Timothy Robert Noah (born 1958) is an American journalist and author. He is currently the labor policy editor for Politico. Previously he was a contributing writer at MSNBC.com, and before that he was senior editor of The New Republic, where he wrote the "TRB From Washington" column, and a senior writer at Slate, where for a decade he wrote the "Chatterbox" column. In April 2012 Noah published a book, The Great Divergence, about income inequality in the United States.
Noah is the son of Marian Jane (née Swentor) and Robert M. Noah, a television producer. He grew up in New Rochelle, New York, and Beverly Hills, California. His father was Jewish, and his mother was Protestant; he describes himself as an atheist. He is a graduate of Harvard College, where he obtained a degree in English in 1980, and where he was on the prose board of the Harvard Advocate. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Earlier in his career, Noah was an Assistant Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report, a Washington reporter for the Wall Street Journal, a staff writer at The New Republic and a congressional correspondent for Newsweek. Noah is a contributing editor to The Washington Monthly, where he was an editor (1983–85), and he has been a frequent broadcast commentator on CBS News' Sunday Morning and NPR's former program, Day To Day. In 2010, Noah was a National Magazine Award finalist in the online news reporting category for his Slate coverage of the health care reform bill.
The Great Divergence grew out of a ten-part series that Noah published in Slate in September 2010. The series won the 2011 Hillman Prize in the magazine category, and was the first online-only work ever to do so. Writing on Page One of the New York Times Book Review, the Harvard economist Benjamin Friedman called the book "as fair and comprehensive a summary as we are likely to get of what economists have learned about our growing inequality." The book also won praise from Nicholas Lemann in the New Yorker, Andrew Hacker in the New York Review of Books, and William Julius Wilson in the Nation.
On March 22, 2013, Noah announced over Twitter that he'd been fired by The New Republic. He said he didn't know why. Editor Franklin Foer said "Tim Noah has been a strong voice for liberalism and a rigorous columnist for The New Republic. We’ve appreciated his passion and contribution to the magazine over the past two years and wish him the very best." He joined the Politico staff in September 2014.
In a February 2003 article in Slate, Noah described his initial opposition to the Iraq War and his conversion to the pro-war position by Colin Powell's February 3 speech to the United Nations. After many of Powell's statements were proven false, Noah changed his mind again about the war, praising those who had remained steadfastly against it in an August 2004 column. After that, he became an outspoken critic of the media's ongoing tendency to grant credibility to war boosters, while discounting the views of those who opposed the war from the start.
Noah's late wife, fellow journalist Marjorie Williams, died of cancer in 2005. After her death, Noah edited an anthology of Williams' writing, The Woman at the Washington Zoo: Writings on Politics, Family, and Fate. The book won PEN's Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction and a National Magazine Award in the category of essays and criticism. A second Williams anthology, Reputation: Portraits in Power was published in October 2008.
My rock-star nephew Adam Levine and my sister Patsy, both visiting from Los Angeles, did not.