I'm teaching Foundations of Rhetoric, and I'm mixing it up. We're reading contemporary theorists (Foucault, Scarry, Haraway, Butler) in the first unit. For their major assignment, I want students to take the theories we've read and apply them to the work of one newspaper/magazine columnist who writes regularly. I want them to read that person's work for the last couple of months and develop an argument about the extent to which they are an effective rhetorician using the theories we've discussed. For example, Frank Rich was the first one who came to mind. But, obviously, I want to get a range of people with some diversity. Students will choose one, and I want to give them some real choices. Politically, there is George F. Will. There's Mona Charen and Maureen Dowd.
I will fully admit my embarrassment at not being able to think of racial or ethnic diversity. Maybe Ta-Nehisi Coates? I don't know if I can get over my personal anti-Andrew Sullivan bias. Yes, I'm still holding a grudge about the whole barebacking, magic glutes things from the 1990s.
So, when you think of columnists writing regularly today, who comes to mind? Any and all ideas appreciated.