Friday, December 28, 2007

WHAT DOES THE WANKING MAN WANT? MORE. That's the way it always is with these affirmative action programs. You give them the moon and they want the stars. Andrew Sullivan on Billy Kristol's new New York Times column:
He's obviously an extremely talented writer and editor, and I guess some naked partisanship on the right is necessary to balance out Krugman. But ideologically, having both David Brooks and Bill Kristol as the sole representatives of the right-of-center is to focus on a very small neocon niche in a conservative world that is currently exploding with intellectual diversity and new currents of thought. There are about five "national greatness" conservatives out there. Four of them now have columns in the WaPo or NYT: Kristol, Brooks, Krauthammer and Gerson. Thank God, I guess, for the blogosphere. We have no restrictions here, do we?
The Times adds another winger, but it's the wrong kind of winger. Eventually they'll need a fold-out section to accomodate all the different conservative gradations (closed-borders, anti-gay, bullshit libertarian, etc) the committee requires, and that isn't even taking into account all the free dispatches Michael Yon will demand the Times run when the eschaton is immanentized.

I don't understand how these guys sustain this level of cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, they're constantly announcing the irrelevance of the MSM. On the other, they lobby the Times to staff up with their buddies, as if the paper were some kind of government public works project that isn't keeping up with mandated rightwing hiring quotas.

In Sullivan's case, it may be a form of schizophrenia that comes from being a longtime credentialed magazine writer -- an establishment figure, in other words -- who is also a prominent member of the blogosphere, which is like indie cred for poli-sci nerds and, like all indie cred among the successful, must be maintained by occasional professions that one is Still Down for the Struggle ("There go my cable invites"). As for the rest of them, I reckon they're just full of shit.

Meantime, for added giggles, check out New York Times Op Ed columnist Glenn Reynolds professing surprise that the Times gave Jonah Goldberg a kind review.

UPDATE. Commenter psuedonymous in nc points out that the Times Book Review editor, Sam Tanenhaus, is a self-proclaimed "Man of the Right." Tanenhaus was recently appointed to edit the paper's Week in Review, too. Clearly such tokenism cuts little ice with conservatives. But I caution them: when the last Sulzberger is strangled with the entrails of Bob Herbert, they'll have to find some other publication at which to shake their fists. Maybe they can redirect their followers' Bookmark of Perpetual Outrage to the Huffington Post. But conservatives are famously lovers of tradition and may find the transition difficult. Well, they'll always have Walter Duranty.

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