So, it’s now official: Bono, long rumored to be replacing Bill Kristol on The New York Times’s op-ed page, has been invited to write columns (and produce podcasts) for the paper. Starting with a column this Sunday (bloody Sunday).
Whether or not the singer/rocker/activist is actually taking the conservative pundit’s Times slot, we can expect Bono’s contributions to the paper to be more Kristofian than Kristolian. As the Times had it in a press release this morning, “Bono has been a leader in the fight against AIDS and poverty in Africa since his initial involvement in the debt cancellation campaign of 1998, when he began lobbying governments across the G8 to free poor countries from odious debts so they could spend more on health and education.”
So: does Bono deserve his elevation—is today a beautiful day? Bono’s promotion (in every sense of the word) will likely get some push-back as too gimmicky for the pages of the paper of record…but let’s see what he writes before making an assessment. For my money, anyone who can keep world poverty in the minds of the American public deserves the benefit of the doubt. There’s a good chance that the Times, in an activist like Bono, has found just what it’s been looking for.Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.