An open letter to Stephen Colbert

An open letter to Stephen Colbert

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Dear Dr. Colbert,

We must regretfully inform you that, after careful consideration and intense deliberation, we have not included you on the Foreign Policy/Prospect list of the world’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals in our May/June issue.

Although your high public profile and loyal following make you a strong candidate for this honor, we have concluded that the lack of empirical evidence and logical coherence in your arguments disqualifies you for consideration as an “intellectual.” While all of us here greatly enjoy your work, we simply did not feel that it contained sufficient analytical rigor to place you in the company of such luminaries as Noam Chomsky, Richard Dawkins, or the pope.

This was not an easy decision to make. It has provoked intense bitterness and division among our staff. Therefore, we feel obligated to inform you that there is another way of gaining a spot on the list. Until Thursday, May 15, members of the public can visit and vote for the world’s top public intellectuals. The e-ballot will include a write-in option for intellectuals that FP did not initially include. We will publish the public’s top 20 choices in our July/August issue, in addition to the top five write-in nominees. If you can convince the people of the world that you are not only an entertainer, but a major thinker as well, you just may have a chance of making the final cut.

Given the high caliber of this year’s list, we expect that the competition will be tough, but we invite you to make your case nonetheless.

We wish you the best of luck and commend you on your service to America.


Blake Hounshell
Web Editor,