TWT Names New Editorial Page Editor

After Brett Decker quit his job as TWT Editorial Page Editor in November 2012, the paper slid former controversial Editor Wes Pruden into the job. But just temporarily. True to their word, they’ve finally named a new editor to their opinion pages — it’s David Keene. He was appointed Sunday, according to a release distributed this morning. Previous editorial page editors included the now deceased Tony Blankley and Tony Snow.

Most recently, Keene stepped down as president of the National Rifle Association. He is also a former GOP presidential advisor to Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and candidates Bob Dole and Mitt Romney. He was also an aide to former Vice President to Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew.

But for anyone who feared (or hoped) that Pruden might drift back into retirement, it just isn’t happening. “The Times also announced that Editor Emeritus Wesley Pruden, who came out of retirement to reorganize the opinion pages in January, will remain in a full-time capacity directing and producing editorials,” says the release. He will also continue writing his twice-weekly column.

See a few flowery quotes from TWT CEO Larry Beasley (a.k.a. Evil Santa)…

“David has been a tireless advocate for conservatism, demonstrating time and again how the movement’s values and ideas can address the problems of the day. He’s a deep intellectual with the sharp wit, unwavering values and the endless civility needed to guide the thought leadership of Washington’s most important opinion pages,” said Larry Beasley, the president and chief executive officer of The Washington Times.

“David will bring a unique flavor and style to our opinion pages that will mirror our mission to serve a growing conservative audience,” Mr. Beasley added.

TWT‘s newly announced “editor” John Solomon also had something to say: “At a time when the conservative movement is struggling to apply its values to the challenges facing America, we are lucky to have a leader of David’s caliber, wisdom and experience shape our Opinion strategy. He is perfectly suited to craft the fresh policy ideas our readers have come to expect from the Washington Times opinion pages and to use our print, Web, TV and radio products to inspire a new generation of conservatives to find their voice, embrace innovation and reach consensus.”

The release also includes reactions from other conservatives on the Keene pick.

  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, now of CNN, called Mr. Keene “a major voice defining conservatism in America for the last generation.”
  • Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton called Mr. Keene’s appointment a “great coup for the Times. No one knows Washington better than Dave.”
  • And conservative commentator Tucker Carlson, editor of The Daily Caller, called Keene the perfect blend of intellectual and outdoorsman. “Dave Keene is one of the smartest, most principled people I know. He’s also an accomplished fly fisherman and sportsman, which is not a small thing in an age when so few people in the policy world ever go outside,” Carlson said.