Michael C. Moynihan
|Michael C. Moynihan|
|Other names||Michael Moynihan|
|Education||University of Massachusetts Amherst
B.A. in history
Michael C. Moynihan is an American journalist and the cultural news editor for The Daily Beast/Newsweek and formally the managing editor of Vice magazine. Before that he was a senior editor of the libertarian magazine Reason. He was a resident fellow of the free-market think tank, Timbro. Moynihan lived in Sweden and wrote articles about politics in the country, contributing to Swedish-language publications, including Expressen, Aftonbladet, Sveriges Television, Neo and Göteborgs-Tidningen. According to Media Bistro, “Moynihan is perhaps best known for breaking the story on Jonah Lehrer’s fabrications.”
Moynihan founded the Stockholm Spectator, an English-language website based in Stockholm, Sweden. According to Sveriges Radio, the site was originally intended to be a print publication modeled on The Village Voice. Writers were mainly English-speaking expatriates living in Sweden. "Despite the fact that so many Swedes speak and read in English there were almost no English-language newspapers in Sweden," said Moynihan to Sveriges Radio in 2004. It maintained a focus on criticism of the media, but also dealt with current topics in politics and music. Moynihan began serving on the editorial board of the Swedish magazine Neo in 2006 along with Peter Wolodarski and Theodore Paues. Swedish politician Carl Bildt sat on the board of the publication.
During a controversy in 2006 where the website SD-Kuriren was criticized by the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Laila Freivalds for publishing satires of the Prophet Muhammad of Islam, the website was taken down by its provider. As editor of the Stockholm Spectator, Moynihan reacted to what he viewed as suppression of freedom of the press, and posted to the blog of the magazine one of the more offensive of the caricatures of Muhammad. He was a resident fellow at the organization Timbro, a free-market think tank based in Stockholm. He lived in Sweden and wrote articles about the politics of the country. Moynihan has contributed articles to Swedish-language publications, including Expressen, Aftonbladet, Sveriges Television, Neo, and Göteborgs-Tidningen. Moynihan was the producer of a 2006 documentary for Modern Times Group of Sweden's TV8, on American conservative radio talk show host Barry Farber. He performed research for Timbro in 2007 in which he wrote critically of Noam Chomsky's research methods, and argued that Chomsky did not deserve an honorary doctorate he received at Uppsala University.
Moynihan was an associate editor for Reason prior to serving as its senior editor, having joined the staff of the magazine in August 2007. His December 24, 2007, article for Reason, "Flunking Free Speech: The Persistent Threat to Liberty on College Campuses" was cited by Robert H. Jackson Legal Fellow at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Azhar Majeed, in the legal journal The Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy in 2009. Moynihan was a contributor to the Los Angeles Times in 2008. After Barack Obama was elected President of the United States in November 2008, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution highlighted critical comments by Moynihan of the President-Elect's supporters, in a sample of political viewpoints following the election. He conducted interviews for Reason.tv in 2009. In 2010, he was a visiting fellow at Timbro. Moynihan is the senior editor of both Reason magazine, and its website, Reason.com. He resided in Washington, D.C. in 2010.
Moynihan announced his participation in the protest movement "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" which began in May 2010. The movement grew in response to censorship by Comedy Central of an episode of South Park which depicted the Prophet Muhammad. Moynihan stated he would post his own contributions in addition to submissions from other individuals to the website of Reason on the protest movement's scheduled date of May 20, 2010. He encouraged his readers to send him their drawings. Moynihan stated he planned to select some of his favorite depictions of Muhammad from the protest movement, and then add them to the Reason.com website. Moynihan commented, "In the South Park episode that started all this, Buddha does lines of coke and there was an episode where Cartman started a Christian rock band that sang very homo-erotic songs. Yet there is one religious figure we can't make fun of. The point of the episode that started the controversy is that celebrities wanted Muhammad's power not to be ridiculed. How come non-Muslims aren't allowed to make jokes?" Moynihan noted, "Any time you cave into terrorism, it emboldens extremists," and posited that the decision of Comedy Central to enact self-censorship of the South Park episode would have the impact of worsening the situation.
