Let me begin with the obligatory “Good!” Frank Bruni, one of the New York Times’ stable of irresponsible left-biased op-ed writers, filed his final column in today’s Sunday Times. How bad is the Times’ opinion-writing team? This bad: I wouldn’t put Bruni in the same circle of Pundit Hell as his colleagues like Charles M. Blow, Thomas Freidman, Michelle Goldberg, Ezra Klein, David Leonhardt and Paul Krugman, and yet he has a substantial dossier at Ethics Alarms, including a well-deserved Ethics Dunce in 2015. He had had authored a near parody of a “this guy is conservative, so we know he’s stupid” rant about then Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who had just dropped out of the GOP race for President. I wrote to conclude that post (this is long, but I forgot I had written it, and it’s good):
“Bruni clearly thinks Walker is stupid and evil. You can tell from various hints in his column that he had a slew of veiled slurs based on Walker’s lack of a college degree loaded and ready should Walker become a viable candidate, and of course opposing unions is evil. Actually, it’s nearly evil to pretend a public union is the same as a union, which Bruni does by not making the distinction. (This is the progressive way: immigrants and illegal immigrants are also the same thing, unworthy of distinction.) Public unions embody inherent conflicts of interest and a quid pro quo scam, which Walker, miraculously for a man with the intellect of a sea sponge, somehow grasps while brilliant progressives like Bruni do not.
“Biases—which make all people stupi, but do not necessarily make them Republicans, which is a puzzlement––lead Bruni to an embarrassing display of confirmation bias. Today Walker-kickers all over the web were mocking him for an incident years ago in which he intended to write “mazel tov” in a letter to a Jewish constituent, and instead wrote: “Thank you again and Molotov.” Bruni, like the other Republican haters I have among my Facebook friends, see this as smoking gun proof that Walker is a moron. When someone you respect says something equally stupid, of course, it’s a meaningless gaffe. Joe Biden says more idiotic things in a week than Walker has in a lifetime, and Bruni will never cherry pick one of his verbal meltdowns. Obama, infamously, pronounces the “ps” in corps, a trust-busting error for a Commander in Chief, and not funny like using Molotov for “mazel tov.” Well, never mind: we all know Obama’s brilliant, so it doesn’t count. And we all know Bruni has never had an equally embarrassing howler caught by an editor or an intern. Imagine a world where your worst typo or “speak-o” would be held against you for the rest of your life. In my case, I think I’d have to head for the woodchipper.
“Total lack of awareness of one’s own flaws, biases and blatant inconsistencies is the true mark of intellectual deficiency. Walker realized when he couldn’t cut it as a Presidential candidate: what’s Bruni’s excuse for not reading his own tripe and realizing, ‘Gee, maybe it’s time to open that sex toy shop?’ He writes, ‘I’m weary and wary of politicians whose ambitions precede and eclipse any serious, necessary preparation for the office they seek. Walker is a perfect example.‘
Walker is a perfect example? Scott Walker has served as a governor of a large industrial state for five years before running for President. Barack Obama had no leadership preparation whatsoever, domestic or foreign, before daring to call himself Presidential timber. Ah, but you see, being prepared isn’t required if you are intelligent, which is defined as “agreeing with Frank Bruni.”
Interestingly, Bruni’s last column suggests that maybe he did realize that much of his product was the aforementioned “tripe.” It’s in the form of a mea culpa for past excesses that he chooses to own up to when it’s too late to reform. Nice. I call this a “McCain,” an honor Sen. John McCain earned when he lost the South Carolina Presidential primary and then announced that it was wrong for the state to still fly the Confederate flag, a position he conveniently never expressed when it might lose him some votes. To say I detest such conduct is an understatement. The conveniently late apology is not accepted: it has been delivered to make the miscreant feel unburdoned by his guilty conscience, but is a telling ethics breach on its own.
Here are some of Bruni’s final admissions….and as you read them, consider this: the New York Times employed this hack and gave him a regular platform for 10 years.