Wolcott turns his unforgiving eye to the hilarious ass kissing exchange between Bill Keller, Executive Editor of the NY Times, and Jeff Jarvis, the right wing media gadfly:

Not since Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains strolled together into the backlot mist at the close of Casablanca has a more beautiful friendship been forged than that between Jeff Jarvis and NYT editor Bill Keller. I'm not even sure what they're corresponding about anymore, but they've narrowed the differences between their points of view to the length of an eyelash as their emails fly back and forth on the wings of a dove. Keller's epistles are so full-bodied and matey ("Jeff, you ignorant slut!") that perhaps it is churlish of me to wish he'd spend less time with his new pen pal and pay a bit more attention to the paper's shitty arts coverage (John Rockwell as dance critic is an affront, and they seem to be combing the curb for theater reviewers, no experience necessary), its atrocious political reporting, and the untreated malignancy on the paper's reputation that goes by the name of Judith Miller.

I'll join in the churlishness. Sure, the New York Times is still, in many ways, the paper of record - blessed with tremendous resources on most beats. But as Wolcott notes, its political reporting is nothing but hackdom. Nagourney? Wilgoren? And Keller is no better in my opinion.

Why? Read his missives to Jarvis. Consider the fact that he chose to correspond with Jarvis. What is he telling you? What does he think of the critiques from the Left? Let's face it - not much.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Feb 25, 2005 at 09:42 AM PST.

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