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Ron Radosh

Who to Pick? The New York Times Conservative Slot

January 30th, 2009 - 1:39 pm

Who will fill the conservative slot on The New York Times op-ed page, now that the paper has not renewed Bill Kristol’s contract?  With a way out of sync predominance of left to liberal op-ed page regulars (Paul Krugman, Nicholas Kristoff, Bob Herbert, Maureen Dowd and Tom Friedman and on Sundays Frank Rich ) the once highly regarded “paper of record” desperately needs a conservative of note and import to restore a semblance of balance to its editorial pages.

There has been a great deal of speculation on conservative websites about who will get the coveted post, a person who will appear once or twice a week alongside the liberal’s favorite conservative, David Brooks. Brooks is a first rate writer, a man of intelligence and grace. But his own unique brand of conservatism is considered by many conservatives to be so moderate that it hardly qualifies him as conservative.

So here are my suggestions for Bill Keller and the other Times editors. They are presented not in any order of preference. My list includes:

1. Victor Davis Hanson, well known to readers of PJ Media and National Review Online. Hanson is a brilliant scholar who is also a first-rate writer and observer of our national scene. A military historian of the ancient world by profession, he is able to use his knowledge of the past to shed light on our dilemmas of the present, perhaps as few other scholars can. He also writes on many different present-day issues, from culture to foreign policy to politics. I would be more than happy if the Times would consider giving Hanson a large Sunday column in “The Week in Review,” where he could have the kind of space only given to Frank Rich, and in which Hanson could have the space necessary to make a strong case for his arguments.

2. Mark Steyn. Now writing a regular column for the print version of National Review, as well as a syndicated column that appears in Canada and elsewhere, Steyn’s searing prose and sharp sense of humor has the bite and toughness that would appeal to the paper’s readers, even if they disagree with him. Recently on trial in politically correct Canada for his critique of radical Islam, America’s non conservative readers could be well served to read Steyn for the first time in our country’s major newspaper.

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