Goes to a "very clever friend" of Jonathan Chait -- it's a remix of Tom Friedman's column today. I can't really quote from it...you need to read the whole thing to enjoy the effect, but it's short, and solidly recommended.
By the way, my impression is still that the NYT columnists have never really recovered from the paywall experiment a few years ago, at least for bloggers. Purely subjective impressions, to be sure, but pre-paywall it seemed to me that the NYT columnists regularly set the agenda, and while they are capable of it still, it's rare. I suppose this could be analyzed empirically, but I'm certainly not going to be the one who does it.