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Packer Praises New Times Columnist

George Packer, staff writer for The New Yorker, praises on his blog the choice of conservative wunderkind Ross Douthat for The New York Times op-ed page, saying that the choice was essentially "an admission and correction of a mistake" (the mistake being Douthat’s predecessor, William Kristol). Packer also had choice words for most of the Times' other op-ed columnists who "seem unable to contend with the earthquake rolling under our feet" and "have almost without exception fallen back on the comfort of well-worn stances and personality tics." Tom Friedman, Packer argues, puts too much faith in elites; Dowd's latest column bordered on "self-parody"; and Frank Rich puts on "a weekly display of rhetorical bravura and cheap shots."