David Brooks is still writing columns?

Why? What the fuck is wrong with the NY Times? (I know, I seem to have spent the last couple of decades asking that question, but I still haven’t had a good answer.)

Fortunately, Driftglass reads him, so I don’t have to.

Mr. Brooks was raised in academic privilege, loitered at the University of Chicago long enough to score a BA in history (which, based on how routinely he molests and whitewashes the past in order to advance his political agenda, should have been revoked decades ago) after which he latched onto the wingnut welfare teat like a lamprey and has been nursing at its ample bosom ever since. Brooks is America’s most ubiquitous cheerleader for the myopically wealthy, the cluelessly privileged and politically inbred and has made his a career out of telling the rich and powerful the silky lies they desperately wish to be true.

Yes truly it can be said (and has been said, once or twice) that in all this wide, bountiful, fatally-conflicted nation — from the mountains to the prairies and the whole rest of that song — there is no one who can speak with less forged-in-the-crucible-of-hardship authority about what hard times have to teach us than David Fucking Brooks.

I haven’t read the column, and I don’t plan to, so I don’t have direct observations to determine the accuracy of this summary, but I’ve read enough David F. Brooks to assume that the gist is correct.

First, I’m sorry Brooks’ kids no longer speak to him because he dumped their mother for an intern, and passive-aggressively lashing out at them via the op-ed page of The New York Times is the only way Brooks’ knows how send them a message, but honestly, that sounds like a “David Brooks” problem, and not a “the rest of us” problem.

Second, this is every bit the Brooks-brand wretchedly oblivious moral hectoring that you imagine it to be.

And third, in the interest of self-care during these dark times, you shouldn’t read it. After all, that’s my job.

I repeat, why does the NY Times still shovel money at that worthless blot of privileged rancidness? Driftglass would do a better job, and he’d probably work for less while deserving more.


  1. wzrd1 says

    I repeat, why does the NY Times still shovel money at that worthless blot of privileged rancidness?

    Simple enough. Hire the incompetent, they work for cheap.
    The downside of that is, if you allow them access to a hammer, you’ll need to call an ambulance from the accidental self-injury. But, that’s easily managed – hide all of the hammers and sharp objects.

  2. Bruce says

    What does the hardship of thousands of deaths teach us? Don’t listen to Republican enablers such as David Brooks.
    Now, what did the hardship of dying teach our dead? Nothing.

  3. Stuart Smith says

    Once the establishment started admitting that some people are in privileged positions for reasons other than merit, they’re on a slippery slope to admitting the entire capitalist system is a huge scam at the expense of the majority of humanity. They have to pretend that people are where they are because they deserve to be there.

  4. Dunc says

    why does the NY Times still shovel money at that worthless blot of privileged rancidness?

    How is this unclear? Because “Brooks is America’s most ubiquitous cheerleader for the myopically wealthy”. That’s his job. That’s what the NYT is for. I genuinely don’t understand the confusion. It’s a propaganda organ, and he’s a propagandist. He’s the friggin’ type specimen, the perfect example of the sort of person they’re looking for – someone who not only writes exactly the sort of propaganda they want to publish without having to be told to, but who genuinely believes it.

  5. Snarki, child of Loki says

    “Hire the incompetent, they work for cheap.”

    Not cheap enough to make up for the damage they cause.

    Cut Bobo’s pay to $10/column and put him on the Applebee’s Salad Bar review beat, sez I.

  6. raven says

    What does the hardship of thousands of deaths teach us?

    We are in the tens of thousands now, ca. 33,000 this morning.

    It taught us a lot in a hurry.
    .1. The GOP is completely incompetent.
    The US dropped every ball they could, and we have the largest number of deaths in the world by country.
    .2. That isn’t going to change.
    The federal government is still totally lost and they aren’t going to get it together about this virus, ever.
    The states have learned that they are on their own to deal with the pandemic.
    .3. The USA isn’t as exceptional as we were or as we now pretend we are.
    We used to be the world leader in a lot of ways.
    Now, we are notable only for our bottom of the barrel mediocrity.

