Jonathan Hillel Kay (born 1968) is a Canadian journalist. He was the editor-in-chief of ''The Walrus'' (2014–2017) and currently a senior editor of ''Quillette''. He was previously comment pages editor, columnist, and blogger for the Toronto-based Canadian daily newspaper ''National Post'', and continues to contribute to the newspaper on a freelance basis. He is also a book author and editor, a public speaker, and a regular contributor to ''Commentary'' and the ''New York Post''.

Early life

Jonathan Kay was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec to an anglophone Jewish family. His mother is the socially conservative newspaper columnist Barbara Kay. His father worked in finance and was the breadwinner of the family. He attended Selwyn House School and Marianopolis College before obtaining a BEng and an MEng in metallurgical engineering from McGill University and a law degree from Yale Law School. He is a member of the New York bar. After practicing as a tax lawyer in New York City, Kay moved to Toronto, where, in 1998, he became a founding member of the ''National Post'' editorial board. Kay describes himself as an avid tennis and board game enthusiast, and sometimes has incorporated his passion for both pursuits into his journalism.


Kay joined the ''National Post'' at its inception, in 1998, as a member of its editorial board, subsequently becoming the newspaper's Comment editor as well as a columnist. He left the newspaper's staff in 2014 but continues appearing in its pages as a freelance columnist. Apart from his editorial work, Kay has also written two non-fiction books. In 2007, Kay co-authored ''The Volunteer'', a biography of Mossad officer Michael Ross. In May 2011, HarperCollins published Kay's second book, ''Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground'' (). The book reflects Kay's interest in the psychology of conspiracy theorists. Kay was a freelance editorial assistant on Liberal Party of Canada leader Justin Trudeau's memoir ''Common Ground'' published by HarperCollins with duties that included conducting some of the interviews with Trudeau that were used for the book. After the resignation of then Prime Minister principle secretary Gerald Butts due to his role in the SNC-Lavalin affair; Kay revealed that Butts worked with him for the book. His participation in the project was criticized by conservatives in social media as well as by Sun News Network personality Ezra Levant, on whose 2009 book ''Shakedown'' Kay also worked on as an editorial assistant. His freelance articles have been published in a variety of US publications including ''Newsweek'', ''The New Yorker'', Salon.com, ''The New Republic'', ''Harper's Magazine'', the ''Los Angeles Times'', ''The Weekly Standard'', the ''Literary Review of Canada'', ''The National Interest'' and ''The New York Times''. Since May 2018, Kay also hosts ''Quillettes'' Wrongspeak podcast with Debra W. Soh.

''The Walrus''

Kay was named editor-in-chief of ''The Walrus'', a Canadian general interest magazine, on October 29, 2014. Kay left the ''Post'' on November 21, 2014, but continued to contribute opinion pieces on a freelance basis. He resigned as editor-in-chief of ''The Walrus'' on May 13, 2017, following a controversy around cultural appropriation in which Kay argued that concerns by Indigenous writers about the practice should be balanced against the right to free artistic representation. Kay said the reason he left was because of conflicts between his role as a manager at a respected media brand and as a columnist and media panelist in which he would state controversial opinions and that he had felt the need to self-censor his byline pieces and commentary outside of ''The Walrus''. "In recent months especially, I have been censoring myself more and more, and my colleagues have sometimes been rightly upset by disruptions caused by my media appearances. Something had to give, and I decided to make the first move. I took no severance," he said in an email written to ''The Globe and Mail''. Kay added that there had been no conflict between himself and the publisher of ''The Walrus'' and that he had been given a free hand to edit the magazine and its website and that the pressure he had felt to self-censor was in relation to his non-''Walrus'' work.

Published books

* ''The Volunteer: A Canadian's Secret Life in the Mossad'', with Michael Ross, McClelland & Stewart, 2007 * ''Among the Truthers'', HarperCollins, 2011 * ''Legacy: How french Canadians shaped North America'', edited with André Pratte, 2016, repr. 2019 ** (in French) ''Batisseurs d'Amerique. Des Canadiens français qui ont fait l'histoire.'' La Presse, Montréal 201
The Gazette, 2016
* ''Your Move: What Board Games Teach Us About Life'', with Joan Moriarity, Sutherland House, 2019

Awards and recognition

In 2002, he was awarded Canada's National Newspaper Award for Critical Writing. In 2004, he was awarded a National Newspaper Award for Editorial Writing. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.


External links

Jonathan Kay's page
at the National Post. {{DEFAULTSORT:Kay, Jonathan Category:1968 births Category:Living people Category:Canadian columnists Category:Canadian newspaper journalists Category:Canadian male journalists Category:Jewish Canadian writers Category:National Post people Category:Canadian magazine editors Category:Canadian book editors Category:Journalists from Montreal Category:Writers from Montreal Category:McGill University Faculty of Engineering alumni Category:Yale Law School alumni Category:New York (state) lawyers Category:Tax lawyers Category:Anglophone Quebec people Category:21st-century Canadian non-fiction writers