In what can only be interpreted as another blow to media balance & fairness, the New York Times has refused to guarantee that another conservative would replace fired columnist Bill Kristol.
On Monday, it was announced that Kristol's gig with the New York Times had come to an abrupt end. My colleague, Noel Sheppard, quoting a report in the Daily Beast, noted the conflicting and contradictory reports about the supposed reason for Kristol's firing. He quoted one source as saying “His conservative ideas were cutting edge and influential,” I was told. “But his sloppy writing and failure to fact check what he wrote made us queasy.”
But, as Noel also pointed out in his column, the Times sure doesn't seem to have a problem with the sloppy writing and fact checking of other columnists, like Paul Krugman.
Whatever the pretext, Kristol is now out as conservative voice at the Times and speculation has begun regarding his replacement. Mark Krikorian at NRO runs through the potential list:
Frum's top pick is Heather Mac Donald, Harvey Mansfield suggests our own Victor Hanson or Jonah, Grover Norquist suggests Fred Barnes, Rod Dreher suggests Ross Douthat, Patrick Ruffini suggests Rush Limbaugh, Ben Smith from Politico suggests Seth Lipsky, and, to bring it full circle, George Packer suggests Frum.
There are no guarantees, however, that Kristol's spot will be filled by another conservative. David Brooks notwithstanding, the NYT's stable of regular columnists is filled with liberals of all sorts. One would think that, as Krikorian pointed out above, it would make the most sense to replace Kristol with another leading conservative pundit.
It goes without saying that "making sense" and providing balance are not the hallmarks of the Times.
The most distressing name being bandied about, for those few remaining conservative readers of the NYT, was suggested by NRO's media blogger, Greg Pollowitz, who also reported on the firing of Bill Kristol.
From the New York Times reporting on itself:
“It was mutual agreement,” Andrew Rosenthal, the editorial page editor, said in an interview. “We discussed this before the election, and decided that we would end now.”
As for whether The Times would find another conservative voice for its Op-Ed page, Mr. Rosenthal said: “Sadly, I can’t answer that question, except to say stay tuned. We have some interesting plans.”
Any bets? I'll put $10 in the office pool on Olbermann.
Pollowitz's suggestion that Olbermann could be Kristol's replacement comes on the heels of news that MSNBC will be replacing Olbermann's 10pm replay hour with a new personality. Some readers noted in the comments of that post, that one hour a night was probably not sufficiently capacious for Olbermann's infamous ego.
My guess is that the ego spillover from his nightly show would be more than enough to fill the column space allotted to him by the NYT.
All joking aside, it's unlikely the NYT would choose a lowly TV personality to pen a once-a-week column for the newspaper of record.