I don’t know how aware readers are of this, but in the deep depression that has afflicted the political journalism field (or at least those of its members who have to make a living at it) for lo these many years, the recent meteors of new investment– the Chris Hughes takeover at The New Republic,the Bezos acquisition of WaPo, the Pierre Omidyar First Look enterprise–and most importantly the new ventures being begun by Nate Silver and Ezra Klein–have offered at least momentary hope. And the ripple effect of sudden job mobility has been pretty exciting, if somewhat pathetically desperate.
The latest ripple is the announcement by the New York Times that it has hired away columnist Josh Barro from Business Insider to help fill the void left by FiveThirtyEight’s departure.
Alert readers may remember that Josh was one of the writers profiled by Ryan Cooper in the May/June issue of the Washington Monthly as “reformish conservatives,” Ryan’s way of saying they represented some healthy new thinking on the Right but only to one degree or another. By now I don’t know if conservatives would claim Josh, or vice versa. But he’s a fine writer, and will enliven the Times site even as he’s created another job opportunity at his old haunt.