Michael Kinsley (born March 9, 1951) is an American political journalist and commentator. Primarily active in print media as both a writer and editor, he also became known to television audiences as a co-host on ''Crossfire
Early life and education
Kinsley was born in Detroit, Michigan
, the son of Lillian (Margolis) and George Kinsley, who practiced medicine. Kinsley is Jewish
. He attended the Cranbrook School
in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
, then graduated from Harvard College
in 1972. At Harvard, Kinsley served as vice president of the university's daily newspaper, ''The Harvard Crimson
''. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship
and studied at Magdalen College
, then returned to Harvard for law school.
While a third-year law student, Kinsley began working at ''The New Republic
''. He was allowed to finish his Harvard juris doctor
degree through courses at the evening program at The George Washington University Law School
Kinsley's first exposure to a national television audience was as moderator of William Buckley's
.'' In 1979, he became editor of ''The New Republic'' and wrote the magazine's TRB
column for most of the 1980s and 1990s. That column was reprinted in a variety of newspaper op-ed pages, including ''The Washington Post
,'' and made Kinsley's reputation as a leading political writer. He shared the 1986 Gerald Loeb Award
Kinsley also served as managing editor of ''Washington Monthly
'' (in the mid-1970s, while still in school), editor at ''Harper's
'' (for a year and a half in the early 1980s), and American editor of ''The Economist
'' (a short-term, honorary position).
''Crossfire'' and ''Slate''
From 1989 to 1995, Kinsley appeared on CNN
'', co-hosting with conservative Pat Buchanan
. Representing the liberal
position in the televised political debates, Kinsley combined a dry wit with nerd
y demeanor and analytical skills.
In January 1995, Kinsley had a cameo on the first episode of the TV sitcom ''Women of the House
'', in which the show's main character, Suzanne Sugarbaker, was a guest on ''Crossfire
''. He also appeared in three movies during the 1990s: ''Rising Sun
'' (1993), ''Dave
'' (also 1993), and ''The Birdcage
After leaving ''Crossfire'' in 1995, Kinsley returned to his editorial roots, relocating to Seattle
to become founding editor of Microsoft
's online journal, ''Slate
''. In 1998 he was considered for the position of editor in chief of ''The New Yorker
'', but it was ultimately awarded to David Remnick
. In 1999 he was named Editor of the Year by the ''Columbia Journalism Review
'' for his work at ''Slate''.
Kinsley stepped down from ''Slate'' in 2002, shortly after disclosing that he had Parkinson's disease
Kinsley next moved to the ''Los Angeles Times
'' as editorial page editor in April 2004. He maintained his Seattle residence and often worked from there, commuting to Los Angeles on a part-time basis. During his tenure, Kinsley tried to overhaul the paper's editorial page and led an abortive experiment with a Wikitorial
, while also receiving criticism from USC
professor and feminist advocate Susan Estrich
alleging a dearth of editorials written by women. Kinsley announced his departure in September 2005 after a falling out with the publisher.
He returned to writing a weekly column for ''The Washington Post'' and ''Slate'', and in 2006 he served briefly as American editor of ''The Guardian
''. He also became a regular columnist for ''Time
'' magazine, but in May 2009 wrote that the magazine had "dumped" him.
On September 9, 2010, Kinsley and MSNBC
pundit Joe Scarborough
joined the staff of ''Politico
'' as the publication's first opinion columnists. On April 29, 2011, Bloomberg L.P.
announced that Kinsley had joined the Bloomberg View editorial board. In January 2013, Kinsley re-joined ''The New Republic
'' as editor at large. In January 2014, ''Vanity Fair
'' announced that Kinsley would become a contributing editor and write a monthly column.
In 2002, Kinsley married Patty Stonesifer
, a longtime top executive at Microsoft
and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
. (As a Microsoft vice president, she had managed the Microsoft news portion of the MSNBC
merger, which included ''Slate''.) Stonesifer has two adult children from a previous marriage. She is president and CEO of Martha's Table
, a non-profit that develops sustainable solutions to poverty.
In 2002, Kinsley revealed that he had Parkinson's disease
, and on July 12, 2006, he underwent deep brain stimulation
, a type of surgery designed to reduce its symptoms. According to a humorous postscript to his ''Time'' column anticipating the surgery, the operation went well; Kinsley's first words out of the operating room were "Well, of course, when you cut taxes, government revenues go up. Why couldn't I see that before?"
* Kinsley gaffe
* List of newspaper columnists
*Mine Is Longer Than Yours
. ''New Yorker Magazine
''. April 7, 2008.
* Book''Please Don't Remain Calm: Provocations and Commentaries"
(W. W. Norton, 2008)
''. April 27, 2011.
such as it is
Michael Kinsley's other websiteArchive of Kinsley work at Time magazineVideo interview/discussion with Kinsley
and Robert Wright
*''Booknotes'' interview with Kinsley on ''Big Babies'', January 21, 1996
Category:American male journalists
Category:American political commentators
Category:American political writers
Category:American male writers
Category:Jewish American journalists
Category:American Rhodes Scholars
Category:American online publication editors
Category:Cranbrook Educational Community alumni
Category:The Harvard Crimson people
Category:Alumni of Magdalen College, Oxford
Category:Harvard Law School alumni
Category:Los Angeles Times people
Category:People with Parkinson's disease
Category:Writers from Detroit
Category:Writers from Seattle
Category:The New Republic people
Category:Slate (magazine) people
Category:George Washington University Law School alumni
Category:Harvard College alumni
Category:Gerald Loeb Award winners for Columns, Commentary, and Editorials