Ben Adler

Ben Adler writes on national politics and domestic policy. Ben has been a staff writer for Politico and an editor at Newsweek and the Center for American Progress. His writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Columbia Journalism Review, Salon, The Washington Monthly, The New Republic, The Guardian and Next American City among other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Recent Articles


WILLFUL IGNORANCE. Over at the Corner , Jonah Goldberg has apparently made a regular beat out of arguing against taking action to prevent the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change. First, last week, he responded to my mockery of National Review 's new "Planet Gore" blog and its undue respect for the delusions of novelist and climate change skeptic Michael Crichton . He wrote : I'm not an enormous fan of Crichton's either, but let us stipulate that he knows a hell of a lot more, and has done a lot more homework, than the scores of Hollywood airhead environmentalists Adler & Co. never seem to have a problem with. Leonardo DiCaprio , I suppose, has a better grasp of the data? Moreover, Adler might have heard that Crichton and two full-fledged scientists recently beat some leading global warming scientists in a debate . Leave it to Goldberg to bring the denizens of Hollywood into even the most unrelated discussion. For the record, liberals are concerned about climate...


ANOTHER KIND OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT ON THE INTERNET: Just a little follow up to Garance's interesting post on the sexual harassment female bloggers often face. Men too, can be the victims of this behavior, including yours truly. A commenter on this blog once accused me of being a homosexual and a conservative (I'm neither, not that there's anything wrong with the former), and a prominent college Republican named Ryan Sorba commented on my Campus Progress blog that I must be a "homosexualist." Mind you neither of these were posts that had anything to do with LGBT issues. But just as men try to discredit women they disagree with in the real world and in the blogosphere by reducing them to their appearance or impugning their sexual mores, they may attempt to discredit men they disagree with by questioning their sexuality. -- Ben Adler


INTER-OFFICE DISCONNECT. Today the New York Times editorial page tut-tuts the media's coverage of the recent quarterly presidential candidate fundraising filings. This year, the political industry is spinning the money before it is spent, ordaining mega-fund-raising as the sine qua non of a credible candidacy. Dispatches heralded �the winners of the first presidential fund-raising race,� pronouncing one big $20 million raiser ( Mitt Romney ) as instantly �formidable� and a �rising force� in the campaign, while discounting a more familiar aspirant (Senator John McCain ) as �lackluster� and �anemic� for showing a mere $12.5 million. And where might the Times editorial board have gotten the idea that McCain's numbers are being dissed as "anemic"? From reading their own paper perhaps. The news analysis story on page A1 featured a chart with a caption next to McCain's photograph that read, "His showing was so anemic that it prompted an overhaul of his campaign finance staff and unusual...


DEFINING INTELLECTUAL HONESTY: Jon Chait posts on the Plank that he thinks Ramesh Ponnuru is the most intellectually honest conservative writer. I can't decide if I agree. On the one hand Chait has some strong evidence from Ponnuru's recent blogging on The Corner that, at least in so far as judging Republican presidential aspirants goes, Ponnuru is frank about the strengths and shortcomings of everyone including his preferred choice ( John McCain ) while his colleagues simply shill for whoever they've chosen. It's also true that when I interviewed conservative intellectuals about whether they believed in evolution for TNR , Ponnuru gave me a very honest and non-pandering reply. He was not alone in this regard ( Charles Krauthammer and Pat Buchanan also spoke their mind, although they completely disagree on the topic.) But many conservatives, who shall remain nameless, ducked the interview with feeble excuses, or gave pro-intelligent design answers that sounded more like a political...


MISSING TIME. Time , to their great credit, has put out a special double issue this week on global warming and what you can do to prevent it. But their exhaustive list (it includes 25 items) contains some rather curiously small suggestions and omits one crucial big one. While they had room to encourage their readers to create a "green wedding," Time did not discuss the role of urban planning. It is certainly wise to suggest, as Time does, that Americans move into apartment buildings and take mass transit. But Americans cannot live an eco-friendly, auto-independent lifestyle under current zoning restrictions. Right now, it is illegal to build dense apartment buildings or row houses in much of the country, illegal to build mixed-use commercial and residential districts, and all new shopping centers take the form of strip mall development because of the minimum parking requirements. Making the very life choices that Time correctly recommends will also require that citizens agitate on the...