Nationals Review

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A Brief Foray into Politics

One thing that riles me up the most is an op-ed column that is completely devoid of logic. They appear regularly in papers across the country, from both ideological sides. But today's op-ed by Richard Cohen (usually a decent, if lazy, columnist) is so sloppy with facts that I had to e-mail him, and blog about it. It's a slam at conservatives for the popularity of Ed Klein's new book trashing Hillary Clinton. I haven't read the book, it sounds like a collection of sleaze but if Cohen had done any research, he'd find that most conservatives are either trashing the book or ignoring it. Here's my letter:

Richard,

You cite the popularity of Ed Klein’s new biography on Hillary Clinton as proof that conservatives “will buy anything, no matter how badly done, that attacks the Clintons or liberalism” even as you conveniently ignore (except for the brief Economist reference) that most conservatives, from Peggy Noonan to John Podhoretz have trashed the book in print. Nevermind the fact that, in all likelihood, a good number of the purchasers of the anti-Hillary tome aren’t died-in-the-wool conservatives.

In July 2004, you called Michael Moore’s Farenheit 9/11 “farrago of conspiracy theories” and “silly and so incomprehensible.” His movie, of course, was tops at the box office – propelled by many liberal Democrats eager to see a specious attack on our president – and our country. Likewise, hisbooks have consistently reached the top of the bestseller list. Are you going to condemn the many Democratic Congressional attendees of his movie and the many liberals who purchased his books and paid to see his movie?

I’m disappointed to see you misrepresent the conservative reaction to the book, and lazily insinuate that the popularity of the book is attributable to conservatives. Conservatives, in general, like to promote individual responsibility, and it would have been nice if you placed the blame on this trashy book directly where it lies: on Ed Klein himself. Instead, you take another cheap pot-shot at conservatives, who –- if you’ve done any research –- have not praised this book. Sounds like Hillary Clinton herself, in fact: blaming a liberal’s criticism of her on that vast-right wing conspiracy.

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