Today, NYT Exec. Editor Bill Keller proves anyone can get published on the NYT Letters page (and you don’t even have to be a teenager in summer school!) Keller, along with a whole bunch of dour letter-writers, voices his dissatisfaction with Richard Posner’s humdinger of an essay as basically toothless and middling, calling him “tendentious” and a “polemicist,” and throws in “hogwash” for good measure. He also goes all eager-beaver law student on Posner, throwing his decision in McKevitt v. Pallasch in his face (and yanking me suddenly back to law school, where Posner was celebrated as pillar of the Chicago school of law and economics. I think I slept through that class though).
Though Keller struts and frets his hour on the page, it’s CPB nemesis
Bill Moyers who gets the last word, succinctly and
with heart: “I came to see that the quality of journalism and the
quality of democracy are inseparable, and I am saddened that a man of Judge Posner’s intelligence would trivialize a value I was taught –
the hard way – to hold sacred: the people’s need to know.”
We would also like to suggest that the next time Posner is wrong that he kindly arrange to be wrong in less words.