Two Facts

1. David Brooks is still being employed by the New York Times to write a garbage column.

2. David Brooks is a terrible journalist.

You might imagine that second fact is actually just my opinion, but I assure you it is not. Brooks confesses that he is a terrible journalist right in the opening paragraphs of his latest garbage column, which is all about how the Russia investigation is overblown, and has been filed under the headline "Let's Not Get Carried Away." It begins thus:
I was the op-ed editor at The Wall Street Journal at the peak of the Whitewater scandal. We ran a series of investigative pieces "raising serious questions" (as we say in the scandal business) about the nefarious things the Clintons were thought to have done back in Arkansas.

Now I confess I couldn't follow all the actual allegations made in those essays. They were six jungles deep in the weeds. But I do remember the intense atmosphere that the scandal created. A series of bombshell revelations came out in the media, which seemed monumental at the time. A special prosecutor was appointed and indictments were expected. Speculation became the national sport.
Because Brooks is a terrible journalist, it isn't clear what the actual nature is of the pieces that confused him. Were they "investigative pieces" or were they "essays"? I'm not professor of garbage columns, but I'm pretty sure that "investigative essays" aren't a thing.

One might argue that Brooks' inability to follow the allegations made in his paper's "investigative essays" rendered him unfit to oversee its op-ed section, which was the playing field on which the national sport of speculation was played at the professional level.

One might further argue that Brooks' inability to understand details of presidential investigations renders him unfit to continue writing a column for the paper of record. Because, terrible journalist that he is and admits being, he does not make clear that the investigation of Team Trump's possible collusion with Russia is an outgrowth of an investigation into Russia's interference in our election, which is not in doubt. Ostensibly, the investigations are meant to tease out the various ways in which that interference was accomplished.

The investigation may or may not find evidence of collusion among the president's campaign staff and/or administration. But that's just part of a much bigger whole. And only a very, very terrible journalist would advise against "getting carried away" when there is so much at stake.

But maybe he just can't follow all the allegations being made. Perhaps the Times should hire someone who can.

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