Markos Zúniga is excited that the leftist London Guardian is starting a weekly magazine:

To be sure, the Guardian is not the antithesis of Fox. We need a television and radio network to counter the forces of the Right. But, in conjunction with Gore’s television network and the proposed liberal radio network, we’re seeing the genesis of resurgence in a real, honest-to-goodness liberal media.

Bringing the Guardian to these shores — a publication that has far more cachet post-war than our resident left mags like the New Republic or the Nation. The former is no longer “lefty” by any stretch of the imagination, and the latter is largely irrelevant (flame away, Nation fans).

But the Guardian? Finally a publication with real influence, with some of the best writers in the English-speaking world, and with none of the nationalistic or corporate influences that have made a mockery of US “journalism”.

We need a quality print periodical that can provide the intellectual foundation for the liberal agenda (much as the Weekly Standard has done for the Right). The Guardian would be perfect.

To quote a certain High Official, “Bring ’em on.” The more media choices, the better, and the Guardian has a long history.

I disagree, as might be expected, that there is a dearth of leftist opinion writers available in the US market. I agree with Markos’ assessment of the Nation, which has become such a fringe journal as to have little influence, but the op-ed pages of the major newspapers are filled with liberal pundits. Ditto ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC. Granted, all these outlets also feature conservatives, but they are seldom in the lead. (Witness the long relegation of George Will to “commentator†status on This Week whereas his leftist counterparts are cast as objective “hostsâ€.)

There is probably no leftist magazine comparable to Weekly Standard–but there are no other conservative magazines with that much influence, either. National Review’s heyday has long passed. And even the Standard is influential primarily because they signed up already-established writers and have managed to leverage their influence into the television arena, where Fred Barnes and Bill Kristol are regularly seen. Indeed, the actual readership of any of those magazines is rather small and relegated almost entirely to the true believers.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. bryan says:


    so is that misspelling intentional?

  2. James Joyner says:

    That’s how they taught us back in skool.

  3. Professor Kaos says:

    I disagree that National Review’s heyday has long passed. Both the print version and the online version have the some of the sharpest writing around.

  4. bryan says:

    Kewl, dude. OTB R0x!

  5. Jon H says:

    MSNBC is not liberal or left in any way. A liberal network wouldn’t have fired the lefty host of their highest-rated show, Phil Donohue, and brought on Michael Savage, whose ratings were pitiful and just got himself fired by telling someone, on air, that he hoped they would die of AIDS.

    MSNBC also has Joe Scarborough, former Republican Congressman. Tonight he was giving a friendly reception to Ann Coulter, who was discussing her new book that casts liberals as traitors and tries to rehabilitate Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

    As for the rest of the media, they continue to be really easy on the Bush administration, despite its many errors and failures, distortions and coverups.

  6. James Joyner says:

    Prof K: I look at the online version occasionally and think it a mixed bag. But I’m talking about it in terms of influence. Clearly, the Standard has passed it by in terms of its ability to set the conservative agenda. NR is just too limited in appeal to a rather narrow subset of the movement–essentially, wealthy Catholics who read Latin.

    Jon H: I don’t disagree that MSNBC has conservatives on. So do CNN and PBS, for that matter. Fox has Geraldo Rivera and Greta van Susteren. Everyone does what they can to make money–that’s the bottom line. But their main newscasts (as apart from talking heads shows) tend to be from the moderate left while Fox is on the moderate right.