Cox v. Alterman: The Showdown


Only in Washington would “fights” take place on the rooftop of a fancy hotel where they’re serving fresh orange juice and omelets made to order. Still, we’ll take what we can get…

At John McLaughlin’s Sunday brunch,’s Ana Marie Cox and The Nation’s Eric Alterman “went at it” (and by “went at it” I mean discussed such things as whether or not Peter Beinart is a neocon or not…Oh no you didn’t!!!).

Anyway, it turns out that Dana Milbank wasn’t the only one who had a secret tape recorder handy all weekend. The Observer’s Michael Calderone also had one and recorded (and transcribed) the “fight” between Cox and Alterman.

The “real” juicy part?

    ERIC ALTERMAN: That’s your job. You’re paid by Time to–

    ANA MARIE COX: Actually, I would love to hear my job description from you. Yes, what is my job at Time?

    ERIC ALTERMAN: Why are you being so hostile to me?

    ANA MARIE COX: I’m not being hostile, am I?


    ERIC ALTERMAN: If Time were paying me, I would feel a responsibility to the institution to try and improve it. Then I might talk to Rick about it. But Time is not paying me, so my only job is to say what I think is the truth. And that’s what I do.

    ANA MARIE COX: Rather than engage with someone that you have a relationship with?

    ERIC ALTERMAN: He knows what I think. I wrote a column for The Nation called “Time Is on Their Side.” Rick read it. I made my point.

    ANA MARIE COX: And you talked to him yesterday.

    ERIC ALTERMAN: About you.


Like a kitten.