Ann Friedman

Ann Friedman is a columnist for New York magazine's website and for the Columbia Journalism Review. She also makes pie charts for The Hairpin and Los Angeles magazine. Her work has appeared in ELLE, Esquire, Newsweek, The Observer, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and many other outlets. She lives in Los Angeles, but travels so often the best place to find her is online at annfriedman.com.

Recent Articles

STIMULATE THE ECONOMY BY MENDING OUR SAFETY NETS.

Lots of talk this week about the proposed stimulus. One high priority ought to be the most vulnerable members of our society. The safety net created in the 1930s to protect Americans from extreme poverty is in tatters. Now that we’re in the worst downturn since the Depression, that safety net needs mending. This should be a key part of any stimulus plan. Unemployment insurance, for example, was created in 1935, when most people who lost jobs had held those full time positions for some years. But most people who are losing jobs now have not been in them all that long. Typically, the last ones hired are the first fired. And many job losers have only worked part time. Either way, they don’t qualify for unemployment benefits. In fact, fewer than 40 percent of people now losing their jobs qualify. So a necessary step toward mending our safety net is to get unemployment benefits to everyone who loses a job. And if it's a part-time job, partial benefits. Or take welfare. Remember it? It was...

HELP OUT TAP DURING THE HOLIDAYS.

In my role as deputy editor at the Prospect , I have the privilege of working with and editing some of the most promising up-and-coming young journalists in the business, as well as some of the most accomplished writers on the left and in journalism. Having gotten my start in journalism at newspapers, where there is little space for a substantive discussion of the issues and where “two sides” to every story must be presented, I’m proud to say the Prospect retains the best aspects of daily journalism (accuracy and timeliness) while adding more depth and discussion – and an unabashedly liberal worldview. The Prospect ’s not-for-profit status allows us to focus on meaty policy issues and in-depth reporting without tailoring or altering our content to appeal to advertisers. Donations also help pay our writing fellows’ salaries and our writers’ fees. Unlike many other influential liberal Web sites, the Prospect is proud to pay its staff and contributors for their work. If you read and...

Don't Call it a Culture War

We will continue to lose battles like Prop. 8 until we can successfully relabel LGBT rights a civil-rights issue, rather than an issue mired in the culture-war swamp of moral controversy.

As the election-night results rolled in -- and even before that, as the polling leaned heavily toward Barack Obama -- some liberals gleefully declared the end of the so-called culture war. This war's two most reliable weapons, demonizing same-sex marriage and decrying abortion rights, failed to propel Republican candidates to victory -- supposedly indicating that so-called cultural issues had lost their bite. Wrote Peter Beinart in The Washington Post , "Culture war no longer sells." Obama's landslide victory prompted many progressives to declare that the long-awaited Democratic majority had finally emerged. But watching the most momentous election in a generation was bittersweet. Despite the supposed ceasefire in the culture war, Nov. 4 saw the passage of four heartbreakingly bigoted ballot measures: same-sex marriage bans in California, Florida, and Arizona, along with an Arkansas initiative designed to prohibit same-sex couples from adopting or foster-parenting. This is a call to...

I CAN HAZ PRIVILEGE?

I'm breaking out my P-Mate , because Jonathan Chait and I are engaged in a little pissing match about identity politics. He argued that, in the early days of Bill Clinton 's presidency, "the primary mistake was to allow social issues to dominate the agenda" -- namely, gays in the military and appointing a cabinet that "looked like America." I replied that Clinton's missteps on gays in the military and female appointees for attorney general were symptoms of overall problems and disarray in the White House. Yesterday, Chait responded , again blaming the Clinton administration's "mania for diversity": I further contended in my column that the complaints from minority groups, and the perception that Clinton was scrambling to meet their demands, was the most damaging aspect of all. This, along with "don't ask, don't tell," helped change the primary subject from the economy, where Clinton enjoyed strong majority support, to social issues, where he did not. Clinton promised repeatedly during...

The Identity Blame Game

It's Cabinet speculation time, and the valiant defenders of the place of white men in the Democratic Party are worried, once again, that women, people of color, and gay folks will screw it all up for them.

During the Bush years, many pundits agreed that the Democratic Party had a "white man problem" -- that a Democrat would never win the presidency without more support from working-class white dudes. Just last year, David Paul Kuhn published The Neglected Voter: White Men and the Democratic Dilemma , warning Democrats that, if they knew what was best for them, they'd stop kowtowing to women and people of color and start making overtures to the white men who really decide elections. Except that, in 2008, John McCain won 57 percent of the white male vote. Last time I checked, he's not our president-elect. But that doesn't mean the warnings to Democrats have stopped. Now (mostly white, mostly male) commentators are arguing that unless Barack Obama can keep the Democratic Party's "identity groups" in check, he's going to have a hard time being a successful president. These days we're firmly in Obama-Cabinet-speculation territory -- Larry Summers for Treasury? Hillary Clinton for State? Much...

Pages