March 11, 2009

And the new NYT columnist is: Ross Douthat!



Peter Hoh said...


Host with the Most said...

Ann, who's happy?

Some "conservative"! From the Times own notice:

His writing steers away from partisanship — he frequently criticizes Republicans — or doctrine, showing a concern for income inequality that is usually the terrain of more liberal writers. On abortion, he said in an interview, “I’m sort of a squishy pro-lifer,” interested in finding areas of compromise. He initially favored the war in Iraq, but later opposed it.

So, yawn and basically -

Exactly what the fuck will be different at the Times Opinion Department the day before Douthat starts from the day after he is first published?

Not an ounce of shit's worth of difference. The New York "Fuck America" Times is never going to embrace a true conservative. And they had plenty of Bloggers to choose from.

Hell, now there's going to 2 David Brooks at the Times!

Simon said...

Given that their second choice was Eli Stone, I'll take it.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Sorry NYT, I know you're trying to show how balanced you are, but you're still a liberal brand to me. And not an interesting type of liberal either. The type that writes a story on a woman so "poor" she can't afford this season's designer jeans, without a touch of sarcasm.

Frankly, you're predictable and out of touch. And someone writing on the opinion page isn't going to be editing the bulk of your stories, where your problem lies.

So I'll stick to my NY Post and you have fun paying off all that debt.

Host with the Most said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Host with the Most said...

And to illustrate the mental disability of the Times Publisher when it comes to identifying actual political conservatives in America, here's an example of something that every conservative - hell, most of America if it were written about - is actually concerned about:

(and it's written by an actual conservative - Oh, look, New York Times, they found one!)

Who has Obama nominated to fill the number two position that Eric Holder held in the prior administration? His nominee for deputy attorney general is David Ogden, another lawyer from the Clinton Justice Department. Ogden has represented clients like Penthouse and PHE (the nation’s largest distributor of hardcore pornography) in numerous obscenity cases, opposing any attempts to limit the production and distribution of pornography. Ogden opposed pornography filters in public libraries and fought requiring pornographers to verify that their models were over 18. He seems to believe that not only should children have access to pornography in public libraries, but they should be able to make it, too. Even more disturbing, he has argued repeatedly that there should be virtually no limits on abortion and has been a leading opponent of parental notification in abortion cases. In fact, he argued in a brief that abortion rarely causes any psychological or emotional problems — abortion provides women with “feelings of relief and happiness.”

You won't see this in the New York "What's a consirvuhtif?" Times.

Peter Hoh said...

I assume that Douthat will be the youngest of the NYT columnists, but by how many years?

Host, I think you are missing something. A knee-jerk partisan conservative is not going to accomplish anything of note at the NYT. See Kristol, Bill.

Mark Daniels said...

Don't really know much about him. The only columnist I read with any regularity is David Brooks, precisely because, as Marc Ambinder pointed out in his piece on Douthat, he isn't predictable. I would add that Brooks also thinks. Hopefully, Douthat will as well.

Host with the Most said...

Why not?

Every one of the other Opinion Columnists are knee-jerk liberals - there's not a micrometer of shit's difference between them.

Blow, Charles
Cohen, Roger
Collins, Gail
Dowd Maureen
Friedman, Thomas
Herbert, Bob
Kristof, Nicolas
Krugman, Paul
Rich, Frank

And as to Kristol: Please!

There are any number of cogent, extremely well written conservative bloggers, some of whom are actual writers and journalists - Hugh Hewitt comes to mind - that would actually open up some minds in the Times readership.

You're brilliant Peter.

But flat wrong this time.

Jen Bradford said...

I haven't read much by him, but think he's great on bloggingheads, Thoughtful, knowledgable and not arrogant, from what I've seen. So yay.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Douthat is just a Northeast establishment hack. He might have some differences with Brooks, and he definitely has some differences with their other columnists, but he's still just an establishment hack.

He knows what the score is, and for the rest he's completely clueless. The last thing he'd ever do is, for instance, take the NYT to task for their constant support for illegal activity.

traditionalguy said...

Is he intellectually honest? Does he acknowledge that two contradictory "story lines" cannot both be correct without more explanation of the contradiction than just saying everybody has a right to an opinion.

Chip Ahoy said...

Cool name, an imperative.

Daryl said...

The NYT could do a hell of a lot worse than Douthat.

We all know it has, in the past, many, many, many times.

It almost makes me NOT want the NYT to go bankrupt. ALMOST.

Palladian said...

Oh, the New York Times? They're still publishing? Fancy that...

What, they hired someone to write for them?

Who cares anymore?

Revenant said...

