Who's John Tierney's broker?

tierney.jpgLet me say a few good words about The New York Times’ op-ed page.

No, that wasn’t a typo.

The choice by Gail Collins and company to hire John Tierney as the replacement for William Safire caught me completely off-guard. I was convinced that Andrew Sullivan’s recent announced hiatus from regular blogging was intended to clear the way for his appointment to the Times.

Sullivan’s tone and his politics and his moral posturing, I thought, made him a shoo-in for the current op-ed page. Granted, Tierney would be a better pick, and, sure, the Times has a fairly decent history of promoting employees who’ve stuck with the company for some time. But I doubted that the Times would have the intestinal fortitude to give him such a large soapbox.

Editor & Publisher‘s story on Tierney’s appointment quotes two moderate, more secular conservatives — Debra Saunders and Jonah Goldberg — praising the decision to the skies, and two social conservatives — Cal Thomas and Kathleen Parker — saying, essentially, who the heck is this John Tierney chap, anyway?

This could create the impression that Tierney isn’t likely to, ahem, get religion, but I’ve a feeling that readers of this website will be pleasantly surprised. “The fact that he fraternizes with Chris Buckley is a good sign,” Parker told E&P.

And it is a good sign. Tierney’s friendship with novelist Christopher Buckley (son of William F. Buckley) has paid literary dividends. They’ve cowritten both The Best Case Scenario Handbook and God Is My Broker.

God Is My Broker is the story of a man who quits Wall Street to join a struggling order of monks. The story is a slight but amusing tale about how the love of money can corrupt even those who take vows of poverty. It grapples with Catholic history and doctrine in a way that either gets it right or gets it wrong in such an over the top way that it’s clearly satire.

Tierney is often described as an “iconoclast,” but I’m betting there are some icons he won’t be smashing in his new column.

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  • ECJ

    Understanding the NY Times:

    Rule 1. The NY Times is the incarnation of ultimate evil in the American Media.

    Rule 2. If the NY Times appears to be taking some positive action, always remember that the action being performed under the auspices of Rule 1.

    No, I am not paranoid.


  • Stephen A.

    I’m with ECJ – I don’t know who this is.

    Since I, along with most other Red Staters, don’t/won’t read the heavily politicized NYT, and haven’t since long before Jayson Blair and other outrages, I’ll wait to read excerpts of this guy’s work that get posted online by liberals or others with stronger constitutions than mine.

    My feelings for this paper are only slightly less visceral than ECJ’s.

    It does disturb me to consider who is praising this guy. Liberal/”moderate” praise is usually a sign that he’s a “safe” conservative, i.e., one who compromises on most issues to the point of being basically liberal in social outlook.

  • http://www.tmatt.net Terry Mattingly

    Well, I am a cultural conservative who is not a political conservative, in the old sense of the word. In other words, I am a pro-lifer with a portrait of FDR hanging above my desk.

    In the Clinton era, I wrote in the name of the late Gov. Robert Casey of Pennsylvania. Memory eternal.

    So I would like someone out there who knows Tierney’s work to crank us out some URL on his pieces on the crucial moral and cultural issues. I suspect that we have a Brooksian situation on our hands — conservative, but acceptable at New York and DC cocktail parties because his views are safely Libertarian on issues such as abortion and the redefinition of marriage. Of course, I would also assume that he strongly opposes speech codes and thought crimes.

    Anyone know from whence he hails in the post-Roe world?