Michael Tomasky

Michael Tomasky is the American editor-at-large of the Guardian (UK). He was executive editor of the Prospect from 2003 to 2006.

Recent Articles


IT�S A CIRCULATION WAR! Which, apparently, the Inky wants to lose. David Sirota points out that fully 84 percent of Philadelphians voted against Rick Santorum last fall. So naturally, the Inquirer wants to repay Philly voters� loyalty with a column! Let�s remember that Santorum has little to do with Philadelphia. He�s from the Pittsburgh area, a good five-hour drive away on the PA Turnpike. He lives now in Leesburg, Virginia, in a posh neighborhood of McMansions called the Estates at Shenstone Farm, as the excellent Will Bunch reported in TAP last March. But I assume that at least he�s now paying for all those visits to Starbucks out of his own pocket. --Michael Tomasky


INKY RICKY . So Philadelphia magazine reports that the Inquirer is in column-writing discussions with Rick Santorum . This, the mag says, is the brainchild of Inky publisher Brian Tierney , about whom the mag article contains this amusing paragraph: Tierney, a longtime Philadelphia adman and PR guru, has deep ties to the GOP. In 2000, he reached out to Catholic voters on behalf of George W. Bush , and in 2003 he chaired the losing campaign of Philadelphia�s Republican candidate for mayor, Sam Katz . Last year, he and an eclectic group of hometown investors paid $562 million to buy the two troubled Philadelphia newspapers, the Inquirer and the Daily News . �I�m post-political now,� Tierney has told us. Heh indeedy, as someone with a no doubt keen interest in this matter would put it. The three possible columnists with whom Tierney is talking are Santorum, Atlantic writer Mark Bowden , and right-wing talk show host Michael Smerconish . Two wingers and a reporter. That�s post-political,...

A Tale of Two Losers

It seems unimaginable today, but I remember a time when people used to say "Tom Vilsack" and "president" in the same sentence and no one clucked. This was 2001 or 2002; he was a moderate governor of a swing state, the first Democrat elected governor in Iowa in 30 years when he won back in 1998. He was a darling of the Democratic Leadership Council, which, like it or not, seemed then to be in a position of power in championing Democratic candidates. He was never destined for front-runner status, but his was the sort of name to which one responded by thinking whenever it was floated, "Huh. Bears watching." Well, as Lou Reed said, those were different times . When Vilsack dropped out of the race last week, he was confirming the obvious -- not only in terms of money, his stated reason for leaving, but also in terms of what's happened in the last five years. Vilsack's profile was now jaggedly out of tune with the times. I don't think it's a coincidence that he threw in the towel only days...


SPRINGING FORWARD, OR MAYBE BACKWARD. Interesting that George Bush and Dick Cheney are finally talking tough with Pervez Musharraf , no? Bush has warned the Pakistani prez that Congress, now in unfriendly Democratic hands, might cut off aid to Pakistan if the Musharraf regime doesn�t get more aggressive about hunting down al-Qaeda operatives within its borders (so it takes the presence of the �soft-on-terror� Democrats to make Bush tell his man in the region to get tough on terrorists!). Cheney made a surprise visit (does he make any other kinds?) to Islamabad today to drive the point home. What�s happening here has to do, of course, with the coming expected spring offensive of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. Both the United States and Britain are worried and moving troops there from Iraq. Can we actually �lose� Afghanistan? In the sense that Kabul and the Karzai government would fall, probably not. But in the sense that the Taliban would control a majority of the country and al-...


BRAVO DEL TORO. I�m with Comrade Lemieux on Gump , although agnostic on The Departed (it�s just a weird personal thing; I got kinda bored with mob movies around the time of Goodfellas and I don�t go see that many of them, although this one sounds a little different than most). But the great victory of the night was the three statues for Pan�s Labyrinth , which is a genuine work of art. To weave together fascism and fantasy in the way director Guillermo del Toro did isn�t easy; but he made it look that way, and the result was rich and profound beyond my ability to describe. I didn�t want it to end, and I thought about it for days after I saw it. As a show, the Oscars were deeply boring. They really need to limit it to the 10 or 12 awards that people actually care about, plus the Thalberg award and the songs, and be done with it in two hours. The movie-going public would be delirious with gratitude. --Michael Tomasky