June 27, 2006

John Tierney

Undoubtedly some of you are wondering about the subject of today’s excoriation. Who is this John Tierney fellow? And why does the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” disesteem him?

Well, we’re glad that you asked. For those of you blissfully unaware of The New York Times’ editorial page, which, in a typical display of left-wing generosity, is only available online for a fee, allow us to inform you that John Tierney is one of its regular columnists. In fact, Mr. Tierney replaced William Saffire, the libertarian-esque writer who has retired from his op-ed duties to pen uninteresting linguistic pap.

Now, readers of this humble “weblog” must know that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” aren’t big fans of many Times columnists. After all, the page is home to Maureen Dowd, the un-thinking woman’s Ariana Huffington. And let us not forget Bob Herbert, who has, at last count, re-written the same vitriolic article about Iraq 5,348 times. Tell us, Bob: Are you for the war, or against it?

But Mr. Tierney, although nominally a conservative counterbalance to Dowd, Herbert, Krugman, et al., is somehow equally deplorable. Not that we’re the first to notice this. In fact, The New Republic ran a piece on how downright unreadable is Mr. Tierney, which struck us as dead-on.

What, you may or may not be asking yourself, is so irksome about Mr. Tierney’s oeuvre? Well, first things first, we ought to admit that we’ve long harbored a hostility to libertarianism. Except for Ted; he’s even a member in good standing of the Ayn Rand fan club, which promotes a philosophy that makes libertarianism seem kindly by comparison.

Yet our aversion to Mr. Tierney is not merely ideological. Rather, he offers predictable—and predictably uninteresting—views on pretty much everything. Without fail, you can anticipate Mr. Tierney’s argument in each of his columns merely from reading the first sentence or so. Virtually every one of these things is the same.

And then one might add that Mr. Tierney routinely inflates the importance of his beloved libertarianism. For instance, you might want to take a peek at “Free And Easy Riders,” his piece in the June 17 number of the Gray Lady.

The pull quote to the column says it all: “A helmet law libertarians could live with.”

Oh, great: Finally a helmet law that will appeal to the four people in the country who voted for Harry Browne! Libertarians can tolerate massive economic inequality, starving poor people, and watering down any measures designed to stop terrorism. Now they can live with a helmet law too! Say it isn’t so, John!

Posted at June 27, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack