Sullivan in August 2006
|Born||Andrew Michael Sullivan
10 August 1963
South Godstone, Surrey, England
|Alma mater||Magdalen College, Oxford
|Occupation||Writer, editor, blogger|
|Influenced by||Michael Oakeshott
|Spouse(s)||Aaron Tone (m. 2007)|
Andrew Michael Sullivan (born 10 August 1963) is a British author resident in the United States, editor, blogger, and political conservative commentator. His focus is US politics but he frequently writes about culture and society.
Sullivan is a speaker at universities, colleges, and civic organisations in the United States. He has been a guest on national news and political commentary television shows in the United States and Europe. Born and raised in England, he has lived in the United States since 1984 and currently resides in New York and Provincetown, Massachusetts. He is openly gay and a practising Roman Catholic. Sullivan is a former editor of The New Republic and the author or editor of six books.
Sullivan was born in South Godstone, Surrey, England, into a Roman Catholic family of Irish descent, and was brought up in the nearby town of East Grinstead, West Sussex. He was educated at Reigate Grammar School, and studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was awarded a first-class degree Bachelor of Arts in modern history and modern languages. In his second year, he was elected president of the Oxford Union, holding the office in Trinity term 1983.
Sullivan earned a Master in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, followed by a PhD on government from Harvard, his dissertation being on the conservative British philosopher Michael Oakeshott.
In 2001, it came to light that Sullivan had posted online anonymous advertisements for unprotected anal sex, preferably with "other HIV-positive men". This resulted in several instances of Sullivan being criticised in the media for this, and also for having criticised President Clinton's "incautious behavior" though others wrote in his defence., Sullivan, in 2003, wrote a Salon article identifying himself as a member of the gay "bear community". On 27 August 2007, Sullivan married Aaron Tone in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Sullivan had a long-expressed desire to become a US citizen, but was barred for many years from applying for citizenship because of his HIV-positive status. Following the statutory and administrative repeals of the HIV immigration ban in 2008 and 2009, respectively, Sullivan announced his intention to begin the process of becoming a permanent US resident and citizen. On the episode of The Chris Matthews Show of 16 April 2011, Sullivan confirmed that he is now a United States Permanent Resident, showing his United States Permanent Resident Card (aka Green Card).
On 13 July 2009, Sullivan was ticketed within the Cape Cod National Seashore for possession of marijuana, but the case was dismissed the following month. This has led to accusations of preferential treatment.
In 1986, Sullivan began his career with The New Republic magazine, serving as its editor from 1991 to 1996. In that position, he expanded the magazine from its traditional roots in political coverage to cultural issues and the politics surrounding them. During this time, the magazine produced some groundbreaking journalism but courted several high-profile controversies.
In 1994, Sullivan published excerpts on race and intelligence from Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray's controversial The Bell Curve, which argued that some of the measured difference in IQ scores between racially defined groups was the result of genetic inheritance. Almost the entire editorial staff of the magazine threatened to resign if material that they considered racist was published. To appease them, Sullivan included lengthy rebuttals from 19 writers and contributors. Sullivan has continued to speak approvingly of the research and arguments presented in The Bell Curve: "the book... still holds up as one of the most insightful and careful of the last decade. The fact of human inequality and the subtle and complex differences between various manifestations of being human – gay, straight, male, female, black, Asian – is a subject worth exploring, period."
Sullivan began writing for The New York Times Magazine in 1998, but was fired by editor Adam Moss in 2002. Jack Shafer writes in Slate magazine that he asked Moss via e-mail to explain this decision, but that his e-mails went unanswered, adding that Sullivan was not fully forthcoming on the subject. Sullivan wrote on his blog that the decision had been taken by Times executive editor Howell Raines who found Sullivan's presence "uncomfortable", but defended Raines's right to sack him. Sullivan suggested that Raines had fired him in response to his criticism of the Times on his blog, and acknowledged that he had expected that his criticisms would eventually anger Raines.
Sullivan describes himself as a conservative and is the author of The Conservative Soul. He has supported a number of traditional conservative positions. He favours a flat tax, limited government, and opposes welfare state programs and interventionism. However, on a number of controversial public issues, including same-sex marriage, social security, the U.S. government's use of torture, and capital punishment, he takes a position typically shared by those on the left of the U.S. political spectrum.
In 2004, Sullivan supported John Kerry's presidential campaign. In 2006, he supported the Democratic Party. Sullivan, among a number of other conservative writers, endorsed Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 US Presidential Election, and Rep. Ron Paul for the Republican nomination. Sullivan endorsed Obama for President on the eve of the election. Sullivan has declared support for Arnold Schwarzenegger and other like-minded Republicans, and written sympathetically about Republican congressman Ron Paul, whom he endorsed for the 2008 and 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
In January 2009, Tunku Varadarajan, Elisabeth Eaves and Hana R. Alberts, writing in Forbes magazine, ranked Sullivan No. 19 on a list of "The 25 Most Influential Liberals in the U.S. Media". Sullivan rejected the "liberal" label, and set out his grounds in a published article in response.
