David Brooks, More Like (Michael) Moore?

Quiz: Which of the following is an excerpt from the David Brooks column in today’s New York Times and which is a bit from the ad for Michael Moore’s new book in “The Arts” section of today’s Times? (H/t, CJR reader):

A) “How many Democrats does it take to lose the most winnable election in American history? Not many. Just a few ‘close advisors’ to Barack Obama who tell him a bunch of asinine stuff and he ends up listening to them instead of his own heart.”

B) “[Barack ] Obama may yet recover his core focus. Now he has to preserve it against his most terrifying foes: the ‘experts’ in his own party.”

Brooks even mentions Moore in his column — to describe one variety of bad advice some of Obama’s “most terrifying foes” (example B above is Brooks) are offering:

[There] are still others who say Obama needs to get bare-knuckled. He needs to hammer McCain above the belt and below. Apparently, these people have decided that having nominated Obama, the party needs to be led by Michael Moore.

Actually, a party led by Michael Moore, to hear Moore tell it in his ad, would do about what Brooks prescribes in his column: In Moore’s words, let Obama listen to “his own heart;” in Brooks’s, have Obama stay “true to his core identity.” While Brooks’s opinion appears on A17 and Moore’s on E7, could it be that they’re really on the same page?

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.