Chait picks through Conor's list:

As I see it, #12 -- "to produce an intellectually honest argument" -- is the correct answer. I'd put it slightly differently: to explain the world as I see it. Understanding the world requires digesting facts, but it can't be done entirely through digesting facts -- it requires some degree of normative judgments as well. That is what opinion journalism should do. You can be in this business to influence people, but then you're in a very tricky position when it comes to writing opinions that might have the effect of influencing people to act contrary to the way you want them to act.

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