    .4. Maybe we should listen to history and the biomedical people.
    The first emerging disease in my lifetime occurred in 1976, Swine flu.
    Since then we have had a dozen or so.
    A partial list would be HIV, West Nile, Zika, Avian flu, Swine flu 2, SARS, MERS, Ebola, Chikungunya, etc.
    Biomedical scientists have been saying since the 1970’s that there were always going to be emerging diseases to deal with.
    The GOP just systematically dismantled our Public Health system that is supposed to deal with these outbreaks.
    So the USA ended up like a deer in the headlights.
    And guess what?
    After Covid-19, there is going to be another outbreak of something in the not too distant future.

  7. woozy says

    Um… Okay. But I kind of wished that review mentioned what the article was about other than just a somewhat tired headline…. I mean, I can guess, I suppose but…

  8. says

    First, I’m sorry Brooks’ kids no longer speak to him because he dumped their mother for an intern, and passive-aggressively lashing out at them via the op-ed page of The New York Times is the only way Brooks’ knows how send them a message, but honestly, that sounds like a “David Brooks” problem, and not a “the rest of us” problem.

    …and then the murder was completed.

  9. says

    So what are the chances he’s not talking about the middle class cis straight white people currently protesting in Michigan and Ohio because they can’t buy fertilizer or get their roots touched up? The fragility of the bootstraps crowd is exposed for all to see once they even get a whiff of having to do with less for a while.

  10. velociraptor says

    <3 Driftglass. I’m not on Twitter, but I sometimes wish it didn’t have a ‘block’ function so they could see the “Both Siderist’ fucktards excoriate them. Not sure where I picked up on him – prolly here or Digby.

  11. says


    Frankly, who cares whether David Brooks is right or wrong? America has now shown that it doesn’t want wrongness to end, and will actively cut off any route away from wrongness. No matter who wins the next election, we get a racist sexist homophobic rapist who wants to screw over the public and doom the world via climate change in order to protect the profits of the 1%. And the Democrats who have just guaranteed that this shall be so are incredibly smug about it, and offended by the very idea that anybody would fail to support their grotesquely horrible candidate. I’m sure they all have outrage at David Brooks, but when the time came they supported his worldview. This world belongs to David Brooks and his employers and patrons, and the rest of us just live in it, and apparently most of the rest of us enjoy it and want to make sure it continues.

    This country can’t collapse into ruin fast enough.

  12. daverytier says

    Re. 13. Wow. Just wow. Just when did Biden manage to become as bad as trump ? I know he is old, but judging by his career, he is unlikely to even have the time to do all things trump did.

  13. nomdeplume says

    “What the fuck is wrong with the NY Times?” I guess one answer is that it was never any “good” but simply perceived to be so, because, surely, there must be ONE newspaper in America that actually was the newspaper of record, the impartial observer of the passing parade, the repository of facts, the first draft of history? Perhaps this was always an illusion, and behind the curtain were always horrible little men.

  14. says

    David Brooks’ job is to serve as the Defender of the Obvious with no shading, no nuance, no recognition or other points of view. The fact that he sometimes finds himself on somebody’s pedestal is part of the mystery of a pluralistic society.

  15. unclefrogy says

    I think that Brooks is a very conventional conservative republican who believes the crap he says, he tries to be moral and advocate a moral stance on issues and succeeds to varying degrees. He like most conservatives is a little out of touch with the totality of reality and is a believer who regularly spouts rubbish. It could be said that his type of voice should be heard, the problem is not so much him but with the people who agree with his take on things and try and advance the policies he advocates. It is the people who follow those ideas and put that kind of “thinking” into action that are the bigger problem. I wish he would get some understanding and change his views, I would like those views to be seen as so out of touch that they are laughed at or at least completely ignored, but like the old saying ” people in hell want ice water ”
    uncle frogy

  16. wzrd1 says

    Laughably, Trump’s “Open America” nonsense went over as well with the Fortune 200 list CEO’s as his volunteering CEO’s for his “council” without their knowledge or permission.
    Like the proverbial lead balloon. The Fortune top CEO’s said, “Not without testing”.

