Fire Jacob Heilbrunn?
Jacob Heilbrunn, senior editor at The National Interest and HuffPo commentator, is calling for President Obama to fire Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for incompetence:
President Obama, do us all a favor. Fire Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Napolitano said on ABC News that the abortive SUV bombing in Times Square was a “one-off.” It wasn’t anything of the kind. Instead, as the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistan-born American citizen, at JFK International Airport shows, it may well be a harbinger of the future.
But does anyone really deserves to be fired? And if so, could it be Heilbrunn? A minimum standard for editorial competence would be an ability to listen to or read a statement and restate it accurately. Here’s what Napolitano actually said in the ABC interview to which Heilbrunn refers:
Did she say that the attempted Times Square bombing was definitely a “one-off”? No. She said that at that time (early in the investigation), there was no evidence suggesting that it wasn’t.
Did Napolitano say that since the incident was a “one-off,” everyone was perfectly safe and should relax their vigilance? No—quite the opposite: She said the investigation was in the early stages and that the response would evolve as facts emerged and that law enforcement and everyone else should be “on their toes.”
Napolitano may or may not suck as Homeland Security Secretary—frankly, I’ve heard no convincing evidence one way or another. But Heilbrunn definitely sucks as an editor and commentator, at least in this piece. Should he get the boot? Too little evidence, in my opinion. Just like Napolitano.