Sunday :: Sep 18, 2005

The Times Sets The Bar Pretty Low In Praising Bolton Today


by Steve

The long arms of Judy Kneepads have reached out from jail to the halls of the Times today, which saw fit to run a puff piece story on how John Bolton is not the diplomatic disaster at the UN that his critics thought he would be. The pro-Bolton story went along these lines:

Bolton is a revelation because he is in his chair promptly at 8 AM and stays late. And the evidence that he is turning out better than advertised by his detractors? Bolton has charmed a whopping two out of nearly two hundred that he is a good guy.

In the three weeks of intensive negotiations on the document approved Friday night by the 153 presidents, prime ministers and monarchs here for the summit conference on global poverty and United Nations reform, he was in his chair at 8 a.m. and often still there when the meetings adjourned at 1 a.m.

Seriously, that is all it takes for a Bush appointee to impress the Times these days. Nevermind that other major papers found that Bolton's work had undercut the UN's ability to be effective.

"People were very cautious, to say the least, because of his reputation as a tough guy who didn't like the U.N." said Abdallah Baali, the ambassador of Algeria, who said he knew Mr. Bolton from working with him in Africa. "In fact, I was the only one who said that Bolton was an intelligent man who could be creative and constructive and wouldn't go around bullying delegations."
Instead of strong-arming delegations, Mr. Bolton won points for glad- handing them, making it a point to make contact with all 32 envoys who participated in the talks.
"I was struck by this almost hysterical notion of what having Bolton in the room would mean and how that would work out," said a European ambassador, who said he could comment on a colleague only anonymously.
"Quite frankly," he said, "not even one-third of what was feared about John Bolton, his style, his approach, the way he would work, actually came through in the room. All I saw was an ambassador who did his work and did it well."

That’s right. Based on the comments of the Algerian ambassador and an unnamed European ambassador, the Times runs a “Bolton isn’t so bad” story. That’s two out of nearly two hundred diplomats, and one didn’t go on the record. But that was enough for Judy Kneepads to get Bill Keller to run this piece of crap today.

Steve :: 12:07 PM :: Comments (5) :: TrackBack (1) :: Digg It!