And isn’t there a place for just that – for a group of writers and thinkers to put out a publication that doesn’t seek to maximize pageviews or generate profits, but which dares to believe it has something to say, a point of view to fight over, and just gets on with it and hopes for the best? That was the formula we followed in the decade I worked there as editor and before. If you build it, they will come … and when I left it, we had over 100,000 subscribers. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t a million, or even 105,000. They were the right 100,000 – and built a shared community of ideas and a heritage to fight over. That’s what’s missing in this era of pageviews and clickbait and sponsored content: a self-confident team that, at some level, doesn’t give a shit what others or even readers believe, as long as the debate itself is rigorous, fair, open and reasoned. I remember Michael Lewis throwing back his head and giving that barking laugh of his as he marveled: ‘The is the first magazine I’ve ever been a part of that never asks what its readers want.” Where is that kind of publication now?

Andrew Sullivan