Solomon interviewing centrist pundit John Avlon at the 2012 conventions.
There aren’t too many strident centrists in the world of political punditry. Some mislabel those who strive toward journalistic integrity as being centrist, but that’s just being nonpartisan.
To be clear, I’m not criticizing being nonpartisan – we need genuine journalism much more than we need centrist punditry, but when I see things like this it heartens me:
In April, CNN.com was up over last year with 1.45 billion global page views and 100.2 million global video views due in large part to CNN’s coverage of the Royal Wedding (see full numbers below) and CNN.com’s Opinion section.
CNN.com Opinion had its best month ever with 18.9 million global page views, 61% higher than last year. The top five writers in the Opinion section for April were CNN contributor LZ Granderson, CNN senior political analysts Gloria Borger, best-selling author Bob Greene, senior political columnist for The Daily Beast John Avlon and syndicated columnist and NPR commentator Ruben Navarrette Jr.
I don’t know how often John Avlon is on CNN’s cable news channel, as I rarely watch news on TV (by far the worst way to ingest news, in my opinion), but I do get alerts when clips of him are shared on various sites and follow just about everything he writes that makes it online. I’ve been a fan of his work for years, since the Publication of his first book about six years ago (Independent Nation: How Centrism Can Change American Politics) and his column on Radical Middle, all the way back in 2006.
With all of the extremist nonsense flying around, it doesn’t surprise me at all that his centrist star is rising at CNN, as a voice of reason among all the zealotry. I suspect this will continue, and his work will continue to help nurture the groundswell of centrists and moderates who are waking up around the country, and beginning to build a foundation for an opposition to the left and right in coming years.
(Editor’s Note: As I’m copying and pasting this over onto the new site, around six years after writing this, I’ll point out that Mr. Avlon is now the Editor-in-Chief at the Daily Beast, and has written a few more excellent books.)
I had the pleasure to speak with him at the launch event of No Labels, very briefly at the conference of Independents a few months later, and a few other times by phone and email. He also has reached out to some of the smaller centrist grassroots groups I’ve been in contact with as well.
He’s putting his money where his mouth is, and along with trailblazing centrist candidates like Eliot Cutler and organizations like the Independence Party of Minnesota, Independent Party of Oregon and No Labels (which Avlon is, of course, a co-founder), centrists finally are starting to have some things they can look to for leadership and hope that things will get better for the center of the American electorate, and the country at large.