Big post up at Beliefnet discussing replacements for Kristol, and the names include Megan McArdle, Ross Douthat, David Frum, Trevino, and a link back to a post I wrote a couple months back suggesting Daniel Larison.
I was just talking to someone, and it occurred to me- Why not A. James Bacevich? The man is brilliant, a conservative (in thought and actions, if not by identity), he knows how to write (and knows how to write for a column, which is a different thing altogether), and has great ideas and a interesting outlook on the world.
So why not?
Because he’s a conservative by your definition (which I agree is a good one), not a water-carrier for Republican stupidity.
All of the above.
ditto, ibid and op. cit.
So of course he’s automatically disqualified.
the problem with Trevino is that he can’t say anything in fewer than 10,000 words.
clearly Limbaugh is the only sane choice.
He goes by James?
Bacevich is a very good suggestion.
Look, the one thing the Times doesn’t want is someone who is going to offer something new, thoughtful, or challenging in their editorial slots. Its not just that they don’t want a liberal or a conservative or whatever–they do. But the most important qualification is that the person should deliver the same dreck very week, without fail. Its like the difference between being a home cook and a restaurant chef–the people who eat those restaurant meals want the exact same recipe every time. This is precisely what, for example, david brooks and friedman give their readers. You literally don’t have to read past the first lines of brooks’ columns to realize that after the soft set up he’ll flip the facts so that the democrats are always in the wrong. The Times *likes* that. They *want* that, and needless to say its what an honest liberal or conservative thinker could never give them. Either because that person would occasionally admit that the other side had a good point or because they wouldn’t simply want to plow the same field over and over again.
The Moar You Know
Having the Oxycontin-steeped boyfucker at the New York Times would be a gift from God. Times readers don’t listen to him, never have, and I think it would be a real wakeup call for them to read the vile slander he spreads about more than half of America.
#2 won, but I’ll add – he’s not a right-winger, he’s a conservative.
a conservative (in thought and actions, if not by identity)
Ah, John. Conservative qualities are personal, not political. Political Conservatives are about identity ONLY, all that "thought and action" stuff is just a wish list of qualities to use as sheepskin.
You still believe that Liberals are defined by the strawmen that Right constructs, and that Conservatives are actually what their labeling suggests.
I hate to think what would have to be done to convince you, finally, fully and utterly that America is Liberal and Liberal is the right way to be. The previous Greatest Generation had to get hit hard in the face by the Right before they "got" liberalism.
I feel your pain over the past week, or rather, see it. You were completely Conned and damaged your nation–which you clearly love–by your beliefs, and there was never any "there" there. There is nothing to return to.
The Grand Panjandrum
As I wrote in yesterday’s thread reference Kristol getting the boot I do believe Bacevich would be an excellent choice. My other choice’s would be Matt Taibbi or P.J. O’Rourke who can both bring the funny when they are on.
As someone else pointed out, why not Jane Hamsher of the Left? It would make reading BJ an even more delightful experience to catch Cole’s reaction.
@aimai: Seconded. The Times and Newsweek are the Bennigans of the news industry. They look exotic and exciting and they’re covered in flare, but at the end of the day, you’re still just getting a hamburger and a milkshake.
If Bennigans started selling Indian food or began aggressively peddling tofu, they’d have scared off what customer base they had left before they collapsed.
The news magazines can survive on intelligent and original content. It scares people, or pisses them off.
Why not? Because he’s a conservative.
Can someone please explain why they think my hometown newspaper, The NY Times, needs another conservative columnist? They already have David Brooks.
Please reference that this city voted for Obama by more than 80%. I can’t see that a real strong demand for conservatives, or for their viewpoints to have any more representation on the Op-Ed page than they already have.
We’ve got Krugman on the economics watch. What we really need is a liberal columnist with foreign policy expertise to complement the economics coverage, and balance out Friedman’s neo-con apologist idiocy. Sam Powers would have been perfect if Obama hadn’t tapped her for State already.
OT, R.I.P. John Updike.
Amongst the discussions of who needs to fill a slot that I don’t comprehend the reasons for its very existence, how on earth does McMegan even enter the conversation? She’s a flyweight. I don’t even know that she can be described as up-and-coming, with regards to whether she’ll ever achieve beetleweight, but to give her a prominant national podium for her drivel seems outright insane. She’d done nothing to earn consideration.
