David Brooks writes for the op-ed pages of The New York Times, where he is billed as a conservative voice. Those on the political right use him as a piñata. But compared to the wild-eyed loonies at The Times, Mother Jones magazine and Mizzou, he’s fairly conservative.

Mr. Brooks opines, but also reports. A recent assignment was for The Times’ Sunday magazine, where articles must be produced with a substantial lead time. He tagged along for six days on Four Seasons’ new 24-day, around-the-world vacation, where the travel is by private jet and guests are pampered at the chain’s luxury hotels during two- and three-night stops.

The price tag: $120,000. (For those thinking bucket list, a homework assignment: Research life insurance viatical settlements.)

This passage was pretentious enough to give Mr. Brooks’ critics ammunition:

Describing fellow passengers: “They did not dress rich, talk rich or put on airs. They have spent their lives busy with work and family, not jet-setting around or hanging out with the Davos crowd. … They treated the crew as friends and equals and not as staff. Nobody was trying to prove they were better informed or more sophisticated than anybody else. There were times, in fact, when I almost wished there had been a little more pretense and a little more intellectual and spiritual ambition.”

With that last sentence, asshat detectors went off, triggering predictable online derision.

Then Mr. Brooks’ luck changed — for the worse. Terrorists murdered dozens in Paris (some presumably tourists) a day before the magazine actually hit the streets.

So if somebody puts “Asshat Court” on TV, Mr. Brooks could be tried and sentenced to a trip through the grinding poverty of Appalachia. In a crappy rental car.

The story in question: http://tinyurl.com/nzejgeh

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