Why wasn't the NYT's David Brooks honest about Sarah Palin 2008?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

The conservative columnist has been quite clear in recent days in his belief that Sarah Palin is not a serious contender for the White House, or a serious person. She is, as Brooks put it over the weekend, "a joke." So why didn't Brooks point that out last year when she was, y'know, running for the White House?

As Greg Mitchell writes at Huffington Post:

It was amusing -- if appalling -- to watch David Brooks on the TV yesterday declare that Sarah Palin is a "joke" and only qualified to be a TV "talk show host." Last year, during the 2008 campaign, he believed exactly the same thing but refused to put it in print. It was a Profile in Cowardice and one of the biggest stains on Brooks' career in journalism and punditry.

Indeed, in 2008 I needled Brooks again and again about how, at the height of the election season, he was clearly hiding his true feelings about Palin from his New York Times readers. In real time, Brooks praised Palin in print as a "smart, politically skilled, courageous and likable." But at a media panel for elites at the Le Cirque in New York City, Brooks denounced her anti-intellectual candidacy as a "cancer" on the Republican Party. He also conceded she was completely unqualified for the VP slot.

But from his influential perch on the New York Times Op-ed page, Brooks refused to make those observations in print.

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