Byline: Jennifer Harper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Tony Blankley, a Washington newspaper columnist and television commentator since he left his job as press secretary to Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, yesterday was named editor of the editorial page of The Washington Times.
He succeeds Helle Bering Dale, who resigned to become deputy director for international studies at the Heritage Foundation. The appointment, made by Wesley Pruden, editor in chief of The Times, is effective July 1. Deborah Simmons will continue as deputy editor of the page, a position she assumed last year.
"We applaud the wonderful job Helle did for The Times in the last 11 years," Mr. Pruden told Times staffers gathered around him as he stood on the copy desk. "She leaves with our thanks and applause ringing in her ears. Now I am delighted to announce that Tony Blankley, known to many of you, will succeed her. Tony knows Washington better than most, and he knows where all the bodies are buried. He may have buried a few himself."
In his brief remarks, Mr. Blankley promised to retain the momentum of the page. "I intend to make a case that the Republican and moderate Democratic members of the House and Senate will pay attention to," Mr. Blankley said. "I bring along an understanding of how politicians read - or don't read - editorials. We intend for The Times editorial page to remain that must-read in town."
After the September 11 attacks, America faces a whole set of new issues, he said. "Some of the old debates have become stale and antiquated."
Mr. Blankley will focus on a trio of regular topics in future months. "We must pay attention to the reorganization of the government to counter terrorism; the intersection of morality, law and bioengineering; and the effect of the global economy on sovereign governments, particularly our own."
He has a substantial history in politics and journalism. A former deputy attorney general of California, Mr. …