April 26, 2017

"The NYT's new columnist defends his views on Arabs, Black Lives Matter, campus rape."

"It’s a decision that infuriated many of the paper’s liberal readers. [Bret] Stephens may be a vocal critic of Donald Trump, but his views are firmly right-wing...."

Meet your newest conservative NYT columnist, joining Ross Douthat and David Brooks.

I have to add the tag Bret Stephens and publish this post so I can click on it and see what I've said about him over the years. Hang on a sec....

ADDED: I've got 2 old posts tagged Bret Stephens:

1. April 28, 2015: I posted about a column of his that was called " "Hillary’s Cynical Song of Self/The Clintons are counting on America to digest their ethical lapses the way a python swallows a goat." I said:
Does Stephens's analogy function properly? He isn't saying Americans will be able to do the equivalent of slowly digesting the a goat, only imagining that Clinton's people must be hoping that will happen. But the slow digesting can only occur if the goat is swallowed. The python performs 2 tricks: swallowing the goat and digesting the goat. The swallowing must come first. Without the swallowing, the devastating evidence is preserved....
2. April 15, 2014: I just quote something he writes and call it "very sarcastic." It's:
No, what we need as the Republican nominee in 2016 is a man of more glaring disqualifications. Someone so nakedly unacceptable to the overwhelming majority of sane Americans that only the GOP could think of nominating him. This man is Rand Paul....

38 comments:

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

To get a con gal in there, they shoulda snagged Kim Strassel.

Michael K said...

Stephens is an unrepentant Trump hater.

NO wonder he is there.

AReasonableMan said...

I have read Stephens for years in the WSJ, he is hardest of hard core neocons. Any war in the ME is a good war. Not an interesting writer in general and I rarely make it through a complete column.

Ross Douthat, on the other hand, has become a very good writer. His last column was a very upbeat assessment of Trump's first 100 days.

buwaya said...

I will believe the NYT has turned over a new leaf when they hire Mark Steyn.

I will believe the LAT has turned over a new leaf when they hire Steve Sailer.

And the New Yorker when they commission an article by Angelo Codevilla.

rcocean said...

Stephens is a fraud - he's no "conservative". He's an "Invade the world, invite the world" libertarian/one worlder. He doesn't have an ounce of patriotism in him.

Anything that helps Wall Street, the super-rich and the Big Business he's in favor of it. He's only conservative on the minor, sympbolic issues that no one in power really cares about.

He's the perfect uni-party columnist. At WSJ today, at the NYT tomorrow.

Ann Althouse said...

They need at least one person who likes Trump and will defend him.

But they clearly want tame conservatives.

Ann Althouse said...

I find the NYT conservatives so bland and pompous. I rarely read them.

The NYT could hire ANYONE to do columns. They have their choice of the very best. That makes me SO critical of what they offer up.

And I am a longtime subscriber. By longtime, I mean more or less half a century.

Big Mike said...

Brooks is not a conservative. He is a liberal's notion of what a "proper" conservative ought to be like. Rand Paul combines an insane level of isolationism with very good ideas on the economy (or so conservative economists tell me) and a doctor's perspective on healthcare reform. Stephens seems to be a jackass.

AReasonableMan said...

Ann Althouse said...
But they clearly want tame conservatives.


Stephens is tame in the same sense that Judith Miller was tame, more war. Not my idea of tame.

Otto said...

"And I am a longtime subscriber." You could have fooled me.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"I find the NYT conservatives so bland and pompous. I rarely read them."

Duh.

You like your pompous conservatives to be lively like DJT, Drudge and Rush.

rcocean said...

"That makes me SO critical of what they offer up."

Judging by their reader comments, you seem to be a minority. From what I can tell, a certain % of the readers are mad as hell that ANY conservative is in the paper, and another large % will only accept a conservative who's "reasonable" - aka accepts their most cherished liberal assumptions (immigration, diversity, free trade, etc.) and will just peck along the edges.

Ross Doughnut was supposed to represent a totally new, diverse, viewpoint (Catholic, Religious, Conservative) but he's so boring and harmless, I don't read him.

rcocean said...

IRC, Bill Safire was first "Conservative" columnist the NYT's hired. And of course, Bill wasn't really a conservative, he called himself a moderate and a libertarian, and voted for Clinton in 1992.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
Stephens is an unrepentant Trump hater.


This is not an entirely accurate portrayal. Stephens hated the America First Trump who was running for election. Stephens has warmed up to the new Bombs Away Trump who is now president.

rcocean said...

I never understood why the New York Times didn't go for Jonah Goldberg, he seems like a natural fit for them. Maybe, he didn't have the pomposity needed.

buwaya puti said...

Rush is pompous?
He makes pomposity into a joke. He is ironically pompous. He makes a point of laughing at it at the opening of every show.

Drudge never gives more than a hint of his opinions on anything. I don't see pomposity merely in the editorial selections on his page.

I guess pomposity is in the eye of the beholder.

buwaya puti said...

Goldberg called them fascists.
And he did a very thorough job of it too, Goldbergs finest hour.

David Baker said...

"Judging by their reader comments..."

Opposing comments are blocked, or censored.

But back when David Brooks was added, their discussion forums were wide open. Which became too much for them to take because people like me were calling Brooks out, so they shut all the forums down - till they reorganized. And I haven't been able to get a word in edgewise ever since.

