The New York Times’ decision to hire Bret Stephens, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal columnist, is part of a larger effort to “further widen” the range of views the paper presents to readers, James Bennet, the paper’s editorial page editor, told The Huffington Post Friday.
Long a conventional conservative columnist, Stephens emerged during the 2016 campaign as liberals’ favorite writer on the right. As other conservatives lined up behind Donald Trump, Stephens wrote blistering columns in the opinion pages of Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal lambasting the Republican presidential nominee. He feuded with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Twitter. And unlike some NeverTrumpers, he still hasn’t come around to the president. That won him praise to his left — including from Bennet, who said Stephens “demonstrated his guts,” as some other conservative writers were dropping “their principles to accommodate the radically unorthodox politics of Donald Trump.”
But liberal Times readers who enthusiastically tweeted Stephens’ anti-Trump broadsides may find his other views less palatable. Stephens has dismissed climate change an “imaginary enemy.” He’s referred to the “disease of the Arab mind,” a characterization he defended as a “figure of speech not biology.” And he’s called former President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran worse than appeasing Hitle