens's beliefs are about to have a big impact on the national discourse.
Talk about arrogance. Maybe in years past, before the rise of talk radio and internet blogs, the NYT could set the agenda of debate. But no more. Proof of that is in the just concluded election, where the NYT threw away what little integrity it had left to defeat Donald Trump...and lost.
The liberals going after the NYT bring to mind the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, where two loathsome opponents went after each other. As I said then, I'll say now: have at it.