Talk:William Kristol

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Just a Gentle, But Relevant, Note[edit]

Kristol is an articulate voice of conservatism, but I would gently note that any guy who graduated from high school in 1970 could have served in Vietnam with the rest of us. Although I tend to agree with Kristol on the overall situation in Iraq, which is now (2009) en route to some form of democracy, it is relevant to note that I put my life on the line in Vietnam for my beliefs. Most of our national politicians, from Clinton to Bush Jr., were very careful not to do so.

So, you volunteered for service in Vietnam.. Right? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 14 April 2010 (UTC)


Bill Kristol is a neoconservative, not a conservative.

I updated the page to reflect and one of these moderators reverted it. The guy is a neocon. His dad is the founder of the neo con movement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:47, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by HowardJ87 (talkcontribs) 12:03, 23 April 2007 (UTC).

Neoconservative is a flavor of conservative, thus Kristol is both a conservative and a neoconservative. FONToKNOW 19:07, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Not true. Nonconservative ideals are hardly conservative.

Well, yes, it's true that .. nonconservative ideals are not conservative, but Neoconservative ideology is typically considered a branch of American conservatism, as much as paleoconservatism or any other string that could be affiliated. 23:43, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

2009 Dec 1st - I corrected this from "conservative" (what a joke), to "neo-conservative" a couple of months ago - I'm happy to see nobody has changed it back to the earlier INCORRECT designation. I had seen that others tried to make this correction, but the Wikipedia "Politically Correct" officers prevented the truth from being seen. Good to see that truth can finally come through! - ...atl least for three months and running... Cheers! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:32, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Who founded PNAC ?[edit]

uhhh it says he's a maniac....that's not very academic.

The entry for William Kristol: says "In 1997 he founded, with Robert Kagan, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC)..." BUT the entry for PNAC: says [PNAC was] "Founded by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, the Project for the New American Century, or PNAC, is a Washington, DC based think tank."

I don't know the correct answer.

"He is one of the leading architects of the most futile and horrendous foreign policy blunder in United States history: the Iraq War."

How is this neutral?

Both of these cases, the "futile blunder" and "PNAC Founded by Dick Chaney and Donald Rumsfeld," are examples of wiki-sabotage that more often goes completely ignored. 23:45, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

William Kristol's religion[edit]

I have nothing against saying Kristol is Jewish. It seems strange however, to refer to him as Jewish-American. For all I know he is also an atheist-American. It is certainly fair game to bring up his support of Israel, but assciating this support to being Jewish is not NPOV.CSTAR 17:24, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

You really think so? I don't see the problem. Is it controversial that Americans will sometimes favor foreign countries that they have ethnic ties to? Haven't you ever met a Serbian-American who argued in favor of Serbia, or a Croatian-American arguing in favor of Croatia, a Thai-American arguing in favor of Thailand, etc., etc.? - Nat Krause 02:21, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I think what you say say is entirely plausible, e.g. that Thai-Americans may try to promote policies favoring Thailand. But an assertion of this kind for Thai-Americans or Israeli-Americans or African-Americans is almost impossible to prove, short of a direct personal admission (which in fact does occur) or the uncovering of some document with an impicit admission. But has Kristol ever made such an assertion?
Just because he's never made such an assertion (how often does something like that *really* happen?) doesn't mean reasonable observations can't be made or personal opinions formed. If we always waited for inconvertible "proof" for everything we might as well just turn off our brains completely. Historian932 (talk) 03:15, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
If Kristol had been born in Israel (not true of course) or had clear ongoing family ties to Israel, aside from being Jewish (don't know) then the term Israeli-American would seem less objectionable, to me at least.CSTAR 03:03, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Well, the article didn't assert that his being Jewish caused his support for Israel, it just pointed out that both are facts. I agree that the wording you changed was less than ideal, in that it made his jewishness a little too prominent. - Nat Krause 03:40, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Hilary Putnam for instance is Jewish, and isn't mentioned in that article. Should it be? In his case it may possibly have more relevance than for Kristol since after he left PLP, he apparently did take great interest in Jewish traditions. Note that I am not saying that (1) the fact that Kristol is Jewish shouldn't be mentioned or even (2) the stronger assertion that his being Jewish affects his support of Israel and other American policies in the Middle East. However, the term "Jewish -American" seems odd (Jewish-American scholar?) and the truth or falsehood of assertion (2) is not clear.CSTAR 13:00, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I noticed this discussion prior to reverting an edit that placed his alleged religion front-and-center. To begin with, the addition was unsourced; beyond that, I am not at all certain that the alleged affiliation is notable enough to appear in the first line. Other thoughts? DagnyB 17:07, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Kristol likely supports Israel because of both his Jewish heritage/religion and that he is of the general mindset that Israel is not the egregious fascistic entity that some of his political opposites in journalism occassionally suggest. I think that his religious identity is noteable enough to put it into the first paragraph, because Israeli-politics and Judeo-Christian values are a significant theme in his articles. 23:49, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

