In Final New York Magazine Column, Andrew Sullivan Announces Return of The Dish

After 5 years, Sullivan's blog is making a comeback

Andrew Sullivan
Andrew Sullivan in 2006.
Trey Ratcliff/Creative Commons

In 2015, political commentator Andrew Sullivan brought his long-running website the Dish to an end. In writing about the site for The New Yorker that same year, William Finnegan neatly summarized its appeal:

… one of the fascinations of the Dish was watching Sullivan react, revise, pontificate, aggregate, argue, emote, entertain, and ride forth against his numerous political and intellectual enemies, day after day.

For the last few years, Sullivan has written a regular column for New York, and his work there has showcased him at both his most engaging and at his most frustrating. On certain topics (living with HIV, the inner workings of the Conservative Party), Sullivan’s work can be fascinating and insightful. When he’s writing about certain other subjects (race and gender, specifically), his writing can be insensitive and fallacious.

Sullivan’s final column for New York ran on Friday. It contains a quick summation of his recent takes on politics and the media, and an overheated parting shot or two at the state of the world as well. (“In academia, a tiny fraction of professors and administrators have not yet bent the knee to the woke program,” he writes.) More intriguingly, he notes that he’ll be bringing the Dish back, albeit in weekly newsletter form.

Near the end of this column, Sullivan reflected on his own conduct online, making the argument (echoed by at least one other political writer) that the Dish may be his ideal venue:

Some have said that this good-faith engagement with lefty and liberal readers made me a better writer and thinker. And I think they’re right. Twitter has been bad for me; it’s just impossible to respond with the same care and nuance that I was able to at the Dish.

For the time being, the new Dish is free for subscribers, though its page also features annual and monthly subscription rates. What effect will it have on Sullivan and his work? That remains to be seen.

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