Sullivan award nominee

I didn’t exactly expect Jon to refute Leon Wieseltier’s demonstrated untruths in TNR. I worked there, after all. I know the limits of intellectual honesty at that place. — Andrew Sullivan, 26 Feb 2010

Do tell …

It’s just sad to see Chait kowtow so openly to them.

Well, if Chait is “kotowing so openly,” then I guess the Dish doesn’t have much info to offer that we can’t figure out for ourselves, based on what he might like us to notice. So, the take-home point of  Andrew’s remark is a blanket and content-less criticism of the entire magazine’s honesty, for the benefit of his readers’ political worldview.

Here is Ezra Klein in 2007 on a question of TNR’s intellectual honesty under Sullivan. A quote, one that seems to sketch a lot of Sullivan’s movements since it was written:

Sullivan hangs his hat on a reputation for honesty that comes because he constantly shifts his opinions as each, one after the other, is proven flagrantly incorrect, and the mainstream moves to reflect that. Then Sullivan spends a lot of time writing about his anguished evolution, and eventually settles in the new center. This was true of Bush, true of Iraq, true of some of the largest issues of our time. It’s telling, though, that when wrong opinions serve his career, as happened in the case of No Exit or The Bell Curve, then honesty is subsumed beneath a higher value: “Provocation.” Sometimes the truth is dull, or politically marginal. At those times, being honest and being provocative conflict. And we’ve seen which Sullivan chooses when pressed. It makes him, to be sure, a fun and interesting writer. One I rather like to read. But it doesn’t leave him in a position to throw stones at the integrity of others.

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