Douthat Moving To The New York Times

In a rare display of sound editorial judgment for the op-ed page, the New York Times has hired Atlantic editor Ross Douthat as a new opinion columnist.

It’s one step back for the Atlantic, but an order of magnitude forward for the country: my colleagues and I learned today that senior editor Ross Douthat will, in short order, become an opinion columnist for the New York Times.

Ross is late-twenties-year-old public intellectual with the sensibility of a 60-year eminence grise, the range of a Hitchens, the pitch of a conservative AJP Taylor, the conscience of a Neibuhr and the intellectual honesty of his frequent sparring partner, Andrew Sullivan.

I concur with Marc Ambinder on this. This is a particularly fine choice for the New York Times. Douthat is intelligent, creative, honest, and a fresh voice offering new applications of traditional conservative principles. I don’t agree with him on many things, but I admire his thoughtful opinions. This is a great prize for the Gray Lady.

UPDATE (James Joyner): I concur wholeheartedly and am surprised by the boldness of the choice.  Daniel Larison was my first choice but Douthat among those I suggested.   Of those, Douthat was the most likely, in that he was proven with a mainstream publication.

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Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. joe says:

    Intellectual honesty? Andrew Sullivan? I’ll have what you’re smoking.

  2. legion says:

    Well, it’s a welcome change from a born idiot like Kristol, but the Village Voice seems to feel he’s not that… serious a thinker.

  3. Paul says:

    >and the intellectual honesty of his frequent sparring partner, Andrew Sullivan.

    Talk about damning with faint praise.