It could happen, right? They really do want alternative, intelligent, Trump-supporting columnists with considerable mainstream media experience, right?
Wanted: Columnists to say nice things about Donald Trump. Must be able to make cogent arguments in favor of the president-elect’s policies, appointees and statements. Experience preferred but not required.
It’s not an actual want ad, but it might as well be one. As they discovered during the long campaign season, the nation’s newspapers and major digital news sites — the dreaded mainstream media — are facing a shortage of people able, or more likely willing, to write opinion columns supportive of the president-elect.
Major newspapers, from The Washington Post to the New York Times, have struggled to find and publish pro-Trump columns for months. So have regional ones, such as the Des Moines Register and the Arizona Republic, which has a long history of supporting Republican candidates.
The newspapers have plenty of conservative writers, but that’s where the problem begins. Trump, who has defied traditional left-right categories, has offered something for both liberals and conservatives to dislike. The latter never believed that Trump was a true conservative; the former were revolted by his rhetoric from the start.
Hence, he has had few friends on the nation’s op-ed pages.
A case in point: The New York Times’ regular center-right columnists, Ross Douthat and David Brooks, never got behind Trump. And despite recruiting prominent conservative figures such as Glenn Beck and Erick Erickson to write guest columns, the result was largely the same. Erickson called Trump “indefensible.” The best Beck could do was to say, “Mr. Trump is not Hitler.”
It was much the same with The Post’s regular lineup of conservative voices — George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Kathleen Parker, Jennifer Rubin and Michael Gerson; none offered much support for Trump. Regular Post contributors such as Marc A. Thiessen and Ed Rogers tended to knock Hillary Clinton more than they praised Trump.
“We struggled to find voices that could advocate for Donald Trump’s ideas,” said James Bennet, the Times’ editorial-page editor. “It was really unusual. It didn’t help that the conservative intelligentsia lined up against him.” But Bennet says Trump’s campaign contributed to the imbalance: “He didn’t have the people around him who were prepared to put together his arguments” for publication.
Lynn Hicks, the Des Moines Register’s opinion editor, found a parallel at his newspaper, the largest in the swing state that wound up going for Trump. “Given that almost all of our Republican leadership in Iowa supported Trump, I kept waiting for [supportive op-ed] pieces to arrive,” Hicks said. “I’m still waiting.”
The Arizona Republic’s syndicated and staff opinion writers were all “stridently anti-Trump,” said Phil Boas, director of the paper’s editorial department. “In a normal presidential election, we would have seen a strong mix of pro-con views for Republican and Democrat candidates,” he said, “but the Republican civil war turned a lot of traditional voices on the right into opponents of the GOP nominee. . . . A number of pro-Trump readers accused us of betraying our state and its conservative ideals.”
Dear Mr. Farhi,
I am a Trump-supporting columnist. I correctly predicted both his nomination and his eventual victory. I have a daily blog that gets traffic of nearly 4 million monthly pageviews. I have been been a regular columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Atlanta Journal/Constitution, and have been nationally syndicated twice, by Chronicle Features and by Universal Press Syndicate. I have published over 500 weekly columns, and according to Amazon, I am one of the bestselling authors of political philosophy alive.
I shall eagerly await what can only be the inevitable offer of a regular column in the Washington Post.
I also sent an email to the relevant editor. I figure this will happen right around the time Mike Cernovich launches his show on NBC, Milo is elected Queen of England, and George R. R. Martin finishes A Song of Ice and Fire.