New York Times columnist Bret Stephens compared Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Cambodian genocidal dictator Pol Pot during an appearance on “Morning Joe” on Tuesday:

Stephens didn’t mean in a “Killing Fields” sort of way, but in reference to the revolutionary concept of “year zero” which states “all culture and traditions within a society must be completely destroyed or discarded and a new revolutionary culture must replace it, starting from scratch.” He clarified immediately on the show:

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

And later apologized for his “rhetorical exuberance”:

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