It isn't going to cause me to start reading NYT op-eds. Then again I can't imagine what would; if there's one thing the internet isn't short on, it is opinions.

reader_iam said...

How many of you heard of Ross Douthat before this post?

How many of you have EVER read anything he's written over the last 6-7-so years, much less read him over time (especially important given his age--because, y'know, all of us, in any work, any career, start out & then develop)? If you didn't, upon seeing Althouse's post, did you research or just start jerking?

How many of you actually have a leg to stand on?

(And I assume you've told your own kids they should be prepared: If they're not 100% orthodox AND they're under 30--no leeway for them! By golly, you'll be first in line to tell them they're either a) yawningly boring or b) the sort of shit that'll never be considered real by... well, whomever.)

Blah. Blah. Blah.

blake said...


I think the issue is less with Douthat than the Times, really. The point isn't that Douthat is 100% partisan but that the NYT employs plenty of 100% partisans for the other side.

How much does the Times have to do to demonstrate its party loyalty before people are allowed to dismiss its actions as cynical attempts at plausibly deniable "objectivity"?

If WorldNetDaily hires (heh) Althouse to write OpEds, does that make them any less contemptible?

Anonymous said...

Ross Douthat's pretty good. Maybe someone will start reading that old rag again.

Mr. Forward said...

"The New York Times"?

There used to be a newspaper by that name.

Simon said...

reader_iam said...
"How many of you heard of Ross Douthat before this post?"

My impression had been that most of the regulars here watch BHTV, and he is (or used to be) a regular on that. He's also got a book out and his blog is fairly high-profile, so I think it's likely people know something of him. (For my part, I've not only heard of and read him, he's linked to a post I wrote. ;))

KCFleming said...

When a car is heading over a cliff, the decision to take on another passenger seems absurd.

Ross Douthat is either hopelessly naive, failing to see the NYT as merely the DNC's very own Pravda (well, he is 29), or a beltway big government Republican like Noonan, who likes to be invited to the best parties.

No matter; his reasons are his own. The NYT remains meaningless to me anyway, so I'll read Douhat just as often as I read Krugman, which is not at all.

Simon said...

Marc Ambinder accuses Douthatt of having "the intellectual honesty of his frequent sparring partner, Andrew Sullivan." Ouch!

John Henry said...

As a Douthat partisan, Ambinder's quip about Sullivan was painful. For the record, no, Douthat did not question Trig Palin's paternity, did not fall in love with Barack Obama, initially supported Palin quite strongly (even floating her name prior to the nomination) prior to the CBS interviews when he was as dismayed as anybody with common sense would be, and does not change his mind on a dime and start villifying everyone he agreed with five minutes ago.

Other than that, maybe Douthat and Sullivan are quite similar.

The Dude said...

They still print the NYT? What a waste of prime pulp.

Lem Ozuna from the Braves said...

Ross Douthat?
Dippity Doo-Dah
Doing the Fisk?
Wrap the fish.
How do you feel?
Zip.. zero nada

MadisonMan said...

My happiness is not controlled by either (1) who is writing for the NYTimes or (2) what is written in the NYTimes.

The last columnist I enjoyed with William Safire, when he wrote about language. Did those columns make me happy? Not really, but I found them interesting.

Invisible Man said...

I think I can speak for most of the "intellecutal conservatives" who follow this blog and say:

Joe the Plumber was robbed!

Original Mike said...


dreams said...

I'm looking forward to the NY Times bankruptcy.

KCFleming said...

Cute, Mr. Invisible.

Rather, one would guess that a NYT 'conservative columnist' should expect the same shelf life as a Spinal Tap drummer or bottom tier NFL coach.

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SteveR said...

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Has all the markings of a Carlos Slim pick.

kjbe said...

On happieness and the NYT - what MM said.

As for Douthat, with whom I respect though often don't agree (via the The Atlantic), he'll be an improvement over Kristol.

Lem Ozuna from the Braves said...

I'm looking forward to the NY Times bankruptcy.

The NYT is too stuffy to fail.

Ken Pidcock said...

Yeah. Douthat is a serious young social conservative. I expect that his columns will be worth reading, which is too rare these days.

Love the way too predictable NYT bashing here. Like a bunch of kids bitchin' about the principal.

Salamandyr said...

Douthat's a good writer, and serious thinker. But considering the NYT's biases, it's downright embarrassing that they pick their "house conservative" on how much he agrees with liberals.

Host with the Most said...

Love the way too predictable NYT bashing here. Like a bunch of kids bitchin' about the principal.

That analogy would work if the New York Times had authority over our lives.

Instead, it has authority over the lives of the people who currently run our country.

