Hiatt: NYT readers didn’t want Kristol because he ‘supported the Iraq war.’

Yesterday, after Weekly Standard editor William Kristol announced that his New York Times column was ending, his soon-to-be new boss, Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt, praised him as “a very smart, plugged-in guy” who “wrote a good column.” In the Washington Post’s article today on Kristol’s departure from the Times, Hiatt mused that NYT readers didn’t like Kristol because they didn’t want the paper to “hire someone who supported the Iraq war“:

Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt called Kristol “very smart and very plugged in,” saying Kristol would be an influential voice in the coming debate over redefining the Republican Party. “It seems to me there were a lot of Times readers who felt the Times shouldn’t hire someone who supported the Iraq war,” said Hiatt, adding that he wants “a diverse range of opinions” on his page.

As Matthew Yglesias points out, “it’s hardly as if Iraq war supporters have been purged from the NYT,” considering that Iraq war supporter David Brooks and Iraq war supporter Thomas Friedman are still on the op-ed page. Yglesias notes that the Post’s opinion section isn’t lacking Iraq war supporters either.