Walter Olson on Nicholas Kristof's Bogus Anti-Beer Crusade


Is there a New York Times columnist as insufferably moralistic as Nicholas Kristof? Last week Kristof mounted yet another of his high-horse save-the-children campaigns, this time against beermasters Anheuser-Busch. Kristof asks readers to join his boycott of the leading brewer for (he says) improperly permitting its output to be sold in large volumes in tiny Whiteclay, Neb., just across the state line from the Oglala Sioux's Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Though notionally dry, the reservation is in practice wracked with alcoholism. Yet as Olson reports, Kristof's sloppy and biased attack fails to mention a number of facts that contradict his argument.