In the proud tradition of objective journalism, the New York Times included both positive and negative views of Afghan envoy Richard Holbrooke in its December 14 obituary:
Some called him a bully, and he looked the part: the big chin thrust out, the broad shoulders, the tight smile that might mean anything. To admirers, however, including generations of State Department protégés and the presidents he served, his peacemaking efforts were extraordinary.
On the one hand, the big chin and a tight smile; on the other, the extraordinary peacemaking efforts. The Times leaves it to you, the reader, to decide for yourself which is more important.
In reality, of course, Holbrooke was called much worse than a bully; he’s been criticized for facilitating genocide in East Timor, for delivering the designed-to-be-rejected ultimatum that started the Kosovo War and for cheering the military targeting of journalists. If you’d like to see what an actual critic has to say about Holbrooke’s career, rather than relying on the Times‘ false balance, read Steven Zunes’ piece in Huffington Post (12/15/10), “Richard Holbrooke Represented the Worst Side of the Foreign Policy Establishment.”