The latest edition of the New York Times’s Sunday magazine gave conservatives a rare opportunity to repurpose Times Executive Editor Bill Keller as a pinata, though the paper’s intent may have been to make its conservative critics look irrational. Readers responded bluntly to Keller’s trashing of Sarah Palin in his column for the June 19 issue, in which he claimed “most journalists would recoil in horror from the idea” of a Palin presidency.
The Times printed a full page of letters, a dozen in all, from insulting Keller critics and Palin sympathizers. A few were incisive:
You write that only 21 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Sarah Palin. If you had the press constantly attacking you and putting you under the magnifying glass and all that was reported was negative press, perhaps no one would find favor with you, either. Had your fellow media colleagues given Barack Obama the same treatment as you have given Mrs. Palin, no one would care for him either.
Others were more, um, direct:
Are all you liberal pseudo-elite journalists really this stupid? Or have you all just deluded yourselves into thinking the American people are the stupid ones?
The print version of the magazine included an amusing graphic showing the “number of e-mails, from a total of 98 received by Bill Keller, executive editor of The Times, through June 26, in which he was called” various names. The tabulation:
an expletive: 21
a leftist: 8
an elitist: 6
a communist: 4
a socialist: 3
less intelligent than his daughter: 3
(Keller had noted in his column that he was surprised to hear his daughter call Sarah Palin “cool.”)