This project did something that has never been done before: It amassed data on the syndicated columnists published by nearly every daily newspaper in the country. While a few publications, most notably Editor & Publisher, cover the syndicated newspaper industry, no one has attempted to comprehensively assemble this information prior to now. Because the syndicates refuse to reveal to the public exactly where their columnists are published, when Media Matters for America set out to make a systematic assessment of the syndicated columnist landscape, we had no choice but to contact each paper individually and ask which syndicated columnists are published on their op-ed pages.
The results show that in paper after paper, state after state, and region after region, conservative syndicated columnists get more space than their progressive counterparts. As Editor & Publisher paraphrased one syndicate executive noting, "U.S. dailies run more conservative than liberal columns, but some are willing to consider liberal voices."1
Though papers may be "willing to consider" progressive syndicated columnists, this unprecedented study reveals the true extent of the dominance of conservatives:
Though they have suffered slow but steady declines in readership over the last couple of decades, newspapers remain in many ways the most important of all news media. The Newspaper Association of America estimates that each copy of a weekday paper is read by an average of 2.1 adults, while each Sunday paper is read by an average of 2.5 adults,3 pushing total newspaper readership for daily papers to more than 116 million and Sunday papers to more than 134 million. This means that some columnists reach tens of millions of readers, and one, conservative George Will, actually reaches more than 50 million.
Furthermore, newspapers are the preferred news medium of those most interested in the news. According to a 2006 Pew Research Center study, 66 percent of those who say they follow political news closely regularly read newspapers, far more than the number who cite any other medium.4 And an almost identical proportion of those who say they "enjoy keeping up with the news" -- more than half the population -- turn to newspapers more than any other medium. These more aware citizens are in turn more likely to influence the opinions of their families, friends, and associates.
Syndicated newspaper columnists have a unique ability to influence public opinion and the national debate. And whether examining only the top columnists or the entire group, large papers or small, the data presented in this report make clear that conservative syndicated columnists enjoy a clear advantage over their progressive counterparts.
ABOUT THIS REPORT
By contacting newspapers directly, we were able to obtain information on the syndicated columnists run by 1,377 of the 1,430 English-language daily papers in the United States, or 96 percent.5
We asked papers for two categories of syndicated columnists: those they publish regularly, meaning every week or almost every week; and those they publish occasionally, meaning at least once per month but not every week. Most of the analyses in this report are restricted to those columnists each paper publishes regularly, unless noted otherwise.
This report focuses only on nationally syndicated columnists, not each paper's local columnists. It would have been impossible to determine the ideology of every one of the thousands of local columnists in the country, whereas the smaller number of syndicated columnists make them much easier to classify. In order to qualify, a columnist had to appear in three or more papers, and in papers in at least two states (there are many columnists who are syndicated to a few papers within one state; we established this rule to exclude those columnists). By this measure, there are 201 nationally syndicated columnists in America. In these raw numbers, the total list of columnists looks relatively balanced: there are 75 conservatives, 79 progressives, and 47 centrists.
That does not mean, however, that there is ideological balance among the nation's syndicated columnists. The truth is that conservatives have a clear and unmistakable advantage. Conservative columnists appear in more papers than progressive columnists do, and conservatives reach more readers. Most states find their newspapers' op-ed pages dominated by conservatives. In short, just as in so many other areas of the media, the right has the upper hand.
THE BIG PICTURE
If one were to throw a dart at a map of the United States and pick up the local newspaper where the dart landed, chances are one would be reading a paper whose op-ed pages lean to the right. Putting aside for a moment the question of circulation, the data show unequivocally that most newspapers in America run more conservative syndicated columnists than progressive syndicated columnists.
In fact, there are fully three newspapers that run more conservatives than progressives for every one newspaper that runs more progressives than conservatives.
While it might be easy to bring to mind a few prominent newspapers (e.g. The New York Times) that run more progressives, looking across the data it becomes clear that at every circulation level, one finds more papers that skew to the right on the op-ed pages. This difference is modest within the largest papers -- the 103 papers with circulations over 100,000 -- but becomes an enormous gap that grows larger at each smaller level of circulation.
Obviously, larger newspapers tend to serve larger cities, which are not only more likely to have a progressive populace than smaller communities but also tend to be more demographically diverse in many ways. A small paper, on the other hand, may serve a local area that is relatively homogeneous. But without speculating too much about the ideological leanings of individual newspaper owners and the communities those papers serve, it can be said that smaller papers, at least on this measure, are more likely to lean right.
For instance, among the smallest daily newspapers -- those with circulations under 10,000 -- 64 percent run more regular conservative syndicated columnists than progressives, while only 16 percent run more progressives. Among papers with circulations between 10,000 and 25,000, the difference is similar: 62 percent run more conservatives, while only 18 percent run more progressives. Only among the largest papers were the two groups even somewhat close, with 50 percent running more conservatives and 35 percent running more progressives.
As interesting as these data are, they do not account completely for differences in the circulations of each paper. After all, the columnists printed in a paper with a circulation of 1 million will have greater impact than those printed in a paper with a circulation of 100,000. In order to more precisely account for circulation differences, we created a measure we call "relative ideological voice," which compares the reach and influence of columnists within a newspaper, within a state, or within the country as a whole. It multiplies the number of columnists of each ideological stripe by the circulation of the papers in which they appear.
Because conservative columnists have their greatest advantage in small papers, the imbalance in voice is not as great as the overall newspaper-by-newspaper advantage, wherein 60 percent of newspapers in the country run more conservatives and only 20 percent run more progressives. Nonetheless, conservatives retain a clear advantage over their progressive counterparts on a national level. When American newspaper readers turn to the op-ed page of their local newspaper each day, the syndicated columnists they see there are more likely to be conservative.
TOP OF THE CHARTS
Every syndicated columnist holds a place within an elite stratum of our nation's political debate. But there are some who constitute the elite of the elite -- and that group leans to the right.
Of the top ten columnists by number of papers, five are conservatives (George Will, Cal Thomas, Kathleen Parker, Morton Kondracke, and Thomas Sowell), two are centrists (David Broder and Cokie and Steve Roberts, who write a column together), and only three are progressives (Ellen Goodman, Leonard Pitts Jr., and Nat Hentoff6 ). As the nation's most-read columnist, George Will appears in fully one out of every four daily newspapers in America.7
When the data are sorted by the circulation of the papers that run each columnist, the same pattern emerges: five conservatives, two centrists, and three progressives. Though a few of the names have changed, once again, George Will is clearly at the head of the pack, reaching over 6 million more readers than his closest rival.
