Bono the Columnist

In a blog post extolling the virtues of celebrity diplomats Nicholas Kristoff recently mused, “Bono knows G-8 poverty policy issues better than I do.” Well, it seems that Kristoff will not have to travel too far to glean insights from the U2 frontman. Radar reports

Like Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter before him, New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal sees something special in a certain teensy Gaelic man who refuses to remove his sunglasses. That’s right, the Timesman announced last night his first acquisition for the paper’s Op-Ed pages for 2009: Bono. Yep, Bono. The activist-creator of Zoo TV will pen between six and ten pieces for the Grey Lady next year, Rosenthal told students Wednesday night at Columbia’s School of Journalism.

This is a very exciting development. In hiring Bono the most influential paper in the United States has essentially committed itself to consistent coverage of the global poverty beat. I, for one, hope he uses it as a bully pulpit. A new president and congress will face a multitude of pressures stemming from the global economic crisis. And there are already disturbing signs that the global anti-poverty agenda may suffer in light of this crisis.

Also, it is becoming more and more clear that American action alone cannot solve this crisis. International cooperation–particularly among the G-8 — has already proven to be a necessity. As Kristoff says, there are few on this planet who know as much about the G-8 poverty agenda as Bono. Next time they meet to discuss the economic crisis, we need someone with a megaphone speaking up for those worst affected by it. Bono is our man.