Some apology

Thanks to Atrios, we caught this David Brooks “correction:”

Not that it will do him much good at this point, but I owe John Kerry an apology. I recently mischaracterized some comments he made to Larry King in December 2001. I said he had embraced the decision to use Afghans to hunt down Al Qaeda at Tora Bora. He did not. I regret the error.

Brooks did that, and so much more. Here is the multi-paragraph screed that Brooks built on the basis of a quote, he now writes, didn’t mean what he thinks it meant:

Even in this shocking moment, this echo of Sept. 11, Kerry saw his political opportunities and he took ’em. There’s such a thing as being so nakedly ambitious that you offend the people you hope to impress.

But politics has shaped Kerry’s approach to this whole issue. Back in December 2001, when bin Laden was apparently hiding in Tora Bora, Kerry supported the strategy of using Afghans to hunt him down. He told Larry King that our strategy “is having its impact, and it is the best way to protect our troops and sort of minimalize the proximity, if you will. I think we have been doing this pretty effectively, and we should continue to do it that way.”

But then the political wind shifted, and Kerry recalculated. Now Kerry calls the strategy he supported “outsourcing.” When we rely on allies everywhere else around the world, that’s multilateral cooperation, but when Bush does it in Afghanistan, it’s “outsourcing.” In Iraq, Kerry supports using local troops to chase insurgents, but in Afghanistan he is in post hoc opposition.

This is why Kerry is not cleaning Bush’s clock in this election. Many people are not sure that he gets the fundamental moral confrontation. Many people are not sure he feels it, or feels anything. Since he joined the Senate, what cause has he taken a political risk for? Has he devoted himself selflessly and passionately to any movement larger than himself?

We are revealed by what we hate. When it comes to Osama bin Laden, Kerry hasn’t revealed whatever it is that lies inside. [Emphasis added.]

Hack is as hack does.


Comments: 10


thanks seb, I needed that. If I see one more reference to brook’s “apology” I think I’ll lose even more of my mind than I did after the election. An apology has to include the actual incident, the person you have offended, and a promise never to do it again. Since brooks continues to write in this corrupt, vicious, and misleading style–in fact, stripped of that he has literally nothing to offer topically or stylistically–we can be sure that apology is worth precisely less than the paper its printed on. since its the times, we are deep into negative numbers at that point.


Brooks now owes Kerry one of his testicles and the rest of us his other.


Brooks now owes Kerry one of his testicles and the rest of us his other.

Blood from a turnip.


And we see what lies in David’s hollow, rotten, mold infested bowels – – a fake apologia.

Shouldn’t he be apologizing to John Kerry, specifically (instead of this pretend-apology at no one in particular but the shadowy, faceless readership of the NYT), with an open letter in the NYT op-ed page?

Nah, that would smack too closely of integrity and decency and would not be very Brooksian.

Indecent, frothing-at-the-mouth hack!


Maybe it’s time for the media to institute some basic fact-checking criteria for their op/ed pieces. Or would that destroy the entire op/ed industry? Or would they “correct” misstatements 7 1/2 weeks later and blame them on the temp fact-checker who was filling in for the vacationing fact-checker.


[Bobo Brooks] There are two kinds of people in this country: those who apologize, and those who fake-apologize. I call them the Mea Culpas and the You-a Culpas. [/Bobo Brooks]


Brooks still has a lot to learn about apologizing, and FoxNews can teach him. Apologies and corrections should only be made verbally and after midnight on a Tuesday. Plus you should never say you were wrong, just that new developments make what you said earlier “subject to debate” or “controversial”.


“Not that it will do him much good at this point …” Translation: I made this mistake a while ago, but I thought I’d wait until AFTER the election to admit it, when it couldn’t do John Kerry any good. Not that anyone reads my column or listens to me, anyway, but I like to pretend that they do.


How can manipulating the meaning of someone’s words by taking them out of context be considered a “mistake.” It was a key element of the Bush/Cheney ’04 Political Strategy, along with pretending there might be something to the Swift Boaters. Shorter Brooks apology: “Whoops, we won.”

New Porno Film: “The Cock-Eyed Optimist” starring David Brooks, and feat. Big-Time the Wonder Horse.


I’ve seen some other media types apologizing for misrepresenting things lately, and I’m sick of it. We will remember who they are and what they did, and they will be held accountable.


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