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Ron Radosh

Who to Pick? The New York Times Conservative Slot

January 30th, 2009 - 1:39 pm

3. David Frum. Frum, an independent minded conservative and committed Republican, has now set up his own website, www.newmajority.com, a site devoted to presenting a dialogue among conservatives about what can be done to rebuild a serious Republican alternative to the growing Democratic majority. Readers of the site know that he is fearless in criticizing sacred cows among conservatives, such as Rush Limbaugh, who yesterday Frum argued was playing an “actively dangerous” role that could condemn Republicans to a permanent minority status for decades. He wants a party that will be what he calls “businesslike, sensible” and “responsible,” and that will have resonance with the middle class. From a man like Frum, Times readers could discover a Republican with whom they might disagree, but whose argument they might learn from.

4. James Kirchick. Currently an Assistant Editor at The New Republic, Kirchick might be considered by some as too young for the choice. But he has already established himself as a first rate editorial columnist in scores of op-eds he has written for major newspapers like New York City’s Daily News and websites. Politically, he combines the stance of a moderate neo-conservative who is also known as a gay activist, who writes for Washington, D.C.’s weekly gay newspaper, The Washington Blade. Kirchick has an independent mind and handles all sorts of issues and topics in his commentaries. In an age where Barack Obama’s chief speechwriter is no older than Kirchick, the paper would do well to consider him.

5. Seth Lipsky. Seth Lipsky is a major American journalist, who singlehandedly created the English edition of The Forward, once the influential daily Jewish newspaper originally published in Yiddish. When Lipsky was ousted by its board for being too conservative, he created the now defunct daily, The New York Sun, which took the name of a paper that once had been a city institution. Created intentionally as an alternative to the liberalism of The New York Times, Lipsky often scooped the Times with stories they had to cover and attribute to the Sun. He wrote many of the paper’s editorials, as well as his own columns. Before his own endeavors he worked for years at The Wall Street Journal. It would be a touch of humility for the Times to give an editorial slot to one of its fiercest critics.

6. Cathy Young. Now an editorial columnist for The Boston Globe (a paper owned by the Times), Young would be a terrific counterpart to all the liberal feminist writers employed by the paper. She writes on women’s issues, foreign policy and cultural issues. Her writing is sharp and pointed, and she calls her own shots, and is beholden to no kind of party line. The paper could well use another women’s voice that is not the same as all the others its readers know so well.

Let’s hope that when Keller makes his announcement, his choice will be someone as good as any of the above. These are just some of the many good choices Keller and company could make.

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