The commotion out there is the sound of Angelenos swapping their Sunday New York Times subscriptions for New York magazine, which announced this morning that it has landed longtime Times columnist Frank Rich. He’s been with the Times for 30 years, and in his new gig he’ll write monthly on politics and culture and edit a regular section anchored by his essay. That will be less frequency than his Week in Review gig, but the magazine says that he’ll be a regular commentator on NYMag.com, which is where the real competition for eyeballs will be. Rich has not had a blogging presence at the New York Times. He’ll also continue to be a creative consultant to HBO, where he is working on a pilot called “Veep” in which Julia-Louis Dreyfus will portray the vice president.
In a statement, Rich said, “I leave the paper with deep affection for both the institution and my many brilliant colleagues, and with much gratitude for the opportunity the paper gave me to serve in two dream jobs in journalism. I’ve spent much of the past year talking to friends inside and outside the Times about what might be most exciting for me next. It was impossible to top the idea of reuniting with my friend Adam Moss, who has played a crucial role in my writing life since the late eighties and who, as editor of the Times Magazine, was instrumental in my transition from arts criticism to broader essay writing. The role Adam has created for me at his revitalized New York Magazine will allow me to write with more reflection, variety, and space than is possible within the confines of a weekly newspaper column — and, for that matter, will allow me to stretch the definition of a magazine column.”
Support for PBS: The public broadcasting network commissioned a survey from a Democratic and Republican pollster showing overwhelming opposition to the elimination of government funding for public broadcasting. The survey of 804 registered voters, conducted Feb. 11-13, showed that 69% oppose the elimination of funding and 27% support. More than two thirds, or 68%, say that budget cutters should “find other places in the budget to save money.” Support for public broadcasting was greatest among Democrats, at 83%, and still healthy among independents, at 69%, but even a majority of Republicans, 56%, supported the continued funding. Almost eight in 10 voters believe that PBS should receive the same amount of government funding, or even more. The full results of the survey are here. I’m waiting to see Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who has decried the “Muppet lobby,” weigh in, but it’ll surely be something along the lines of spending taxpayer funds on surveys showing support for spending taxpayer funds.
Arnold’s Gig: In between weighing movie offers, the former governor of California is going to try to do something about the shifting sentiments toward doing something about global warming. In other words, despite huge efforts to sound the alarm, the deniers have been successful in muting the issue. At a conference today in Washington, Arnold Schwarzenegger will try to reframe the debate. Per Politico, which obtained his prepared remarks, he’s expected to say, “People believed bodybuilding would make you gay, or sterile, or muscle-bound. … Let’s face it; if we haven’t convinced the skeptics by now, we aren’t going to. … So, unless the North Pole breaks off this spring and floats up onto the north shore of Long Island, let’s move past the old arguments.”
Today: Ben Kingsley speaks at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington on “The Power of Film and the Holocaust,” in which he’ll be interviewed by NPR’s Scott Simon.