Wednesday, June 23, 2004


I haven't read it (not online), but a reader brings to my attention an article in the May '04 edition of the Believer about Elizabeth McCaughey.

McCaughey, you may remember, wrote an article for even the crappy New Republic about Clinton's health care plan called "No Exit." It was, to put it bluntly, completely full of shit and probably was quite instrumental in killing the plan. The online teaser for the article says:

Elizabeth McCaughey destroyed Clinton’s Health Care Reform Bill. Why is she a celebrity rather than a journalistic pariah?

The more important question, of course, is why is her editor from that time a celebrity rather than a journalistic pariah? Her editor was Andy Sullivan. Andy's quite proud of his little accomplishment, in fact. From his bio blurb on his website:

Sullivan's tenure at TNR was often turbulent, controversial and pioneering. The magazine expanded its remit beyond politics to cover such topics as the future of hip-hop, same-sex marriage, and affirmative action in the newsroom. Writers such as Douglas Coupland and Camille Paglia supplemented more traditional political writing by authors such as Michael Kinsley, Mickey Kaus and John Judis. Under Sullivan, the magazine campaigned for early intervention in Bosnia, for homosexual equality, and against affirmative action. TNR also published the first airing of 'The Bell Curve,' the explosive 1995 book on IQ, and 'No Exit,' an equally controversial essay that was widely credited with helping to torpedo the Clinton administration's plans for universal health coverage. In 1996, Sullivan was named Editor of the Year by Adweek magazine.

Notice what else Andy is proud of -- the fact that "TNR also published the first airing of 'The Bell Curve,' the explosive 1995 book on IQ." Explosive. Yes. In his previous incarnation, he was proud of being the distributor of "Birth of a Nation."