Can't the New York Times Find a Better Stale Culture-Warrior?

Let’s say you’re Ross Douthat and you’ve been hired by the New York Times to be a sort of conservative ambassador into the Times’ liberal audience. Twice a week you have 750 or so words to make your case why liberals are wrong about all sorts of stuff, from economics to social issues to foreign policy. But instead of writing a cogent, persuasive essay you write something like this:


The Unfunny Truth

It’s been a melancholy summer for social conservatives. Their movement is fighting a rearguard battle in Barack Obama’s Washington. A cluster of family-values politicians — some of whom bunked down in the same Christian-sponsored D.C. townhouse — have spent the last few months confessing to extramarital affairs. And Sarah Palin … well, you know how that’s turned out so far.

Worst of all, nobody likes Judd Apatow’s new movie.

Don’t laugh. No contemporary figure has done more than Apatow, the 41-year-old auteur of gross-out comedies, to rebrand social conservatism for a younger generation that associates it primarily with priggishness and puritanism. No recent movie has made the case for abortion look as self-evidently awful as “Knocked Up,” Apatow’s 2007 keep-the-baby farce. No movie has made saving — and saving, and saving — your virginity seem as enviable as “The 40-Year Old Virgin,” whose closing segue into connubial bliss played like an infomercial for True Love Waits.

I can only imagine the Times’ copy editors reading this while slowly shredding their own faces off with cheese graters.

“We’re paying him how much to write this shit?” they ask.


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