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The New Republic's list of "DC's Most Overrated Thinkers" set off a lot of people for including Rachel Maddow and asserting that her show "is a great tribute to Fox, because it copies the Fox style exactly." This is the sort of thing you say when you want to sound sensible and sober, but don't feel like doing the actual work. Pema Levy, Jonathan Cohn and Matt Yglesias have more on the particulars of Maddow.


For my part the whole notion of The New Republic calling out "overrated thinkers" is sheer spectacle -- like watching Uwe Boll flailing at film criticism, but worse. How does The New Republic, with any semblance of a straight face, damn Fareed Zakaria because he was "for the Iraq war when almost everybody was for it, criticized it when almost everybody criticized it"? This a magazine whose steward drops gems like "Muslim life is cheap" and "many in the black population are afflicted by cultural deficiencies" and then skips off to Harvard to collect his honors. 

Bigotry is a species of intellectual sloth -- but some sloths have social capital.


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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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