In a February 2011 book review for the Wall Street Journal, Moynihan provided evidence that British author Dominic Sandbrook was guilty of “[r]ecycling the phrasing, the descriptive adjectives, the reportorial detail of other historians—in other words, ignoring the codes and courtesies of historical scholarship.” The next year, Moynihan told the New York Observer that he had been surprised to see Sandbrook’s book “published in paperback with no corrections.”
Moynihan contributed the “Righteous Gentile” column to Tablet Magazine in 2012 and 2013. In his column, he maintained that the news network Russia Today (RT) is a propaganda outlet, examined the Polish reaction to President Obama’s reference in a speech to World War II “Polish death camps,” accused New York congressional candidate Charles Barron of being anti-Semitic, and reflected on the advice of Israel’s ambassador to Denmark that “in certain areas of Copenhagen, it’s best to keep your Judaism to yourself.” AMoynihan article that appeared in Tablet Magazine on July 30, 2012, contained evidence that New Yorker writer Jonah Lehrer had fabricated Bob Dylan quotations and led to Lehrer's resignation and to the withdrawal of two of his three books from circulation.
After Lehrer’s resignation, Moynihan told the New York Observer that he felt sorry for Lehrer and “wasn’t trying to hurt him…. I really do wish him the best and I really do hope he recovers from this.” Moynihan revealed in a March 2013 article for the Daily Beast/Newsweek that after Lehrer’s book publisher withdrew his third book, Imagine, from bookstores, Moynihan “privately provided them with a handful of problematic passages” from Lehrer’s second book, How We Decide, leading to the withdrawal of that book as well.
Moynihan has been cultural news editor of The Daily Beast/Newsweek since 2012. In his contributions to the Daily Beast, he has criticized Robert Bork’s fondness for censorship and Sean Penn’s admiration for Hugo Chavez, written about the uncritical media enthusiasm for Julian Assange and the unreliability of Wikipedia, deplored Jane Goodall’s plagiarism and the hiring of left-wing radicals with criminal backgrounds as university professors. He has described Peter Kuznick and Oliver Stone’s book The Untold History of the United States and its companion TV series as “junk history” and “a marvel of historical illiteracy,” and accused Piers Morgan of journalist unseriousness, claiming that he “eschews intelligent debate in favor of screaming matches with conspiracy nuts.” Moynihan criticized the propensity of many media commentators to predict the democratic reform of North Korea, Cuba, and other dictatorships and questioned “the mindless deification of Pete Seeger,” who, he claims, “never really did abandon the dream of Communism.”
Moynihan has described Dennis Rodman as “his generation’s dull-witted John Reed,” criticized U.S. Congressmen who soft-pedaled Russia’s jailing of Pussy Riot members, complained about what he views as the excessive sniffing out of political incorrectness in movies and TV shows “rather than just let art be art,” and said that the foreign news networks RT, PressTV, and Fars are “like professional wrestling: absurd, occasionally funny, and always fake.”
In a November 2012 article, Moynihan mocked the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union, writing that “there are a number of overlapping and interwoven reasons for the relative calm of modern Europe, and none of them are related to the moral authority or peace-making capabilities of the European Union or the endless diktats emanating from Brussels.” After Nelson Mandela’s death, Moynihan wrote that “while Mandela was richly deserving of his Nobel Prize and earned the overused appellation ‘great man,’ he wasn't a saint”; after the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI, Moynihan called him a “moral failure”; after Bill de Blasio was installed as mayor of New York, Moynihan criticized the nostalgia for the crime-ridden New York of the 1970s that was on display at the inauguration. Following Hugo Chavez’s death, Moynihan described his regime as “extralegal, vindictive, and interested in the short-term gesture rather than the more difficult, long-term solution,” and said that “Chávez’s lesson for future authoritarians” is to “make a mockery of democratic institutions, rewrite the Constitution, and persecute—and prosecute—your political enemies. But when you do so, make sure to mutter the appropriate things about poverty, ‘the empire,’ and the scourge of ‘neoliberalism.’ All will be forgiven.”
Moynihan has appeared on the TV discussion programs Red Eye, The Independents, Stossel, Take Part Live, NewsNation with Tamron Hall, The War Room with Michael Shure, and Glenn Beck. He spoke at the Oslo Freedom Forum in May 2014.
