Talk:Commentary (magazine)

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Article title[edit]

The magazine's official name is one word: Commentary. In theory, this entry should be redirected to an entry called "Commentary." And all references in the article to "Commentary Magazine" should be changed to either "Commentary" or "Commentary magazine" (with a small "m"). --68.198.233.112 02:31, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree, and I'm moving the article from Commentary Magazine to Commentary (magazine). JamesMLane t c 22:21, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Remove the Designation "Neoconservative"[edit]

I object to the pejorative term “neoconservative” to describe Commentary. The term “neoconservative,” unfortunately, has been used as a code-word for Jews. Those who use the term “neoconservative,” use it shield an anti-Jewish bias, in that they claim to not have hostility to Jews but only to neoconservatives; and this article further connects Jews to this much maligned political persuasion; since Commentary is a publication of the American Jewish Committee.

The two references to Commentary as being a “neoconservative” publication are hostile to both Commentary and neoconservatives; without clearly defining “neoconservativism” and what relation, if any, such a political persuasion has to Jews, Jewish culture, and Jewish American concerns.

Anti-neoconservative rhetoric appears very similar to anti-Zionist rhetoric in that hostility to both neoconservatism and Zionism are a cover for antisemitism.

--Lance6968 21:43, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

I respectfully disagree. Neoconservative was a label coined by Commentary (magazine) editors Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz. It simply meant former leftists who became "conservative" in the 1970s. It refers to Jews because the original neoconservatives were Jews who felt the New Left was anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist. And one more question: if Commentary isn't a neoconservative publication, what is?

On its own website it claims to be "the flagship of neoconservatism". Meowy 23:28, 3 March 2008 (UTC)


There is an actual editorial fight over french neo-conservatist news magazine Le Point.
Started yesterday. My fault.
I started ironizing about actual poltical situation in France and a villain stepped in.
May be you should go and see what can be done.
[Point] Der letzte Konsul (talk) 08:38, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Commentary.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 20:43, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

"Contributors" section[edit]

This section is pure original research/synthesis. Not only is such a long list of names without any explanation/discussion boring/unencyclopedic, but the inclusion criterion is rather arbitrary: only notable people with a wiki article (notable people that don't yet have a wiki article are excluded). Inclusion of such a list is rather unusual and simply cannot possibly become a standard feature of our coverage of magazines/journals/newspapers. Imagine the lists we would get for The New York Times or Time. (The latter has a list, which is properly tagged for sourcing: shy are those particular people selected?) In addition, this list is absolutely uninformative. Only someone who knows all these people could perhaps glean something from it. Only if there are sources independent from this magazine that comment on the importance of a certain contributor to the magazine, would discussion of a particular contributor be warranted. In the absence of that, it should go. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 17:57, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Guillaume2303 is dead wrong. there is no OR and there is no synthesis. The contributors were all selected by the Commentary editors and Commentary did the OR to compile the full list, which (contrary to his statement) is at their website (see footnote 9). The inclusion criterion is not at all arbitrary--there is no point in having hundreds of red links so all red links were dropped. all the ones listed have passed the Wiki rules for notability, which is a selection process 100% independent of the magazine. Are there notable authors for Commentary who lack an article? Guillaume2303 made that allegation up out of thin air, he did not do the research (he denied the existence of the full list of Commentary authors) --he does not know what he is talking about. He of course is free to start articles on these mystery people he knows so little about. There is in fact extensive discussion in the article about contributors, but only a very short list is included in the main text. Irrelevant comparisons to the New York Times are unproductive--it's another wild exercise of the imagination to compare these two periodicals. A magazine like Commentary is important BECAUSE of its many influential contributors, that's why the readers need the list. They can check out for themselves who the magazine published. Indeed, the fact that these notable authors chose Commentary as their outlet tells readers a great deal about the magazine, and the list-link-to-wiki is the only way to handle it without an article 10x or 50x times longer that has a capsule bio on each author. I have a great respect for Dutch scholars--last week I bought plane tickets to Middleburg to give a paper at a Dutch-sponsored scholarly history conference myself--but it's a research paper with a political topic and I'd be surprised to see many neuroscientists like Guillaume2303 in the audience -- my experience is that they are not familiar with American politics and don't come to history conferences. Rjensen (talk) 18:23, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Please, assume good faith. What you are writing is so wrong, that I hardly know where to start. The contributors in that list were not selected by the editors of Commentary. Footnote 9 goes to their "search" page and the link "All Authors" does not work for me. In any case, from your comments it seems that this goes to a list of everybody who has ever published in this magazine. The comparisons I made are relevant, please think about it for a moment. I have no clue why you tell us about your respect for Dutch scholars and the meeting you are going to, that is absolutely irrelevant. And I don't need to go to history conferences to be able to edit this article. I'm signing on for the evening, hope you'll have cooled off tomorrow. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 19:26, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
----Good faith involves not blanking other editors hard work before discussion, or slapping scare tags --which believe it or not annoys us editors who worked on this article long before today. It means respecting the work of people who know what they are talking about. Yes it's true that no one needs any knowledge of history whatever to erase and destroy hard work--any kid can do that--but it violates good faith. The names of contributors all came from Commentary no Wiki editor invented it. (what we did do was drop useless red links). Re footnote 9: All Authors does not work for me. -- well it works for me and produced 1072 names of Commentary authors as follows: Abel, Lionel (6); Abelson, Raziel (1); Abrahams, Israel (1); Abrams, Charles (1), Abrams, Elliott (9), Abrams, Rachel (1);....Zakaria, Fareed (1); Zubrin, Robert (1); Zukosky, Jerome (1); and "author, unknown (17)" Why is the daily NY Times like a monthly opinion magazine?? he does not say-- perhaps Guillaume2303 means the New York Times Magazine?? My point about the Dutch trip is that no scientists show up at conferences where they could learn history; they instead do better by a focus on their own span of expertise. Finally the claim that Wiki usually does not list famous contributors to magazines is false (see Collier's, Dissent (magazine), Granta, Harper's Magazine, In These Times, Life (magazine), London Review of Books, National Review, New Republic, The American Prospect, The Nation, The Outlook (New York), and Time (magazine) for proof) Rjensen (talk) 20:56, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Guillaume2303, this is pure WP:DIRECTORY material, and should not be included the article. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 21:27, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
the importance of a magazine of opinion depends very largely on the opinions of its contributors. What the editors do is assemble these contributors and give them an outlet. That makes it essential to know who contributed. The Wiki rules explicitly allow this function: WP: Directory says "Of course, there is nothing wrong with having lists if their entries are famous because they are associated with or significantly contribute to the list topic." Does it help the readers to understand the subject: it most certainly does. Rjensen (talk) 10:26, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
No, it doesn't. It fails "because they are associated with or significantly contribute to the list topic". All these people ever did was contribute one (sometimes a few) articles to this magazine. There is no evidence, even less sources, that by doing so they had any significant influence on the development of the magazine. Following your reasoning, we should list everyone who ever published anything in this magazine. Just limiting yourself to those people who have a wikiarticle is rather arbitrary, you must know as well as I do that our coverage in biographies is far from complete. In short, this list is arbitrary and there are no sources attesting to the significance of the list entries for the magazine. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 11:54, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
a magazine of opinion is what we're talking about here--not a scientific journal. Opinion leaders are people who get invited to contribute to the leading opinion magazines. There is nothing "arbitrary" (it consists of all contributors validated as notable--which is exactly what Guillaume2303 asked for earlier.) If Commentary had only a handful of these folks it would not be a major magazine of opinion. Rjensen (talk) 11:58, 16 March 2012 (UTC)


