In 2004, Slate listed how its correspondents and columnists voted in the presidential election. Then-editor Michael Kinsley explained:
No doubt it is true that most journalists vote Democratic, just as most business executives (including most media owners) vote Republican, though neither tendency is as pronounced as their respective critics believe. This is a natural result of the sort of people who are attracted to various careers. It is not the product of any conspiracy. There is no Liberal Central Committee drafting young liberals into journalism against their will or blackballing young conservatives. And there is nothing that can be done to change this disparity, unless conservative press critics would like to see the media institute a political quota system, favoring conservatives over better-qualified liberals (affirmative action for opponents of affirmative action).
But—for the millionth time!—an opinion is not a bias! The fact that reporters tend to be liberal says nothing one way or another about their tendency to be biased. It does suggest that when political bias does creep in, it is more likely to tilt liberal than conservative. But there are so many other pressures and prejudices built into the news—including occasional overcompensation for fear of appearing biased—that raw political bias plays a fairly small role. …Of course it is not easy to persuade folks of this, and many will never believe it. No doubt it is easier just to keep your political opinions secret and imply that you don’t have any. But that absurdity or dishonesty itself undermines your credibility. Or it ought to.
So how did things shake out among the Slate staff this year?
Barack Obama: 55
John McCain: 1
Bob Barr: 1
Not McCain: 1
Noncitizen, can’t vote: 4
UPDATE: Matt Zeitlin weighs in:
What’s really interesting is not who responded, but who didn’t. Namely, Slate’s political correspondent John Dickerson. He, after all, doesn’t do the type of cutesy, authorial, opinionated writing that Slate is known for. He instead does straightforward politcal reporting and analysis of the type you could find in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, or Newsweek. And the fact that he choses to keep his vote to himself says something about how contrarian Slate’s contributor poll is.