05 Feb 2009

Bigtime Oreo Needed For Conservative Columnist Position, Apply at NYT

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Poor New York Times! Neocon Bill Kristol was, well, simply too darned con. He actually defended the Bush Administration and openly sided with conservatives. A respectable NYT token conservative columnist is suppose to confine his conservatism to occasional dyspeptic grumbling about changing times, fashions, and morals, but avoid flagrant heresy on the big questions that matter: George W. Bush, the War in Iraq, and the outrageous insult to everything that’s proper and good that is Sarah Palin.

Jennifer Senior, in New York Magazine, describes the fraught quest for the Upper West Side conservative.

[N]ot to say that Times readers don’t like conservatives. They just like conservatives they can take home and introduce to their families (or maybe Paul Krugman’s family [or Michael Meeropol’s family – DZ]). David Brooks is the sort of Republican whose column a self-respecting liberal can read without wanting to hurl things in the aftermath—an Obama enthusiast, a Palin critic, a careful questioner of GOP shibboleths. He’s a vocal supporter of gay marriage and abortion rights. And he’s just as apt to be writing about culture as politics.

The Times may even have thought it’d be getting the same cuddly conservative intellectual when it hired Kristol. Like Brooks, he was a known quantity: a quotable source during the Bush I era (he was Dan Quayle’s chief of staff), the scion of New York intellectuals. But it didn’t, and the Republican party line that Kristol was peddling was an embarrassment.

Senior recommends comedian Stephen Colbert.

I won’t name names, but I can think of more than one prominent passenger on the conservative movement’s bus, who could be relied upon to broaden and grow into just such a role, becoming worthy of “strange new respect,” given the right inducements.

One Feedback on "Bigtime Oreo Needed For Conservative Columnist Position, Apply at NYT"

Sallie Parker

Colbert? Not a chance. A serious Catholic, rather traditionalist and “liberal” only in reaction to the neocon noisemakers, he’d go off the reservation in his first week. That’s what a topical comedian does. They wouldn’t take him and he certainly doesn’t need the work.


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