Tags: new york times | columnist | apologizes | comparing | rex tillerson | pol pot

NYT Columnist Apologizes for Comparing Tillerson to Pol Pot

MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

By    |   Tuesday, 22 August 2017 02:54 PM

New York Times columnist Bret Stephens issued an apology within an hour after comparing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Pol Pot, the totalitarian dictator.

Stephens made the initial comparison on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," when asked about Tillerson's job performance as secretary of state. "I think Tillerson really is up there as a nominee for worst secretary of state ever," Stephens said on the MSNBC show Tuesday.

"The State Department is also part of the machinery of government and that machinery has to run in order for normal things to happen, like having relationships with foreign countries or having consular services for U.S. people," he said. "And Tillerson seems to be of a kind of Maoist school in which it's like, maybe it's Pol Pot."

Pol Pot, the Cambodian dictator from 1975 to 1979, ordered the killings of anyone suspected of opposing his rule. Stephens quickly said he was not referring to the killings when making the comparison.

"I don't mean the Killing Fields," Stephens said. "I mean the zero-year mentality. Blow it all up, see what happens, wait for a while and then try to arrange the pieces as you see fit. That might work in a start-up environment. It doesn't work in a bureaucracy with 70,000 people."

Stephens then apologized in a tweet, responding to a commenter who agreed with Stephens' comparison.

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New York Times columnist Bret Stephens issued an apology within an hour after comparing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Pol Pot, the totalitarian dictator.
new york times, columnist, apologizes, comparing, rex tillerson, pol pot
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2017-54-22
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 02:54 PM
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