Surprise – NY Times Picks David Frum to Hail NY Times Reporter’s Book, Slash Radical Right

"The Bush administration opened with a second Pearl Harbor, ended with a second Great Crash and contained a second Vietnam in the middle." That sounds like a liberal. Guess what? It is. David Frum was selected by the New York Times to review a new book on Bush by New York Times reporter Peter Baker. This arrangement is so cozy that Frum admits that Baker interviewed him for this masterpiece.

While this was supposedly about the last decade, Frum was even allowed the requisite rhetorical machete-swinging against today’s avatars of a “radical brand of conservatism” that can’t win elections and couldn’t govern if it did:

From the N.S.A. to TARP, many of the most bitterly controversial achievements of the Bush-Cheney administration have been quietly adopted and followed by its successor. It’s within his own party that the Bush record is repudiated and rejected, in favor of a more radical brand of conservatism that cannot win national elections and could not govern if it did.

Frum couldn't possibly ask why Baker couldn't get an interview with the former president -- even Baker admitted on CBS today that the Times was (correctly) perceived as Bush-haters -- so he's left just praising the author for a brilliant second draft of history:

He writes with a measure and balance that seem transported backward in time from some more dispassionate future. Yet “Days of Fire” is not a dispassionate book. Its mood might rather be described as poignant: sympathetic to its subjects, generous to their accomplishments and extenuating none of their errors.

Almost every leading figure in the Bush White House … has now published his or her version of events, and Baker has painstakingly worked through them all. The result is what you might call a polished second draft of history, most likely the most polished draft we’ll have until the archives are opened and the academics can get to work.

This "second draft" cannot help but be less rabidly anti-Bush than the Times and other liberal media outlets were during the Bush administration. For one thing, as Frum notes, they have tro make a bashful face as Obama's policies proved their Bush-hatred could succumb to situational political ethics.

David Frum Peter Baker
Tim Graham's picture