Thursday, October 2, 2008

So Conor Friedersdorf in a post today refers to the Atlantic Monthly as a "magazine of competing opinions". Well, they may be competing, but they are not nearly equally expressed. Matt Yglesias, the subject of Conor's post, took a lot of heat for calling the Atlantic a "center-right publication". But just look at the blogroll. Some people try to put Jeff Goldberg on the left, when discussing this phenomenon. But today, in a post of his own, Goldberg reacts to being called a liberal like this: "Liberal? Me? A "looser," maybe, but liberal?" So much for that.

So we have Andrew Sullivan, conservative. Ross Douthat, conservative. Megan McArdle, conservative. Marc Ambinder, largely neutral reporter who many (including me) believe is a conservative. Ta-Nehisi Coates, liberal. James Fallows, liberal. Jeffrey Goldberg, conservative. Clive Crook, conservative.

Not that all conservatives and liberals are created equal, of course, and I'm generally not a fan of strict one-to-one liberal/conservative representation. (It's a parody of diversity.) But I think many conservatives would say that, if there was a similar proportion in the other direction, it would be evidence that The Atlantic is just a self-evidently liberal magazine.

Update: Let me clarify: the Atlantic's blog stable is predominately conservative. I rarely read the magazine.

I may be on thin ice here. But I do think this is illustrative of something.

2 comments:

  1. Freddie, do you read The Atlantic? 'Cause if you did, you'd have a wildly different idea of their ideological leanings.

    Your categorization methods are pretty silly, too. If they're not liberal, they're a conservative. What?!?! Goldberg, Crook and Ambinder (as far as I understand) don't have much of a party/ideological leaning as it is. What makes you think that Ambinder is a conservative?

    I also have a hard time accepting McArdle as a conservative. She's a small-l libertarian, at best. -K.

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  2. I don't have a problem with either description, "competing opinions" or "center-right," although I think it would be good for the conversation if they can find someone to fill Matt Yglesias's role.

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