Times Op-Ed Page: The Bizarro World Edition

When partisan lines get crossed

Yesterday, as most Mondays do, brought an extra-special meeting-of-the-minds to the op-ed pages of The New York Times. Yep: the Clash of the Partisan Titans.

Kristol and Krugman! Mano a mano! Red meets blue…in black and white!

On the left side (natch) of A23, here’s Paul Krugman, noting the press perception of John McCain as “a responsible guy, a straight talker.” And on the right (natch again), here’s Bill Kristol, declaring, “Since we conservatives believe in giving credit where credit is due, it falls to us to praise Hillary.”

Both partisans, in their analyses of the candidates, reflect a profound—

Wait. Hold on a second. Did Paul Krugman really just give a hat-tip to…John McCain? And did Bill Kristol really just praise Hillary Clinton? That Hillary Clinton?

Madness! Bizarro World madness!

Now, you can argue an agenda into the columnists’ side-by-side side-switching; you can also point out that the writers go on to explain, at length, why their across-the-aisle hat-tip-ees are “still behind in the race” (Kristol) and “will say anything to become president” (Krugman).

But, hey: Fair is foul, and foul is fair. In the Bizarro World, at least.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.