One in an occasional series of navel-gazing posts about my blog, my readers, and journalism.
It might not surprise you to learn that the overwhelming majority of e-mails I receive are from supporters of Barack Obama. That’s great, actually. I suspect that there’s some correspondence between the demographic that Obama attracts and the demographic that would trust The Atlantic for their political fix.
But I confess to be slightly uncomfortable with the content of a good portion of those e-mails. Many e-mail correspondents chastise me for departing from an orthodoxy; they cannot understand why or how I could possibly post something that reads as favorable to Hillary Clinton or to John McCain; they treat as provocative any post that originates outside a fairly narrow comfort zone. They seem genuinely confused about what I do and what I don’t do.
Why is this? Six possibilities come to mind.
(1) Maybe I am a liberal masquerading as a post-partisan, post-modern journalist/blogger hybrid.
(2) Maybe the blog’s content is generally quite liberal regardless of my intent.
(3) Maybe I try to sublimate my bias, but it shows up, and it turns away folks who don’t share whatever views I seem to have.
(4) The Atlantic is tagged as left-of-center publication and conservative activists don’t generally migrate here.
(5) For some reason, independents and conservatives and others think that the blog is part of the Obama echo chamber and subsequently decide not to read it.
(6) My goal in creating a reported blog on politics, where reporting drives analysis, where who wins matters less than why one wins and what winning means – my goal to create a welcoming space for intellectually honest partisans and non-partisans – has not, as of yet, been realized.
What do you think?
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