Washington Monthly takes a look at what we all know: That NYT columnist Bob Herbert just isn’t that popular. Still, they argue, he’s actually quite correct on most issues.
But the numbers don’t lie:
The numbers are on my side. Take a look in LexisNexis and see how often various New York Times columnists have been mentioned (not syndicated) in other papers this year. Thomas Friedman gets more than 3,000 mentions, and David Brooks gets 2,650. Maureen Dowd gets 1,615; Paul Krugman, 1,179; Nicholas Kristof, 805. Bob Herbert gets 533. Web sites that shape national news coverage rarely link to him. ABC’s The Note, one of the most insidery of Washington publications, has in the past few years referred to Paul Krugman 146 times, David Brooks 129 times, and Maureen Dowd 84 times. Bob Herbert? Twice.
Even liberal blogs that bemoan how liberals get outgunned by the right seldom discuss Herbert. Search the archives of Atrios and you’ll find eighty-seven references to Friedman but only fifteen to Herbert. On Talking Points Memo, a search for Dowd calls up twenty mentions. Brooks and Krugman each draw nineteen; Kristof, thirteen; and Friedman, eleven. Herbert gets three.