The announcement of Mr. Douthat's hiring says it all about what constitutes a "conservative" in the world of The New York Times.
According to the Columbia Journalism Review, the Atlantic's Ross Douthat will be the new token conservative (David Brooks DOES NOT count!) on The New York Times op-ed page.
Mr. Douthat is young, smart and kind of conservative. Some where between David I Hate Rush Frum and mainstream conservative Republicans like Mitt Romney or Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.
Mr. Douthat has been a contributor to National Review and usually writes movie reviews for the venerable conservative magazine.
However, like everything else at The New York Times, this comes too little too late. And there is no guarantee that once David Brooks sinks his smarmy, moderate teeth in his neck that he will not end up another, well David Brooks. Or worse, David I Hate Rush Frum!
And if you read the link, the Times is not letting Mr. Douthat dive right in. The Times is starting Mr. Douthat online and let him gradually in the dead tree editions. You know, kind letting the libertards acquire the Douthat taste.
My question is will there BE a dead tree edition of The New York Times for Mr. Douthat to go to eventually?
Well, at least the Times did not ask David I Hate Rush Frum. So, that is a step in the right direction.