Nick Kristof has middle initials to spare!

The New York Times columnist has boldly decided to drop the middle initial from his byline in order to be more down with the common folks:

Let’s let Kristof explain, shall we?

I think in the Internet age, the middle initial conveys a formality that is a bit of a barrier to our audience. It feels a bit ostentatious, even priggish. If my aim in my 20’s was gravitas, now I want to reach people and connect with them, and I wonder if the stuffiness of the middle initial isn’t a little off-putting. I doubt if it makes much difference, frankly, but at the margin I think that we’re moving to a kind of journalism that is more casual, more informal, more personal, and a very formal byline seems as out of place as a three-piece suit in the newsroom. Speaking of which, when I started at the Times in the business section in 1984, I wore a business suit and the middle initial was a nice accoutrement to pinstripes; now I wear an open collar, and I don’t need the middle initial any more than a necktie.

Oh, bra-vo!

A big shift toward even more stupid, self-important dreck? Great. Looking forward to it!

We’ve got an initial for Kristof: M. For mockery:

It scorches.


If Nick wants to open his collar, that’s cool with us. But he might wanna think about shutting his mouth.



Twitchy coverage of Nick Kristof

  • Republicanvet

    Hey! With reporting like this….it makes their whole Benghazi report even more credible right?

  • Will B Good

    What’s next? Going as just his first or last name, a la Cher or Toure?

    • Brett McMicken

      Well, when you’ve stopped wearing a tie AND dropped your middle initial, how can you possibly top that? Can a Nobel or Pulitzer be far behind?

  • Tigerspike

    If you like your middle initial, you can keep your middle initial.

    • Andy Rigo ✓ᵗᵉʳʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      The joke that just keeps on giving.

    • Clayton Grant

      . ← period

    • CatHerder ✓fire! ✓fire!

      As Uncle Joe would say, “This is a big f’ing deal!”

  • Clayton Grant

    Neither Marc Lamont Hill or Melissa Harris-Perry could not be reached for comment.

  • 24601

    Is you serious?

  • Catchance

    What a priggish dork.

  • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    So why not go the whole shot, Kristof, and just go by “Nick” altogether, not just in your Twitter address– or was that a bridge too far?

    • World B. Free

      After all, it worked for Cher and Madonna. :-)

      • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        Actually, I meant >”Nick Kristof”< as the byline, but if he wants to go just by "Nick" and nothing else, hey, ask me if I really give a $#!t.

      • John Thomas “Jack” Ward III

        And (The) Prince (Of that silly Androgynous Symbol)… Jawamax 8<{D}

    • Republicanvet

      …naw. the ultimate would be a symbol with, “the priggish dork formerly known as…”

  • Andy Rigo ✓ᵗᵉʳʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    This is a prime example of what columnists write when they keep putting off a deadline. Some of my last-minute papers had more meaningful drek than this article.

  • keyboard jockey

    Le sigh……

  • adam

    This needs to be the lefts new issue to fight for. Equal middle initial rights.

    My grandmother had no middle name, she had to use her maiden name for her middle initial. The shame that that one little letter brought her during her life I’ll never fully comprehend. We must stop this inequality NOW.

  • Republicanvet

    Ha! Michelle is hilarious.

  • ember

    We’ve got IRS Targets, Solyndra, Fast & Furious, Benghazi and etc and this dipchit is focused on his middle initial?

    • Michelle Yelen

      Seriously, didn’t somebody have to sign off on this? Who looked at this and said “yeah, this is great man, let’s go with this!!”

  • mike_in_kosovo

    So, he’s trying to get away from being referred to as “Nicholas D(ouche) Kristof”?

    Yeah, good luck with that.

    • drw

      D(ouche) was my first guess, D(ikhead) was my second. Thanks for clearing that up.

  • SpaceRacer423

    Okay, so I’ve dropped my middle initial, taken off my tie, and I’ve undone the top button on my shirt. What else can I do to connect with the common man?
    I know, perhaps I’ll forsake my 5 o’clock campaign and try this “Budweiser” the help keeps going on about!?!!

    • Brett McMicken

      It’s funny how wearing a tie is so much more appealing after finding out about the people who make it a point to crow about stop wearing a tie.

  • Pat

    Will all other priggish columnists follow him in becoming more relatable? We wait with baited breath…..

    • Brett McMicken

      I hope they do follow him…….if he moves to France.

  • ceemack

    We still won’t take him seriously.

    • Brett McMicken

      We still won’t take him. Seriously.

  • Alan

    Instead of agonizing over what he might sound like, the pretentious Nicholas Kristof should agonize over the factual content of his columns.

  • H50 ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    When you have a readership of 3 does it really matter if your priggish? He would have done better to drop the condensation from his article when explaining how his middle initial separates himself from the unwashed masses.

  • karmafordems

    He instead inserts his middle finger

  • Right Wired ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Just think, for only $6.35 per week, you can have this journalistic brilliance delivered right to your home!

  • Juan Pablo

    In order to be less self aggrandizing and self important, I’m going to change something no one ever noticed and TOTALLY DRAW ATTENTION TO IT!

  • Bill Phillips

    Instead of “dropping” your middle name …Why don’t you just replace it with something that ‘really’ defines you… I’d suggest Nick Priggish Kristof but then that would be redundant!

  • Right Wired ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Jack Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorft Senior is also very much for this change!


  • Bill Phillips

    Great idea Nickie …Thanks to your brilliant proposition! …I’m sure no-one will ever think you’re priggish again!

