Given that almost four times as many American journalists identify themselves as “liberal” than as “conservative” (thanks, Pew, for that little detail), our exercise in tagging the 25 most influential journalists who sit somewhere to the left of center on the political aisle was considerably more complex than the one last week in which we identified the top 25 on the right. Classifying our journalists as being “on the left” protects us from being derailed by pesky questions of taxonomy—whether someone is “liberal,” “progressive” or “radical”—although everyone on this list could be said, plausibly, to belong to one of those categories. What unites them all, broadly, is their belief (expressed or implied) that “their side” is currently in power in Washington. The list below distills responses canvassed from about 75 academics, politicians, journalists, and denizens of corporate America. (It may interest readers to know that I edited a similar list, days after Barack Obama’s inauguration as president, for Forbes. Whereas the two lists have a good deal in common, there are significant differences, most of which reflect the fact that the left no longer sees itself as being “in opposition.”) Our definition of “journalist” is a loose one, and may not please some J-school pedants: We include anyone whose primary vocation is to supply, edit, host, or curate information, news reporting, criticism, or opinion. To keep matters from getting messy, we have excluded any writer or editor whose primary affiliation is with The Daily Beast, though a couple of contributors appear.
Here, in ascending order, is The Daily Beast’s list of America’s 25 most consequential left-of-center journalists.
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