    Delaware County, PA has an alert service that I subscribed to ages ago. I maintain that, as our children and grandchildren live in the county.
    The numbers were not good at all. I suspect that the county and I know the state will happily also tell Trump where to get off on “Open America” bullshit. And the lot, save the governor are republicans.

    This week Delaware County reported a high number of positive COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 deaths.

    On Monday, April 13- 117 new cases and 1 death was reported.
    On Tuesday, April 14- 101 new cases and 5 deaths were reported.
    On Wednesday, April 15- 84 new cases and 15 deaths were reported.
    On Thursday, April 16- 120 new cases and 11 deaths were reported.
    On Friday, April 17- 226 new cases and 3 deaths were reported.

    This brings the total number of cases in Delaware County to 2281 and the total number of deaths to 74.

    I think that Trump is going to be about as popular in this state as Ma Barker at J. Edgar Hoover’s dinner table.

  17. KG says

    This country can’t collapse into ruin fast enough. – The Vicar@13

    Aaaand… The Vicar makes absolutely clear his total moral bankruptcy. Those millions of people – primarily those at the bottom of the heap – who would suffer horrible deaths as a result? The Vicar couldn’t give a shit. Possibly he would use the excuse that (according to no relevant experts whatever) we’re all going to die horrible deaths anyway in a couple of decades unless immediate radical action is taken to mitigate climate disruption. But I don’t think this will really fool many people here, or even himself.

  18. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    KG, the Vicar also makes clear that he doesn’t think things through. Because who wouldn’t want order to collapse in a country with thousands of nuclear warheads?

  19. unclefrogy says

    while the nuclear arsenal would be a dangerous thing made up of some valuable highly toxic materials. As things stand right now I am not sure how bad they would be in the conventional sense. The right wing has a very strong libertarian slant and is very adverse to taxes of any kind not sure they would voluntarily pay the rather expensive up keep on those weapon systems. One of the greatest strengths of the US is the economy which would absolutely not be doing great should the country collapse. The left is pretty socialist and shows no indication of being militaristic in fact there are roots in the anti-war movement so not much of a threat there.
    The large middle which now straddles both parties while large and will go to war may be more likely but there is still the expense of up keep, no less then the expense of war fighting.
    the thing to remember when thinking about this is that all war have been financed by bonds ie. debt I have no idea what any bonds offered up to the general market would go for or what interest would have to be given or what such bonds ratings they would be but I would say that they would not be the same as current US bonds
    If the US does collapse there would be less a need for some terrorists to grab or buy. as some kind of threat we would no longer be such a threat.
    so there are things to think about a very complicated mess is what I would expect. The disruption of trade would be immense
    uncle frogy

  20. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Uncle Frogy,
    When the Soviet Union collapsed, you suddenly had thousands of nukes under no particular control. The only reason they didn’t wind up on the black market was that the US ponied up a bunch o’ money to buy them up, dilute the enriched uranium below bomb grade and burn it up in power plants. If the US were to collapse, there’d be no one to offer similar incentives. Moreover, global terrorism is now sufficiently sophisticated (Thanks, Dubya!) that they could make use of a nuke. I am sure that not all the guards would become nuclear entrepreneurs, but it wouldn’t take many. Also, I know plenty of rightwing nutjobs in defense, and they’d eat grass before they gave up their nukes. Having given up their moral authority and ability to project conventional forces globally, and having lost all the money the country once had, they know the nukes are the only reason to take us at all seriously. They’re the difference between N. Korea and Haiti.

  21. unclefrogy says

    all that is true but few people will work for nothing. the trained technicians needed to maintain and operate these devices need money to live as well as the equipment and supplies needed all take money. with a collapse which money do you use? The US money is backed by “the full faith and credit of the government of the united states. with no united states which money? banks have numbers on paper or hard drives, just files some place the cash is paper. the operative is condition is collapse. something less then that would also contain large economic problems as well look at how this is effecting things now.
    it would be shitty and some asshole or group of assholes would try to use them to take control and it could get real messy but those things are just about useless and way more trouble then they are worth. as far as no one there to by them up just ask who has lots of money and money that might replace the dollar as the currency of record.
    uncle frogy