Now, if they set up a point-counterpoint column ala Ackroyd-Curtain with Glenzilla and McMegan, I’d freaking buy courtside season tickets.
That is all.
re. #13, very sad news:-( Updike was a cornerstone of modern American lit, and wrote some of my favorite books and short stories.
What, I’m just "someone" now? For shame!
Bacevich has a fine mind, and would be an outstanding choice — especially if allowed more space than a columnist usually gets.
Well, the part of me that is actually interested in reading intelligent conservative opinion is hoping for Larison.
But the part of me that enjoys reading "Sadly, No!" is hoping for McMegan. :-)
Seriously, just to put this as plainly as possible, the New York Times advertisers are targeting: New Yorkers.
New Yorkers are mostly liberal. And the New York Times readers are mostly liberal, even the ones who don’t live in New York.
Why the fuck would anyone think adding another conservative to the Op-Ed roster is a way to get more New Yorkers to buy the paper?
This is yet another reason why newspapers are losing money: failing to cater to their readers and the advertisers who want to reach them.
Allow me to suggest Rod Dreher, author of the Crunchy Conservative blog at Beliefnet. Anyone else agree?
It seems Kristol was hired to be the NYT’s Alan Colmes. C’mon guys, get a conservative people can respect.
Glennzilla would be an excellent choice (although I’d prefer to see a woman get the slot). I second that nom.
Wile E. Quixote
Sorry, but David Brooks and Andrew Bacevich are not even in the same league. David Brooks is a useless fucking twat; another dipshit conservative who has never done anything in his life except be a conservative journalist. Brook is just another untalented hack from the village. Ditto for Frum, McArdle, Douthat and Larison. None of these people have ever held real jobs or been out in the real world doing anything of significance.
Bacevich on the other hand spent 20+ years in the army and served in Vietnam and Europe (in the 11th ACR no less). He has a PhD and is a professor at Boston University. I’ve heard him speak and read one of this books, "The New American Militarism" and he is brilliant. I would love to see Bacevich as an NYT columnist, it would be nice to have someone writing columns on foreign policy who had actually served his country and done something real with his life instead of just bouncing around between various jobs in journalism and posts at think tanks.
Unfortunately Bacevich probably won’t get the job because he’s way too smart, instead it will go to one of the hacks listed above or someone similar. I do have to say that I love the idea of Matt Taibbi getting the job, but there’s no way that the Times would hire someone who is famous for calling bullshit on the villagers, most notably Thomas Friedman and for pointing out the incompetence of the editors at the Times for letting Friedman write the nonsense that he does.
What on earth are they smoking over at The Corner?!?
Why not Bacevich? Because he isn’t a hack. And OPED pages are littered with hacks and/or people whose posts get forwarded around the net with outrage/adulation . They don’t want regular contributions by people with carefully thought out and carefully worded pieces. They want the print equivalent of sound bites.
I think they are really looking for someone demonstrably Republican (as opposed to conservative) that the Republican politicians and the Republican talking-head yahoos would think was one of their own. After all if this is a real conservative – with a capital C – they wouldn’t necessarily agree with Republicans. The NYTimes doesn’t want to be accused of liberal media bias – at least more than they already are.
Personally, get rid of all OPED pages and editorial commentary in the papers.
Wile E. Quixote:
I fail to see the problem here. Given your description, Brooks is a flawless representative of the conservative viewpoint.
Once again, as a New Yorker, I don’t want to read another conservative asshole on the Op-Ed page. And I’m probably fairly representative of the audience the New York Times advertisers are trying to reach.
(Yes, I’ll concede that Bacevich, unlike most cons, is a principled man and would be a valuable addition to the Times. Let’s bring him in to replace Friedman. In the meantime, I want a bona fide liberal to replace Kristol.)
Another thing going for Andrew Bacevich that it doesn’t appear any one has mentioned up thread, and that is regardless of whether he is conservative or liberal one of the best things he has going for him is that he is from outside the beltway/NYC pundit echo chamber and can bring a fresh voice and view to the debate of the issues of the day.
By the way, does anyone know how we can e-mail Abe Rosenthal or whatever his name is at the NYT who will make that decision?
