He May Be Unwelcome, but We’ll Survive
By CLARK HOYT
Published: January 13, 2008
IN 1972, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, was looking for a conservative columnist for his left-leaning Op-Ed page.
But, as described in “The Trust,” the authoritative history of the family that has controlled The Times for more than a century, Sulzberger neglected to involve John Oakes, his cousin and the editor of the editorial page, in the decision. Oakes was appalled when he heard about the negotiations, and not realizing it was too late, offered alternatives. How about Irving Kristol, he suggested.
More than 35 years later, Sulzberger’s son, Arthur Jr. — this time in full partnership with his editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal — has hired another conservative columnist for their left-leaning Op-Ed page: Irving Kristol’s son, William.
The choice of Safire, who retired in 2005, set off a storm of protest. “The Times could have saved themselves about 50 grand a year if they just sent an office boy over to the White House to pick up the press releases,” fumed Nicholas von Hoffman of The Washington Post. Kristol’s appointment has not fared any better.
Of the nearly 700 messages I have received since Kristol’s selection was announced — more than half of them before he ever wrote a word for The Times — exactly one praised the choice.
That was probably James Carville. You know, the guy who wrote the judge in the Plame case and said all kinds of nice things about Scooter Libby.
Hey--here's a clue--when you get it wrong as completely and utterly as Kristol and when you blow your first column by confusing Michelle Malkin with Michael Medved--you should probably fire the person who doesn't have the common decency to quit out of abject shame.