I Am the Very Model of a New York Times Contrarian

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/02/12/i-am-the-very-model-of-a-new-y.html


Since the ditty doesn’t reference a horror of lady parts I will assume its subject isn’t “Cardinal” Ross Douthat. That leaves me with David “Bobo” Brooks, whose mendacious career is based on making a certain subset of affluent and selfish Boomers feel good about abandoning their youthful ideals and screwing over their kids after they embraced movement conservatism.


What, never?


My eagerness to stand up for the powerful is frightening,
I’m always showing up when a sepulcher needs some whitening,

Good shit, that doggerel. It tweaks really well the sophisticated sheen that covers so many cowardly rotting bourgeois hearts.


I’m a sucker for a nice parodic bit of iambic octameter, but I gotta say, Slate calling someone out for contrarianism is breathtaking in its trollishness–and I’d expect no less from the people who practically invented trolling their own audiences.

Was this supposed to be about Brooks? I’m guessing they tried to poach him–he really would be perfect for them–and this is the sour grapes.


I’m going to go with Bret Stephens, since all the articles linked from the text are his.


Thanks. Didn’t notice the links. That makes even more sense.


No, never!


I wish Atrios would tag his damned posts. He keeps a running tally, e.g.:

Good god.

1 Like

Add a back beat and someone spitting into a microphone and its gold

Well…Hardly Ever…


breath-taking in its troll-ish-ness
This phrase fits the meter admirably!

I truly don’t understand how Douthat gets any column space on NYT. He’s just so consistently, monstrously, idiotic/insipid. Is it that the NYT feels compelled to show the GOP perspective and they’re trolling the GOP by portraying that perspective in the silliest way possible? Or is it just lack of selectivity: “Guys, we have to hire a conservative-- does it really matter which one we pick?” All I know is, every time I read him, all I can think is “How does this guy have a job?”

As for Brooks, the best parody that ever existed of him was on The Tarfu Report podcast (now deceased, due to Matt Taibbi’s virtual exile). If you’ve never heard Brooks on helium or have never heard a Brooks column turned into a drinking game, you haven’t lived. Tuners and spinners, indeed.

Wow. To be placed in the Words Never Previously Uttered file.


last couple of douthat columns

the only one I recall reading was “Let’s ban porn”. (and it was awful)

I prefer Krugman.


I was amazed at how well this all scanned. I’ve read parodies of Modern Major General before and usually by the third verse they’re exhausted and start putting in lines that are clearly wrong.



Yes, even for a diversity/balance hire Cardinal Douthat very bad – Jesuits-laughing-you-out-of-the-room bad, as the columns @jerwin posted demonstrate. I don’t think the NYT is using him to troll, I just think he had the right pedigree (schools, connections) to get a job that should have gone to a more competent and less embarrassing apologist for prudery and authoritarianism.

I love the thought of Bobo on helium, telling his audience that embracing authoritarianism and greed is peachy keen as long as selling out gives you enough money to buy a sheen of “authenticity.”


The word ‘contrarian’ is exactly what I’ve been trying to bring into focus lately, as I read everything from op-eds to movie reviews. Let’s move past that frame, please…


as far as diversity hires go, it’s not as bad as Ed Rogers.

I think the only obligation incumbent upon the conservative columnists at the new york times is to be interesting. And unless Tom Friedman is your definition of an “interesting man”, I don’t think they are filling that remit.


Yup, Matthew Dessem’s Slate piece dropped shortly after this piece of NYT editorial garbage blew up on Twitter…


Agreed, but I’m mentally substituting foul for vile in line six so the syllables add up (hypocritical having one more syllable than quadratical).

1 Like