Wile E. Quixote
Glenn Greenwald would be awesome too. But he’s too smart and too mean to the villagers for the editors at the Times. As far as McArdle goes can anyone point to anything of substance that she’s ever written? She’s a flyweight compared to the rest of the Atlantic staff, her blog consists of nothing more than complaints about her personal life (she wrote a huge post about her experiences getting her washer fixed at Sears and another one about her ordeal in getting her driver’s license renewed (which, if she hadn’t been such a huge fucking drama queen about it would have been no ordeal at all)) and ignorant posts like the one that Greenwald took her to task for the other day.
McArdle’s blog is what Andrew Sullivan’s blog would be like if Sully (I’m a fan BTW) did nothing except write about The Pet Shop Boys (I’m a fan of them too, and I’ll have you know that there are thousands of other straight men like me who are fans. There are thousands of us damnit!), his beagles and how difficult it was to clear back hair out of his shower drain.
I don’t know, I think that someone at The Atlantic was seeing little starbursts when McArdle was hired. Given her blog’s utter lack of anything even resembling coherent content as of late I’m sure that she’s going to be "severing ties" with The Atlantic any day now.
I don’t think the Times should get cute with it. They really shouldn’t try to pigeon hole someone who isn’t readily identifiable with mainstream American conservatism into the post. And to that end Bacevich, Larison, McMegan (also because she’s just lazy), etc. would be bad fits, IMO.
Personally I’d lean towards Frum or Douthat. I don’t agree with them very much, if ever, but both of them give you the sense that they’re arguing in good faith, attempting to be intellectually honest, and that they take their work very seriously. Which, I think, is basically all you can really ask for in an Op-Ed columnist. Other than writing ability obviously.
Bacevich would be a great replacement for Tommy Suck On This though.
Not a bad idea! If they’d go that direction, I nominate Betty Cracker for the McSmacking. The mind boggles….
Speaking as an owner, twats aren’t useless, especially ones that are fucking. They bear absolutely no resemblance to David Brooks.
I will tell you why not: too many uncomfortable truths.
Bacevich is the great uniter, but not of the mainstream Democrats and Republicans who are two peas of a pod.
Bacevich unites the progessives, paleocons and libertarians on foreign policy.
Point taken. "Useless fucking twit" would have been a better description and the way I would have formulated it, had it originated with me.
I was hoping you’d comment on Larison’s dissection of Obama FP channeling Bacevich.
Wile E. Quixote:
They certainly kick Billy Joel’s slack, pudgy, ass.
The best idea I’ve heard for the open slot is the one that I saw ~ a year ago, right before or once they had hired Kristol. Instead of picking a single columnist to bring together the wisdom of others on a variety of subjects, instead pick an issue, like the environment or domestic economy or foreign relations, whatever seems most important in the upcoming 3 months, and pick an expert in that field. There’s no particular reason to pick a single person to cover all subjects when you can pick multiple people. It allows for expert coverage of issues with a bit of time to go into detail of that subject.
I suggested something similiar a day or two ago in another thread on this topic: that they could try giving the slot to various bloggers in one to three month increments – like Josh Marshall, Jane Hamsher, Glenn Greenwald, et. al.
The idea of doing it with experts in a given field is pretty good too. I could get behind either idea.
Wile E. Quixote
You’re right. I apologize. How about
"David Brooks is a useless mass of noisome sewage wrapped in a pencil-necked sack of human skin?"
Can someone please explain the love for Megan McArdle in certain circles? From what little I know of her, she seems to be affable, but she also has blogs devoted to attacking her. Hell, it seems like half of the comments after one of her own blogs are devoted to trashing her and her thoughts.
Anyway, I mention this every time one of these threads pops up, but I really like the idea of The Times hiring some unabashedly conservative/libertarian intellectual who will, as Jack Shafer of Slate has suggested, will cause the Upper West Side readership of The Times to spit out their lattes every time a column about the wonders of something like racial profiling is written. Shafer has suggested someone like the Manhattan Institute’s Heather McDonald, among others. (I mention her specifically because I know she’s written columns in support of racial profiling, among other things, and know that sort of topic is both pertinent and bound to cause controversy if supported so casually.) I really don’t know who would fit this bill, but I’m for hiring people of all stripes, from the radical left to the radical right, to write columns as long as they are well written and intellectually honest. This seems like both the right intellectual strategy (better discussion) and the right business strategy (more page hits and possibly more copies sold) for the paper to pursue.