What about Irving Kristol? In one article, he describes himself as neo-Orthodox, so I don't think it's appropriate to describe either he or Gertrude as "secular", as in the introduction to this article. Leon 01:57, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Whether Kristol is Gentile, Jew, or Amway Salesman shouldn't detract from the fact that he is actively engaged in Hasbara (as is his ideological fellow Charles Krauthammer, one-time recipient of the Guardian of Zion Award). Obviously Israel feels such journalism/commentary is significant. Why shouldn't we? Shockoegrind (talk) 16:03, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Nobody has mentioned that the original informal definition of "neo-conservative" included "Jewish." (This was before post 9-11 Bush-Cheney subsumed that crown, largely due to their Zionist Neocon top advisors.) The Wiki article on Neoconservatism uses "Jew" 27 times. In this context, (the Kristols: Neocon royal dynasty;) religion is highly germane.
-- (talk) 18:08, 28 August 2013 (UTC)Doug Bashford

Has Kristol said the Iraq War has been lost?[edit]

Kristol, a strong supporter of the Iraq War, is rumored to have stated on Fox News Sunday (Feb. 27, 2006) that he considers the war to be a lost cause. Is this true? Shouldn't this be added to the article, if it is true?

Adam Holland 17:44, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Apparently what he said was that "we have not had a serious three-year effort to fight a war in Iraq." [1]
Kyle Cronan 06:48, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Fresh Air[edit]

As I stated in my summary, I don't think the Fresh Air quote is very intersting and/or encyclopedic. As a political commentator, Kristol says all sorts of things, many of which turn out to be wrong. In this regard, he is certainly not different from any other commentator. If we listed every thing that he said that turned out wrong and every time a blog posted something snide about him, the article would be 100 pages long. Lets stick to genuine controversies that can be supported by real evidence, not ones cooked up in blogs. --Beaker342 23:16, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

I'll add that said quote and the supporting evidence for the "controversy" it stirred up appears to have been placed here by a blogger interested primarily in spamming links to his own blog, as evidenced by his other Wikipedia activity.--Beaker342 04:14, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Ignorant of Iraq history Gulf War, at 2003[edit]

C-Span's Washington Journal on March 28, 2003 with Daniel Ellsberg with comments, disclosing lies —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:17, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

In need of Change[edit]

There is a mentions in the first line of this entry that Kristol is ¨a warmongering kike bastard¨ when I tried to edit this out however, it does not appear in the text, will someone with more computer saavy than I will address this calumnous entry ASAP!!! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:09, 12 January 2007 (UTC).

It was probably changed in the time you tried to change it yourself. A lot of blatant vandalism is caught within minutes by various bots and users on the lookout. --Beaker342 06:11, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Removed Strauss reference from lead[edit]

This comment was removed from the lead:

inspired in part by the ideas of Leo Strauss.[1]

This is a biography of a living person, and with all due respect to left wing conspiracy theories about a right wing Straussian cabal bent on American empire, any discussion about Leo Strauss needs to be put into proper context, and it certainly doesn't belong in the lead. I took the time last night to translate some of WK's comments from the NPR link provided. Let's see what he actually said:

NC: "When did you first become acquained with the teachings of Leo Struass?"

WK: "I never actually met Leo Strauss. He died in 1973, I believe, and I was just beginning graduate school then, but I studied political philosophy as an undergraduate and a graduate student at Harvard, and Strauss was a well known interpreter of text, and one became famililar with him just in the course of one's studies. In particular, also I had Harvey Mansfield of Harvard, who still teaches there, a very fine scholar in his own right, maybe the most preeminent interpreter of Machiavelli, I would say, alive today, and he was or had been a student of Strauss, or had met Strauss, and been so convinced by Strauss' writings that he became a quote <sic> Straussian, even though he actually hadn't gone to Chicago, and never actually I guess taken courses with Strauss, so Mansfield was considered a Straussian, therefore I'm considered a Straussian, and we're all a cheerful parts of the Straussian cabal now, I suppose."

