So it looks as though John Micklethwait, currently US editor, is probably going to be the new editor at the Economist; the final decision is due to be announced tomorrow. It’s down to a two man race between him and Ed Carr, and not that many people are betting on Carr ( in contrast to a few days ago, but that’s a different story ). To the surprise of many, Clive Crook didn’t make it to the final two, which is unfortunate in my books – Crook is somewhat conservative for my taste, but also a good journalist who would have made a very decent editor. Ed Carr, from all I’ve heard, would be a fine editor too, but things don’t sound good for him.
I have to say that my first reaction is to wonder whether it’s too late to cancel the recent renewal of my Economist subscription. I expect the Economist to be vehemently pro-market, but by reading certain kinds of stories with a skeptical eye, and by skipping past certain others, you can find a lot of value in its pages. It has a clear ideological bias, but it isn’t usually actively dishonest. But Micklethwait, together with his scrofulous sidekick Adrian Wooldridge, was responsible for The Right Nation which is one of the lazier and more dishonest books on American politics that I’ve had the misfortune of reading in the last few years, and for the Lexington column which has shown a pretty reliable track record as a purveyor of Republican talking points. There are still a lot of very good people working for the magazine – but I worry that it’s about to undergo a quite substantial deterioration in intellectual quality.
Update: It’s Micklethwait as expected.