Oh, That Sam Tanenhaus!

It appears that Sam Tanenhaus will be expanding his editing duties to the Week in Review section, which he will also be editing. Apparently, one section isn’t enough for good old Sammy Boy. Bill Keller hopes to work Tanenhaus to death until he leaves the paper. Keller writes, “I can’t wait to see what creative energy he will bring to the continual reinventing of the Week in Review.” Now that’s quite cruel — the kind of thing I expect from someone dousing salt on the participants in a snail race and then shouting, “Go go go!” as the competitors dissolve just before the finish line. I actually felt sorry for Tanenhaus, until I was reminded by Jim Sleeper that Tanenhaus can’t stop prioritizing demagoguery before debate. Really, just about the best thing that Tanenhaus can do under these circumstances is throw in the towel and go back to working on the Buckley bio. It’s clear that’s where his true passion lies.

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  1. Over at litkicks the argument is that this appointment is a prelude to Tanenhaus’ turning over the NYTBR editorship to somebody else. I’m inclined to think he’ll stay with the Week In Review job. Let’s face it: nobody under the age of 40 (apart from the handful who saw the Thank You For Smoking film) has ever heard of Christopher Buckley, much less his dad. Ergo, a bio of old Bill would sell about 3500 copies to retirees and then sink, with its author, into what old Bob Ingersoll called the tongueless silence of the dreamless dust. Actually, Sam’s about the right guy to steer the Times’ editorial policy toward what is its obvious direction in the Keller/Punch Jr era: a kinder, gentler neoconservatism, minus all those grumpy graceless embarrassing figureheads like Podhoretz.

    The question, then, is who’ll run the NYTBR. The foolish money would be on Laura Miller, but no way will the NYT ever make a gal an editor who used to run the cash register at Good Vibrations in bondage gear. I’d say Dwight Garner.

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