New York Magazine

By Tom Johnson | May 15, 2015 | 10:38 AM EDT

In the uproar over George Stephanopoulos’s hefty, long-undisclosed contributions to the Clinton Foundation, New York magazine blogger Jonathan Chait casts himself in a role similar to that of the child in the tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes” who, after so many have admired their ruler’s supposedly magnificent outfit, points out that the monarch actually is wearing nothing at all.

“Everybody agrees this is terrible,” wrote Chait in a Thursday post. “But…why? [Rand] Paul accuses Stephanopoulos of harboring a ‘conflict of interest.’ But donating money to a charitable foundation is not an interest…It’s true that some donors have an incentive to use the Foundation to get close to the Clintons in a way that might benefit their business interests…But none of those problems reflects poorly on Stephanopoulos.”

The Clinton Foundation, Chait remarked, “is, after all, a charity. It used to have non-partisan overtones…Stephanopoulos’s defense — that he just wanted to donate to the Foundation’s work on AIDS prevention and deforestation — seems 100 percent persuasive. He is the victim of the ethical taint of the Clintons’ poorly handled business dealings, combined with an underlying right-wing suspicion of the liberal media, but what his critics have yet to produce is a coherent case against him.”

By Tom Johnson | May 14, 2015 | 2:26 PM EDT

There’s been plenty of mockery of the three actual or potential Republican presidential candidates who named Ronald Reagan as the greatest living president, but New York magazine's Chait feels their pain, sort of.

Chait observed in a Wednesday post that GOPers are in a bind when choosing the best living POTUS given that 1) for obvious reasons, they wouldn’t pick Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton; 2) George H. W. Bush “betrayed Reaganism”; and 3) George W. Bush suffered a “second-term collapse into deep unpopularity” despite “govern[ing] in a more consistently conservative fashion than Reagan had.”

By Tom Johnson | April 14, 2015 | 12:22 AM EDT

New York magazine’s Chait declares that “even if the relatively sober Jeb Bush wins the nomination, he will have to accommodate himself to his party's barking-mad consensus. [Hillary] is non-crazy America’s choice by default. And it is not necessarily an exciting choice, but it is an easy one, and a proposition behind which she will probably command a majority.”

By Kristine Marsh | March 25, 2015 | 2:17 PM EDT

Can you imagine the uproar if a conservative paper called a black Democrat candidate, “uppity”? Well the ultra-liberal elitist New Yorker magazine was caught doing just that -- towards a Hispanic GOP senator,Ted Cruz.

Twitchy first reported on the gaffe, after one Twitter user highlighted the offending term in the New Yorker article by longtime liberal journalist, John Cassidy:

 

By Tom Johnson | March 19, 2015 | 6:10 PM EDT

“The [European] continent is no longer a subject of liberal pining and aspiration,” remarks Benjamin Wallace-Wells. “Europe and Israel have…been examples of alternative ways in which American society might be arranged, if it were less individualistic, more communal. But after the news of the past few weeks, and in many ways the past decade, these dreams for Europe and Israel have rarely looked more like a fantasy than they do now. America and Europe seem to be moving in different directions.”

By Tom Johnson | March 18, 2015 | 12:29 AM EDT

New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait claims that for today’s GOP, “everything Reagan thought or did was presumptively correct, even the things that contradict the other things he did.” Specifically, “the Reagan cult is largely (though not entirely) a propaganda vehicle for the anti-tax movement,” even though “in reality, Reagan veered wildly out of step with anti-tax orthodoxy.” The Washington Monthly’s Ed Kilgore thinks the Cult of Reagan has been strengthened by its de facto alliance with a newer movement, the Tea Party.

By Tom Johnson | March 7, 2015 | 12:34 PM EST

One of the most discussed articles of the past week was Matthew Yglesias’s Monday piece in Vox contending that this country’s combination of a presidential system and increasing ideological polarization is a recipe for eventual political breakdown (the article was headlined “American democracy is doomed”). New York magazine’s Chait thinks Yglesias overlooked something important. Chait argues that the major threat to America’s political stability is that conservatives in the U.S. are much farther to the right than are conservatives in other industrialized democracies.

By Tom Johnson | March 3, 2015 | 10:52 AM EST

New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait argues that “Inhofe’s argument was breathtakingly devoid of a factual or logical grasp of its subject matter” and remarks that while “the design of environmental regulation, or the appropriate balance between economic cost and clean air, is a subject on which reasonable people can disagree…the modern Republican party (as opposed to the one of a generation ago) is structurally incapable of reasonable disagreement or calculus. Cranks like Inhofe have veto power.”

By Tom Johnson | February 28, 2015 | 4:37 PM EST

The writer-at-large for New York magazine identifies Carson as the latest of the Republican party’s three “Great Black Presidential Hopes,” but argues that Carson is more significant than Alan Keyes or Herman Cain because he’d be running “in the context of both restrictive voting laws and the retro civil-rights jurisprudence of the John Roberts” Supreme Court. Rich also claims that “Carson lends credence to the right’s continued effort to sanitize and rewrite America’s racial history to absolve the GOP of any responsibility for injustices then or now.”

By Tom Johnson | February 24, 2015 | 4:34 PM EST

Jonathan Chait, Paul Waldman, and Amanda Marcotte each discuss how the Wisconsin governor and probable presidential candidate has responded to recent questions about issues including evolution, Obama’s religious beliefs, and Obama’s patriotism, as well as how his answers might play with the “paranoid” Republican base that thinks, in Waldman’s words, that “Obama is The Other, an alien presence occupying an office he doesn't deserve.”

By Tom Johnson | February 11, 2015 | 11:43 AM EST

New York magazine pundit Rich admits the anchor badly mishandled the flap over his Iraq-war tall tale but dismisses much conservative criticism of Williams: “They view him as Exhibit A of a lying left-wing mainstream media conspiracy…But neither in public nor private have I ever seen or heard Brian Williams express any partisan political opinion.”

By Tom Blumer | February 11, 2015 | 12:00 AM EST

In his story on Brian Williams at 10:55 p.m. ET Tuesday, Gabriel Sherman at New York Magazine reported that the now-suspended anchor and his agent "were presented with a dossier of Williams' apparent lies," and that "Williams himself was only slowly grasping the depths of the mess he'd created."

That begs the obvious question of whether the public will ever get to know what's in that "dossier," and what impact its contents may have had on the substance of NBC's news reports during the past dozen (if not more) years. Excerpts from Sherman's report follow the jump (links are in original; bolds are mine):