Michael Kinsley is still a new enough addition to the L.A. scene that his at-large punditry seems worth chronicling. At least for a little while longer. He's quoted twice in today's New York Observer. One of the pieces is about Pat Buchanan, of whom columnist (and KCRW commentator) Joe Hagan writes, "over the years, Mr. Buchanan has made a few not-so-subtle racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic remarks, most well documented and even more well argued in conservative journals. All things considered, itís amazing heís still on television." Kinsley doesn't speak to that, but compares his old Crossfire rival to another ever less-relevant figure:
"Ralph Nader came by the editorial board a couple weeks ago, and he had that same quality," said Mr. Kinsley, now running The Los Angeles Timesí editorial board. "He was tired and he gets the jokeóthe same quality that Pat has. He doesnít give a shit anymore. Heís weary but smiling, but undeterred. In both cases, unfortunately."
"Heís [Buchanan] a lot smarter than George Bush or Dick Cheney, and heís more principled than both of them," said Mr. Kinsley, "but he happens to have principles that are loony."
Kinsley also responded to a question about Harper's editor Lewis Lapham, who's under fire for writing a column before the RNC that reads as if he were there. "I canít understand a word he writes," Kinsley quipped. Meanwhile, Zůcalo bills its Sept. 7 event at the Central Library as Kinsley's "long-awaited public debut in Los Angeles." (L.A. Observed co-sponsors the Zůcalo series of public forums). Larry Mantle of KPCC will lead a conversation with the Times Editorial Page and Opinion Editor. It's free in the Mark Taper Auditorium at 7 p.m., but reservations are recommended.