Sullivan, like Marshall Kirk, Hunter Madsen, and Bruce Bawer, has been described by Urvashi Vaid as a proponent of "legitimation", seeing the objective of the gay movement as being "mainstreaming gay and lesbian people" rather than “radical social change.”
Sullivan opposes hate crime laws, arguing that they undermine freedom of speech and equal protection. He also opposes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, arguing that it will, "not make much of a difference" and stated that the "gay rights establishment" was wrong to oppose a version of the bill that did not include gender identity.
War on terror
Sullivan supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States, and was initially hawkish in the war on terror, arguing that weakness would embolden terrorists. Immediately following the September 11 attacks in 2001, he wrote a controversial essay for The Sunday Times, in which he stated, "The middle part of the country – the great red zone that voted for Bush – is clearly ready for war. The decadent Left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead – and may well mount what amounts to a fifth column." In an 14 October 2001 post, Sullivan announced that recent anthrax attacks had sealed his support for war on Iraq, including the possible use of nuclear weaponry by the United States.
However, Sullivan criticised the Bush administration for its prosecution of the wars, especially regarding the numbers of troops, protection of munitions, and treatment of prisoners. Sullivan opposes the use of torture against detainees in US custody and has had disputes with Heather Mac Donald on that issue. Though Sullivan believes that enemy combatants in the war on terror should not be given status as prisoners of war because "terrorists are not soldiers," he believes that the US government must abide by the rules of war — in particular, Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions — when dealing with such detainees.
In recent times, Sullivan has changed his position on the Iraq war and described it as a mistake. On 27 October 2006 edition of Real Time with Bill Maher, he described conservatives and Republicans who refused to admit they had been wrong to support the Iraq War as "cowards." On 26 February 2008 he wrote on his blog: "After 9/11, I was clearly blinded by fear of al Qaeda and deluded by the overwhelming military superiority of the US and the ease of democratic transitions in Eastern Europe into thinking we could simply fight our way to victory against Islamist terror. I wasn't alone. But I was surely wrong."
Sullivan authored an opinion piece featured as the cover article of the October 2009 edition of The Atlantic magazine ("Dear President Bush"). This piece called upon former President Bush to take personal responsibility for the incidents and practices of torture that occurred during his administration as part of the "War on Terror".
[N]eo-conservatism, in large part, is simply about enabling the most irredentist elements in Israel and sustaining a permanent war against anyone or any country who disagrees with the Israeli right [...] But America is not Israel. And once that distinction is made, much of the neoconservative ideology collapses.
In January 2010, Sullivan blogged that he is "moving toward" the idea of "a direct American military imposition" of a two state solution on Israel, with NATO troops enforcing "the borders of the new states of Palestine and Israel". He commented, "I too am sick of the Israelis [...] I’m sick of having a great power like the US being dictated to". His post was criticised by Noah Pollak of Commentary, who referred to it as "crazy", "heady stuff" based on "hubris".
In February 2010, Leon Wieseltier in The New Republic suggested that his former friend and colleague Sullivan had a "venomous hostility toward Israel and Jews", and was "either a bigot, or just moronically insensitive" towards the Jewish people. Sullivan rejected the accusation, and was defended by some writers, while others at least partly supported Wieseltier.
Sullivan devoted a significant amount of blog space to covering the allegations of fraud and related protests after the 2009 Iranian presidential election. Francis Wilkinson of The Week stated that Sullivan's “coverage – and that journalism term takes on new meaning here – of the uprising in Iran was nothing short of extraordinary. 'Revolutionary' might be a better word.”
Sullivan was inspired by the Iranian people's reactions to the election results and used his blog as a hub of information. Because of the media blackout in Iran, Iranian Twitter accounts were a large source of information. Sullivan frequently quoted and linked to Nico Pitney of The Huffington Post.
Sullivan identifies himself as a faithful Catholic while disagreeing with some aspects of the Vatican's position. In Virtually Normal, he argues that the Bible forbids same-sex sexual activity only when it is linked to prostitution or pagan ritual. During an appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher on 19 September 2008, Sullivan described himself as a "religious secularist", and challenged Maher on criticisms of religion and people of faith, saying, "To dismiss all religious people based on the actions of the most literalist dumb ones, I think is bigotry."
His views led him to have concerns about the election of Pope Benedict XVI. In Time Magazine for 24 April 2005 in an article titled, "The Vicar of Orthodoxy", Sullivan stated his criticisms of the new pope. He expressed his view that the pope was opposed to the modern world and women's rights, and deemed gays and lesbians to be innately disposed to evil. He has, however, agreed with Benedict's assertion that reason is an integral element of faith.
