Syndicated columnist makes no sense

Question: I am curious about how you determine the frequency of which available syndicated columnists get printed. Lately, it seems as though the less sense a columnists makes, the more he gets print. I refer specifically to the recent Thomas Sowell articles which range from "Right Wing Apologist + Excuse Maker" to "Outer Limits Nonsense Babbling."

The Sowell column of Jan. 25 about "Liberals running out of poor people" was the corker that dumbfounded me. I can only surmise that the editors making the decisions are following the World Wrestling Federation's business philosophy of "The more outrageous, the more paying customers!" -- Ed Deiter, Spokane

Answer: First, for the record, I choose the columns. If there's blame to be assigned, it's mine alone. I appreciate the fact that you don't think much of columnist Thomas Sowell, who is a conservative economist, philosopher and author at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. I think he has something important to add to our opinion pages, partly because he often takes an unorthodox approach. One person's originality is another's outer limits nonsense babbling, I suppose.

In answer to your original question, though, among those syndicated columnists we use on a regular basis, they show up approximately weekly, depending on a variety of considerations that include their vacation schedules and the timeliness and relevance of the issues they choose to address. Five of Sowell's columns have appeared since we began running them a month ago. In the same period, David Broder and Ellen Goodman both have appeared seven times, Cal Thomas four times, and James Pinkerton, Kathleen Parker, Leonard Pitts Jr. and Molly Ivins, three times each. -- Doug Floyd, editorial page editor

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