William Safire, that guy who's retiring from his position as original token conservative on the Times op-ed page told Editor and Publisher that things were not always Bo-bos and Lawnmower Men over there. Originally, the Timesmen were wary. However, "the Times' Washington staff eventually warmed up to him after he saved the daughter of colleague James Naughton (later the head of the Poynter Institute) from drowning in a pool at a staff picnic."
Actually, saving-the-drowning child was the Times' litmus test for conservative columnists for years. Good thing Naughton had so many kids.