NC: "I suppose. As I understand it there are East Coast Straussians and West Coast Straussians."

WK: "Right, and Northern and Southern Straussians, it's become a little bit much, I mean look, Strauss was a very serious thinker, and one of the good thing about this whole controversy, which has many silly and some distasteful aspects, I would say, is that if it leads more people to read Strauss and make up their own mind about whether he is or isn't a compelling and convincing interpreter of Plato and Aristotle and Aristophanes, Maimonides, and Machiavelli, and Hobbes, I mean the range of his work was amazing, all the way up through Nietzsche, and very modern thinkers -- people should make up their own minds about him, we shouldn't take it on authority that he was a great thinker or that he was wrong about things. The other point I would make, just in an introductory way, is that I've never said that my own political beliefs derive from Strauss, and there are Straussians who are liberals and conservatives, Straussians who opposed the intervention in Iraq, and Straussians who favored it, I mean Strauss operated at a very high level of theory, really, and he wrote very little about American politics, and almost nothing about American foreign policy, certainly, and those of us who happened to be hawks in the 90s and were for intervening in Bosnia, and intervening in Kosovo, and intervening in Iraq, never said that's because we studied with a student of Strauss, and I don't think it is, in fact. I think there's a sort of weird, and I think Professor Xenos suggested this too, there's a weird jump from Strauss' great influence as a thinker and teacher to the notion that a small group of us somehow have ever claimed that we were applying Strauss, when we happened to, several of us happened to be, have fairly normal, if somewhat controversial, political views."

I'm not opposed to an appropriate discussion of Leo Strauss in the body of the article, but a casual reference in the lead is inappropriate. MoodyGroove 12:30, 4 May 2007 (UTC)MoodyGroove

Wasn't the Strauss-as-first-neo-con meme started by the LaRouchies?

That was always my impression. I've never heard this story from any source independent of the LaRouchies.

PNAC and the war in Iraq[edit]

I removed this comment from the main article:

[Referring to the PNAC] "a movement credited in part for some of the foreign policy decisions of the Bush administration as evidenced by their 1998 letter to US President Bill Clinton advocating military action in Iraq, to "protect our vital interests in the Gulf".

A letter sent to Bill Clinton is evidence that the PNAC directly influenced the foreign policy decisions of the Bush administration? I'd like to see a reliable source that makes this explicit connection. MoodyGroove 22:11, 17 May 2007 (UTC)MoodyGroove

The PNAC secured many of its members (Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle) in the George W. Bush administration. They had enormous influence on the President's foreign policy, as made evident by how Bush did a complete 180 once he entered the White House. In the 2000 campaign, Bush was advocating for a humble foreign policy; no nation-building, no policing the world, no spreading democracy through military force, our military is over-extended, our troops need to come home, etc. The PNAC wrote an open letter to Bush only 9 days after the attacks of 9/11, asking the President to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Please, do some research. Everyone benefits when we begin to educate and inform ourselves.


  1. ^ "Leo Strauss' Lasting Influence on U.S. Policy". National Public Radio. October 25, 2004. Retrieved 2006-12-14.  William Kristol is interviewed about Strauss' impact on US policy.

Weekly Standard & PNAC[edit]

should the part about pnac be under the 'weekly standard' heading? maybe just the heading needs to be changed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:08, 5 September 2007 (UTC) i came to this page with the question "bill kristol - is that the pnac guy?" and was slowed up a bit when the only sections under "political career" were "project for the republican future", "weekly standard", "george w. bush", and "2006" (which is also questionable as a heading?). 10:18, 5 September 2007 (UTC)


The criticism section is weak. Why is a Jon Stewart quip considered criticism? Stewart is a comedian, not a respected authority. I also don't get the David Corn criticism - "[I]n an effectively functioning market of opinion-trading, Kristol's views would be relegated to the bargain basement". If the functioning market of opinion-trading is the editorial page of the New York Times, then Kristol is at least out of the basement and Corn hasn't even been admitted to the building. Betweenvacations (talk) 03:42, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Corn was saying that if opinions were valued according to the accuracy of their opinion maker, Kristol's track record is so bad that his opinions would be worthless. To say that Kristol's predictions get more play than Corn's is just to point out that accuracy and track-record don't seem to be what determines which opinions get printed, which is Corn's point.—MiguelMunoz (talk) 09:11, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

