Bono the musician is slated to write 10 op-eds for the New York Times next year, Radar reports. It may be as a balance to the right of centre Bill Kristol. Bono has had practice, being the editor in chief of the "red" edition of the London Independent (which by all reports, was pretty well-read, if not well written.)
Of course, in belt-tightening times, it's important to note that the ink of the high-holy U2 crooner comes free of charge: "Nothing," said Rosenthal of Bono's pay rate, noting that the Irish millionaire will muse on Africa, poverty, and, importantly, the music of Frank Sinatra. And while Bono may seem an odd choice for such a contract, Rosenthal did mention his current obsession with learning the guitar, and even shuffled freshly downloaded riff tablature together with his lecture notes. And though Rosenthal didn't announce any other celeb contributors, he did allude to re-recruiting the pen of Queen guitarist Brian May, who just earned his doctorate in astrophysics, and expressed admiration for previous opinion writers Bruce Springsteen and Larry David.
Of actual journalists, Rosenthal said he admired the work of the Atlantic's Megan McArdle and the National Review's Byron York.
Which is all fine and well, but are there former contributors Rosenthal doesn't like? "Condoleezza Rice is a particularly bad op-ed writer." And Tom Wolfe tends to write very long. So no Rice, less than Wolfe, and more in the spirit of Bono. Given that the Times' opinion pages could be the most competitive 800 words in journalism, any other pointers on how to make sure a fledgling contributor's submission will get printed? "Take a position in support of any Republican you care to name," the editor joshed. But it's a fine line, he noted with a smile: "The problem with conservative columnists," said Rosenthal, "is that many of them lie in print."