Michael Ramirez out at LAT

The editorial cartoonist that liberals love to hate, Michael Ramirez, is not part of the new Times op-ed lineup announced today by Editor of the Editorial Pages Andrés Martinez. You might consider it the flip side of the earlier news about Robert Scheer, the longtime columnist who conservatives love to hate. Both depart the Times at the end of the year. [Scheer has turned up already blogging at The Huffington Post.] They have been the most polarizing of the paper's opinion offerings; perhaps the Times feels the hit it might take from each journalist's loyalists will be offset by new readers. I know that at a lunch panel I shared with Martinez today, a call to keep Scheer's column received a round of applause from members of the League of Women Voters. Also out are more recent additions Michael McGough and David Gelertner, but Martinez made a point of wishing Scheer and Ramirez well in a Times statement issued this afternoon:

Scheer's column has appeared on the Op-Ed page of The Times since 1993, and before that he served as a Times reporter for 17 years.

"Bob is a forceful writer of strong convictions and it has been a privilege for this newspaper to publish his column for the past 12 years,"
said Martinez.

As part of the changes, Martinez also announced that the Op-Ed page will rely more on commissioned artwork and illustrations that complement articles, as well as different types of stand-alone graphics. Traditional editorial cartoons from a variety of political perspectives will still appear, but a greater variety of art will make the page more vibrant and interesting. As a result of this new direction, Michael Ramirez, The Times cartoonist since 1997, will be leaving the newspaper at the end of the year. The Times will no longer have a staff cartoonist.

"Michael is a gifted artist and a sharp political observer, and we appreciate his contributions to the page," said Martinez.

There's also big news, perhaps, in the new lineup of ten regular Times columnists that Martinez announced. Two are new to the paper: Jonah Goldberg, the conservative pundit and blogger, and Erin Aubry Kaplan, who will leave the LA Weekly to take the once-a-week contract gig at the Times. (She used to have a column at the Weekly, but recently had been a staff writer.) If you are scoring at home, four of the columnists are women; four are local. One, Patt Morrison, is on the Times staff. All except Kaplan begin in rotation next week. The daily schedule and bios from the LAT release follow:

Starting Sunday, the new weekly Op-Ed columnist lineup will be:
* Sunday: Gregory Rodriguez, Jon Chait
* Monday: Niall Ferguson
* Tuesday: Joel Stein
* Wednesday: Max Boot, Erin Aubry Kaplan
* Thursday: Jonah Goldberg, Patt Morrison
* Friday: Rosa Brooks
* Saturday: Meghan Daum

"I think we've put together a smart, original and provocative team of writers who reflect a variety of interesting and thoughtful perspectives on local, national and foreign affairs," said Times Op-Ed Page Editor Nicholas Goldberg. "A good column involves a relationship developed with readers over time, and I invite our readers to develop their relationship with these engaging minds in the weeks and months to come."

Max Boot (Wednesdays)
Max Boot is Olin Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Before joining the Council in October 2002, Boot spent eight years as a writer and editor at The Wall Street Journal, the last five years as editorial features editor.
Boot also is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard. He has written for The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs and many other publications. His last book, "The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power," was selected as one of the best books of 2002 by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor.

Rosa Brooks (Fridays)
A professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, Brooks has served as a senior advisor at the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; as a consultant to the Open Society Institute and Human Rights Watch; as a board member of Amnesty International USA; and as a lecturer at Yale Law School. She has traveled extensively and conducted field research on issues such as transitional justice in Iraq, Indonesia and Kosovo and child soldiers in Uganda and Sierra Leone.
Brooks is the author of numerous scholarly articles on international law, human rights, and the law of war. Her book, "Can Might Make Rights? The Rule of Law After Military Interventions" (with Jane Stromseth and David Wippman), will be published next year.

Jon Chait (Sundays)
Chait is a senior editor at The New Republic, where he has worked since 1995. He has written for The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Slate, Time, American Prospect and other publications. He is currently writing a book about American politics and fiscal policy scheduled to be released in 2007.

Meghan Daum (Saturdays)
Daum has written for numerous publications, including the New Yorker, Harper's, GQ, and Vogue. Her voice has been heard in commentaries and features on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" and "This American Life," and on public radio's "Marketplace."
After living for several years in New York City, Daum moved to Nebraska in 1999, where she lived on a farm and wrote the novel, "The Quality of Life Report," for which she also wrote the screenplay. In 2004, she moved to Los Angeles.

Niall Ferguson (Mondays)
Ferguson is professor of history at Harvard University, a senior research fellow of Jesus College at Oxford University and senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Ferguson's books include "Colossus;" the internationally-acclaimed "Empire," which was accompanied by a six-part British television series; the award-winning, two-volume "House of Rothschild;" "The Pity of War;" and "The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in The Modern World, 1700-2000." He was the editor of "Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals."

Jonah Goldberg (Thursdays)
A member of the USA Today Board of Contributors, Goldberg also is a contributing editor for National Review and founding editor of National Review Online, for which he writes "The Goldberg File." He is a former columnist and contributing editor for Brill's Content and former media critic for The American Enterprise. He also served as Washington columnist for the Times of London, and has written about politics and culture for the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Public Interest, the Wilson Quarterly, the Weekly Standard, Slate,, New York Post, Women's Quarterly and Food and Wine.

Erin Aubry Kaplan (Wednesdays beginning Dec. 7)
Kaplan began working full-time as a journalist in 1992 for The Times and, for a short time, for a section called City Times, where she continued covering the Crenshaw district, South Central and events affecting L.A.'s disparate black communities. She also worked for New Times Los Angeles and LA Weekly, where she wrote a column, "Cakewalk."
A widely anthologized author, Kaplan's articles have appeared in the London Independent, the Guardian,, The Crisis, Newsday, Contemporary Art Magazine, the Utne Reader and Black Enterprise. She has completed a first book, an essay collection entitled, "Views and Blues from the Edge: Dispatches from a Black Journalista."

Patt Morrison (Thursdays)
Morrison is a longtime writer and columnist for The Times, for which her work has spanned topics from national politics to the O.J. Simpson case, the Gulf War, and Britain's royal family. She participated in two of The Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning team efforts -- coverage of the 1992 riots and the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Since 1991, she has served as columnist and contributing editor for Los Angeles Times Magazine.
Morrison has won six Emmys and four Golden Mike awards as host and commentator on "Life & Times," the nightly news and current affairs program on KCET-TV. She is the author of "Rio LA, Tales from the Los Angeles River" and co-author with Cecilia Rasmussen of "Angels Walk," a series of Los Angeles historical markers and guidebooks.

Gregory Rodriguez (Sundays)
Rodriguez is a Los Angeles-based Irvine Senior Fellow at the New American Foundation, a non-partisan think thank in Washington D.C. Rodriguez has written widely on issues of race, immigration, ethnicity, politics, and American's changing demographics in a variety of publications.
His essay, "Mongrel America," which first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, was included in "The Best American Political Writing of 2003."
Rodriguez's book on how the Mexican past will shape the American future will be published simultaneously next year in English by Pantheon and in Spanish by Editorial Planeta Mexico.

Joel Stein (Tuesdays)
Stein has written a Hollywood-themed column for the Current section since early 2005. Formerly a staff writer and columnist for Time magazine, Stein wrote a dozen cover stories for the magazine on subjects as diverse as Michael Jordan, Las Vegas and the Internet bubble. He has also appeared on VH1's "ILove the Decade You Tell Me I Love," HBO's "Phoning It In" and Comedy Central's "Reel Comedy."

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