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

Recent Articles


THE ELEPHANTS IN THE ROOM . I attended CPAC today to hear two of the "big three" Republican contenders ( Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney ) and one of the second-tier candidates who hopes to break through ( Sam Brownback ). I'll say more about them, especially Giuliani, later. But some quick observations about CPAC that simply need to be noted. First, you almost never George W. Bush's name. Not among attendees, not in the speeches by candidates or others. It's as if there is no Republican president in the White House about three miles from the hotel where the conservatives who elected him are meeting. Fascinating, and revealing. Second, it's also as if there's no war in Iraq. By my unofficial count, Giuliani mentioned Iraq just once by name -- and that in an offhand reference to a criticism of Democrats' non-binding resolutions. (A fair enough criticism, at that.) Brownback? Two references. Romney mentioned Iraq the most, taking it head-on by advocating for Bush's escalation plan. At...

Grade Inflation

Every year, Working Mother magazine announces its much-anticipated "100 Best Companies." Employers leap to publicize their inclusion on the list, and it's routinely a best-selling issue. But is the "100 Best"-- and similar lists published by other magazines and organizations -- much more than public relations? Most of the firms that receive the honors are large employers, who are already required by the Family and Medical Leave Act to provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth of a child or to care for any immediate family member. In addition to meeting federal requirements, most businesses on the list have instituted low- or no-cost policies and perks such as flex time, child-care resource directories, lactation rooms, and additional unpaid leave. Benefits such as paid family leave or free or reduced-cost child care are much rarer. Magazines and organizations usually compile these "best employers" lists using self-reported data. While Working Mother says the information is fact-...


PLAN B-ACKLASH . There's apparently hell to pay when you point out that there's no scientific or medical reason to deny women over-the-counter access to emergency contraception. Although the Bush administration and Congress requested and allocated a full $4 million in funding for the Office of Women's Health, the FDA plans to withhold more than a quarter of that money -- $1.2 million. Martha R. Nolan , a vice president at the Society for Women's Health Research, a Washington advocacy group, said that big budget bites in Washington are often the beginning of the end and that she worries that this is retribution for the Plan B controversy. "We fear this is the first step toward eliminating the Office of Women's Health," Nolan said. "We must not allow this office to be eliminated or reduced to an empty shell that has no program funding." But if the funding cut becomes official, the office is going to be in a bind now , not just in the future. They've already spent or allocated the...


OSCAR UPDRAFT . I checked the total signatures at on Saturday, around noon, the day before the Oscars. The total number of signatories was roughly 39,300. As of noon today, the total is up to 44,470, or about a 13.15 percent jump in just 72 hours. --Tom Schaller


LET IT BREED . Ben , Mark and Ezra have missed an important point. David Brooks is annoyed with selfish, liberal, urban hipster-parents because if procreating becomes cool, the trend will eventually take the wind out of his " new red-diaper babies " theory. After all, hipster babies grow into kindergarten scenesters (see Cobrasnake photos below) and, eventually, adult urban liberals. Though Brooks shouldn't despair just yet. If the looks on this kid's face are any indication, it's likely that hipster spawn are at high risk for rebelling -- and becoming born-again "values voters". -- Ann Friedman