  • Robyn

    I never knew including a middle initial was ostentatious. Though I am (barely still) in my twenties, I’ve been using my middle initial since high school because I liked the way it flowed, not because of gravitas or crap like that. However, I will not be ditching it now just because some “enlightened” writer tells me it’s too elite.

  • WhoMeToo


  • JBDestiny

    Hm, to really relate, he should go by, “Dude, what?”

  • Chip

    Yes, let us go back to the day’s when we hunted with clubs and spears and everyone had names like Grog, Oog, and Ook.

  • CO2 Producer

    Thought about going with “CO2 Producer V2.0” but then I would’ve been banned as a resource hog.

  • gekkobear

    “The explanation is actually more ostentatious than the initial.”

    Yep, that was my thought.

    If you think I care about your middle initial… you’re very wrong about how much I care about these details about you.

    If you’re not an immediate family member, assume I don’t know your middle name or initial and move on. And dad… sorry. It’s a “C”, right? Or a “M”?

    Probably one of those…

    I have to think a bit to remember MINE for goodness sake.

  • robert anthony


    Well, thank God we have more ‘casual journalism’…..but I thought disregarding actual facts was about as casual as one could get..

  • robert anthony

    His middle initial is currently vacationing in Hawaii with the ‘warrior of the working class’.

  • robert anthony

    Maybe, when his middle initial starts wearing $9,000 dresses at Oscar ‘presentations’ I’ll start to follow it’s orders on what I should eat and/or ‘sacrifice’.

  • robert anthony

    Why not quit journalism and get a job cleaning toilets?…THEN we’ll believe you.

    • John Thomas “Jack” Ward III

      Been there, done that (UGH!), Middle name and all… Jawamax 8<{D}

      • TexasMom2012

        I think my youngest son may be stuck with his nickname for life. He has been ‘Chewy’ since he was seven and he is 18 now. Few at his high school know his real name…

  • robert anthony

    ‘What I did on MY Summer Vacation’…but I care about you, I really do…

  • robert anthony

    It’s 2014….too late for the A-holes at MSNBC to ‘re-do’ the biggest ‘non-stories of 2013’…IRS scandal? Benghazi? Pffftt!!…elitist journalists among the great un-initialed!!! THAT’s the story!!!

  • John Thomas “Jack” Ward III

    @JoyceCarolOates I can shave every hair off my body (UGH!) and I’ll still have a Middle Name/Initial…..It’s part of who I AM!
    I am a THIRD-GENERATION NAMESAKE (Named after my Father, who was named after his Father (My “Pop-Pop”); My Big Brother is a “Skipper,” named after our Maternal Grandfather, and his Oldest son is named after him;and my Little Brother is partially named after our Maternal Great Grandfather, and one of our Uncles.
    Our names are the lineage from which we come, our ancestry; If Nicholas Christof doesn’t want to be himself, this is a free Country, and he’s free to do so….At the risk of denying his own lineage. But if he’s droping his middle Name/Initial to “Be closer to the people,” he’ll discover that a lot of folks keep their Middle name/initial because of that same heritage. Jawamax 8<{D}

    • Eric D. Mertz #NeverTrump

      Wow, I wish my name had that kind of pedigree. My folks choose it because it rolled off the tongue. They didn’t even choose a German spelling, they went with the Swedish spelling…

  • LegalizeShemp

    And don’t even think about saying “Hussein” or you are a racist, right wing extremist nutjob TEA-bagging sexist Puritanical homophobic troglodyte and Philistine who’s still living in the 1950’s (or the last century), or the 1800’s or possibly the 1700’s or the 1500’s, maybe even B.C. or the Stone Age.

  • whateverdear

    Someone’s going to fall into their navel and drown in the cashmere lint …

  • Paige Jackson

    I think I speak for many when I say that multitudes prefer as many “barriers” between us and Kristof as possible.

  • Paige Jackson

    Steve Martin plays Kristof in this clip:

  • Wag_a_muffin

    What’s Missing in my Byline?
    In which I lose a middle initial.

    Doesn’t this sound like a chapter from Winnie the Pooh?

    Chapter Seven; The Grand Party–in which Piglet loses a middle initial and Pooh finds it in the loo behind the sink.

  • DouginCO

    So now the NYT (or is it the NT?) will refer to just George Bush?

  • DwellsInFire

    Sir Mr. Nicholas D. Kristof III, Esquire is removing his middle initial. I can now sleep at night.

  • bill_a_bob

    I always considered it upper crust that he included the initial. It being rather pedestrian to actually spell Doosh out is rather duplicitous. Nor back to some fine box whine and Brie.

  • Bui van vat

    I finally learned something from a Kristof column, and now it’s useless.

    His middle initial is D.

  • Brett McMicken

    Wow! It’s no wonder our brave members of the military come in third place, after him and celebrities who allow themselves to be photographed without makeup, in terms of courage.

  • Brett McMicken

    Mark my words: he will work it around to it being George W. Bush’s fault for making it a no-no to have a middle initial.

  • DeadlockVictim

    Sounds like SOMEone was coming up against a deadline and needed a quick idea for a column.

  • PatriotRG

    I so want to punch him. In a very non priggish way while wearing an open necked shirt.

  • cynicalwilliam

    He utterly failed at ‘gravitas’ in his 20s as well, this microtwerp.

  • lillymckim

    Is this the only way they can get people to even mention the NYT?

  • Benjamin Dover

    This is a lamp that I’ve found useful for eluding the dark and despotic march of most of mankind:

  • sludog

    A “legend in his own mind”.

  • J.N. Ashby

    If you really want to sound posh, go first initial, middle name, last name.