Michael Leland Crowley (born April 1, 1972) is an American journalist who is the senior foreign affairs correspondent for POLITICO. From 2010 to 2014, he served as the senior foreign affairs correspondent and deputy Washington, D.C., bureau chief for Time magazine.
Crowley grew up in New Haven, Connecticut. His father, Joseph D. Crowley, is the president of a petroleum and dry-cargo storage at New Haven Harbor, while his mother, Phyllis F. Crowley, is a landscape and portrait photographer. Crowley attended Yale University, graduating in 1994.
From 2010 to 2014, Crowley was a writer, editor and senior foreign affairs correspondent for Time, serving as the deputy Washington, D.C., bureau chief. From 2000 to 2010, he was a writer for The New Republic, where he covered domestic politics and foreign policy. He was also a reporter at the Boston Globe and the Boston Phoenix. His work has also been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, GQ, New York and Slate. He often appears on PBS, NPR and MSNBC. Crowley has reported from more than a dozen countries, including Iraq, China, Israel, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Lebanon, Germany and Ukraine.
Crowley wrote an article on Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, entitled Saving Mexico and featured as the cover article in the February 2014 issue of Time. Upon release, the article met with controversy. The article praised the president and his cabinet for reforms such as opening oil fields for foreign investment for the first time in 75 years (a reform for which Mexican citizens have shown mixed feelings) and ending the Mexican drug wars (not completely accurate), and even went as far as saying "the opposition party blocked major reforms that were necessary", that "American leaders could learn a thing or two from their resurgent southern neighbor", and that Mexican citizens' "alarms were replaced with applause". The last part proved untrue when the magazine cover, featuring a picture of Peña Nieto and the legend Saving Mexico, immediately spawned heavy backlash on social media. It became a meme and spawned multiple parody covers. These ranged from changing the legend to mock phrases such as Selling Mexico, Slaving Mexico, Starving Mexico and Who is saving Mexico from this asshole?, to editing Peña Nieto into clown make-up, dressed as the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ and the Pope, to a cover featuring an old lady holding a gun with the legend Saving Mexico... pero de Peña Nieto (but from Peña Nieto). Multiple articles criticized the Time article, and some websites even asked Time if Peña Nieto paid for the cover story. The controversy led Crowley to write on Twitter, "Remarkable how many critics of Mexico's president seem to believe I must have literally taken a bribe to write a positive story about him."