Meanwhile, the new NOLA.com reveals that it has dumped Stephanie Grace's middle-of-the-road but at least informed and relevant politics column for James Varney's act which so far appears to be a conservative talk radio style series of trolling gimmicks. In his first column, Varney visits area libraries and concludes their periodical sections are insufficiently conservative. Hilariously, Varney provides as examples of the "leftist" reading materials on display The New York Times and .... wait for it... Newsweek.
Later we get this jewel of a, "I'm not saying X but actually I'm saying X" line.
What explains this? I don't think the librarians are some conspiratorial set looking to blacklist a viewpoint. At least, I sure hope that's so.It's disingenuous of NOLA.com to sell this obvious baiting bullcrap on its opinion page. I don't object to a conservative columnist. Ideological alignment is irrelevant so long as the writer presents a genuine and thoughtful attempt at grappling with a relevant news item. For example, I enjoy Owen Courreges' column over at Uptown Messenger even though I frequently disagree with it.
What NOLA.com has done, though, is shoehorn Varney into position specifically so that they can have a "Conservative Columnist" to falsely "balance" out their opinion page. Tonight they're promising to follow up the Presidential debate with a staged argument between Varney and their ostensibly "liberal" columnist Jarvis DeBerry. I think Deberry is a fine writer, although I don't think it's accurate or helpful to label his output as categorically "liberal." But, then, he obviously agreed to play in this sandbox as well so maybe he's more comfortable with the reductive generalization than I would have assumed.
I guess, in the meantime, it's up to us to blacklist this nonsense until someone presents us with something better.