In-House Items: Mayer and Yahoo, Mondoweiss

By James Fallows

In keeping with my Big Tent theory of our publication, I figure that it's usually not my business to weigh in, pro or con, on items by other people in our magazine or online. Except, of course, to urge everyone to Subscribe! The current issue, most famous for Anne-Marie Slaughter's cover article, is in fact wall-to-wall with interesting and extremely well-crafted features. Check it out and then, ahem, subscribe!

Two recent exceptions I want to note, on our web site. First, I agree with Alexis Madrigal's item yesterday hailing Marissa Mayer's selection as Yahoo's CEO, and offering some ideas for her. It will be better for the tech industry, the country, the world, and probably even for Mayer's employer-until-yesterday Google if Yahoo returns to competitive health. I can't think of a better choice than Mayer to give it that chance.

Second, I agree with Robert Wright's objections to an item we ran during the weekend. That item criticized Peter Beinart and his Open Zion site for publishing an article by a writer for Mondoweiss. If you are going to argue that a certain organization, in this case Mondoweiss, is so noxious that anyone associated with it must be barred from mainstream conversation, even if (as in this case) you acknowledge that the specific person you want to bar has not written or said anything you object to, then go ahead and argue it. For me, this is an extremely stiff test, which needs to be taken on directly if you want to assert that a particular person should not be heard. I don't think our item came anywhere close to meeting the necessary standard or making the case.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/07/in-house-items-mayer-and-yahoo-mondoweiss/259932/