The (very similar) criticism section from Bob Herbert's page was deleted for violating some policy. Can we have some consistency for NYT columnists please? (talk) 03:36, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Career confusion[edit]

As written, I can't tell if this section is describing Bill Kristol's career, or that of his father, Irving Kristol. The ambiguity is created in the first sentence:

"Kristol is the son of Irving Kristol, who served as the managing editor of Commentary magazine and is considered by some as the father of neoconservatism. After teaching political philosophy and American politics at the University of Pennsylvania and ..."

I think Irving Kristol is the managing editor of Commentary magazine and the father of neoconservatism. After that, is it Bill or Irving who taught at University of Pennsylvania, etc.? —QuicksilverT @ 17:36, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Another link for the Criticism section?[edit]

I don't know if this really belongs in the article, but it's funny: Foreign Policy magazine just put Bill Kristol at the top of their 'Worst Predictions of 2008' list, for predicting, amongst other things, that Barack Obama would not win a single Democratic primary. See here: [2] If someone thinks that's appropriate to mention they can add it, but I'm not sure so I'm posting it here instead. Terraxos (talk) 00:18, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Racial Views[edit]

How come there is no mention of his racial views?

In an op-ed piece that ran on December 31, 2008, Kristol writes:

"I still remember watching Maya Angelou read 'On the Pulse of Morning' at Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993 -- and thinking that American culture really was in a state of irreversible decline, as she indulged in that multicultural cataloguing of 'the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew / the African and Native American, the Sioux / the Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek / the Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh / the Gay, the Straight, the Preacher / the privileged, the homeless, the teacher'.

I've looked at some of Alexander's poetry and am confident she'll be a big improvement on Angelou. It makes me think our culture isn't necessarily getting worse. It may even be getting better."

I've just one question to ask: William, does it ever get hot under the hood? Seriously, that kind of rhetoric ("Our culture in a state of irreversible decline", due to demographic changes) is exactly the sort of thing the KKK used in the 1920's to describe their "100 Percent Americanism", which seems very similar to today's conservatism. I have no idea where Kristol got his Klan-like opinions, but it sickens me that, while Don Imus got fired for his remarks, newspapers nationwide still syndicate Kristol.

But he's right. Just call us racists, as your kind does, and move on, angry boy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:16, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Look, there are plenty of legitimate reasons to dislike Kristol (I have plenty myself), but he was criticizing Maya Angelou and her poem, not disparaging the races she mentioned. His comment about the decline of American culture was a critique of Clinton's choice of Angelou, not an expression of racism (though I would still strongly disagree with it). (talk) 16:19, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Criticism section[edit]

