One of the loudest voices against President Donald Trump from The Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages is decamping for the competitor across town.
Bret Stephens, the Journal’s deputy editorial page editor, will be The New York Times’ newest op-ed columnist, both papers announced on Wednesday.
"He’s a beautiful writer who ranges across politics, international affairs, culture and business, and, for The Times, he will bring a new perspective to bear on the news," Times editorial page editor James Bennet wrote in a memo. "You can expect other additions to our lineup in coming months as we continue to broaden the range of Times debate about consequential questions. From my own conversations with Bret, and with those who have had the privilege of working with him, I can tell you he is also a generous and thoughtful colleague with a deep sense of moral purpose and adventure about our work."
Stephens, who won the 2013 Pulitzer prize for commentary, emerged throughout the election as the Journal’s resident anti-Trump conservative, often clashing with other big names on the right like Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Meanwhile, The Journal’s news pages have come under fire both internally and externally for a perceived reluctance to go after Trump. In a February town hall, the Journal’s editor-in-chief, Gerry Baker, confronted the internal critics, saying that anyone who claims the Journal has been soft on Trump is peddling "fake news," and that employees who are unhappy with the Journal’s objective, as opposed to oppositional, approach to Trump should work somewhere else.
The Journal’s editorial page editor, Paul Gigot, said in a memo he is thankful for Stephens’ 16 years with the paper.
"As a features editor in the U.S., then editorial writer and editor in Europe, and an editorial writer and columnist based in New York, he has set a standard for excellence in journalism," Gigot wrote. "He has been the page’s deputy editor supervising the international editions since 2009, and in that role he has also helped to recruit and develop many of our talented young writers and editors. I’m personally grateful to Bret for his many contributions."
In a tweet, Stephens said he is "profoundly grateful for many years at an extraordinary newspaper. Looking forward to many more years at another."