There’s no lack of ammunition, and no lack of articulate critics of the paper. What gives?
I'm not totally surprised that the feature went dormant, after going once through the obvious lineup of local bloggers and critics. If they started repeating right away, it might have seemed more like a forum for the usual suspects than a creative reaching out to new voices. (As it was, Mickey Kaus wrote the first OTT in January following discussions with Michael Kinsley about coming inside the tent as a regular Opinion writer.) When I emailed to ask what does give, Sunday Opinion Editor Bob Sipchen replied that Outside the Tent still lives. It was always meant to be an occasional feature, and he says: "We may run one this Sunday. And we remain eager to hear from even the most rabid of Times-bashers."
Not coming back, though, is author Michael Lewis. His last column for Opinion was that March 6 talker mentioning his wife, Tabitha Soren, where Lewis posited (at least in the view of his critics) that the height of male status comes from marrying a woman with a successful career and getting her to become a housewife. Sipchen acknowledged that Lewis "decided to stop writing his column for Opinion earlier this year." His bio and photo remain alongside the other columnists on the Opinion website, but the columns are inaccessible except for abstracts. He went quietly; nothing was announced to Times readers about his gig ending.