McArdle used to blog as "Jane Galt". For this reason, she will always have the love of Randian cultists. And really, is there any other kind of Randian?
It never fails to boggle the mind that there are people in the world who actually think referencing Ayn Rand is some sort of intellectual signifier, but so be it. Such people are McArdle’s fan base.
Mike in NC
Here in this little corner of the south, there’s a local "newspaper" (Sun News of Myrtle Beach) that runs Malkin, Krauthammer, and O’Reilly among other imbeciles on a weekly basis. Brooks and Frum would qualify as bleeding hearts. Must have something to do with the unusually large number of wingnuts in SC.
It has nothing to do with political orientation. Bacevich is smart, extremely accomplished intellectually, and, therefore, independent-minded. He tends to be conservative, but that is because he has thought himself to such positions.
Thought is not the point of the NYT editorial page. I would think everyone understood that by now.
I’d love to read Bacevich in the NYT but…
I will not be able to do so without remembering the fate of his son, who joined the USArmy and was killed in Iraq.
It’s my understanding that the son was asthmatic, but determined to follow in his father’s footsteps by joining the USArmy.
It’s my understanding that the father, EVEN AS HE DENOUNCED THE IRAQ WAR AS ILLEGAL AND IMMORAL,
pulled some strings to get his son into the USArmy.
Excuse me, but what the hell???
I have a couple of sons and there is no way in hell I would allow them to volunteer for the USArmy in the midst of an immoral and illegal shooting war. I might not be able to stop them, but I would sure as hell try.
I simply cannot understand how Andrew Bacevich behaved towards his son.
And if I’ve got my facts wrong about this tragic story, I would appreciate a correction.
A father let his son make his own choices and supported him.
See comment #2
headpan beat me to it.
Wile E. Quixote
Well it’s my understanding that you like to fellate dead goats. It’s my understanding that you also want to be the meat in a sweaty Karl Rove/Rush Limbaugh manwich.
If I’ve got my facts wrong about your tragic, dead-goat fellating, meat in Rove/Limbaugh manwich, ways I would appreciate a correction.
Just in case the sarcasm went over your head what I’m trying to say is shut the fuck up. I’m sick and tired of scum and morons trying to pass off big lies by associating them with small facts. Your statement was no different than the wingnuts who said shit like "It’s my understanding that since his father was a Muslim Barack Obama is a Muslim too" or "It’s my understanding that a CBO report shows that President Obama’s stimulus package won’t do any good because it won’t be spent until 2011".
In your case you take two facts, that is to say that Andrew J. Bacevich was asthmatic and determined to follow his father’s footsteps and join the Army and then, via the magic of the phrase, "it is my understanding" join them with your bullshit assertion that Bacevich Sr. pulled strings to get his son in for some nefarious reason, thus producing a nasty smear that allows you to seem as if you are actually contributing something of substance to the discussion instead of just being completely and totally full of shit. This is the kind of thing the wingnuts were doing when they said "Barack Obama’s father is a Muslim" (fact) and then said "it is my understanding that therefore his son is a Muslim too" (apparently because Islam is hereditary or some goddamned thing) (bullshit). Or like what the wingnuts just did with the supposed CBO report about the inefficacy of the proposed stimulus package. The only truth in their statements was that there was a CBO report.
It’s my understanding that anyone who does this sort of thing should, regardless of political affiliation, be beaten to within an inch of their lives with a two foot length of rubber hose filled with lead shot because it’s my understanding that they’d look really good bleeding in a gutter.
Oh, and it’s not "USArmy", it’s "US Army", cretin.
Given what a bang-up job they’ve done of choosing women columnists — Collins, MoDo — I’m not so sure about that.
It suddenly occurs to me that the reason Douthat removed white supremacist Steve Sailer’s site from his Atlantic links list is that he has a sniff at getting the NYT job. What a sad careerist tool poor Ross is.
Bacevich would be a fantastic choice. I can’t think of another person whose views on foreign policy MUST be thrown into the national dialogue as much as Mr. Bacevich.
He might be too much of heretic for the Times though.