- O'Shea, Chris (Sep 26, 2012). "Michael Moynihan Joins Newsweek/The Daily Beast". Media Bistro.
- "Staff: Michael C. Moynihan – Reason Magazine". Reason (reason.com). 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- Uddenfeldt, Therese (July 27, 2004). "Stockholm kan få tidning på engelska". Sveriges Radio (sverigesradio.se). Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- Ekström, Andreas (January 18, 2006). "Borgerlighet för "grästoppar"". Sydsvenskan (www.sydsvenskan.se). Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- Goldenberg, David (February 16, 2006). "Condom Nation: Gelf highlights overlooked coverage from local media around the world. In this edition: A prophylactic push; a defiant editor; and a lot of missing teeth.". Gelf Magazine (www.gelfmagazine.com). Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- Moynihan, Michael (October 4, 2007). "Stockholm Syndrome". The American (American Enterprise Institute). Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- McArdle, Megan (June 5, 2008). "Sweden: paradise or purgatory?". The Atlantic (www.theatlantic.com). Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- "Timbro tar heder och ära av Noam Chomsky". Hufvudstadsbladet (Hufvudstadsbladet, Finland). May 30, 2007. p. 25.
- "Michael Moore schticko". Chicago Sun-Times (Chicago, Illinois). July 1, 2007. p. B5.
- "Reason news". Reason. August 1, 2007. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- Majeed, Azhar (Summer 2009). "Defying the Constitution The Rise, Persistence, And Prevalence Of Campus Speech Codes". The Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy (Georgetown University Law Center). p. 7 Geo. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 481.
- Meier, Andrew; Michael C. Moynihan (August 27, 2008). "Can the civilized world civilize Russia?". Los Angeles Times (www.latimes.com). Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- Moynihan, Michael C.; Andrew Meier (August 26, 2008). "Is NATO reaching too far east?". Los Angeles Times (www.latimes.com). Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- "Election 2008: The presidency: The Voices: 'A great day for all of us': Free coffee and monumental change: Here's an Election Day sampling of political (and other) blog comments on voting, domestic policy, the candidates and two interesting parallels.". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia). November 5, 2008. p. pEX2.
- "Video: Tea Party Confidential: Taxpayer March on Washington". The Trentonian (www.trentonian.com). September 15, 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- "Should Government Bail Out Newspapers?". Fox News Channel (FOX News Network, LLC.). March 18, 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- "Cartoonist Molly Norris Erases 'Draw Muhammad' Gag". FOX 9 (Fox Television Stations, Inc.). April 26, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- Moynihan, Michael C. (April 23, 2010). "First Annual Everybody Draw Mohammad Day". Hit and Run (Reason). Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- Moye, Dan (April 27, 2010). "Creators Out, But Muhammad Drawing Protest Is On". AOL News. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
- Kamer, Foster (Jul 30, 2012). "Q & A: Michael C. Moynihan, The Guy Who Uncovered Jonah Lehrer’s Fabrication Problem". Observer.
- Gillespie, Nick; Meredith Bragg (May 9, 2011). "Michael Moynihan's Reason Exit Interview: Now with Vice mag, he dishes on Libya, Sweden, & more". Reason.
- Moynihan, Michael C. (July 30, 2012). "Jonah Lehrer’s Deceptions". The Tablet. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- Myers, Steve (July 30, 2012). "Jonah Lehrer resigns from New Yorker after accusation he fabricated Bob Dylan quotes in ‘Imagine’". Poynter. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
- Bosman, Julie (July 30, 2012). "Jonah Lehrer Resigns From New Yorker After Making Up Dylan Quotes for His Book". NY Times Media Blog. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Moynihan, Michael (Mar 1, 2013). "Publisher Pulls Jonah Lehrer’s ‘How We Decide’ From Stores". The Daily Beast.
- Moynihan, Michael C. (September 20, 2006). "Sweden's Politics of Perssonal Destruction". Reason (reason.com). (earliest article at Reason)
- Moynihan's Columns at The Daily Beast/Newsweek
- Moynihan at Reason
- Michael C. Moynihan at the Internet Movie Database