Get our free newsletter
So angst-inducing were the columns of Richard Cohen this year—so vile, so gag-worthy, so rageface-inspiring, so jaw-droppingly odious—that when it came time for Mother Jones to assemble its list of the best “hate-reads” of 2013, the veteran Postie got his own category. Then again: You could say those things most years about Cohen, who has penned a Post column since 1976 and whose retirement, voluntary or otherwise, couldn’t come soon enough. In Cohen’s eyes, the culture that produced Miley Cyrus’ twerking somehow explains the Steubenville rape, the number of young black males who commit gun crimes (and the hoodies he says they wear) not only helps explain why George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin but also justifies stop-and-frisk policing, and people with “conventional” views—he was talking about the Tea Party—must “suppress a gag reflex” when they look at the interracial marriage of New York’s mayor-elect, a misjudging of a group he was ostensibly criticizing that ultimately revealed far more about Cohen. But as the Post op-ed page’s supposedly liberal contrarian, Cohen has been getting a pass for his bigoted tics for decades—at least since 1986, when in the Post Magazine he defended jewelers who refused to allow young black men to enter their shops, ultimately forcing the newspaper to apologize for Cohen’s words. Which is enough to conclude—as much of the progressive blogosphere calling for the Post to fire him already has—that Cohen isn’t just a bad columnist, but a bad human being.