Overall, there are 79 progressives whose columns are regularly carried in multiple papers. These progressives appear regularly in a total of 1,915 papers (counting each paper as many times as it has columnists) with a summed circulation of 125.2 million. By comparison, there are 74 conservatives whose columns are regularly carried in multiple papers. These conservatives appear regularly in a total of 3,076 papers (counting each paper as many times as it has columnists) with a summed circulation of 152.1 million.
At the top, the disparity is just as stark. The top 10 conservative columnists appear in 641 more papers than the top 10 progressive columnists; the total circulation for the top 10 conservatives exceeds that of the top 10 progressives by more than 20 million readers.
It is worth noting that on both of these lists, there are columnists syndicated in relatively small numbers of papers. For instance, David Ignatius of The Washington Post is carried regularly in only 22 papers, but reaches more than 3.6 million readers. As such, he has the highest average circulation of any syndicated columnist. Others -- Bob Herbert and Jonah Goldberg, for instance -- also are published in mostly high-circulation papers.
At the other end of the scale are columnists who are published mostly in smaller papers. Progressive columnist Gene Lyons appears regularly in 75 papers, but they have an average circulation of less than 12,000, meaning he reaches less than a million readers (see Appendix 2 for more information).
As for centrist columnists, when one moves past the top two -- David Broder and Thomas Friedman -- there is a steep drop-off in the number of papers in which the columnists appear and the total circulation they reach.
If the large circulation numbers involved here are overwhelming, another way of thinking about the top columnists is their "reach" -- how much of the American newspaper marketplace are they reaching? This can be expressed in percentage terms by dividing a columnist's total circulation with the total circulation of all daily newspapers in America, about 50 million. The fact that the combined circulation of the papers regularly carrying George Will is above 21 million means that he reaches two out of every five newspaper readers in America, an extraordinary level of penetration.
These elite columnists dominate the syndicated marketplace to a dramatic degree. If we add up the combined circulation reached by all 201 syndicated columnists in this dataset, we see that the top 10 columnists alone account for more than 35 percent of the total syndicated market. The top 18 columnists reach as many readers as the other 183. George Will alone reaches as many readers as the bottom 80 columnists. The median columnist among the 201 in the dataset reaches 1 percent of the total American newspaper readership. In other words, this is an extraordinarily top-heavy list.
CONSERVATIVE ADVANTAGE ACROSS THE LAND
To this point, we have concerned ourselves with the national picture. But when one looks separately at regions and states, it becomes clear that the dominance of conservative syndicated columnists is spread across the nation. Once again, we are using the measure of relative ideological voice, the number of progressive, conservative, and centrist columns and how many readers they reach. We will start at the broadest level, then move closer to the ground.
It is often said that Americans are divided not only into red and blue states, but red and blue regions: the South and Midwest are more conservative, while the Northeast and West are more progressive. While most would agree that this is an oversimplified picture of Americans and their beliefs, we can say one thing about the broad regions of the country: In three of the four, conservatives have the advantage on the op-ed pages.
Due to the influence of the Middle Atlantic states -- particularly New York, where progressives enjoy an advantage in some papers with very large circulations -- progressives do manage to hold a slight edge (44 percent to 42 percent) in the Northeast. But in all three of the country's other large regions, conservative syndicated columnists reach more eyes more often than their progressive counterparts.
Furthermore, in every region of the country, the columnists appearing in the most papers are more likely to be conservative than progressive. Even in the Northeast, the region where progressives enjoy a small advantage in relative ideological voice, George Will appears in more papers than any other columnist. Will appears regularly in 63 papers in the Northeast, and occasionally in 8 more. The top 10 list for the Northeast shows five conservatives, four progressives, and one centrist.
The other region where progressives might hope to be at parity -- the West -- does show a slightly more balanced split among the top columnists. But here as well, George Will outranks all others, and the top 10 list includes more conservatives than progressives.
Given the extreme imbalance in relative ideological voice in the Midwest and South, it is no surprise that a similarly stark contrast emerges on the top 10 lists for those two regions.
In every region of the country, the columnist who appears in the most papers is a conservative: George Will in the Northeast and West, Kathleen Parker in the Midwest, and Cal Thomas in the South.
Next, using the nine areas into which the U.S. Census Bureau divides the country, the data show that in eight out of nine, the conservative voice outweighs the progressive voice.
The greatest advantage for conservatives -- a margin of 50 percent to 33 percent (with centrists making up the remainder) -- occurs in the South Atlantic, comprised of the Eastern Seaboard states running from Delaware south to Florida. Close behind, with a margin of 50 percent to 34 percent, is the West South Central, comprised of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Only in the Middle Atlantic states -- New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey -- does the progressive voice loom larger than the conservative voice. Even in New England, the most progressive area of the country, conservative syndicated columnists have the advantage on the op-ed pages.
Finally, the relative balance of conservative and progressive syndicated columnists can be examined on the state level. Here, the data do not break down strictly on red-blue lines. There are some heavily Republican states where conservative columnists dominate as one might expect -- South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Georgia, for example -- and some heavily Democratic states where progressive columnists reach more readers. But there are also many "blue" states whose newspapers feature more conservative columnists. These include Illinois, Michigan, Connecticut, and California. Among the states where the progressive voice outweighs the conservative voice, there are Democratic states (Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii, New York) and swing states (Wisconsin, Arizona, and Tennessee), but no clearly "red" states.
But overall, the results are clear: Conservative syndicated columnists have a greater reach than their progressive columnists in 38 states, plus the District of Columbia. In only 12 states does the progressive voice outweigh the conservative voice.
Conservatives are often heard to complain about the "liberal media," a nefarious cabal of journalists and media owners supposedly endeavoring to twist the news to serve their ideological agenda. Media Matters for America has shown in a variety of ways that the "liberal media" is a myth. Our two reports on the Sunday talk shows showed how those programs are dominated by conservative guests. Our analysis of the coverage of religion showed how that coverage favors conservatives. Analyses performed by other organizations have shown how conservatives dominate talk radio. And this study demonstrates that in yet another key portion of the news media, conservatives enjoy a structural advantage that gives them a leg up in influencing public opinion.
That structural advantage enables them to transmit an overarching narrative across the country, one that serves to convey the impression that conservative ideas that in many cases enjoy tiny support are actually the "reasonable center" in key debates. To take just one example, prominent conservative columnists who wrote about the topic were nearly unanimous in support of President Bush's decision to commute Scooter Libby's sentence, while some advocated pardoning him outright, despite the fact that polls indicated the decision had the support of only around one in five Americans.
