Successor sought for a columnist felled by war |

Successor sought for a columnist felled by war

Heather McGregor

Dear Readers,

The tragic death on April 4 of columnist Michael Kelly, who was embedded with troops covering the war in Iraq, was a loss to commentary pages in newspapers across the country, including the Post Independent.

Kelly, 46, left the safety of his office in Washington, D.C., where he was the editor of The Atlantic Monthly and a columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group, to report a ground-level view of the war.

Just four days before his death, he told the New York Times that he enlisted in the Pentagon’s embedding program because, “there was a real sense after that last gulf war that witness had been lost.” Kelly sought to be one of the witnesses in this war, and his vivid reporting in February and March brought home the misery, pain and sense of purpose of the war.

We won’t be able to replace Michael Kelly, but we are in search of a new conservative columnist to fill his spot in the Wednesday paper.

To that end, we will be offering four different writers over the next four weeks for your consideration: Suzanne Fields (running today), Jonah Goldberg (running April 23), David Ignatius (running April 30) and Kathleen Parker (running May 7).

Suzanne Fields writes a column for the Washington Times that looks at the big issues that affect people’s lives and stir their passions.

She is the author of “Like Father, Like Daughter: How Father Shapes the Woman His Daughter Becomes” (Little Brown, 1983). “How the Cookie Crumbles,” a collection of her columns, was published by the Washington Times in 1996. Fields also was a mental health columnist for Vogue magazine and editor of Innovations, a magazine for mental health professionals, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers.

You can read more about Fields and the other columnists, and read their recent columns, by going to their syndicates’ Web sites.

Fields, Goldberg and Parker are online at Tribune Media Services, (under the TMS products button, select “commentators”), and Ignatius is online at the Washington Post Writers Group,

Please give me your feedback on these writers by noon on Friday, May 9, via e-mail to I will choose one of the four as our new Wednesday columnist later that day, to start the following week.

Heather McGregor is managing editor of the Post Independent.

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