The criticism section on this article is a classic violation of WP:NPOV, WP:COATRACK, and WP:BLP, serving as nothing but a regurgitation of salacious and one-sided attacks on the subject of the article. Accordingly, I have removed it. I'm moving the section into the talk page here in a hidebox, if anybody wants to use the sources to build a balanced section. RayTalk 21:49, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Is there additional information that should be included for balance? For example, one of the criticisms is that Kristol praised a Bush speech without disclosing his role in preparing it. If Kristol denied that he helped prepare it, or if one of his defenders has said that such nondisclosure wasn't a violation of journalistic ethics, then we could include that comment. Otherwise, we don't remove accurate reports about prominent criticisms just for the sake of a spurious "balance".
The criticism from Pat Buchanan doesn't seem to me to add anything to the reader's knowledge of Kristol. Kristol expressed opposition to Buchanan, who was a candidate for office, and Buchanan responded by attacking Kristol. That's not particularly noteworthy or informative. I'm restoring the section but deleting that item. For the longer term, some of the material might be incorporated in other sections instead of a separate "Criticisms" section. For example, Kristol's statements about the invasion and occupation of Iraq are already mentioned in the "Political views" section, so perhaps the criticisms on that score could be moved there in the interest of consolidation. JamesMLane t c 16:42, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Point by point, I conclude that these are essentially silly or overly vague charges. I'll go down point by point. The Media Matters allegation: it is extremely common (and well known) that prominent policy advocates in DC are often consulted prior to particular addresses, and a specific disclosure isn't part of the milieu, especially if a person's connection to the policymaker being praised is well known, as was the case for Kristol and Krauthammer (consider, for example, the kerfluffle over JournoList). Uneven standards and manufactured outrage are deliberately employed as part of our attack politics and are part of the political game, but they don't belong on Wikipedia, which requires conservatively written BLPs that put things in proportion and context for our readers. Similarly, as you have noted, our article has a discussion of Kristol's viewpoints on the Iraq War; we add nothing by repeating the vague political attacks of his enemies (this addresses the Corn and Stewart statements). We shouldn't turn Wikipedia into a soapbox for people who like calling people names. Frankly, there's nothing surprising about liberal pundits calling conservative pundits idiots. The reverse might be worthy of note. Finally, NewsMax is a reputable (if biased) news source, and let people who have never believed a false news report cast the first stone. A simple error of fact, followed by a rapid retraction and apology, is nothing unusual for a regular columnist. I'd be far more worried about columnists who have never issued a retraction with over 20 years of publishing. Including this fact as a "criticism" is again a deliberate distortion of context in order to smear the subject. That criticism sections have problems with neutrality and biography of living persons policy isn't new, but this section is as clear an example of agenda-pushing as I've seen. RayTalk 18:12, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
You're certainly entitled to your personal opinion about the charges. Per WP:NPOV, however, we report facts about opinions from prominent adherents. Media Matters for America is prominent. You aren't. As I indicated before, if there's conservative rebuttal to any of these criticisms, we can report facts about those opinions, too, provided that they're attributed (not adopted) and backed by citation.
By way of analogy, under the rule of reporting facts about opinions, Wikipedia reports some opinions of this selfsame Bill Kristol, such as his praise for Sarah Palin and his criticism of I disagree with the opinions of his quoted in those Wikipedia articles, but that's no basis for removing them.
If it's so well-known that what Kristol did with regard to the Bush speech is common, then find a reliable source that says so. Find even some right-wing hack like Brit Hume rushing to Kristol's defense over the issue, asserting what you assert, and we can report that opinion and let the reader judge. (I personally don't think it's nearly so common as you imply, but my opinion, like yours, does not merit inclusion in the article.) We put things in context for our readers by presenting both sides, not by suppressing them. If you believe that "We shouldn't turn Wikipedia into a soapbox for people who like calling people names," then seek a change in the portion of WP:NPOV that calls for reporting facts about opinions. Some of the opinions we report will be ill-founded, even those opinions not voiced by Kristol. As for NewsMax, you personally are free to consider it reputable. I consider it such trash that when, above, I wanted to give an example of a right-wing hack, I never even considered mentioning NewsMax; Brit Hume is a hack but he's several tiers above NewsMax. Anyway, the same principle applies; if you want to balance the section by adding a cited opinion from a prominent source, exonerating Kristol on the ground that it was perfectly reasonable for him to rely on NewsMax for his facts, go right ahead.
The NewsMax episode, along with the MMfA report about his concealing his role in the Bush speech, might be moved to a new section titled "Journalistic ethics" or the like. If we did that, and merged the Iraq comments into the "Political views" section, and dump the uninformative Buchanan sniping, that would eliminate the separate "Criticism" section. I'll try turning my hand to that approach in the hope that we can get beyond an edit war. JamesMLane t c 18:45, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
I think you're missing my point. I am not expressing an opinion of the opinion. I am expressing a judgment about the style and presentation of the opinion, which is inappropriate. My point is that this is a biography, not a forum, or a collection of information about the present political debate (that's what SourceWatch is for). We have stringent standards on attack sections and attack pages which present negative information about the subject without sufficient context, or even with context when the information is wholly negative and serves only to disparage the subject (see, for example, the recent deletion and ongoing ArbCom case about Criticism of Barack Obama). Information included in a biography of a living person must be tasteful and in perspective, which these rather silly charges are not. If you think these vague quotes by Jon Stewart and David Corn are even remotely helpful to such a treatment, feel free to try to integrate them (I am less optimistic about this), but remember that BLPs are not incrementally improving in that sense -- stuff that goes in must be tasteful and good material from the start.
