I don’t think my interview was all that masterful. Stein had administered a self-inflicted wound. He just chose to bleed out on my program.
Put aside the speculation that Hollywood will embrace Stein. Fact is he has to be at the bottom of a very deep hole right now, and yesterday his “editor”, Andres Martinez, refused an offer to come on the radio show to discuss the column. That shocked me as if ever anyone needed a colleague to step forward and defend him, it would be Stein and the candidate would be Martinez. Times folks now have a pretty good idea of just how far their leaders will go to take the heat for them.
So Joel Stein has another column coming in a week. He should straightforwardly apologize for being ill-informed and flip about a subject that is too serious for flip treatment. Then he should call Robert Kaplan and ask for some contacts in the military who will welcome him, and go on tour.
If Stein pretends it didn’t happen or if he doubles down, he’ll just fade further and further away from the eyeballs of readers in the hunt for interesting things from interesting people. He could have a cult following on Kos, I suppose, but does he want to be a stripped down version of Scheer at the age of what, 35?
Candor, confession and concession. Reading and experience. Especially experience among and with active duty soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. It would make for a fine series of columns.