Policy made plain.
June 1 1997 3:30 AM

Slate: A Policy Statement


In light of continuing concerns about the power and ambitions of our parent company, the Microsoft Corp., we at Slate would like to offer the following declaration of our own policy and goals. This policy statement was prepared without consultation, and applies only to Slate.

Our goal at Slate, quite simply, is to own political and cultural commentary in this country, the industrialized nations, and ultimately in the developing regions as well. The whole world, basically. We will use any means necessary to achieve this end, including competition, both fair and unfair, wholesale buying up of potential rivals, strategic partnerships and alliances, strategic betrayals of partners and allies, theft, bribery, murder, and, if necessary, putting out a high-quality product.

Someday, if you want an opera criticism, an analysis of the latest tax proposal, or a profile of some obscure academic, you'll have no choice but to come to us. Building on our domination of these areas, we will extend our reach into popular culture, gradually monopolizing movie and television reviews and interviews with brainless celebrities. Ultimately, our towering position, as well as economies of scale in the production of opinion and analysis, will make resistance futile. At that point, we will control the industry and be able to extract the rich monopoly profits waiting to be had from poetry, book reviews, essays pleading for entitlement reform, explanations of developments in foreign countries, and similar product lines.

We will, of course, continue to support all platforms: liberal, conservative, libertarian, vegetarian, UNIX. We are committed to producing opinions that are compatible with all standard political labels and work equally well for Democrats and Republicans. We foresee a day when all viewpoints on every subject are equally comfortable for anyone to swallow, and when the frustrating cacophony of today's political and cultural debate is replaced by easy-to-use modules of predigested viewpoints that can be downloaded from the Web with a simple credit-card transaction.


Or at least, that's the plan.

Mark Alan Stamaty: Recent Works

Mark Stamaty, author of the cartoon strips McDoodle Street for the Village Voice and Washingtoon for the Washington Post, didn't know from computers when we approached him a year ago to create a strip for Slate. He still doesn't know a lot about computers but, to our great delight, he's really got into some of the technical possibilities of publishing on the Web--and into some of the limitations as well. Mark's remarkably clever animated cartoons also use remarkably few data bits, meaning that they can be downloaded quickly by a normal 28.8 modem. Check out the current Doodlennium for an example. Mark also does the delightful jumpy illustrations for "Summary Judgment" each week. And all of us on the Slate staff especially loved his recent drawing of Garry Kasparov confronting Deep Blue.

Dispatches, Dialogues, and Diaries, Jinga-Linga

If you haven't already done so, check out our new design for "Dispatches & Dialogues" and the "Diary." We hope you'll find the revised layout more user friendly.

--Michael Kinsley