I Am the Very Model of a New York Times Contrarian


Seriously? Criticising the Times for their “diversity” columnists? Have some perspective on one of the last great news organizations, we don’t have many left. Perfect? Certainly not, not even in the news sections. But this kind of nitpicking that God forbid they give opinion space to someone you disagree is pretty sad. I sometimes lurk on a conservative forum just to see what they’re talking about. Last time it was why weren’t the Lib Media reporting the fact that Michelle Obama was really a man. It helps if one can differentiate the reasoned opposition from the batshit crazy ones.

I’ve never understood why some people wish to destroy the thing closest to their ideal because it’s not perfect. It reminds me of the hate some musical theater people had for Smash, the only TV show ever about musical theater, because they disagreed with the lead casting. The glass is fucking 7/8 full people!


Conservatives: We need more war and to hurt poor people.

NYT: You make sure that at least 50% of your generals are women and your food stamp replacement boxes need to contain organic produce.


I think you are misunderstanding how close people are to the opinions of these columnists.

Politics isn’t a left and right spectrum. There were plenty of people out there who would have voted for Trump or Sanders sooner than they would have voted for Clinton or Jeb Bush.

I’ll reference the now-classic primary flowchart:

Many of us here are down on that left fork arguing it was the banks, not the Mexicans. These guys are on the right fork arguing that women aren’t people*. That’s not 7/8 of the way to my position, it’s the same odious bigotry but in an alternate reality.

*I realize that none of them are arguing that. I’m using comical phrasing to say they’d probably really like president Kasich. Of course, like most jokes, I 100% mean what I said.


If you spend all your time attacking people who mostly agree with you, the people you completely disagree with are unscathed. But then, the people who mostly agree actually care what you think, so it’s more gratifying I guess.


Yes. I’m not all that familiar with Stephens, but do you really think that Ross Douthat and David Brooks have, respectively, the writing talent or intellectual integrity of their more liberal colleagues on the op-ed page?* They attempt to take a reasoned tone but, to a critical reader, their arguments are consistently based in either bad faith or delusion or both.

[* In re: writing talent, it’s worth noting that Friedman isn’t considered a liberal]


I have a pretty low opinion of most of them but for Krugman, and even he gets tiresome occasionally. Gail Collins is simply unreadable, she’s nowhere near as witty as she thinks she is. It’s opinion, so I take it for what it’s worth.


I only wrote a couple of paragraphs so I thought you could probably read to the end before responding, but I’ll make it even shorter:

I don’t agree with these guys AT ALL.


Who, all the Times columnists? All their reporters? Both?


So wait, this whole time you’ve been telling me I mostly agree with people, you didn’t know who you were telling me I mostly agreed with?

I thought we were discussing those columnists mocked by the original post. The “diversity of opinion” hires.


Accepting that view, don’t you think the NYT could come up with one better conservative counterpoint columnist to him? Instead, they present us with Cardinal Douthat and Bobo.


No, why would you agree with them? I’m talking about the general treatment of the moderate liberal media (and moderate liberals) by those to their left. @gracchus, no I don’t agonize that they could do better, they could do better on the liberal side too. Rolling Stone has better political columnists.


Okay, that seems extremely unclear from your original post where you said:

The OP doesn’t say, “Fuck the new york times, burn them to the ground” it mocked the “diversity columnists”. You appeared to take issue with mocking the “diversity columnists”. I have an issue with the “diversity columnists”.

The idea we shouldn’t criticize the organization in any way because we broadly agree with the importance of journalism is bizarre. Should I not tell my friend that I think they may have a drinking problem because it’s a bad idea to point out flaws in someone I mostly agree with?


Speaking as someone on the far left who wanted Bernie as a compromise candidate between the left wing and the Democrats:

Why do you think that I mostly agree with someone like Hillary or these “diversity columnists”? They’re like work-to-rule liberals, seemingly only doing the absolute minimum required to avoid being a conservative. Yes, I might get equal rights under Hillary as president, but I wouldn’t bet money on it happening before I die (and I’m about half her age). In Europe they would be in conservative and Christian Democrat territory, as would most of the people in the US who describe themselves as “moderate”.

She was only the least shit candidate capable of winning the presidential election in 2016. The only reason people want to give her a free pass is because the alternative was far worse.

And before you ask, I did say that voting for Hillary was the better option when Bernie conceded. I can’t help that Hillary’s own ideological purity was so rigid that she alienated the left wing.


They could, but in addition to Krugman they have Blow and Egan on the liberal side – three solid and honest writers. There’s not one conservative columnist of all the 14 opinion columnists who matches any of those three in terms of quality.

Speaking as a moderate liberal myself, I see that. While I have serious criticisms of the Times (e.g. the Style section, their conduct in the leadup to the invasion of Iraq) I do maintain that they’re operating in better faith than most other American MSM outlets.

What’s being discussed here is something different, though: the Times’ tendency to do (needless) “ideological diversity” hires based on the writers’ ability to (cynically) affect a reasonable and polite tone and their possession of a stamp of approval (undeserved) from the media-industrial complex.

Friedman, Dowd, Bruni, and others on the ostensibly liberal side got their spots the same way, but they’re not the “contrarians” and conservatives being discussed here and mocked in the song.


Apparently not.


I did not mean these diversity columnists at all as I already made clear. As for Hilary: yes, when you look at the big picture of environment, human rights, civil rights, and even economics to a large extent you do agree with most of what she said compared to what Republicans say. This focus on the difference between the far left and moderate left candidates is what lost the election in 2000 and in 2016. In both cases the far left was far more focused on their disappointments during 8 years of moderate left government rather than the horrors of what a GOP administration would bring, and did bring.






Wow, what happened to her that she’d go from dating and defending Aaron Swartz to getting buddy-buddy with a Nazi like Weev and proudly bragging about it? I know she’s a bit of a sensationalist, but this is a bit much.


If Hillary wanted to break my arm, while Trump wanted to cut my legs off with a chainsaw, I’d agree with her too.

It doesn’t make it a good idea though.

And what did she do to try to win their votes? She ignored them. She belittled them. She drove them away. Instead she tried chasing after right wing floating voters who didn’t give her the support she needed in the states she needed to win.

I keep saying that we need something to vote for and not someone to vote against, otherwise you end up with an alienated electorate. That is how the Democrats lost the 2016 election, and they would do well to learn their lesson well before 2020.

Please learn it, please! No-one here wants another four years of Trump/Pence.


This is exactly the kind of over-the-top rhetoric that I’m talking about. When you incite this kind of intra-party violent imagery and excessively focus on differences rather than commonalities then it’s a very difficult to recover and unite in the general election. I would have voted for ANYBODY on the Democratic ticket rather than let the GOP get a supreme court seat. How anyone not Republican could feel differently is beyond me.