...so says Mok at Julie Saltman, whose blog showed up in referrers. Oh joy. At least Safire was sort of insane and evil in his semi-original way. Tierney, I suspect, will just obediently bark whatever line's coming out of his preferred think tanks this week, perhaps adding a sprinkling of breezy, supercilious rhetoric on top.
I mean, look, is Judge Posner or somebody really not wooable by the Times? It's hardly an accident that Krugman's one of the best current Op-Ed writers, and he's also a world-class expert in economics. Instead of tapping a senior writer whose major qualification consists of a long career cranking journalistic prose on short deadlines, get someone who's utterly brilliant, insanely prolific, and highly credentialed in a demanding field to do the Op-Ed columns. (Hence, Judge Posner.) Or, better still, get six people like that to write one column a week each, and cut down the quota for Brooks and Dowd and the gang --- and watch the intellectual quality of Op-Ed page skyrocket, both because the average brain power level will rise sharply and because the current batch of pundits won't be stretched so thin producing two columns a week. The Times Op-Ed page is prestigious enough that they could probably pay a pittance to the new writers. There might be some administrative overhead in hassling so many writers to submit their stuff on deadline, but, seriously, you could hire some administrative interns at a pittance whose sole jobs would be to hound these writers. It's eminiently doable.
Of course, it's also a freaking pipe dream, because Bill Keller's vision for the Times seems to involve making it increasingly resemble USA Today, only with a more subdued color scheme.