  • I would like to hear other editors' opinions about the discussion above, whether or not inclusion of a list of contributors is appropriate in this article. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 16:14, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
  • First , it is neither OR nor SYN. it's basic factual data. Compiling a list like this is a purely mechanical operation from public sources. Limiting to people with a WP article is not arbitrary or OR: it's what we do with all alumni lists, or lists of notable people from a place, or list of people in general--the criterion is to either have a Wikipedia article or be obviously qualified for one, and to have a provable connection. (In the case of a magazine, the provable connection is obvious).
So the question is its appropriateness. Looking at the other lists, I am not sure they are all complete--some may rather be selections of those who have some particular distinctive notability in connection with the publication which can presumably be shown by a specific source, or who are so famous that anywhere they've written in it should be mentioned; Obviously, in a case like this, the connection is apt to be less obvious and more a matter of OR than what is done here, of listing them all, unless a firm distinction can be made.
I therefore think the content is appropriate. There is no reason why we could not do this more generally. There is of course a difference from alumni--one is an alumnus of 3 or 4 schools;, but a writer can have written in dozens of magazines. So there would be a reason for a selective list instead, if there is a rational and provable criterion for selecting within them (The only one that immediately occurs to me is more than X number of items, but someone could have published a single very important one.). The other lists do generally make an attempt at added value: years of active publication, and field of their activity-- or writing in the magazine if different. These aren't OR either, and could helpfully be added. (Considering the drastic shift in the nature of the magazine, dates would be particularly appropriate, especially for those writing on politics.)
I must admit that my instinctive reaction on seeing this was the same as Guillaume2303's. But thinking it out, my instinct was wrong. It probably was too much influenced by conventional publications. The material is relevant; the material is helpful to the reader both for research or browsing; the material is not trivial. The principle is NOT PAPER. Wikipedia is hypertext, and that makes cross references of this sort particularly valuable. DGG ( talk ) 04:36, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
Comment I think the list is ok at the moment but if the article gets longer or more editors are added to the list, the list should become a categorie of it's own linked to this article. SD (talk contribs) 00:42, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

More scholarly... than Harper's?[edit]

This is a virtually non-sensical comment. Harper's is generally regarded as the flag-bearing publication of the literary, intellectual left. Recently, for instance, they published excepts from the marginalia found in a copy of Emerson's essays written by John Locke. Anything more academic would have to contain equations. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2605:E000:81E0:AA01:5814:5F3A:BE74:87C9 (talk) 22:34, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Former editor[edit]

Was a man named Gary Rosen ever Commentary's editor? --Uncle Ed (talk) 00:30, 3 January 2017 (UTC)