Why We Rattle the Cup

Nobody but wealthy masochists much likes fund-raising appeals, and I won’t try to match the eloquence of the Washington Monthly‘s writers and editors in recent years in touting this proud old magazine’s legacy of fresh journalism, sharp commentary, and timely book reviews.

I’ll keep it blunt and simple: we are in the midst of a historic meltdown in the economics of political journalism, and quite possibly on the brink of a situation where all you’ll be able to read is bland, he-said-she-said “coverage” and ideological hackery, with even that hidden behind paywalls. Yeah, there may continue to be a handful of superstar bloggers and columnists worth reading, and enough half-starving or trust-fund-endowed youthful reporters burning themselves out for a few years to keep things interesting. But it won’t be the same, and we’ll all miss the kind of diversity, originality and sheer quirkiness that make sites like this worth more than the occasional gander.

I realize most readers don’t have a lot of discretionary dollars to toss around, but I can also assure you no one at the Monthly is getting fat on what we earn. I try real hard not to think about that shelving job at Target which might well supply me an equivalent income and better benefits, or how precipitously my fortunes have declined since walking away from the Washington think tank world. But I love what I do here, and so do my colleagues. We’d like to keep doing it, and make it better in hundreds of ways. So keep that in mind when you consider our pleas, and if you can, make a donation by clicking here.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.