Slate Revisited

Enough people in the business have gotten in touch with me in a hurry to dispute the idea that Slate is a center-right publication that I'm starting to have some doubts. And I'll admit that while I look at Slate all the time, I'm not a particularly thorough reader of it and the Mickey Kaus phenomenon looms large in my mind. I suppose I could take some time to do a thorough content analysis and see whether material that criticizes liberals or liberal positions outnumbers material that criticizes conservatives or conservative positions but that sounds boring and tedious. So I dunno, was I wrong about that?

Another thought on the general subject, is that I've noticed that a lot of people in the field of journalism have a tendency to judge the political proclivities of a publication by the subjective mental states of the staff. The correct way, however, is to look at what's on the pages. Having three socialists doing page layout, two moderate conservative writing features on political relevant topics, and one moderately liberal film critic does not a left-of-center publication make. Similarly, if in order to be "interesting" and "provocative" your publication contains some articles in which heterodox liberals challenge liberal conventional wisdom and other articles in which conservatives challenge liberal conventional wisdom, then your publication is mostly publishing conservative content.

Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Politics

Just In