In terms of the number of people reached by their ideas and opinions, of the authority they are granted, and of their prestige, there are few in the American news media who equal the lofty position held by the top syndicated columnists. Read by millions, even tens of millions, their opinions form the basis on which our democratic debate often proceeds. Because they have a national reach, they also have the power to advance ideas and narratives that local columnists simply do not have.
As this study has demonstrated, the landscape of syndicated columnists is dominated by conservatives. They reach considerably more readers than progressives. By a 3-to-1 margin, most American newspapers run more conservative syndicated columnists than progressives. In nearly every region of the country, the conservative voice on op-ed pages is louder than the progressive voice. And for every one state that has a greater progressive voice, there are three in which conservatives have more influence.
In short, while the right wing spends a great deal of time complaining about alleged bias in the media, when it comes to the nation's op-ed pages, it is the progressives who are getting the short end of the stick.
This project was designed and executed, and this report written, by Paul Waldman, Senior Fellow and Director of Special Projects; Elbert Ventura, Research Fellow; and Robert Savillo, Research Analyst. Further assistance was provided by Neal Fersko, Eliza Keller, Gerard Matthews and Greg Lewis. Special credit is due to Jennifer Hoffman, without whose extraordinary efforts the project would have been impossible.
For this study, we set out to determine the lineup of syndicated columnists in every daily newspaper across the country. We used the 2006 edition of the Editor & Publisher International Year Book: The Encyclopedia of the Newspaper Industry as our source for all of the nation's dailies. According to the yearbook, there are 1,452 daily newspapers in America. For our purposes, we omitted foreign-language, business, or legal newspapers, and papers that had ceased publication since the publication of the 2006 yearbook, and combined the separate morning and evening editions of some newspapers. That gave us a total of 1,430 newspapers for our study.
To collect the columnist data for all 1,430 papers, we took the most direct approach -- we used the contact information in the E&P Year Book or on each newspaper's website to contact editors. The vast majority of the data was collected in this fashion. In some instances, editors chose to respond to our survey via e-mail. In a handful of cases, editors could not be reached for an answer -- in some cases, after as many as 10 phone calls -- or refused to participate in our survey outright. In those few cases, the newspaper was left out of the study unless another means was found to discern the columnist line-up on their op-ed page.
Each paper was asked, over the phone or through email, the following two questions:
Which nationally syndicated columnists do you publish on a regular basis -- about once a week? (Regular)
Which nationally syndicated columnists do you publish intermittently but not every week -- about once a month? (Occasional)
We included only columnists who are published on the op-ed pages and who regularly write about public affairs. That meant that humor columnists, advice columnists, and lifestyle commentators were excluded, although there are some columnists who combine a number of genres. For instance, Garrison Keillor writes some slice-of-life columns, but also writes frequently on political issues from a progressive perspective, so he is included in our data.
For some newspapers, syndicated columnist data was collected from the Library of Congress. Those newspapers tended to be bigger-circulation newspapers that either refused to participate in the survey or could not be reached after repeated attempts. For data collected in this way, we examined one month's worth of opinion pages and recorded each syndicated columnist who appeared. Columnists who appeared at least three times in a month were counted as regular, and those who appeared twice were counted as occasional. In many cases, the regular syndicated columnists were easily determined because they appeared on a set schedule in the paper's op-ed pages.
In a few instances, newspaper columnist lineups were collected from a newspaper's website. Major newspapers like The New York Times and The Boston Globe keep a fairly updated list online of their columnists, including their publication schedule. A handful of newspapers also print a comprehensive archive of syndicated columns that appeared in their paper's print editions.
After we had contacted all 1,430 newspapers at least once and we had collected data for 95 percent of them, confirmation emails were sent to all newspapers asking editors to verify the syndicated-columnist lineup that we collected from them. Each newspaper was contacted up to three times to confirm their data. All confirmation emails were sent between April and July of 2007.
The vast majority of newspaper editors we spoke with provided a detailed list of syndicated columnists that ran in their op-ed pages. In some cases, they provided the name of a syndicate or syndicates in addition to or in lieu of specific columnists. We recorded such syndicate data but did not include them in the analysis, except for a few rare exceptions. We had considered listing all the columnists in a given syndicate on an occasional basis, but in the end we concluded that such a move would inflate the total number of papers for each columnist. We decided only to include columnist names which were directly stated by each paper's editor. In rare instances, newspapers used syndicates with a clear ideological slant (e.g. Minuteman Media, a small progressive syndicate). In those cases, we included the syndicate in the data.
WEIGHING BY CIRCULATION
When recording the data collected from newspaper editors, we included other data as well. Each entry in our database contains the columnist's name, his or her ideological alignment (either conservative, progressive, or centrist), the name of the newspaper, the state in which that newspaper is published, the Census-defined geographic division and region data, the frequency with which the columnist is published (regularly or occasionally), and the circulation figures for that paper.
The circulation numbers used for each paper were taken from the E&P Year Book. The yearbook provides a total of 17 circulation figures across all newspapers: a daily evening edition number (A); an evening edition number for Monday (B), Wednesday (C), Friday (D), and Saturday (E); a daily all-day edition number (F), an all-day edition number for Monday/Tuesday (G) and Saturday (H); a daily morning edition number (I), a morning edition number for Monday (J), Tuesday (K), Wednesday (L), Thursday (M), Friday (N), and Saturday (O); a Sunday edition number (P); and, finally, a weekend edition number (Q).
