- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 29, 2000

The Boston Globe has hired two female columnists as temporary substitutes for suspended columnist Jeff Jacoby: a 37-year-old single Jewish moderate and a married Hispanic lawyer.

Jennifer Cabranes Braceres, 32, has done some columns for the Wall Street Journal and a few essays for the Independent Women's Forum, on whose board she sits.

"We're very fond of her, and we like her a lot," IWF president Grace Terzian said. Mrs. Braceres is best known as a lawyer specializing in employment discrimination law for the Boston law firm Ropes and Gray.

"Anyone who looks at my resume knows I'm conservative," she said.

Cathy Young, 37, of Middletown, N.J., writes a weekly column for the Detroit News and the Web magazines salon.com and jewishworldreview.com, and is a contributing editor for Reason magazine. Last year, she published a book, "Ceasefire: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality."

Miss Young's column will appear on Sundays; Mrs. Braceres' column will run Thursdays. They were chosen as "women at the leading edge of American conservative thought," according to a statement by Globe Editorial Page Editor Renee Loth.

National Review Senior Editor Ramesh Ponnuru disagreed with that characterization of Miss Young.

"She's very smart, she's a good columnist, but she's more of a libertarian than a conservative," he said. "She doesn't like the conservative take on the war between the sexes and she's very pro-choice on abortion. Sometimes her columns seem testy on the subject."

"Cathy's an interesting voice and should be heard. But she's not a replacement. To have an intelligent social conservative voice at the Globe she's not into that. Jeff is much more countercultural."

Mr. Jacoby, 41, was suspended July 7 because of a July 3 column describing the hardships experienced by the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The column drew from multiple sources, including essays by radio commentator Paul Harvey and Rush Limbaugh, supplemented by Mr. Jacoby's research.

Mr. Jacoby did not include a one-line disclaimer citing his sources, which led his newspaper to accuse him of "serious journalistic misconduct." He has since filed a grievance with his union, the Newspaper Guild, for reinstatement with back pay. He plans to return to work in November, but, he asked, "What sort of atmosphere will be there when I get back?"

Mr. Jacoby's plight has been the topic of numerous journalism forums. The Aug. 7 cover of Editor & Publisher, the journalism trade weekly, called him "Jack the Ripper." He did not appreciate the joke.

"That was cleverness at my expense," he said.

Mrs. Braceres, the mother of a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old and a member of the Federalist Society, is a former editor of the Harvard Law Review. She is on leave this year as a research fellow at Harvard Law School. She said the Globe was looking for a local person to fill in for Mr. Jacoby, preferably someone with a legal background.

A Republican, she plans to write on the elections and Massachusetts politics. She was a staff assistant for Vice President Dan Quayle in the early 1990s, then a research assistant for Bill Kristol, who now edits the Weekly Standard.

"On one hand, I think Jeff Jacoby is terrific and irreplaceable," Mr. Kristol said. "On the other hand, anything Jennifer Cabranes Braceres writes would be worth reading."

Miss Young is also Republican. Born in Russia, she emigrated to the United States in 1980. In 1989, she published "Growing Up in Moscow: Memories of a Soviet Girlhood." Although her family is Jewish, she says she is nonobservant.

Like Mrs. Braceres, she applied to the Globe for a brief chance to appear in a large East Coast newspaper.

"The understanding I have is Jeff Jacoby is coming back," she said. "I haven't been given any reason to believe I'll be kept on."

She also is a co-founder and vice president of Women's Freedom Network in the District of Columbia and a research fellow at the Cato Institute.

"I got a call from Renee Loth telling me she was very impressed with my columns," she said. "She seemed interested in getting an alternate voice for the editorial page. She was aware I disagreed with her on a whole range of issues."

But fellow on-line columnist Debbie Schlussel, a Detroit-based attorney and writer, has accused her of plagiarism in a fiery exchange of columns on the Web site www.jewishworldreview.com.

"She's taking advantage of Jeff Jacoby by taking his job," Miss Schlussel said. "Her columns say conservatives are wrong and that liberals are wrong, but here I am in the middle. At least Jeff Jacoby takes a stand.

"Why couldn't the Globe have chosen women like Suzanne Fields, Mona Charen or Michelle Malkin? Those people really are at the leading edge of conservative thought. Instead, they want someone who is moderate and milquetoast."

Miss Loth did not return a phone call asking to clarify her choice of the columnists. However, James Glassman, a resident fellow for the American Enterprise Institute, says the Globe made a "good choice" with Miss Young.

"I can definitely vouch for Cathy Young," he said. "She's really good. She's a libertarian. She has fresh, interesting ideas. She's not a paleo-conservative. She's more from the libertarian wing of the conservative movement."

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