Luke Lea said...

On climate change alarmism, campus rape epidemic myth, Black Lives Matter, he looks like a sensible choice to me. Long overdue.

Bay Area Guy said...

I like Stephens, but he's still confused over Trump.

The NYTimes should hire Althouse or Lazlo.

Gahrie said...

This man is Rand Paul....

Maybe if he gets a personality transplant........

Gahrie said...

And I am a longtime subscriber.(of the NYT) By longtime, I mean more or less half a century.

This is all you need to say the next time someone doubts that you are a Leftwinger.....

The Godfather said...

When I was in college in the first half of the '60's (that includes both JFK and Goldwater) I read the NYT for the NEWS and that's what I got. Their news coverage was very good and balanced. Their opinion pages were dreck then and super-dreck now, but they used to give you the news straight. Not any more. I finally stopped my Sunday-only subscription to the NYT in the late '90's, when there was no longer any hope.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Seeking diversity, NYT editorial page wants anti-Trump opinion from left, right, and center.

Sebastian said...
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Sebastian said...
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Sebastian said...

"But they clearly want tame conservatives." True. And even those are too much for the prog readership.

Which leaves the question why they bother. Why not just give up the charade?

To be fair and balanced, the WSJ wants tame liberals. Galston, Blinder, I'm looking at you.

Mark Jones said...

Yeah, I concur. "Tame" conservative.

He's going to accomplish nothing while he's busy spending every other sentence bowing and scraping to liberal orthodoxy. Well, I suppose he might get readers stirred up and thereby sell a few more papers, but not many more. He'll be too busy with a (vain) effort to prove that he's still fit for polite society by only ever approaching any disagreement with leftist groupthink in the most timid, milquetoast fashion possible to actually open any minds, much less change them.

Michael K said...

" Stephens has warmed up to the new Bombs Away Trump who is now president."

I doubt you could notice but he hasn't.

William said...

I read the Vox interview. I don't see how anyone, left or right, could get too worked up about the views he expressed......The only op-ed writer in the Times that I go out of my way to read is Maureen Dowd--not because I agree with her but because I enjoy her zingers. I actively avoid Krugman. Even for an economist, he's a dull writer.......I wonder if Stephens will ever make a Times reader think twice about any of their opinions. Maybe they'll just avoid him like I do Krugman.

Bob Loblaw said...

Brooks is not a conservative.

He's sort of tepidly socially conservative. Sort of. But he is a Republican party guy, and Times readers don't realize these are separate characteristics.

Krumhorn said...

Climate change isn't just "overblown", its outright fraud. The NYT couldn't be bothered to hire anyone who will directly confront the scam.

- Krumhorn

roesch/voltaire said...

Althouse wants to see a columnist who will support the Trump agenda; I think that quite telling about her idea of what passes for critical political writing these days-- it must be either or. I, on the other hand, don't object to Stephens no matter the supposed temperature of his conservative bent is as long as he brings a critical mind, and some level of historical evidence to the issues. For example I read Brooks, not so much as a representative of "the" conservative position, but more a someone who writes about morals and culture--I found his column on The Strange Persistence of Guilt insightful and worth the read.

Amadeus 48 said...

I don't read the New York Times, and I am not going to start now. That's why I read Althouse. She does the dirty work for me.

I enjoyed Bret Stephens at the WSJ. He was a journalism wunderkind of sorts, becoming the editor of the Jerusalem Post at the age of 29. His columns for the WSJ were intelligent and critical from a globalist perspective. He had no patience for Donald Trump because of what Stephens saw as Trump's essential, unrealistic parochialism. I doubt that viewpoint has changed much.

I'll miss Bret at the WSJ.

J. Farmer said...

Once again, the usefulness of the liberal/conservative dichotomy has broken down. Stephens is an internationalist and is fully on board with the elitist desires for importing more cheap labor and engaging in more dumb military adventurism abroad. If you can get through it, Stephens' 2014 America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder is a useful primer on this sort of mentality. Spoiler alert: the real problem with American foreign policy is we're not intervening, invading, and bombing enough. So the NYT has signed a columnist who will brow beat Trump over his good positions (e.g. immigration, trade) and will cheer for Trump's worst instincts (e.g. resorts to dumb militarism). Great.

Swede said...

Brooks is to conservatism what particle board is to wood.

A cheap, fake imitation.

khesanh0802 said...

Although I have really been angry about Stephens' writings on Trump I have found his previous writing and observation excellent. Many of his worries about Trump are valid, but I think he lost his way there. I don't think he will last long at the NYT. He is too bright, too knowledgeable and too ethical to be unfazed by the pressure he will be under from the rest of the editorial board. Unless the editorial board - and customer base - is reconstructed, Stephens will be somewhere the customers will be more appreciative of his talents and point of view in short order.

David Brooks seems to be more about self-promotion than a seriously conservative thinker.

khesanh0802 said...

@3rd gradePB Kim Strassel is probably the best, most consistent editorial writer currently at the WSJ. Jenkins is right up there as well. The rest are pretty soft and squishy. Noonan shot her wad last fall and has returned to her old ways. Stassel and Jenkins give me food for thought almost every week.