Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Great! Can we get rid of David Brooks, too?

From today's New York Times:
Safire Will Give Up Op-Ed Page Column

William Safire, an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times since 1973, will write his final column for the page on Jan. 24, the paper announced yesterday.

Mr. Safire, however, will continue to write his Sunday column, On Language, which has appeared in The Times Magazine since 1979.

Mr. Safire, 74, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary in 1978. Before joining The Times, he served as a senior White House speechwriter for President Richard M. Nixon. He had worked for Mr. Nixon's presidential campaign, and before that had been vice president of a public relations firm and then president of his own firm.

Mr. Safire used his column on language as the springboard for 15 books on the subject, including "The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time: Wit and Wisdom From the Popular 'On Language' Column in The New York Times Magazine," which was published in July by Simon & Schuster. He is also the author of 10 other works of fiction and nonfiction.
No reason is given for Safire taking this welcome, long sought after step. I assume, given his age, that he's retiring.

Note: I have nothing against the Times giving space to conservative columnists. And I understand that it would be impolitic for them to edit what their columnists write. But still, when it comes to Safire and Brooks, they have for so long descended into incoherent hackery, almost a parody of true conservative thought, that I can't but rejoice that Safire, at least, will soon be gone.

I'm sure one could, and many do, criticize the Times's liberal columnists, such as Bob Herbert, Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd, Tom Friedman, and Nick Kristof. And that's fine. They're public figures, and what they write, at least, is fair game. And I doubt many people have taken Safire seriously over the past few years since he became such a myopic cheerleader for the unnecessary and disastrous war in Iraq. I don't wish him any personal ill - I hope he has a long and healthy retirement - but I'm glad he will not be spewing his nonsense on the pages of my daily newspaper much longer. I also hope the Times replaces him with a conservative worthy of the space, one who will consider the evidence in its entirety and not simply spin his side because it's his side.
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