Sort of like the Superintendent of the School District.

Henry said...

The best Times columnists don't write for the opinion page.

John Tierney in the Science pages.

Dave Anderson in the Sports pages.

The constantly engaging City Room blog.

In the opinion pages, Kristol was, frankly, boring. Douthat has to be an improvement.

I really don't care about the politics of any of the columnists -- if they can put forward an interesting viewpoint backed up with an open, but rigorous mind, then they're doing their job. If they put up predictable hackwork with a partisan grasp of the facts, then they aren't.

So, admittedly, most of them I ignore.

Jon said...

peter hoh said: Host, I think you are missing something. A knee-jerk partisan conservative is not going to accomplish anything of note at the NYT. See Kristol, Bill.

Kristol is a partisan, but he's no conservative. He's a classic neocon: Hawkish on foreign policy but moderate to liberal on most else. Hence his longtime support for McCain.

Titusworkitworkitworkit said...

Excited by someone writing in a newspaper? No.

I have no idea who Ross Douthat is?

Is his name pronounced Doo that like did you Doo that? And if you did did he have a big hog?

Trooper York said...

Who is Russ Douchehat?

KCFleming said...

Who is Russ Douchehat?

John Galt's little sister, who majored in Social Justice.

paul a'barge said...



I'll not read him.

NYT, please hurry up and fail.

Bob From Ohio said...

Before TrigTrootherism and my Atlantic boycot, I read Douthat's blog every so often. I found his writing pedestrian.

I read his book. The history first half was fairly good but the policy second half was bad.

He never called out his Atlantic mate Crazy Andi for his TrigTrootherism so is dead to me in any event. Being the NYT pet conservative won't revive him.

I disagree that Brook, the other pet "conservative" is in fact conservative. For instance, he supports gay marriage, is pro abortion, opposed the Bush tax cuts. How many conservatives hit that trifecta?

Douthat is one of those over-rated and annoying young writers (The New Brat Pack) who always refer to the others by their first names only (Ross, Matt, Will, Ezra, Megan)as they build up their hits by discussing the others mewings.

I am tired of the NY/Beltway tribe of conservatives. The fact that National Review likes him is not an endorsement.

I hope he is getting paid well though. Anything to hurt the enemy's bottom line.

Host with the Most said...

I disagree that Brook, the other pet "conservative" is in fact conservative. For instance, he supports gay marriage, is pro abortion, opposed the Bush tax cuts. How many conservatives hit that trifecta?


The sad truth:
1) David Brooks David Brooks is no longer a "conservative" by any reasonable stretch. He is immensely talented, and possibly the sharpest observer of American socio-political-religious life that we have living in America today. His problem is in his poor political solutions to his keen observations.

2) The New York Times is still the overall best edited and thorough newspaper/webpaper in the world - except for it's politizing of it's regular news coverage.
It's publisher and several of it's editorial board are actual enemies of a Democratic Republic United States and her Constitution.

Anonymous said...

Step 1) Attack Rush Limbaugh/conservative talk radio. Step 2) Get offered a plum job at the NY Times. So that's how it works! You're a sly one, Ross.

former law student said...


I doubt that.

Or do I do that?

Anthony said...

His writing steers away from partisanship — he frequently criticizes Republicans. . .

I wonder if they would ever say this about a Democrat who criticizes other Democrats?

Yes, that was rhetorical.

The Exalted said...

sometimes, i think the times hires the most obviously intellectually weak and dishonest conservatives possible so as to discredit the brand. see safire, brooks, tierney, kristol.

they would cement this theory by hiring easterbrook, asshat extraordinaire.

rcocean said...

Just another reason NOT to read the NYT's OpEd page. But the MSM all read it. So now Ross Dounut will every liberal website will be quoting him and he'll be appearing on NPR/PBS in the "reasonable" conservative slot.

Why was he selected? Easy.

1) Liberals like him.
2) He's "reasonable" - i.e he's mild mannered, nuanced, and full of ambiguity
3) Except when he criticizes Coulter, Rush, Delay, Palin, Reagan, Buchanan, Gingrich as being too 'extreme"
4) He's elitist and dilikes populism.
5) He seems wishy-washy or liberal on all the issues dear to the NYT's. Illegal immigration, affirmative action, trade deficits, Israel,
internationalism, Iraq, PC, government spending, fighting "racism" etc.

Lyle said...

Ross Douthat is David Brooks #2 with a bit of religion thrown in.

I've always thought him to have a weak voice. He's surrounded by liberals, and is too afraid to get in their face and tell them what's what.

I wish him well, and will continue to read him, but he's not a strong voice for much of anything.