According to Atlantic Monthly’s Atlantic Wire, the 50 most influential pundits in the U.S. are–wait for it–mostly white guys. And how was this determined?
Think of The Atlantic 50 as our all-star team. These are the most influential commentators in the nation, the columnists and bloggers and broadcast pundits who shape the national debates. To compile the list, our team spent months collecting and analyzing data, tracking a group of 400 names that eventually became our 50. Our in-house methodology relies on three streams of information:
- Influence: A survey of more than 250 Washington insiders – members of Congress, national media figures, and political insiders – in which respondents rank-ordered the commentators who most influence their own thinking
- Reach: Comprehensive data collection and analysis to measure the total audience of each commentator
- Web Engagement: In partnership with PostRank, a company specializing in filtering social media data, the Wire analyzed top commentators on 16 measures of webiness, including mentions on Twitter and performance on popular social media sites like Digg and Delicious
The final list is the result of an algorithm that brings together these three factors.
They don’t provide a name for this algorithm, but if they did it might be the Racist, Misogynist Algorithm of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies because all this careful data collection and analysis led to a list that by my count includes only 9 women (all white) and 2 men of color. According to my algorithm to analyze their algorithm, the Atlantic ls the latest winner of the Tillie Olsen Silences Fail Award.