The most influential editorial voices online. View as a gallery.

1

Ezra Klein

Wonk, The Washington Post

  • The wunderkind once promised, on his personal blog, "to wonk you out." He's now doing just that at The Washington Post, leading a stable of talented young reporters and commentators, all with a cutting eye on economic and domestic policy. Ezra Klein's clean prose, smart analysis, and blinding speed have wowed thinkers twice (and even thrice) his age, from Paul Krugman to David Remnick. Pundit and journalistic power broker, Klein is already a Washington institution—and he conquered with his keyboard.

    Scoreboard:
    Combined score: 78.4

2

Robert Wright

Cofounder, Bloggingheads.tv

  • If Robert Wright were just a bestselling author of mind-bending books on philosophy, psychology, game theory, and technology, he'd probably still make our list. But Wright, a longtime editor, commentator, and teacher, has also created a key online forum for others like him: Bloggingheads.tv. Its frank and spirited current-events "diavlogs" have attracted some of the biggest names in journalism for wide-ranging conversations that one might not find in the mainstream press. In his spare time, Wright serves as a senior editor at The Atlantic.

    Scoreboard:
    Combined score: 71.2

3

Matt Yglesias

Blogger, Slate

  • Another Washington wonk with a philosophical bent, Matt Yglesias took his talents from a muchtrafficked slot at ThinkProgress to Slate's vaunted MoneyBox column late last year. There, he's combined rigorous analysis with his trademark wit, never afraid to roll a few heads in the process. His latest book, The Rent Is Too Damn High, turned a bright light onto a much ignored corner of domestic policy: housing costs. He andfellow opinionists Ezra Klein and Jonathan Chait (all alumni of the beleaguered American Prospect) form a trio that makes for a powerful left-wing force among the commentariat.

    Scoreboard:
    Combined score: 69.2

4

Ross Douthat

Columnist, The New York Times

  • It's tough to be young and rightwing—especially on the Times's opinion pages. But since 2009 Ross Douthat has won plaudits for his forceful but clear-eyed columns, evocative of an old-school, egg-headed conservatism. Douthat has also embraced the blogosphere with gusto, sparring with co-columnist Paul Krugman, defending his columns linebyline, and beating up on the WashPost's Dana Milbank. While far from a movement conservative, Douthat is a key intellectual asset to the conservative movement. And he's smart enough to avoid being consumed by its demons.

    Scoreboard:
    Combined score: 66.0

5

Arianna Huffington

EditorinChief, The Huffington Post

  • Yes, she's got a Pulitzer now. The reigning monarch of the Web's mostviewed, mostenvied aggregation giant, Arianna Huffington is a master socialite and voluble editorialist. Despite the sale of the Huffington Post to AOL, she has managed to hold on to the reins of her eponymous platform, while reinvigorating other AOL properties, like Patch. The industry isn't quite sure if she's saving journalism—or if they want her to—but with big money, fierce opinions, and a highly public persona, Huffington is a subject of fear, loathing—and clicks.

    Scoreboard:
    Combined score: 63.4

6

Ed Morrissey

Blogger, Hot Air

  • The staunch conservative got his start with an energetic personal blog, "Captain's Quarters," that exploded on the force of his writing, bringing in guest contributors like SenatorsJohn McCain and James Inhofe. (When he started blogging, Morrissey was working as the manager of a call center.) He now co-blogs with the anonymous Allahpundit on HotAir.com and writes a weekly column for TheWeek.com, delivering right-wing boilerplate with spice. Incidentally, Keith Olbermann has named Ed Morrissey both the "Best Person in the World" and the "Worst Person in the World" on different occasions.

    Scoreboard:
    Combined score: 63.4

7

Josh Marshall

Founder, Talking Points Memo

  • It's hard to believe that Talking Points Memo is just over a decade old. The little liberal blog that could has since become an influential source for original reporting, and a real force on the Hill. For his own part, its founder, Josh Marshall, has kept up the buzz with spinoffs TPMCafe and TPMMuckraker, both sources for up-to-the-minute and often exclusive political commentary and news. After breaking news of politically motivated U.S. attorney dismissals in 2007, Marshall took heat from across the partisan spectrum—but then was proven rightby mainstream press reports. Even Jay Carney had to apologize.

    Scoreboard:
    Combined score: 63.0

8

Glenn Greenwald

Writer, Salon

  • A righteous, controlled, and razor-sharp fury runs through a great deal of Glenn Greenwald's writing. The staunch civil libertarian and former constitutional lawyer was questioning the surveillance state before it was cool—and as Salon's most prolific commentator, he has taken the Obama administration to task over Bradley Manning, John Brennan, and, most recently, its secret "kill list." His writings, almost exclusively online, aren't traditionally tweety or bloggy—but they go viral anyway. His independent persuasion can make him a danger or an asset to both sides of the aisle.

    Scoreboard:
    Combined score: 62.6

9

Jonathan Chait

Writer, New York Magazine

  • The longtime New Republic lion found a new den this year at New York magazine. Many feared he'd lose his bloggy touch, or be forbidden from explaining wonky issues of electoral strategy and domestic policy with clever Simpsons references. Fear not, commentariat: Jonathan Chait has never been better. With sparkling prose and an even sharper wit, Chait will make you laugh, offend you, and persuade you—often in fewer than 500 words. Best of all, he's a liberal who isn't afraid to skewer fellow liberals' hypocrisies or cowardice.

    Scoreboard:
    Combined score: 60.6

10

David Frum

Writer, The Daily Beast

  • Some call our own David Frum a conundrum: a Canadian former George W. Bush speechwriter and longtime Republican who has since broken with a wide swath of the conservative world. "Some of my Republican friends ask if I've gone crazy," he wrote in a blockbuster New York magazine piece during the nomination circus. "I say: Look in the mirror." He's kept his conservatism and his independence during a tough time for the GOP. From TV to Twitter to his blog and website, FrumForum, Frum has provided a platform for conservative thinkers to do some serious soul-searching.

    Scoreboard:
    Combined score: 59.6

Lifetime Achievement:

Andrew Sullivan

Blogger

  • Politically, Andrew Sullivan is beyond idiosyncratic: a gay, HIV-positive, devout Roman Catholic, English by birth but American by choice, who calls himself a conservative and advocates eloquently for President Obama. But it's as a blogger at the Daily Dish, the site he founded way back in 2000, before blogging was cool—and that now appears on The Daily Beast—that Sullivan's political idiosyncrasies have become something bigger: a beacon for readers sick of the same old Washington dogmas; the glue that binds one of the smartest communities on the Web together. Religion, sexuality, fiscal policy, war—Sullivan tackles it all, minute by minute, hour after hour. And we keep hitting refresh.

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