Jonathan Chait--a senior editor at The New Republic, former assistant editor of the American Prospect, and incisive magazine journalist--thinks magazine awards are a "pathetic joke." In a column titled "The Case Against Awards," he directs a blast against his industry's top laurels, which his own magazine has won:

In my field, we have something called the National Magazine Awards. Magazine writers tend to be both obsessed with who wins and convinced the process is a pathetic joke. This isn't just sour grapes, either. The last time The New Republic won a National Magazine Award, it was for publishing Betsy McCaughey's infamous anti-Clintoncare screed "No Exit," which is probably the worst article in the history of TNR. It's as if the last American to win the Nobel Peace Prize was Timothy McVeigh.