Today, New York Times editor-turned-cranky-columnist Bill Keller's column consists of a long back-and-forth with crusading anti-imperialist Glenn Greenwald. The "must read" portion is not about the NSA, but about Times conservo-nerdlinger David Brooks.

Look, we encourage you to read the whole long-ass column, which is actually a very mature and engaging exchange of views about the institutional role of the media in society, and the future of the practice of journalism. Good stuff. It's all pretty civil, despite Bill Keller's well-documented hatred of Greenwald pal Julian Assange. But of course, these two could not go on for thousands of words without some bit of fireworks. Our favorite exchange begins with Greenwald explaining that his new journalism venture might also hire conservatives, and evolves from there. [For background: David Brooks is a middle-aged white male New York Times opinion section writer, just like Bill Keller, who prides himself on his alleged levelheadedness despite being, quite often, either incoherent or a proponent of a rather despicable modern "White Man's Burden" worldview.] Highlights:

Greenwald: "We welcome and want anyone devoted to true adversarial journalism regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum, and have already been speaking with conservatives journalists like that: real conservatives, not the East Coast rendition of 'conservatives' such as David Brooks."

Keller: "Your apparent contempt for David Brooks is revealing. Presumably what disqualifies him from your category of 'real conservatives' is that he puts reason over passion and sometimes finds a middle ground. As Lenin despised liberals, as the Tea Party loathes moderate Republicans, you seem to reserve your sharpest scorn for moderation, for compromise. Look at today’s Washington and tell me how that’s working out."

Greenwald: "My 'contempt' for David Brooks is grounded in his years of extreme war cheerleading and veneration of an elite political class that has produced little beyond abject failure and corruption. I don’t see anything moderate about him at all. I was just simply pointing out that if you want to pride yourself on hiring conservatives to write for your paper, he is hardly representative of that movement."

The fact that David Brooks was accurately insulted in the very newspaper section that publishes his work today fills me with great joy.

Never try to out-scarequote Glenn Greenwald.

[Photo: Getty]