And as for the NewsMax episode and MMfA report, you're really just proposing to recreate the criticism section under another name. We don't make a habit of including minor non-event bloopers about people in their biographies, or every aggrieved blog-reader on the internet would be creating horrifying long lists about their most-hated newspaper reporters and talk show anchors, etc, etc. Ad hominem attacks are a standard part of political debate, but they do not bear repeating here unless they rise to the level of significant controversy that seriously affects a person's career. It's a big deal when, say, a science professor is accused of faking lab data. It's a complete nonevent when a political pundit is accused of being an idiot, a policy wonk is accused of being consulted on policy without massive levels of disclaimers, a journalist is accused of being biased, or a columnist prints a short retraction on a matter that's open-and-shut without further repercussions on his career.
I would also caution you in discussion to avoid inflammatory and biased language like "right wing hack." Using such language self-reinforces bias and skews perspective, and we should strive to be truly neutral and fair-minded in our presentation. We cannot have one standard of discussion for biographies of politically favored people and another for politically disfavored ones; the ideal for a Wikipedia editor should be to edit in such a way that his political affiliation remains a mystery. RayTalk 19:42, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
You wrote, "these are essentially silly or overly vague charges," which I consider to be expressing an opinion about them. My phrase "right-wing hack" was similarly expressing an opinion, but your criticism of it completely misses the context. You write: "We cannot have one standard of discussion for biographies of politically favored people and another for politically disfavored ones...." Yup, that's exactly my point. My personal opinion is that Brit Hume is a right-wing hack. Nevertheless, I expressly stated that a comment by him favorable to his fellow right-wing hack Kristol would be a reasonable candidate for inclusion in the article. That's because my personal opinions about whether a statement is silly or misguided is, like yours, irrelevant. Our standard is that we report notable criticisms of people in the public eye, such as New York Times columnists. See Paul Krugman#Criticism, which includes reporting of criticism and, in fact, gives it much more space than I'm giving it in this article. (Comparing Paul Krugman to Bill Kristol is Hyperion to a satyr, but for Wikipedia purposes, it's a good comparison for making sure we have one standard of discussion.)
As to the specifics:
The Jon Stewart quotation ("Oh, Bill Kristol, are you ever right?") doesn't relate to Iraq, so my earlier idea of merging it into the Iraq section doesn't work. Furthermore, the piece isn't primarily about Kristol. It merely includes a brief clip of Kristol being completely wrong about a non-Iraq subject (the Fred Thompson campaign). Therefore, I think we can drop the Stewart quotation without losing much. (It does, however, serve as evidence of the general point that "Kristol is always wrong" is a prominent liberal criticism of him. See also [3], [4], [5], [6], and [7], among others.)
The David Corn quotation is valid. Nevertheless, if it's moved so that it follows the recounting of the specific Kristol statements concerning Iraq, then Corn's full verbatim statement becomes somewhat redundant, so it can reasonably be paraphrased.
The Media Matters article is significant because many readers (myself included) will not agree with you that such practices are common in Washington. As for his relying on NewsMax, it's certainly correct that not every published correction merits inclusion in the bio. For example, this Kristol column was noteworthy in that he made two factual errors that had to be corrected. That's a striking parlay (even for him), but not important enough to include in the article. What's significant about the Obama/Wright matter is that Kristol admitted his reliance on Newsmax. Here again, some readers may agree with you that Newsmax is a perfectly reputable source. Many, however, consider it a pure propaganda organ. Our article doesn't need to go off on a tangent of describing Newsmax's bias; we can just present the facts and let the reader decide whether this was an innocent mistake of no great importance, the type that any columnist will make from time to time, or whether it demonstrated Kristol's right-wing agenda. JamesMLane t c 15:20, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
First, some generalities: I am leery of criticism and praise sections, and I think they tend to spiral out of control and turn biographies into forums for charged claims, which is contrary to the best interest of Wikipedia. They can serve a useful purpose if written carefully in narrative style to give the reader a sense of the broad sweep of critical reaction to the subject, but it's rare that I see such. For an example, it might amuse to read the article on Douglas J. Feith as it existed a week ago (this was the worst case I've ever seen, to be fair). Quote-counterquote, charge-countercharge, is no way to write a neutral and good biography, although it is indisputably informative of something. When no other good way to keep a biography neutral comes to mind, it can be alright, but I'd really prefer to avoid that sort of thing.
I still have my doubts about Media Matters being a reliable source for such matters and whether it qualifies as a notable allegation, but I don't see that much harm from it. I made a few changes, removing redundancy and changing "progressive" to "liberal." I only see "progressive" used in lefty political circles, whereas "liberal" seems to be in more general circulation.
As regarding NewsMax, I changed the lead sentence of the paragraph; it seems unnecessary to me to describe NewsMax as unreliable in the unqualified voice of the article, and passive voice without attribution ("was criticized") is bad style. I think the incident is too small to be noteworthy (and I'd be happier with a reliable secondary source describing it -- as it is, the section is entirely based on primary sources), but I think our time would not be profitably spent resolving every last point on it. RayTalk 17:41, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I removed alluding to the many inaccurate predictions that Kristol has made about American domestic and foreign policy, including the Iraq war as poorly sourced even though it was not sourced at all. Maybe just include the sourced criticism from Stewart even though it is from a partisan site? Maybe just provide a link directly from Stewart? Not sure, --Tom (talk) 15:57, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

