The NYT opinion page decided that a good use of its space would be to pay David Brody to run a 900-word ad for his facially preposterous new book “The Faith of Donald Trump: A Spiritual Journey.” Typical passage:
This president’s effect on our cultural norms has been shocking. His critics would call it appalling; evangelicals say it’s immensely satisfying: They’ve seen a culture deteriorate quickly in the past decade, and they’re looking for a bold culture warrior to fight for them. Showing that God does indeed have a sense of humor, He gave them Mr. Trump. Yet in God’s perfection, it’s a match made in heaven. Mr. Trump and evangelicals share a disdain for political correctness, a world seen through absolutes and a desire to see an America that embraces Judeo-Christian values again rather than rejecting them.
What exactly is the rationale for running this sort of garbage? The short answer is some nonsensical concept of promoting “intellectual diversity” instead of “censoring” ideas, even if those ideas are both completely idiotic (Donald Trump embraces Judeo-Christian [sic] values) and transparently self-serving (buy my book if you want to put down your decaf latte and understand The Heartland. JD Vance says hello). ETA: And even this basically absurd rationale isn’t something the NYT actually adheres to, since its op-ed page almost never features anything by anybody left of Paul Krugman, who wouldn’t even count as left of center in the rest of the developed world.
Censorship is a widely abused concept. For good reasons, the government shouldn’t decide what should or shouldn’t be published in society as a whole, but this principle has no application — and indeed is totally incoherent — when applied to decisions by private individuals and institutions. The New York Times has to engage in massive “censorship” every day of the year, by deciding who does and doesn’t get to publish in its pages. Part of that decision process should be guided by various considerations of quality control and indeed simple decency that ought to make the publication of something like this op-ed in the newspaper of record impossible.
Also, I want a pony.