Sullivan takes a moderate approach to religion; as such he vocally rejects fundamentalism of any kind, and describes himself as a "dogged defender of pluralism and secularism". He defended religious moderates in a series of exchanges with atheist author Sam Harris in which Harris maintained that religious moderates provide cover for fundamentalists and make it impossible for anyone to effectively oppose them.
In late 2000, Sullivan began his blog, The Daily Dish. By the middle of 2003, it was receiving about 300,000 unique visits per month.
The core principles of Sullivan's blog have been the style of conservatism he views as traditional. This includes fiscal conservatism, limited government, and classic libertarianism on social issues. Sullivan opposes government involvement with respect to sexual and consensual matters between adults, such as the use of marijuana and prostitution. Sullivan believes recognition of same-sex marriage is a civil-rights issue but is willing to promote it on a state-by-state legislative federalism basis, rather than trying to judicially impose the change. Most of Sullivan's disputes with other conservatives have been over social issues, such as these, and the handling of postwar Iraq. Sullivan gives out "awards" each year on various public statements that parody those of people the awards are named after. Throughout the year, "nominees" for these awards are mentioned in various blog posts. The readers of his blog vote the "winner" at the end of the year. These awards include:
- the Hugh Hewitt Award, introduced in June 2008 and named after a man Sullivan describes as an 'absurd partisan fanatic', is for the most egregious attempts to label 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama as un-American, alien, treasonous, and far out of the mainstream of American life and politics.
- the John Derbyshire Award is for egregious and outlandish comments on gays, women, and minorities.
- the Paul Begala Award is for extreme liberal hyperbole.
- the Michelle Malkin Award is named after blogger Michelle Malkin. It is for shrill, hyperbolic, divisive and intemperate right-wing rhetoric. (Ann Coulter is ineligible for this award so that, in Sullivan's own words, "Other people will have a chance.")
- the Michael Moore Award is named after film-maker Michael Moore. It is for divisive, bitter and intemperate left-wing rhetoric.
- the Matthew Yglesias Award is for writers, politicians, columnists or pundits who actually criticise their own side, make enemies among political allies, and generally risk something for the sake of saying what they believe.
- the "Poseur Alert" is awarded for passages of prose that stand out for pretension, vanity and really bad writing designed to look like profundity.
- the Dick Morris Award (formerly the Von Hoffman Award) is for stunningly wrong cultural, political and social predictions. Sullivan renamed this award in September 2012, saying that Von Hoffman was "someone who in many ways got the future right – at least righter than I did."
In February 2007, Sullivan took his blog from Time to the Atlantic Monthly magazine, where he had accepted an editorial post. His presence is estimated to have contributed as much as 30% of the subsequent traffic increase for Atlantic's website.
In 2009, The Daily Dish won The 2008 Weblog Award for Best Blog.
Sullivan left The Atlantic to begin blogging at The Daily Beast in April 2011. In 2013, Sullivan announced that he was leaving The Daily Beast to launch The Daily Dish as a stand-alone website charging subscribers $20-a-year.
- As author
- Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality (1995). Knopf. ISBN 0-679-42382-6.
- Love Undetectable: Notes on Friendship, Sex and Survival (1998). Knopf. ISBN 0-679-45119-6.
- The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back (2006). HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-018877-4.
- Intimations Pursued: The Voice of Practice in the Conversation of Michael Oakeshott (2007). Imprint Academic. ISBN 978-0-907845-28-7
- As editor
- Same-Sex Marriage Pro & Con: A Reader (1997). Vintage. ISBN 0-679-77637-0. First edition
- Same-Sex Marriage Pro & Con: A Reader (2004) . Vintage. ISBN 1-4000-7866-0. Second edition
- The View From Your Window: The world as seen by readers of one blog (2009). Blurb.com
- Andrew Sullivan: Thinking. Out. Loud.
- Sullivan, Andrew. The Conservative Soul: Fundamentalism, Freedom, and the Future of the Right. New York: Harper Perennial, 2006
- Sullivan, Andrew. "New York Shitty". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- Raban, Jonathan (12 April 2007). "Cracks in the House of Rove: The Conservative Soul by Andrew Sullivan". New York Review of Books. Archived from the original on 8 July 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2008.
- "Notable Past Pupils". The Old Reigatian Association, Foundation and Alumni Office, Reigate Grammar School. Archived from the original on 24 June 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2008.
- "Andrew's Bio". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 27 July 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2008.
