Critics say The Times' decision underscores the paper's increasing willingness to showcase views of those who are less concerned with the constraining nature of reality and truth. But Rosenthal scoffed at such assertions.
"I'm not sure if I understand this weird fear of opposing views," said Rosenthal. "We have views on our op-ed page that are as thuggish or more so than Vladimir's." He added, "The idea that The New York Times is giving voice to a guy who is a serious, respected and brutal leader - and somehow that's a bad thing. How intolerant is that? The whole point of the op-ed page is to air a variety of opinions."
In further defending the hire, Rosenthal explained, "Look, Hitler and Stalin are dead. Pol Pot, too. Osama bin Laden tends toward the run-on sentence. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has trouble meeting deadlines. Musharraf told us he has too much on his plate right now to commit. Charles Manson's parole board has repeatedly declined our requests for Chuck to pen a column for us while serving out his life sentence. Dick Cheney can't write a sentence without dropping an F-bomb. And, well, let's just say all options were off the table concerning President Bush."
See, and the saddest part is that the irony would be completely lost on Rosenthal. In all seriousness, could Putin ever be as consistently wrong as Kristol has been?