02 Jul 2011

In his latest piece at The Daily Beast, John Avlon mulls whether it is finally time for a major centrist third party to emerge: Independence Day came a few days early this year, as columnist and author Tom Friedman declared his support for a third party at the Aspen Ideas Festival. “We need a third party. I am for a third party,” Friedman said to applause. “We are trapped in a corrupt duopoly.” ... Expressing disappointment with President Obama, dismay with what passes for Republican policy debates, and frustration with the culture of hyper-partisanship in Washington, Friedman sees a reckoning coming, pushed by new technology. “One thing about the Internet and the hyperconnected world—it has flattened every hierarchy in the world from The New York Times to the banking industry. It’s flattened every hierarchy in the world except the two-party system, and that will not remain. That is a prediction that I will make.” ...

18 May 2011

A good interview on video from the John Batchelor’s radio show with centrist independent pundit John Avlon and Major Garret (who works at the National Journal now apparently) talking about Jon Huntsman’s chances in the 2012 presidential election, as well as a few issues related to the national political scene.

11 May 2011

centrist pundit John Avlon being interviewed by Solomon Kleinsmith in 2012
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 colum...

22 Apr 2011

There are a lot of myths flying around about what No Labels is “really” about, and even more garbage being tossed at it from both ends of the spectrum.

This video isn’t polished… the sound is actually pretty bad, but it is one of the best summaries of what No Labels is really about. It’s centrist independent political analyst on CNN, and columnist for Newsweek and The Daily Beast, John Avlon (one of No Labels’ founders) talking with a local No Labels chapter meeting in Westchester, New York. Worth the watch.

28 Mar 2011

Centrist independent pundit John Avlon has a nice piece on over at The Daily Beast, talking about president Obama's recent speech. The whole thing is good (as usual), but I particularly agree with him here: In the end, the difference between the freedom agendas of Bush and Obama might be boiled down to unilateralism versus multilateralism. Obama clearly stated “the United States will not be able to dictate the pace or scope of change... but we can make a difference.” In this worldview, the U.S. can nudge history in our desired direction—freedom and democracy—but not directly impose it. It must ultimately be earned and owned by the local countrymen. Obama’s is a worldview deeply influenced by the lessons of Iraq, essentially little “c” conservative in its reluctance to squander American blood or treasure while risking an anti-American backlash. But one vision is consistent, and it might also serve as the speech’s most enduring line: “Wherever ...

11 Mar 2011

I said these exact same things, using nearly the same words, but it sure is nice to see it on the pages of CNN. Centrist independent CNN Political Analyst, and columnist at The Daily Beast (and I assume now Newsweek, since they just merged), John Avlon calls this pattern of faster and faster swings between the two major parties the 'evil twins of our time', and he's right. You've really got to read the whole post, but here is how it starts: Overreach and backlash: They are the prime drivers of politics in our time, pushing the pendulum swing back and forth between the parties faster and faster. We've seen the cycle before, and now we may be seeing it again in Congress and state capitols from Wisconsin to New Hampshire and beyond. Here's how it works. One party comes into power. Its more extreme politicians, encouraged by activists, willfully misinterpret their election victory as an ideological mandate. They overreach legislativ...

10 Feb 2011

John Avlon is the leading tracker of right and left wing media, and has been tracking the decline of right wing media personalities like Glenn Beck for a while. In his latest at The Daily Beast, he lists some heartening numbers that may indicate that the American people are really starting to get sick of extremists like Beck: An apples-to-apples comparison of ratings between November ’09 and November ’10 in the New York area shows that Rush Limbaugh’s ratings on WABC declined from 5.4 to 5.0—despite the crescendo of a GOP election year landslide. Likewise, year-end to year-end comparisons of the crucial 24 to 55 demographic show that Rush declined from 3.7 to 2.6—while his packaged follow-up acts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin narrowly declined and flat-lined, respectively. And Hannity was dropped from his Philadelphia radio station along with Beck last month after being dropped from his syndicator in Salt Lake City (!) last year before finding a new ...

24 Jan 2011

John Avlon, on over at The Daily Beast, has a great post showing that, as much as they may garner a huge portion of the national mind share when they make outlandish statements... the ratings show that some of the big names in extremist political commentary are losing a heck of a lot of their viewers: On January 20th of last year, Olbermann reached an estimated 251,000 people aged 25-to-54 at 8 p.m., according to data kept by TVNewser.com. Exactly one year later, this past Thursday, he reached only 198,000—a decline of nearly 20 percent. Beck's collapse was even steeper over the same period. On January 20th of 2010, he was flying high at a point of maximum influence coincident with Tea Party enthusiasm, reaching 965,000 in the 24-to-55 demographic. On 1/20/11, Beck reached roughly one-third that number at 5 p.m.—only 377,000. To be sure, even at their reduced rates of viewership, both men were leaders at their respective networks. But the tre...

23 Jan 2011

I just finished reading independent centrist pundit John Avlon`s book - WINGNUTS: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America - a couple of days ago (a gift from my son) and have been reflecting on it quite a bit as my wife and I are on vacation.  Then I wake up a couple mornings ago and find out Keith Olbermann has been fired.  Awesome! It got me thinking...Is MSNBC going back to being a news organization?  If I read WINGNUTS again will Fox fire Glenn Beck?  Rupert Murdock did ask his talking heads at Fox to "tone it down" a bit so maybe Fox will become a news organization?  NO, NO & NO...are the probable answers to those questions but there is always hope. Then I realize I am having too much rum at the beach as I write this celebrating K.O. getting KO`d. Avalon`s WINGNUTS had already got me thinking... Where is the courageous, honorable leadership we need in our country?  Political leaders put party before patriotism, and Medi...

16 Jan 2011

Must read external post of the week. Independent centrist pundit John Avlon, fresh back from South Sudan's historic elections, comments on the distinction between left and right wingers, and the truly dangerous, who he terms as the "Fright Wing": As more facts emerge, we’re coming to see that Loughner represents aspects of what I’ve called the ‘fright wing’ of American politics—the murky ground of paranoid conspiracy theories and anti-government rants where the far-left and far-right over-lap. Anyone who boasts that both Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto are among his favorite books is on the way to fitting the fright-wing profile. Likewise, former classmates have contended that his favorite online films include the 9/11 Truther screed “Loose Change” and the one-world government and micro-chip implanting prophecy that is paraded in the film “Zeitgeist” (Michelle Goldberg had an excellent analysis of Loughner’s moth-to-the-flame obsession wi...