These circulation figures were then all weighted together by the number of days per week for which they apply (i.e., a daily morning edition number would be weighted by a factor of 5/7, while a Saturday morning edition number would be weighted by a factor of 1/7). This was done in order to create an average weekly circulation number for each individual paper. The entire equation used is as follows:
+(K(1/7))+(L(1/7))+(M(1/7))+(N(1/7))+(O(1/7))+(P(1/7))+(Q(2/7)) = Adjusted Circulation
One of our measures in this study is "relative voice." Relative voice takes into account not just the numbers of newspapers conservatives and progressives appear in, but also the circulations of the newspapers that carried them. Such a comparison would yield a number that would show what proportion of a state's total number of syndicated columns is conservative or progressive. The "voice" figure is a percentage of the total circulation of that state. "Voice" figures in the report include conservative, progressive, and centrist. The following equation represents how this number was calculated:
(Number of Conservative Columnists)(Circulation) = Conservative Ideological Circulation
(Number of Progressive Columnists)(Circulation) = Progressive Ideological Circulation
(Number of Centrist Columnists)(Circulation) = Centrist Ideological Circulation
Conservative Ideological Circulation + Progressive Ideological Circulation + Centrist Ideological Circulation = Total Ideological Circulation
(Conservative Ideological Circulation)/(Total Ideological Circulation) = Conservative Voice
(Progressive Ideological Circulation)/(Total Ideological Circulation) = Progressive Voice
(Centrist Ideological Circulation)/(Total Ideological Circulation) = Centrist Voice
A sample will illustrate how this figure is calculated (this is repeated in a footnote in the body of the report). Imagine that a state has only two newspapers, Big City News and Small Town Post. Big City News has a circulation of 1,000,000, while Small Town Post's circulation is 100,000. Each paper has five columnists. Big City News runs four conservatives and one progressive, while Small Town Post runs four progressives and one conservative. The total readership reached by the progressives is as follows:
1,000,000 x 1 (the one progressive from Big City News) = 1,000,000
+ 100,000 x 4 (the four progressives from Small Town Post) = 400,000
Total progressive circulation: = 1,400,000
The total readership reached by the conservatives is as follows:
1,000,000 x 4 (the four conservatives from Big City News) = 4,000,000
+ 100,000 x 1 (the one conservative from Small Town Post) = 100,000
Total conservative circulation: = 4,100,000
The relative voice in this state would be 25.5% progressive (1,400,000/5,500,000) and 74.5% conservative (4,100,000/5,500,000).
A real-world illustration of this approach: There are a total of 12 conservative columnists and 13 progressive columnists printed in Maine's daily newspapers. Without weighing the circulation numbers, progressives appear to have a slightly larger presence than conservatives. However, once circulation numbers are taken into account, conservative syndicated columnists actually emerge with approximately 130,000 more readers than the progressive columnists. Measured by relative voice, Maine comes out with 46 percent conservative vs. 37 percent progressive (with the rest comprised of centrists).
FREQUENCY OF PUBLICATION
Our analysis was also split between regular columnists and occasional columnists. Columnists who are published on a regular basis have a larger influence than those who are published occasionally. Based on this assumption, most of our analysis focuses on the regular columnist lineups, while the total columnist lineups (regular and occasional) are used only when comparing one columnist to another.
APPENDIX 1: TOP 100 COLUMNISTS, RANKED BY TOTAL REACH
Note: "Reach" denotes the proportion of the total American daily newspaper circulation that each columnist reaches.
APPENDIX 2: COLUMNISTS RANKED BY AVERAGE CIRCULATION
This table displays the average circulation for all columnists who appear in at least 50 daily newspapers in total (regularly or occasionally). Readers should note that there are also columnists appearing in fewer papers with large circulations.
APPENDIX 3: COLUMNIST PROFILES
For the most prominent columnists, defining ideological alignment is simple and straightforward. For instance, no one would quibble with describing George Will as a conservative or Paul Krugman as a progressive. For others, however, ideological alignment is less a matter of consensus.
To avoid charges of injecting subjectivity into our process, we used, whenever possible, the syndicates' own description of their writers to define the writers' ideological alignment. For example, Universal Press Syndicate describes writer Maggie Gallagher as writing "right-leaning social policy analysis," which would give her a designation in this study of "conservative." In addition, we also went by political and media affiliations (for instance, a syndicated columnist who is also an editor for National Review can be safely classified as conservative) and writers' own definitions of their politics, whenever available. For those whom we still could not comfortably identify, we read a sampling of columns to arrive at a designation.
Jonathan Alter is a columnist and senior editor for Newsweek magazine. His column also appears in The Huffington Post, a progressive blog and news site.
Jay Ambrose is a senior fellow at the Independence Institute, a conservative nonprofit public policy group, and a former editor of the Rocky Mountain News.
Anne Applebaum is a columnist and editorial board member at The Washington Post. Her column focuses on foreign affairs.
Jabari Asim is the deputy editor of The Washington Post Book World section. He writes a weekly syndicated column on politics, pop culture, and social issues.
Michael Barone is the principal co-author of The Almanac of American Politics and a Creators Syndicate columnist. He is a senior writer with U.S. News & World Report and his work can be found in conservative outlets like the Jewish World Review and TownHall.com.
Tad Bartimus writes the syndicated column "Among Friends" for United Feature Syndicate/Newspaper Enterprise Association. She offers commentary on current political and social issues that usually takes a left-of-center tone.
Austin Bay writes a column on national security for Creators Syndicate. His column can be found on conservative sites such as HumanEvents.com and RealClearPolitics.com.
Peter Beinart is editor-at-large at The New Republic, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a monthly columnist for The Washington Post. His book, The Good Fight: Why Liberals -- And Only Liberals -- Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again, was published in June 2006.
John C. Bersia is syndicated by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services and writes a weekly "global views" column that focuses on international politics.
Tony Blankley is the editorial page editor of The Washington Times and a frequent guest on the political talk show circuit. He also served in the Reagan administration as a speechwriter and senior policy analyst. His column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate.
Robyn Blumner is a columnist for the St. Petersburg Times. She writes extensively on civil liberties issues.
Jay Bookman is the deputy editorial page editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His twice-weekly column looks at local and national political topics from a progressive point of view.
Max Boot is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and contributing editor to The Weekly Standard.
L. Brent Bozell III is the founder and president of Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog. His column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate.
Donna Brazile was the campaign manager for the Gore-Lieberman campaign in 2000. She is a columnist for Roll Call and a frequent contributor to CNN's Inside Politics and American Morning.
David S. Broder is a national political correspondent and op-ed columnist for The Washington Post. He is a frequent guest on CNN's "Inside Politics" and NBC's "Meet the Press."
Peter Brookes is a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
David Brooks, formerly an editor at The Weekly Standard, writes for The New York Times op-ed page.
Rosa Brooks is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times. Her columns address national politics from a progressive perspective.
Ronald Brownstein is the national affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times. He joined the Times in 1990.
Pat Buchanan ran as a Reform Party candidate in 2000 and sought the Republican nomination for president in 1992 and 1996. He co-founded the American Conservative magazine in 2002. His column is carried by Creators Syndicate.
William F. Buckley, Jr. founded the conservative journal National Review and is acknowledged as one of the pioneers of modern conservatism. His column is syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate.
Robert J. Caldwell is the editor of the San Diego Union Tribune's Sunday "Insight" section. His writings, which focus on politics, national defense, and foreign policy, also appear on the conservative website HumanEvents.com.
