Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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David Frum ’82, ’82MA

Since the days when his Reagan-era undergraduate views graced the opinion pages of the Yale Daily News, David Frum ’82, ’82MA, has stood out as a conservative thinker and writer. Editor and columnist at the Wall Street Journal and the National Review, speechwriter for George W. Bush ’68 (credited with coining the phrase “axis of evil”), Frum declares himself “dedicated to the modernization and renewal of the Republican party and the conservative movement.” But that modernist bent makes Frum suspect in the eyes of some on the right—including the American Enterprise Institute, which recently canned him as a resident fellow after Frum proclaimed hard-line Republican opposition to health care reform to be the party’s “Waterloo.”

Like another fired Yalie of the Week pundit, however, Frum bounced back. On Easter Sunday he was on CNN, criticizing Fox News: “Fox, like Limbaugh, has an interest in pushing the Republicans to the margins, making people angry. When people are angry and alienated, they don’t vote.” Two days later, he told Washington Post readers in an online chat: “Extremism in pursuit of liberty is a serious vice.” Does that mean Frum is fraternizing with the enemy? Fear not. Richard Vigilante ’78—who says he has known Frum “since Yale where we hung out with all the other elitist conservative conspirators who now run the world”—sees no sign “that David even a little bit craves the company or approval of liberals. … All the evidence in our extensive files suggests he doesn’t like them very much.”

Filed under Graduate School, journalism, fired
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