- Van Auken, Dillon (18 November 2011). "Andrew Sullivan Lectures at IOP". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
- Brooks, David (27 December 2003). "Arguing With Oakeshott". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
- "Andrew Sullivan, Overexposed". The Nation. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
- "My story was ethical". Salon. 5 June 2001. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
- "Salon.com Andrew Sullivan's jihad". Salon. 20 October 2001. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
- "Salon.com in defense of Andrew Sullivan". Salon. 2 June 2001. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
- "I am bear, hear me roar!". Salon. 1 August 2003. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
- Argetsinger, Amy; Roberts, Roxanne (26 April 2007). "At Artomatic, a Rocket Ship Blasts Off; That's the Breaks". The Washington Post. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- "Independent Gay Forum – The Poltroon and the Groom". Indegayforum.org. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
- Sullivan, Andrew (19 August 2007). "My small gay wedding is finally here help". The Times (London). Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- "Q&A with Andrew Sullivan (see 45:44 to 46:27)". http://www.c-spanvideo.org/. 4 October 2006. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
- Andrew Sullivan, "Vatican Beatifies John Paul II As Patron Saint Of Ignoring Problem Until You Die." Retrieved on 25 May 2009.
- "The HIV Travel Ban: Still In Place". The Daily Dish. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
- "Free at Last". The Daily Dish. Archived from the original on 26 December 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
- "Weekend of April 16–17, 2011 – Videos – The Chris Matthews Show". videos.thechrismatthewsshow.com. Archived from the original on 10 May 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- Shea, Christopher (11 September 2009). "Sullivan avoids pot charge; judge objects". Boston Globe. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
- Salzman, Jonathan (12 September 2009). "Dismissed marijuana charge raises judge's ire". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 15 September 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
- "Andrew Sullivan: Thinking. Out. Loud.". More Intelligent Life.com. Spring 2009. Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
- "The Bell Curve revisited.". 17 October 2005. Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
- "Raines-ing in Andrew Sullivan". 15 May 2002. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
- ""Conservatism And Its Discontents" T.H. White Lecture with Andrew Sullivan". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjE49UnJiwE&feature=plcp.
- "The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan (November 03, 2008) – Barack Obama For President". Andrew Sullivan. Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
- "Saturday, October 11, 2003".
- "The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan". Andrew Sullivan. Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
- "Ron Paul For The GOP Nomination" 14 December 2011, The Daily Beast
- Varadarajan, Tunku; Elisabeth Eaves and Hana R. Alberts (22 January 2009). "The 25 Most Influential Liberals in the U.S. Media". Forbes.
- Read Andrew Sullivan in TheAtlantic magazine (24 January 2009). "Forbes' Definition Of "Liberal" – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan". Andrew Sullivan. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- Vaid, Urvashi. Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay & Lesbian Liberation. New York: Doubleday, 1996. p. 37
- "The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan (May 3, 2007) – Hate Crimes and Double Standards". Andrew Sullivan. Archived from the original on 8 March 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
- "Andrew Sullivan Supports Barney Frank / Queerty". Queerty.com. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
- Noah, Timothy (2 December 2002). "Gore, Sullivan, and "Fifth Column"". Slate.com.
- "The View From Your Window". andrewsullivan.com. Archived from the original on 17 July 2005. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
- "The Reality of War". The Daily Dish. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
- "McCain's National Greatness Conservatism". The Daily Dish. Andrew Sullivan. 26 February 2008. Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
- A. Sullivan, Mr Netanyahu "Expects", 20 May 2011.
- Andrew Sullivan,"A False Premise", Sullivan's Daily Dish, 5 February 2009.
- "Sick". 6 January 2010. Archived from the original on 9 January 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- Noah Pollak (6 January 2010). "Andrew Sullivan: It’s Time to Invade Israel". Commentary. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- Leon Wieseltier, Something Much Darker. Andrew Sullivan has a serious problem, The New Republic, 8 February 2010.
- 19 Pundits on the Sullivan-Wieseltier Debate, The Atlantic, 11 February 2010.
- The future belongs to Andrew Sullivan
- Read Andrew Sullivan in TheAtlantic magazine (22 June 2009). "Is Iran Calming Down? – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan". Andrew Sullivan. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- Andrew Sullivan (24 April 2005). "The Vicar of Orthodoxy – TIME Magazine". Time. Archived from the original on 20 March 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
- "Is Religion 'Built Upon Lies'?". Beliefnet.com. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
- "The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper". Thestranger.com. 24 June 2004. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
- Andrew Sullivan (16 September 2008). "The Daily Dish". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
- A Venerable Magazine Energizes Its Web Site – New York Times
- "The 2008 Weblog Awards". The 2008 Weblog Awards. Archived from the original on 8 August 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- Gillmor, Dan (3 January 2013). "Andrew Sullivan plans to serve Daily Dish by subscription". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- Bell, Emily (6 January 2013). "The Daily Dish may feed minds but when Andrew Sullivan taste a profit?". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- The Dish, Andrew Sullivan's blog
- Andrew Sullivan on Twitter
- Column archive (2009–2009) at The Atlantic
- Why I Blog, November 2008
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Andrew Sullivan on Charlie Rose