Paul Campos is a syndicated columnist with the Rocky Mountain News and a professor of law at the University of Colorado. His columns tend to be critical of conservative policies in general and the Bush administration in particular.
Jonathan Chait is a senior editor at The New Republic and writes occasionally for the Los Angeles Times' editorial page.
Steve Chapman's articles have appeared in such publications as The American Spectator, The Weekly Standard, and National Review. Formerly a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution, Chapman writes a twice-weekly column for the Chicago Tribune.
Mona Charen is a columnist whose work appears on Townhall.com, National Review Online, and Jewish World Review. Her columns are syndicated by Creators Syndicate.
Linda Chavez is a regular contributor to Fox News Channel and TownHall.com, and a former Reagan administration official.
Eleanor Clift is a contributing editor to Newsweek. She co-writes "Washington Merry-Go-Round," the country's longest-running column, with Douglas Cohn.
Marie Cocco is a former reporter for Newsday. Her columns appear on progressive websites such as CommonDreams.org and AlterNet.
Alexander Cockburn writes for The Nation and co-edits CounterPunch, a muckraking newsletter. He is syndicated nationally by Creators Syndicate.
Richard Cohen joined The Washington Post in 1968 and has been writing for the op-ed page since 1984.
Douglas Cohn co-writes "Washington Merry-Go-Round," the country's longest-running column, with Newsweek's Eleanor Clift.
William Collins is distributed by the progressive syndicate Minuteman Media.
Joe Conason is an author and syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate. His latest book is It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush.
Ann Coulter is a columnist for Universal Press Syndicate and a frequent guest on Fox News Channel and MSNBC. She is the author of Treason: Liberal Treachery From the Cold War to the War on Terrorism and Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right. Her most recent book was Godless: The Church of Liberalism.
Stanley Crouch is an editorial columnist for the New York Daily News. Known for his iconoclastic perspective on various issues, particularly on race and culture, Crouch is also a widely respected arts critic.
Jackson Diehl writes a fortnightly column for The Washington Post covering international affairs.
E. J. Dionne Jr. writes a twice-weekly column for The Washington Post. He is also the author of many books on U.S. politics and a senior fellow of governance studies for the Brookings Institution.
Maureen Dowd has been an op-ed columnist for The New York Times since 1995.
Will Durst is a political satirist who has appeared on Air America, CNN, and NPR. His columns can be found on AlterNet, a progressive website. He is syndicated nationally by Cagle Cartoons.
Gwynne Dyer is a London-based journalist and military historian who writes a twice-weekly column on international affairs. He is the author of The Mess They Made: The Middle East After Iraq.
Larry Elder is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and columnist. His official bio describes his political views as libertarian and notes that he is a registered Republican.
Bonnie Erbe writes a weekly column syndicated by Scripps Howard News Service and is the host of the PBS weekly news analysis program "To the Contrary with Bonnie Erbe." Her column and show focus on politics, the environment, religion, and other issues affecting the lives of women, families, and communities of color.
Susan Estrich is a columnist and author whose work includes Soulless: Ann Coulter and the Right-Wing Church of Hate and The Case for Hilary Clinton. While generally classified as a liberal (as in this study), she is a regular contributor to Fox News Channel and the conservative news site NewsMax.
John Farmer is a columnist for the Newark Star-Ledger and former state attorney general. Although he was a Republican during his years in office, his columns frequently take on members of both parties.
Shaunti Feldhahn co-writes "Woman to Woman," a weekly point-counterpoint column with Diane Glass in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Feldhahn takes the conservative perspective against Glass' liberal voice.
Edwin J. Feulner is the president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
Suzanne Fields is a columnist for The Washington Times. Her articles can be found in conservative outlets such as TownHall.com and Jewish World Review.
Marc Fisher is a Metro columnist for The Washington Post. His column on daily life, politics, culture and the Washington area appears two or three times a week. In his column, as well as his blog, Fisher analyzes local debates without attacking or defending specific points of view or party platforms.
Thomas Friedman is an op-ed columnist for The New York Times.
Philip Gailey is the editorial page editor of the St. Petersburg Times. His columns examine national and state politics from a centrist perspective.
Maggie Gallagher's columns are syndicated nationally by Universal Press Syndicate and also appear on Townhall.com. A former editor at National Review, she writes mainly about marriage and social policy.
Joseph Galloway is the senior military correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers and a nationally syndicated columnist. Galloway has over four decades of experience as a war correspondent and recently served as a special consultant to Colin Powell at the State Department.
Michael Gerson was a former aide and speechwriter for George W. Bush. He now writes a syndicated column for the Washington Post Writers Group.
Georgie Anne Geyer writes a twice-weekly column focusing on foreign affairs. Her syndicate, Universal Press Syndicate, classifies her as a columnist "on the right."
Tim Giago's weekly column is distributed by McClatchy News Service. He writes about Native American issues and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.
Diane Glass, along with Shaunti Faldhahn, writes "Woman to Woman," a weekly point-counterpoint column in The Atlanta Journal Constitution. According to Universal Press Syndicate, which carries the column nationally, Glass "writes the liberal perspective."
Jonah Goldberg is the editor-at-large of National Review Online and author of the forthcoming Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Whole Foods. His column is syndicated by Tribune Media Services.
Amy Goodman is the host of Democracy Now!, a progressive radio and TV news program that airs on about 450 stations throughout the country. Her weekly column is syndicated by King Features.
Ellen Goodman is an editorial columnist for The Boston Globe. Her column is syndicated nationally by the Washington Post Writers Group.
Michael Goodwin is an op-ed columnist for the New York Daily News. He has also written for conservative outlets such as the Weekly Standard, FrontPageMag.com, and the Jewish World Review.
Charita Goshay has been with the Canton Repository in Ohio since 1990. Her columns are written from a progressive perspective.
Andrew Greeley is one of the most prominent progressive Catholic commentators in the country. He writes a column for the Chicago Sun-Times.
Paul Greenberg is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A self-proclaimed conservative, his column is syndicated nationally by Tribune Media Services.
H.D.S. Greenway writes a column for The Boston Globe focusing on international politics and foreign affairs. His column is written from a left-of-center viewpoint.
Alan Guebert is a freelance agricultural journalist. His columns discuss the politics and inner workings of the agricultural industry.
Jonathan Gurwitz is a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News. He is a frequent contributor to the conservative Jewish World Review website.
Lee H. Hamilton spent 34 years in Congress and served as vice-chair of the 9/11 Commission and co-chair of the Iraq Study Group. Although he is a Democrat, his column is a non-partisan instructional look at how Congress works.
Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, a conservative think tank. In addition to his nationally syndicated column for Tribune Media Services, he also contributes to National Review Online.
Froma Harrop is an editorial columnist for The Providence Journal in Rhode Island. Her columns, which are syndicated by Creators Syndicate, generally offer a center-left perspective.
Betsy Hart writes about cultural and family issues. Scripps Howard News Service, which syndicates her column, markets her as a conservative commentator.
Charles C. Haynes is a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center, an educational organization devoted to preserving and protecting the First Amendment.
Daniel Henninger, deputy editorial page director for The Wall Street Journal, writes the weekly "Wonderland" column.
Nat Hentoff is a regular columnist for the Village Voice. His nationally syndicated column is carried by United Feature Syndicate.
Reg Henry is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His columns are often highly critical of conservative officials and policies, and the Bush administration in particular.
Bob Herbert has been an op-ed columnist for The New York Times since 1993.
Roger Hernandez writes a column that is syndicated by King Features. He focuses on issues affecting the Hispanic community in the U.S.
Carl Hiaasen is a columnist for The Miami Herald and the author of numerous novels. Hiaasen's articles focus on local government corruption, Florida politics, and some national stories.
Fred Hiatt is the editorial page editor of The Washington Post.
Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, columnist, and author. He describes himself as a "progressive optimist in the age of Bush II."
Cragg Hines is a Houston Chronicle columnist based in Washington, D.C. His columns offer a progressive viewpoint on national issues.
Jim Hoagland's columns run twice weekly in The Washington Post and focus on national security and foreign policy issues.
Rick Horowitz is a political humorist whose columns offer a satirical critique of Washington and the Bush administration in particular.
Kevin Horrigan is a member of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial page staff.
Arianna Huffington is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of The Huffington Post, one of the most widely read progressive news and commentary websites.
David Ignatius is a columnist for The Washington Post. His twice-weekly column focuses on economics, foreign policy, and global politics.
Derrick Z. Jackson is a columnist for The Boston Globe. His twice-weekly column often focuses on race and political issues from a liberal perspective.
Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe. He is also a contributing columnist to Townhall.com, a conservative news and commentary website.
Holman Jenkins is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board and a weekly columnist for the Journal.
Robert Kagan is a monthly columnist for The Washington Post, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and a co-founder of the neoconservative Project for a New American Century.
Gregory Kane's columns appear in The Baltimore Sun. His columns focus on race, Baltimore politics, and domestic issues.
Donald Kaul is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. He is a weekly columnist for the progressive syndicate Minuteman Media.
Garrison Keillor is the author and host of the radio show A Prairie Home Companion. His weekly column is syndicated by Tribune Media Services.
Jack Kelly writes on national security for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Toledo Blade. His columns offer readers a strongly conservative outlook.
Jack Kemp is the founder of Empower America, a conservative think tank. He was the 1996 Republican vice presidential candidate and former secretary of housing and urban development.
James J. Kilpatrick opines on the Supreme Court in his "Covering the Courts" column. Before his current column, he wrote the weekly "A Conservative View" column from 1964 to 1992.
Colbert King is the deputy editorial director and a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post. He writes about the problems facing Washington, D.C. and other social issues from a progressive viewpoint.
Michael Kinsley is a syndicated columnist and a former co-host of CNN's "Crossfire," where he represented the left side of the debate. He is currently a columnist for Time magazine.
Morton Kondracke is the executive editor and regular columnist for Roll Call. He is also a regular contributor to Fox News Channel.
Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for The Washington Post. He is a frequent guest on Fox News Channel's Fox News Sunday.
Nicholas D. Kristof is an op-ed columnist for The New York Times. His columns frequently tackle global health, poverty, and gender issues in the developing world.
Paul Krugman is an economist and editorial columnist for The New York Times. His next book, The Conscience of a Liberal, is scheduled to be released in the fall.
Lawrence Kudlow is a nationally syndicated columnist and TV host. He writes frequently on business and economics. A former economic adviser to President Reagan, Kudlow is also a contributing editor to the National Review.
Jill "J.R." Labbe is the deputy editorial page editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. A self-proclaimed libertarian, Labbe also writes a blog for the Star-Telegram called "Guns, God, and Good Government."
Donald Lambro is the chief political correspondent for The Washington Times. His column is also featured on Townhall.com.
Carl P. Leubsdorf is the Washington bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News and writes from a centrist perspective.
David Limbaugh's columns can be found in conservative outlets like Jewish World Review, Human Events, TownHall.com, and The Washington Times. He is also the author of Bankrupt: The Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Today's Democratic Party and Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity.
Rhonda Chriss Lokeman writes a column on subjects of national interest for The Kansas City Star. Her column is syndicated nationally by Creators Syndicate. She writes from a progressive perspective.
Kathryn Jean Lopez is the editor of National Review Online. Her column is syndicated by United Feature Syndicate/National Enterprise Association.
Rich Lowry is the editor of the National Review and a regular contributor to Fox News Channel. His column is syndicated nationally by King Features.
Gene Lyons is a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The United Feature Syndicate describes him as "a Southerner with a liberal viewpoint."
Tibor Machan is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank.
Ross Mackenzie is the editorial page editor for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. His syndicate, Tribune Media Services, touts him as a "steadfast conservative."
Michelle Malkin is a prominent conservative blogger and frequent guest on Fox News Channel. Her nationally syndicated column is carried by Creators Syndicate and appears in Townhall.com.
Sebastian Mallaby writes a column that appears in The Washington Post every other week. Mallaby writes on trade, international development and economic policy.
Ruth Marcus is an editorial columnist for The Washington Post. She writes a weekly column on domestic politics.
Roland Martin is the executive editor of the Chicago Defender and a contributor to CNN. In his nationally syndicated column for Creators Syndicate, Martin often writes about social issues from a progressive viewpoint.
Bill Maxwell is an editorial columnist for the St. Petersburg Times. His columns generally focus on race and social issues.
Clifford D. May is a conservative writer whose work has appeared in the National Review, American Spectator, and Townhall.com. He formerly served as the director of communications for the Republican National Committee. His weekly column is syndicated by Scripps Howard News Service.
Ann McFeatters is a columnist for Scripps Howard News Service. She covers national politics from a nonpartisan, non-ideological perspective.
Dale McFeatters is a columnist for Scripps Howard News Service and provides balanced commentary on the latest news stories.
William McKenzie is a columnist for The Dallas Morning News and former executive director of the Ripon Society, a moderate Republican advocacy group.