As I noted above, "Kristol is always wrong" is a prominent liberal criticism of him. I gave these additional examples: [8], [9], [10], [11], and [12]. I'd be inclined to go along with dropping the Stewart link and substituting this one from The Nation, because it gives several verbatim quotations from Kristol's work and thus provides something beyond mere criticism. JamesMLane t c 22:54, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
The problem with the material I removed was it stated as fact that Kristol is always wrong (which might be true) rather than that being a criticism of him, if that makes sense. Its more how the material is worded and the attribution given. The sources above seem pretty partisan, but I guess that is to be expected given its criticism of the subject. Anyways, can you post your suggested wording here so I/others can review/comment first? Thanks, --Tom (talk) 23:28, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Section break -- original criticim section[edit]

I realize that "criticism" sections are widely regarded as problematic on wikipedia, but this is a good example of why just deleting them isn't really a good solution. Kristol is a really controversial figure, who has received a lot of criticism on his track record, and as written, this article appears to be pretending that this isn't so. Skipping this is not being "Neutral", it's providing an endorsement-by-default. I know reporting on controversy without taking sides in it is a tricky business, but refusing to do it at all is hardly a solution. -- Doom (talk) 15:02, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

"Really controversial figure, who has received a lot of criticism on his track record"--according to what reliable sources? Are they opinion sources or news sources? What makes him any more controversial or a recipient of significantly more criticism than other pundits? Drrll (talk) 16:33, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Positions on economics?[edit]

The article states a number of Kristol's positions on foreign policy, but he's also apparently being cited as some sort of economic expert/strategist:

A summary of his economic opinions would be of some use, I would think.

Apparently you can't read. He's not being cited as an economic expert. He signed an open letter to Ben Bernanke, and Paul Krugman was pointing out that the guy is NOT an economic expert. --JHP (talk) 04:24, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Bachelor's degree?[edit]

Does anybody know what area of concentration his bachelor's degree is in? The article doesn't say. Also, the article said that he earned a B.A. from Harvard, but Harvard doesn't offer the B.A. I assumed he received an A.B. and made the correction. --JHP (talk) 04:28, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Beck-Egypt Dispute[edit]

Kristol's recent op ed about Glenn Beck's analysis of Egypt (and the ensuing dispute--primarily from Glenn Beck's side of the fence) is probably worhty of mention. BlennGeck (talk) 19:11, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Do you know of any non-opinion reliable sources that cover the dispute? Drrll (talk) 19:26, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Its appeared on CNN Newsroom and in other sources. But Kristol himself penned the original OP-ed attacking Beck, and Beck has responded a number of times on his program.

Also appears in CNN INternational:

BlennGeck (talk) 21:13, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Looks like there a quite a lot of news sources that cover this (see search). Looks like enough coverage to me to add a mention of this in this article. Drrll (talk) 23:55, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

STILL NO Criticism Section?????????[edit]

I agree with "Doom" who wrote above on 16 November 2010:

Quote: I realize that "criticism" sections are widely regarded as problematic on wikipedia, but this is a good example of why just deleting them isn't really a good solution. Kristol is a really controversial figure, who has received a lot of criticism on his track record, and as written, this article appears to be pretending that this isn't so. Skipping this is not being "Neutral", it's providing an endorsement-by-default. I know reporting on controversy without taking sides in it is a tricky business, but refusing to do it at all is hardly a solution. -- Doom...

