Bill Keller Asks For, Receives Feedback on His First Op-Ed Column

The former New York Times executive editor courts Twitter in his role as columnist

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Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller debuted a new bi-weekly op-ed column on Monday: what he called on Twitter "an attempt at a reasonable take on Obama." The piece explores why the nation had such high hopes for Barack Obama as a new president, why so many have turned away from him, and what Obama has done and must do to regain control of his image. He concludes: "Yes, Obama could do better. But we could do a lot worse." There's nothing terribly radical in the text, but Keller called for feedback on Twitter and he sure got it. Heritage Foundation communications director Roy Cooper wrote, "Surprised NY Times didn't include the 'Dear Barack' & 'Love Bill' in the @nytkeller op/ed today." A reader tweeting under the handle rstilskin wrote "Good balance but you totally ignored the rightward drift of American media. Naturally." But most of the best responses dealt with specific lines in Keller's piece. As Keerthik Sasidharan pointed out, the piece was full of "neat one liners." A lot picked up that closing line, but others stood out. Simpson College media professor Brian Steffen wrote, "@nytkeller on 'how it became a consensus of the commentariat that @BarackObama is in danger of being 1-term president.' " And seizing on Keller's estimation of Congress having the "approval rating of bedbugs," Michael Fullilove, a historian at Australia's Lowy Institute, called out Keller's true bias: "You have an obvious anti-bedbug slant."

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