Marianne Means, a veteran reporter, writes a column about national politics and policy three times a week. She is syndicated by King Features.
Marsha Mercer is the Washington bureau chief of Media General News Service. She writes a weekly column on U.S. politics that is neither conservative nor progressive in its leanings.
Harold Meyerson is the editor-at-large for The American Prospect, a progressive monthly, and regular columnist for The Washington Post.
Dick Morris, former political consultant for Bill Clinton and many prominent Republicans, co-writes a column for the New York Post with his wife, Eileen McGann. Morris is also a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel.
Patt Morrison is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and The Huffington Post, a progressive blog and news site.
William Murchison writes a column for Creators Syndicate. His articles have appeared in the National Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, and TownHall.com.
Deroy Murdock is featured regularly in the National Review and is a senior economic fellow at the conservative Atlas Economic Research Foundation. His column is syndicated by Scripps Howard News Service.
Ruben Navarrette Jr. writes a column for the San Diego Union-Tribune and is syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group. Editor & Publisher, the newspaper industry's trade publication, described Navarrette as a writer "who often -- but not always -- leans conservative."
Rowland Nethaway is the senior editor of the Waco Tribune-Herald. His views on many issues tend to range across the political spectrum.
Al Neuharth is the founder of USA Today. His columns generally offer a centrist perspective on the day's issues.
Oliver North is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel and TownHall.com. His column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate.
Robert D. Novak is a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and a commentator for Fox News Channel. His column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate.
Andres Oppenheimer is the author of "The Oppenheimer Report," a twice-weekly column published by The Miami Herald. The column focuses on Latin American affairs and U.S. foreign policy in the region.
Bill O'Reilly is the host of Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor and Westwood One's nationally syndicated The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly. He is also a columnist for Creators Syndicate.
Clarence Page writes a twice-weekly column for the Chicago Tribune. Page is also a frequent guest on PBS's The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, NBC's The McLaughlin Group, and MSNBC's Hardball, among other programs.
Kathleen Parker is an editorial columnist for the Orlando Sentinel. Her column is syndicated nationally by the Washington Post Writers Group, which labels her as a conservative commentator.
Star Parker is a regular commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News, and a contributor to conservative news sites Townhall.com and WorldNetDaily. She is the founder of the Coalition for Urban Renewal & Education (CURE).
Mark Patinkin is a columnist for the Providence Journal in Rhode Island. He is syndicated nationally by Scripps Howard News Service.
Doug Patton is a freelance columnist whose writing has appeared in such conservative outlets as Human Events, The Conservative Voice, and GOPUSA.com.
Neal Peirce is a founder of the National Journal and a former political editor for Congressional Quarterly. His column is syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group.
Miguel Perez writes a column for Creators Syndicate on issues facing the Latino population. He frequently opines on the immigration debate, where he takes a progressive stance on the issue.
Tom Philpott covers issues of importance to those serving active duty in the US military, reservists, retirees, and their families. His articles have also appeared in the New Yorker, the Washingtonian, and Reader's Digest.
James P. Pinkerton is a columnist for Newsday. He worked in the White House under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and also worked on their presidential campaigns. He is a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel.
Leonard Pitts Jr. is an editorial columnist for the Miami Herald. His column is syndicated nationally by Tribune Media Services. Although Tribune groups Pitts in its "Independent" category of columnists, he has been classified as a progressive based on the general political content of his work.
Gene Policinski is the vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center and a founding editor of USA Today. His column examines topical First Amendment debates.
Bill Press is a columnist, radio talk show host, and, at one point, co-host of CNN's Crossfire. He is the author of the books Bush Must Go (2004) and How the Republicans Stole Religion (2006). His column is syndicated by Tribune Media Services.
Deb Price is an op-ed columnist for the Detroit News. Her column, which is carried by Creators Syndicate, was the first nationally syndicated column on gay and lesbian issues published in mainstream newspapers.
Tom Purcell is a conservative humor columnist whose column appears regularly in The Washington Times and the Jewish World Review.
Anna Quindlen is an award-winning syndicated columnist and former op-ed writer for The New York Times. In her columns, she has been critical of the Republican administration and its policies.
Chuck Raasch is the political editor for Gannett News Service. He writes about politics and policy from a generally nonpartisan and centrist perspective.
Dan Rather's weekly column is syndicated by King Features. The longtime CBS news anchor offers a nonpartisan, non-ideological perspective on a wide range of issues.
Michael Reagan is a columnist, radio talk-show host, and a regular contributor to conservative website NewsMax. According to his syndicate, Cagle Cartoons, Reagan's weekly column provides a "thoughtful conservative response when new issues arise."
Charley Reese is described by his syndicate, King Features, as a conservative columnist. He is the author of four books.
Richard Reeves writes a syndicated column for Universal Press Syndicate. He is labeled by his syndicate as a liberal commentator.
Frank Rich is a columnist for The New York Times and author of the book The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina, a critical examination of the Bush administration.
Cokie and Steve Roberts co-write a weekly column for United Feature Syndicate/Newspaper Enterprise Association. The husband-and-wife team are frequently featured as commentators on political radio and television shows and are longtime Washington insiders.
Paul Craig Roberts writes a syndicated column for Creators Syndicate. He was a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution and a former editor and columnist at the Wall Street Journal.
Eugene Robinson is an editorial columnist for The Washington Post.
Harry Rosenfeld is the editor-at-large of the Albany Times-Union in New York.
Trudy Rubin is a foreign affairs columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer and author of Willful Blindness: The Bush Administration and Iraq.
William Rusher was the publisher of the National Review from 1957 to 1988. His weekly column, "The Conservative Advocate," is syndicated by United Feature Syndicate.
Maria Elena Salinas is co-anchor for the nightly "Noticiero Univision," and writes a weekly column that focuses on political issues as they relate to Hispanics. Her column is syndicated by King Features.
Robert Samuelson is a columnist for The Washington Post and generally writes about economic issues.
Marcela Sanchez's column on Latin American politics appears every Friday on washingtonpost.com. Her column also appears in Spanish.
Mary Sanchez is an editorial columnist for The Kansas City Star. Her columns usually focus on immigration, trade, race, ethnicity, and culture. She is syndicated nationally by Tribune Media Services.
David Sarasohn is the managing editor of The Oregonian newspaper in Portland, Oregon. His writing has appeared in The Nation.
Debra J. Saunders writes a syndicated column for Creators Syndicate. Her columns have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, National Review, and TownHall.com.
Robert Scheer is currently a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. Over his 40-year career in journalism, he has established himself as one of the most consistently progressive voices in the mainstream media.
