Andrew Rosenthal, the driving force behind the perpetually hyperventilating and self-contradicting editorials that fill up space in the New York Times’s opinion pages has now proven that he can hyperventilate and contradict himself in real-time.
The editorial page editor demonstrated this rare talent today on Twitter as he responded to the shooting at a school in Newtown, Connecticut, first by denouncing a gun rights supporter who bemoaned that the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting was yet another massacre that had happened in an allegedly “gun-free zone,” a reaction Rosenthal dubbed “sickeningly quick.” Just three hours later, however, he tweeted out a link to one of the opinion staff’s usual hackneyed anti-gun pieces.
“Bloomberg wonders, and so do we, when it WILL be time to do something about gun violence,” Rosenthal tweeted (links removed).
While his tweets were three hours apart, the editor’s reversal had to have come sooner than that since a decent editorial takes a least an hour or two to write. That process might be a bit faster in the case of the Times and anti-gun boilerplate but surely it took at least 45 minutes to compose, if only to wait for information from the scene to develop.
Most people would call such a rapid reversal of opinion hypocrisy, the product of a skewed world view or some combination of the two. Rosenthal would beg to disagree of course. Earlier this year, he profanely insisted that the New York Times is fair as the driven snow, utterly unlike the nefarious Fox News Channel.
“Fox News presents the news in a way that is deliberately skewed to promote political causes, and the New York Times simply does not,” he said in a February interview. “I think it’s the word I want to use here [...] it begins with bull and ends in it and you can figure out what comes in between. I think it’s absolute pernicious nonsense.”
Incidentally, this is not the first time that Rosenthal has embarrassed himself on Twitter. During the 2012 Republican National Convention, he ignorantly asserted that the GOP must have been mad at New Jersey governor Chris Christie since they had placed his speaking slot at at 10pm:
“If the GOPers love Chris Christie so much, why is he scheduled to speak tomorrow after 10 pm, when no one will be watching? Some keynote,” Rosenthal huffed. He corrected his error a few minutes later after being informed that 10pm during a political convention is actually one of the best possible slots.
Thanks to eagle-eyed New York Times watcher, Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto for spotting Rosenthal’s latest bit of unintentional humor.