Have you spent your Friday wondering why New York Times columnist David Brooks gets to publish a column about smoking pot in his youth and why that experience shows that the drug should be illegal? Alternatively, did you spend this past December contemplating The Thought Leader, and wondering just what exactly Brooks was getting at in his earlier, reasonably bizarre column? And, again, why that was published in the paper of record?
Here’s a hint: It’s working out pretty well!
That’s as of 3 p.m. Friday. At that time, the Brooks column is also the paper’s third most blogged story, and the third most tweeted story in the past 24 hours. Sure, a whole lot of the blogging and tweeting might be of the head-slapping, face-palming variety. But from the perspective of the traffic-counters at The New York Times, these confounding Brooks columns sure are working. And as Nicholas “No More D” Kristof tweeted Thursday, Times columnists know when their stories create some buzz. There is a reason trolling exists, after all.