Martin Schram is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and commentator for Scripps Howard News Services. Schram is the author of several books and is the co-editor of the Progressive Policy Institute's Mandate for Change, a policy blueprint published in 1992.
Phyllis Schlafly is one of the most influential figures in the conservative movement. In 1972, she started Eagle Forum, a right-wing grassroots organization that opposes feminism, the United Nations, and gun control, among other stances.
Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and contributor to The Huffington Post. She is married to, and actively campaigned for, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in 2006.
Mark Shields is a columnist and regular contributor to The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer. His commentary offers progressive insight into the day's top stories.
Amity Shlaes was formerly a member of the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal. Her articles have appeared in numerous conservative publications, including the National Review, The American Spectator, and Commentary.
David Shribman is the executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His syndicated column offers a balanced look at national political issues, elections, and candidates.
Lenore Skenazy writes a column for Creators Syndicate. While she does not frequently comment on political topics, when she does, it is often from a centrist or center-left point of view.
Norman Solomon is a syndicated columnist and author. He is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and a longtime associate of the media watch group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting. His column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate.
Mary Ann Sorrentino is a columnist, former radio talk-show host, and author of the book The A Word: Abortion: Real Women, Tough Choices, Personal Freedom. She is an advocate for women's rights and the pro-choice movement.
Thomas Sowell writes for a variety of conservative outlets, including TownHall.com, the National Review, the Jewish World Review, and The Washington Times. His column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate.
Bill Steigerwald is associate editor of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, a newspaper known for its conservative editorial philosophy. Steigerwald's column frequently attacks progressive politicians and positions.
Bret Stephens writes the weekly "Global Views" column on foreign affairs for The Wall Street Journal. He holds generally hawkish views regarding the Middle East and has been critical of liberal foreign policy ideas.
D. L. Stewart writes for the Dayton Daily News in Ohio. He offers an often humorous take on day-to-day happenings in his column "That's Life."
Mark Steyn is a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and author of America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It. His commentary has appeared in the New York Sun, The Washington Times, and National Review Online.
John Stossel is the co-anchor of ABC News' 20/20. He writes his syndicated column from a conservative viewpoint, recently taking such stands as questioning the scientific consensus behind global warming and attacking minimum wage laws. His column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate.
Kimberley Strassel is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board and the author of their weekly "Potomac Watch" column. She consistently takes a very critical position on Democrats and progressives.
Elizabeth Sullivan is the foreign affairs columnist and associate editor of the editorial pages for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. She generally writes from a centrist point of view.
Jacob Sullum is the senior editor of Reason, a monthly libertarian magazine, and contributes to Townhall.com. His column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate.
Bill Tammeus writes a column on faith and religion for The Kansas City Star. He approaches the subject from a moderate perspective.
Tom Teepen is a columnist for Cox Newspapers. He opines on various hot button issues, such as immigration and the Iraq War, from a progressive point of view.
Cal Thomas' column, one of the most widely read in the country, is syndicated by Tribune Media Services. His website, calthomas.com, describes him as "a conservative American syndicated columnist and author."
Helen Thomas is the dean of the White House press corps. Since starting her syndicated column for Hearst Newspapers in 2000, she has been very critical of the Bush administration, especially over the war in Iraq.
Dan K. Thomasson is the former editor and vice president of Scripps Howard News Service.
Mark Trahant is the editor of the editorial page at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. His columns take a look at domestic politics, the environment, and the media from a progressive point of view.
Matthew Towery is a former Republican member of the Georgia House of Representatives and campaign chairman for Newt Gingrich. He writes columns for conservative website Townhall.com and is syndicated nationally by Creators Syndicate.
Cynthia Tucker is the editorial page editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and author of the weekly column "As I See It." Universal Press Syndicate classifies Tucker as a liberal commentator.
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is the founder and editor-in-chief of The American Spectator, a conservative magazine, and a contributing editor to The New York Sun, a conservative daily newspaper. His column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate.
Lionel Van Deerlin writes a weekly column for the San Diego Union-Tribune. He is a former Democratic representative from California.
Alvaro Vargas-Llosa writes a column on Latin American affairs for the Washington Post Writers Group. His work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times.
Joan Vennochi writes a twice-weekly column for The Boston Globe. Vennochi discusses national politics, elections, and candidates, and tends to be equally critical of conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats.
Diana West is a columnist for The Washington Times. Her column is syndicated by United Feature Syndicate/Newspaper Enterprise Association.
John Whitehead, a self-proclaimed civil libertarian, is an attorney and author who founded the Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties and human rights organization. In past years, he was known for his support of Christian-right causes and his criticism of President Bill Clinton. Recently, Whitehead has become an outspoken critic of religious conservatives and the Bush administration's assault on civil liberties.
DeWayne Wickham is a columnist for USA Today and Gannett News Service. His columns tend to give particular attention to race issues. He has also been critical of Bush administration policies.
George F. Will is a columnist for The Washington Post and a frequent guest on ABC's This Week.
Walter Williams is a libertarian columnist whose writing can be found on Townhall.com and the Jewish World Review. Williams has occasionally served as guest host for Rush Limbaugh's radio show. His column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate.
Jules Witcover is a long-time political columnist. Tribune Media Services, Witcover's syndicate, describes his column as offering "a candid examination of politics and American foreign policy from a liberal viewpoint."
John Young writes a twice-weekly column for the Waco Tribune-Herald in Texas. His columns are frequently critical of conservative positions and politicians.
Fareed Zakaria is the editor of Newsweek International and writes a regular column for Newsweek. He was also the managing editor of Foreign Affairs, a journal of international politics.
2 These "combined totals" count the same newspapers multiple times if they publish multiple columnists, which accounts for the fact that the figures are greater than the actual total circulation of American daily newspapers.
7 One striking aspect of our numbers is that they seem so much smaller than the claims that many of the most prominent columnists make about the reach of their columns. These writers may be counting the appearance of their columns in weekly newspapers, which we did not survey, or on websites without a related print product. A few, furthermore, cite foreign newspapers as well. But the evidence certainly suggests that more than a few columnists, and their syndicates, are overstating the numbers of newspapers whose readers see their work. The conservatives seemed particularly likely to overstate their reach. For instance, Cal Thomas' biography on the Fox News Channel website claims his column appears in "more than 600 national newspapers," while we found only 346 papers that run his column. Similarly, Michelle Malkin's website claims that her column "appears in nearly 200 newspapers nationwide," while only 91 newspapers told us they publish it.