However, I agree that some of the criticisms originally posted did not belong here for the reasons given...they were either opinions of un-respected blowhards, or were unverified facts. However, newsman Dan Rather was fired for making one error, so this is important. (And Rather has a criticism section, as do many/most important people.)

Just looking at news one finds tons of verifiable examples, such as ""Free Agent" Bill Kristol Now Available To Misinform On Non-Fox Networks - Research August 20, 2013" the list includes:

Kristol Senate Testimony: "American And Alliance Forces Will Be Welcomed In Baghdad As Liberators." [Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony, 2/7/02

Kristol: "I Think We'll Be Vindicated When We Discover The Weapons Of Mass Destruction And When We Liberate The People Of Iraq." From a March 2003 interview on ABC's Nightline

Kristol: "[A]lmost No Evidence" That "The Shia Can't Get Along With The Sunni."[NPR, Fresh Air, 4/1/03]

Kristol: "Democrats Want To Destroy Business In The United States By Turning Us Into A Banana Republic." [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 6/17/10]

...a long list.

Plus zillions others, such as on the Neocon's Iraq War :
WILLIAM KRISTOL, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Whatever else you can say about this war, let me just make my point, George Bush is not fighting this like Vietnam. Whatever, we don`t need to be fighting the whole history of Vietnam.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Saddam, maybe, that`s the danger. ....
KRISTOL: It`s not going to happen. This is going to be a two-month war, not an eight-year war.
(END VIDEO CLIP) still seen here. ...along w other critiques of Kristol.

See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lead section):
quote: ...he lead serves both as an introduction to the article and as a summary of its most important aspects. The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points—including any prominent controversies. The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance....

Someone needs to create another Criticism Section. fish in a barrel.
-- (talk) 21:22, 28 August 2013 (UTC)Doug bashford

There really does need to be a criticism section. Right now it reads like a puff piece with nicely neutral language. Still makes it a puff piece. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:38, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

"Kristol was key to the defeat of the Clinton health care plan in 1993."[edit]

can such a claim be made without any source or support? unclesmedley (talk) 19:19, 24 June 2015 (UTC)unclesmedley

Well, I think it is widely known. The article about the Clinton health care plan at wikipedia includes the following:
"Opposition to the Clinton plan was initiated by William Kristol and his policy group Project for the Republican Future, which is widely credited with orchestrating the plan's ultimate defeat through a series of now legendary "policy memos" faxed to Republican leaders.[9]

The long-term political effects of a successful... health care bill will be even worse — much worse... It will revive the reputation of... Democrats as the generous protector of middle-class interests. And it will at the same time strike a punishing blow against Republican claims to defend the middle class by restraining government. - William Kristol memo, "Defeating President Clinton's Healthcare Proposal" 12/93.[10]

Given that, we could insert the refs from the other article. Capitalismojo (talk) 20:21, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

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David French endorsement ?[edit]

Hello, why isn't there any section dedicated to Kristol's push for David French as an independent candidate for President in 2016? (Seems like this info would be helpful for people who are trying to find out details about how Kristol thinks)---ES---2602:306:CD9B:E9A0:5CF9:C846:A1FA:4DC0 (talk) 16:12, 18 June 2016 (UTC)


There seem to be a number of news articles and even his Twitter account and handle refer to him as 'Bill Kristol'. Perhaps 'Bill' should at least be included in his name, i.e. William "Bill" Kristol? Seems common enough to mention. -- (talk) 21:23, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^ "Kristol, Krauthammer lauded Bush inauguration speech without disclosing their role as consultants". Media Matters for America. 2005-01-24. Retrieved 2006-12-14. 
  3. ^ "Kristol Clear at Time". The Nation. 2007-01-01. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  4. ^ Jon Stewart: "Oh, Bill Kristol, Are You Ever Right?", Huffington Post, January 24, 2008
  5. ^ Obama's Church: Cauldron of Division
  6. ^ - Obama Attended Hate America Sermon
  7. ^ Generation Obama? Perhaps Not. - New York Times
  8. ^ Bill Kristol, New York Times Hack, UPDATE - Political Machine
  9. ^ Edsall, Thomas B. (January 18, 2007). "Happy Hours". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  10. ^ Rick Perlstein, "Thinking Like a Conservative (Part Three): On Shutting Down Government", The Nation, September 30, 2013.