Friday, July 17, 2020

Andrew Sullivan on Leaving Print Media for Online Media

Andrew Sullivan has a very interesting column explaining why he is leaving New York Magazine. Unlike Bari Weiss, he has no complaints about how the editors of the magazine treated him. He is leaving because enough of the staff are intolerantly woke that someone with his views no longer fits in.
What has happened, I think, is relatively simple: A critical mass of the staff and management at New York Magazine and Vox Media no longer want to associate with me, and, in a time of ever tightening budgets, I’m a luxury item they don’t want to afford. And that’s entirely their prerogative. They seem to believe, and this is increasingly the orthodoxy in mainstream media, that any writer not actively committed to critical theory in questions of race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity is actively, physically harming co-workers merely by existing in the same virtual space. Actually attacking, and even mocking, critical theory’s ideas and methods, as I have done continually in this space, is therefore out of sync with the values of Vox Media. That, to the best of my understanding, is why I’m out of here.
What is interesting is not what he is going from but to. He concludes that print media, at least the parts he has been associated with, is becoming too ideologically narrow and intolerant to be useful. The reason that is not a terrible problem is that there is another alternative, online media, which can be much more open and diverse. His view of what his old blog was like is very much like mine of the Slate Star Codex commenting community.
But here’s what I do truly and deeply miss: writing freely without being in a defensive crouch; airing tough, smart dissent and engaging with readers in a substantive way that avoids Twitter madness; a truly free intellectual space where anything, yes anything, can be debated without personal abuse or questioning of motives; and where readers can force me to change my mind (or not) by sheer logic or personal testimony. I miss a readership that truly was eclectic — left, liberal, centrist, right, reactionary — and that loved to be challenged by me and by each other. I miss just the sheer fun that used to be a part of being a hack before all these dreadfully earnest, humor-free puritans took over the press: jokes, window views, silly videos, contests, puns, rickrolls, and so on.
So he is restarting his blog and shifting his efforts to it.

1 comment:

GearRatio said...


You may remember me from the SSC comments section. Would you email me at if you get a chance? I have something relevant to this I'd like to pick your brain on.