Jonathan Chait

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Jonathan Chait
Jonathan Chait.jpg
Born 1972
Nationality American
Education University of Michigan
Occupation Journalist, editor, author
Notable credit(s) senior editor at The New Republic; former assistant editor of The American Prospect; author of The Big Con; former fellow at New America Foundation; frequent guest on
Spouse(s) Robin Chait

Jonathan Chait (/ˈt/; born 1972) is a commentator and writer for New York magazine. He was previously a senior editor at The New Republic and a former assistant editor of The American Prospect. He writes a periodic column in the Los Angeles Times.

Personal life[edit]

Chait was born to a Jewish family,[1] the son of a doctor and a small business owner/entrepreneur, grew up in the suburbs of Detroit and is a graduate of the University of Michigan. There he wrote for The Michigan Daily and co-founded The Michigan Independent. He lives in Washington, D.C. and is married to Robin Chait, formerly an education-policy analyst at the Center for American Progress think tank.


Chait began working at The New Republic in 1995. In January 2010, The New Republic replaced The Plank, TNR's group blog, with the Jonathan Chait Blog. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, and Reason. He took over The New Republic's TRB column from Peter Beinart in March 2007. His columns from 2008 are a finalist for the National Magazine Award, in the category of best commentary.[citation needed]

On March 16, 2009, Chait appeared on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report to counter conservative arguments that the New Deal was a failure.[2] The impetus for that appearance was an article he wrote for The New Republic called "Wasting Away in Hooverville".[3]

Chait appears in The Rivalry, a 2007 HBO documentary about the history and culture of the Michigan-Ohio State football rivalry. Chait joined the staff of New York magazine on September 6, 2011, leaving his post of Senior Editor at The New Republic.[4] He explained the move as follows: "Obviously I love TNR and had no plans to leave, but the opportunity at New York was irresistible. Everybody who works there raves about it, and my friends in journalism have noticed for a while it's become phenomenal — 'the best magazine in America', as one editor friend of mine told me".[5]


Chait usually writes about domestic politics and policy. Many of his writings are critiques of what he perceives to be illogical positions taken by conservatives. A self-described liberal hawk,[6] he has written pieces critical of left-wing figures such as Naomi Klein,[7] and wrote a TNR cover article condemning the state of Delaware.[8]

He drew considerable attention with his "Case for Bush Hatred", in which he defended his dislike not only of Bush's policies but also his personality and mannerisms of the then-president's persona.[9]

Chait occasionally writes about sports, particularly stories involving his alma mater, the University of Michigan. He strongly criticized the editorial staff of the Detroit Free Press following a controversial article by Michael Rosenberg that alleged systematic infractions of NCAA rules by the Michigan football program under former head coach Rich Rodriguez. Chait suggested Rosenberg's editor should "lose his job" and called the investigation's methodology "journalistic malpractice".[10]

On February 22, 2010, following an investigation stemming from allegations raised in Rosenberg's article, UM announced that the NCAA has found probable cause that the school committed five major violations,[11] corroborating some but not all of the allegations in Rosenberg's article. On May 24, 2010, the University of Michigan responded to the NCAA Notice of Allegations, stating in part, "the University is satisfied that the initial media reports were greatly exaggerated if not flatly incorrect".[12][not in citation given] Chait then claimed Rosenberg's allegations that Rodriguez "operated a football sweatshop has been totally debunked".[13]

On January 27, 2015, Chait wrote an article for New York Magazine on political correctness, which he labeled "a system of left-wing ideological repression", citing examples from academia and social media.[14] His article was met with widespread criticism, largely, although not entirely, negative.[15][16][17][18] Chait later responded to these criticisms in a second article for New York Magazine.[19]



  • Chait, Jonathan (2007). The big con : the true story of how Washington got hoodwinked and hijacked by crackpot economics. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 
    • Reprinted as The big con : crackpot economics and the fleecing of America. Boston: Mariner Books. 2008. 

Essays and reporting[edit]


  1. ^ Anthony Weiss, Jewish Journal: "What will New Republic exodus mean for American Jewish thought?", December 9, 2014.
  2. ^ Video of Chait's appearance on The Colbert Report, March 16, 2009.
  3. ^ Jonathan Chait, "Wasting Away in Hooverville", The New Republic, March 18, 2009.
  4. ^ "On Media: Jonathan Chait to New York; Timothy Noah to New Republic", Politico, September 6, 2011.
  5. ^ "On Media: Jonathan Chait to New York; Timothy Noah to New Republic", Politico, September 6, 2011.
  6. ^ Criticisms of Charles Krauthammer,; accessed February 16, 2015.
  7. ^ Criticism of Naomi Klein,; accessed February 16, 2015.
  8. ^ Chait, Jonathan. "Rogue State". The New Republic. Retrieved May 9, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Case for Bush Hatred",; accessed February 16, 2015.
  10. ^ Chait criticisms of Michael Rosenberg,; accessed February 16, 2015.
  11. ^ University of Michigan broke football rules,; accessed February 16, 2015.
  12. ^ "U-M Responds to NCAA Notice of Allegations". Ann Arbor, Michigan: CBS Interactive. May 25, 2010. Archived from the original on June 13, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015. 
  13. ^ Chait comments after the University of Michigan response to the NCAA Notice of Allegations",; accessed February 16, 2015.
  14. ^ Chait, Johnathan (January 27, 2015). "Not a Very P.C. Thing to Say". New York Magazine. Archived from the original on June 6, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015. 
  15. ^ Theriault, Anne (January 28, 2015). "A Brief Rundown of Jonathan Chait's Angsty White Man Opus". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on June 13, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015. 
  16. ^ Greenwald, Glenn (January 28, 2015). "The Petulant Entitlement Syndrome of Journalists". The Intercept. First Look Media. Archived from the original on June 13, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015. 
  17. ^ Marcotte, Amanda (January 27, 2015). "P.C. Policeman Jonathan Chait Can Dish It Out, But He Can't Take It". Talking Points Memo. Archived from the original on June 13, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015. 
  18. ^ Pareene, Alex (January 27, 2015). "Punch-Drunk Jonathan Chait Takes On the Entire Internet". Gawker. Archived from the original on June 13, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015. 
  19. ^ Chait, Jonathan (January 30, 2015). "Secret Confessions of the Anti-Anti-P.C. Movement". Archived from the original on June 13, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015. 

External links[edit]