Sean, although I wish Reason‘s coverage of the Paul campaign had been more positive (I worked in the campaign’s press shop, so I don’t claim to be objective here), there are several things that have to be kept in mind. For one, David Weigel is a reporter first and a libertarian second: if he’s assigned to write about a story, he’s going to dig up whatever he can and report on what’s most controversial. Positive or negative, Weigel and Reason devoted more attention to Paul than any other outlet that wasn’t self-consciously in Dr. Paul’s camp, and even snarky or critical coverage is better for a candidate than to be ignored, which is the treatment Paul received from most of the press. Finally, I think it’s fair to say that Reason does not think of itself as a “movement” magazine with a mandate to provide favorable coverage to libertarian (or Libertarian) candidates — see Brian Doherty’s fascinating oral history of the magazine for an account of how its mission has changed over the years. I sympathize with the more philosophically partisan Manny Klausner-Tibor Machan approach, but it’s not easy for any political magazine to figure out how to balance partisanship, intellectual independence, and serious reporting. Many other magazines, especially those that call themselves conservative, have done far worse.
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