It’s Webathon Sunday, which means it’s time to check in on how Reason staffers have been doing these past 12 months representing libertarian viewpoints in non-Reason media/politics spaces. But first a quick exhortation to all you wonderful readers and listeners and viewers:
You know who’s killing it this year? Reason’s Corey A. DeAngelis, that’s who. Not just with his conversation-shaping research about how public school closures correlate much more strongly with union power than COVID-19 spread, not just with his December magazine feature on how the virus is accelerating the demise of the public school monopoly model, but with his tireless advocacy for educational freedom wherever people are talking about school policy and the novel coronavirus. Which, this year, is everywhere.
Here is the Reason Foundation’s director of school choice just this week on The Adam Carolla Show, whose eponymous host observed, “This guy Corey knows more than anybody.”
Corey over the past year caught Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) lying about her son’s private school education, kept tabs on the latest COVID-19/school developments on his popular Twitter feed, and oh yeah, just made one of those Forbes “30 Under 30” lists. From that write-up:
DeAngelis is one of the nation’s leading authorities on school choice and homeschooling. He has authored or co-authored 32 peer-reviewed studies and more than 100 op-eds in outlets like The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He’s done hundreds of speaking engagements and appears regularly on Fox News.
In this big no bueno of a year, where TV greenrooms are closed, presidential politics are suffocating, and the dread virus continues to cloud the judgment of so very many people (especially elected officials), it has been a challenge to fulfill longtime Reason hero Bob Poole’s long-ago vision to “engage in the battle of ideas with the whole spectrum of thinking people.”
Reason of course loves, nurtures, and constantly expands its own platforms, but as 1980s editor Marty Zupan told Brian Doherty in his must-read oral history of the magazine, “It was obvious…that if Reason wanted to grow, it needed to do more than have libertarians talking to one another.” A key part of our mission to “influence the frameworks and actions of policymakers, journalists, and opinion leaders,” is to insert ourselves wherever people are talking about politics, policy, and culture.
In bookstores, browsers come face to face with Reason arguments, most recently in Damon Root’s A Glorious Liberty: Frederick Douglass and the Fight for an Antislavery Constitution, and Ronald Bailey’s Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know: And Many Others You Will Find Interesting (with Marian L. Tupy). When Bari Weiss exited The New York Times, Robby Soave went on cable television’s most-watched program to broaden the discussion into how “people with totally mundane views are being canceled before our eyes” by a loud minority of mainstream journalists who are increasingly creating “toxic environment[s] for everyone who disagrees with them.” And when yet another Trump voter seeks to blame libertarians for President-elect Joe Biden’s coming reign of terror, Nick Gillespie is ready to appear on Fox airwaves to argue that “Virtually any time you look at something that is good that’s happening in America, when you get there, libertarians will be opening the door for you, saying ‘Come on in.'”
Last night, I talked with @KennedyNation abt how #libertarians are leading discussions on ending wars, finding cures, legalizing drugs, stopping police violence, and more. Via @ajwimsatt. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/SmLmWoIKN0
— Nick Gillespie (@nickgillespie) December 3, 2020
That last clip, of course, comes from Reason‘s great friend (and former correspondent!) Kennedy, whose eponymous Fox Business Network program is the single most welcoming televisual home for us waving the banner of “Free Minds and Free Markets.” I had the great honor of working alongside the former MTV veejay in developing and executing the precursor show to Kennedy, called The Independents (along with some bum named Kmele Foster), and I will forever be in her debt for completing the job (as much as such things can be completed) that our own John Stossel started: teaching a poorly dressed, California-talking, write-first slouch like me to do a reasonable facsimile of television.
Oh yeah, Kennedy’s also a Webathon donor!
— Kennedy (@KennedyNation) December 3, 2020
The fun part about doing broadcast is that you never know whether a stray word or sentence will ruin your career, land with a deafening thud, or improbably strike a chord with people. I experienced the latter recently after delivering an uncharacteristically profane rant on the great Compound Media program, Mornin’!!! w/ Bill Schulz and Joanne Nosuchinsky, as Reason contributor Nancy Rommelmann looks around for the exits:
— Andrew Wimsatt ???? (@ajwimsatt) November 11, 2020
Sorry/not sorry! Long story short, going out into the non-Reason world and making principled libertarian arguments is a key part of our mission, as is encouraging the proliferation of Reason-friendly programming. Your donations make that all possible.