The American Spectator

My 2nd of 52 magazines this year (see here for setup).

I am fairly apolitical, usually voting for “none of the above”, and I never read political rags. I knew The American Spectator was a political rag when I picked it up, wasn’t sure of the orientation tho — the lead article on the cover was about the “CIA’s Baghdad blunders” which made me think this mag might be critical of the current administration. Boy was I wrong.

Anyway, the stream of consciousness…Page 5, big ad for Ann Coulter’s latest, OK I must be in a right wing magazine…ok some funny stuff in here at times — “the Ba’athist wing of the Democratic Party”, a lot of shots at Rush, some sense of humour…very critical of the CIA in Iraq over the last several administrations (can’t find the article on the website, the website sucks)…long seemingly well-written article about tensions in Iraq between US military and civilian administrations…two-page ad for the Conservative Book Club — don’t inflict new ideas on your brain…a very ugly article by Tom Bethell suggesting that democracies would be better off if we restricted the voting franchise to the people who really understand the issues, well-educated and successful men…some nice travel points by Ben Stein — Hill’s Resort and the Edgewater in Idaho…Circulation: 46,300…some truly whacky quotes from other media — Bush similarities to Bundy, an “I Hate Bush” screech by Jonathan Chait.

Net/net — this is a weird magazine to get your head around. Some truly hateful ideas, some articles that seem more well-written, a sign of a sense of humour at times — it seems like there must be 3-4 editors that each get to push their content into the mag — kind of like the latest Outkast CD. Overall it left me feeling a little dirty though, I definitely could not read this magazine regularly. As someone outside the normal target reader market, the magazine left me feeling less sympathetic toward’s its viewpoint, not more, because at times it is so strident — which will probably be my reaction to most political rags.