Andy Rosenthal, the New York Times Editorial Editor, had this to say in response to an online question about why the Times has no “serious” female columnists:

I would be the last person alive to suggest that Maureen Dowd and Gail Collins are not serious columnists. They are indeed, very serious.

The last time I saw Rosenthal call someone “serious” was when he said this about Bill Kristol, who had just been given an Op-Ed Column:

The idea that The New York Times is giving voice to a guy who is a serious, respected conservative intellectual — and somehow that’s a bad thing. How intolerant is that?”

Kristol, remember, is the “serious, respected conservative intellectual” who met Sarah Palin during a stopover in Juneau on a Weekly Standard cruise, and was so impressed with her that he went back to Washington and became one of her biggest cheerleaders. As for whether Palin herself is a serious, respected intellectual, we’ll have to check with Rosenthal about that.

3 Responses to “Seriously?”

  1. wordnerd says:

    Is SERIOUS a good thing, Mr. Rosenthal?

  2. Carol says:

    I bet he thinks Keith Gessen is serious. (ref. nnyhav’s comment on out-hipstering the hipsters).

  3. dc says:

    Carol: I gather that you don’t?

    I wouldn’t be so sure about Rosenthal. He was more or less my boss for about 6 months. He may be fatuous and self-satisfied, but he’s not pretentious. One reason he can think of Kristol as a serious intellectual is because he probably does not think of himself as an intellectual, and my guess is that he views high brow art and literature with a fair amount of suspicion. I seem to remember that he was an Elmore Leonard fan (not that Elmore Leonard and high brow lit are mutually exclusive, and not that I think “high brow” is a very useful label).

    I’ve never read Gessen, or taken more than a quick glance at n+1, so I’ll refrain from taking a position on his seriousness myself. He seems to genuinely care about writing and books, so more power to him.

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