- By Blake Hounshell
Blake Hounshell is managing editor at Foreign Policy, having formerly been Web editor. Hounshell oversees ForeignPolicy.com and has commissioned and edited numerous cover stories for the print magazine, including National Magazine Award finalist "Why Do They Hate Us?" by Mona Eltahawy. He also edits The Cable, FP's first foray into daily original reporting, and was editor of Colum Lynch's Turtle Bay, which in 2011 won a National Magazine award for best reporting in a digital format.
Blake joined Foreign Policy in 2006 after living in Cairo, where he studied Arabic, missed his Steelers finally win one for the thumb, and worked for the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies. Blake was a 2011 finalist for the Livingston Awards prize for young journalists for his reporting on the Arab uprisings, and his Twitter feed was named one of Time magazine's "140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011." Under his leadership, in 2008, Passport, FP's flagship blog, won Media Industry Newsletter's "Best of the Web" award in the blog category. Along with Elizabeth Dickinson, he edited Southern Tiger: Chile's Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future, the memoirs of former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.
A graduate of Yale University, Blake speaks mangled Arabic and French, is an avid runner, and lives in Washington with his wife, musician Sandy Choi, and their toddler, David. Follow him on Twitter @blakehounshell.
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 ForeignPolicy.com/intellectuals 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.
Web Editor, ForeignPolicy.com