LETTER TO NEW YORK TIMES
Nicholas Kristof makes some decent points in this article. ("How to cover a charlatan", September 26).
He would do well to follow his own advice. He observes that a journalist's job "is not stenography, but truth telling". But has himself failed to tell the truth.
Back in October 2014 he sided with Ben Affleck in the latter's ignorant and scandalous attack of Bill Maher's guest Sam Harris. The topic was Islam and Affleck had just labelled Harris "gross and racist". Rather than side with Sam -- who is neither gross not racist -- Kristof waded into say that Harris' views had the whiff of anti black racism.
This is a calumny and provably false. Was Kristof afraid of Affleck? Or was he simply ignorant? I can't believe he's the latter so I assume the former.
In which case shame on Kristof for not having the guts of the journalists he quotes, Edward R. Murrow, Claude Sitton and Karl Fleming who fought McCarthyism and the brutality of Jim Crow.
For all his good intent, Kristof has a ways to go before he demonstrates the courage to uncover charlatans.