First of all, I guess it's a good thing that a major newspaper is acknowledging the blogopshere like this. Then again, what they're really doing is tapping into the value of the Freakonomics book/brand and bringing those authors on board as columnists, right? There's nothing wrong with that, of course.
Next, how "exclusive" is anything in the world of RSS? The announcement makes it quite clear that the Freakonomics blog will remain outside the subscription-based area of the Times site, which is a good thing. As long as I can grab the feed in my RSS reader I don't care who published it or whether it's "exclusive". If appearing in the Times makes the blog more discoverable by readers who aren't familiar with the book, well, that's a good thing too.
But what really irks me though is the way the blog is handling the RSS feed. I can't stand blogs that don't offer full content RSS feeds. If you're only publishing a headline or teaser and expect me to come to your site, forget it. Life's too short to keep up on all my RSS feeds and try to visit your site along the way.
Yeah, I know that's the only way to get the eyeballs and the traffic that can be subsequently monetized, but I'm not going for it. Go ahead and dump ads into your RSS feeds. I'll see 'em, but I won't be clicking through back to your website -- not when I have a couple hundred other feeds to keep up with!