Karl E. Meyer, Reporter, Editorialist and Author, Dies at 91

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He edited World Policy Journal, the flagship publication of the World Policy Institute, from 2000 to 2008. In an interview with The Times while in that post in 2002, he warned about “the emergence of a politically powerful Christian right.”

“It worries me, as I worry about the rise of militant Islam or Hindu nationalism,” he said. “These are all variations of the same problem. They seek a theological sanction for secular foreign policy choices.”

After he retired from The Times, Mr. Meyer and his wife, Ms. Brysac, who is also a journalist, wrote the first of five books on which they collaborated, “Tournament of Shadows: The Race for Empire in Central Asia” (1999), inspired by their trip through the Khyber Pass.

His first two marriages, to Iris Hill and Sarah Peck, ended in divorce. In addition to Ms. Brysac, whom he married in 1989, he is survived by three children from his second marriage, Ernest, Heather and Jonathan Meyer; three granddaughters; and his sister, Susan L. Meyer.

In 1990, Mr. Meyer edited an anthology, “Pundits, Poets and Wits: An Omnibus of American Newspaper Columns” (1990), in which he quoted an essayist’s prediction in 1866 that with “the rise of neutral, fact-based reporting,” editorials would soon be obsolete.

“The opposite happened,” Mr. Meyer wrote. “Opinion journalism acquired fresh life, as readers, swamped by fact, turned to editorials for selection and judgment, salted by adjectives not sanctioned in news departments.”

“They have been energetic advocates,” he added, “exerting influence through the quality of their arguments and their independence from an electorate that has learned to put up with them.”


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