Why Is Bob Herbert Boring? is an impressively mean and obnoxious article in the Washington Monthly. I suspect Mr. Herbert is more likely to read that column than to read this blog post, but the essay was so nasty I'm obliged to say that I like Mr. Herbert's columns and I read every one he writes.
Maybe it's my dour Scots nature, but I don't mind that Mr. Herbert belongs to the evidence-based community. Heck, I read Paul Krugman religiously (including his blog) and he's no flaming ball of cheer.
There are snappier writers, but it's all relative. Mr. Herbert writes in an elite field -- it's no shame to be "very good" rather than "great" in that crowd. His special value comes from his clear vision and his dogged determination to talk about people most readers of the NYT may prefer to forget.
So Mr. Herbert -- don't be discouraged. Maureen Down is disposable, you are not. Keep writing.