Michael Kinsley (born March 9, 1951) is an American political journalist, commentator, television host, and pundit. Primarily active in print media as both a writer and editor, he also became known to television audiences as a co-host on Crossfire. Kinsley has been a notable participant in the mainstream media's development of online content.
Kinsley was born in Detroit, Michigan. He attended the Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, then graduated from Harvard College in 1972. At Harvard, Kinsley served as vice president of the University's daily newspaper, The Harvard Crimson. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, then returned to Harvard for law school. While still a third-year law student, he began working at The New Republic and was allowed to finish his Harvard Juris Doctor degree via courses at the evening program at The George Washington University Law School.
Kinsley's first exposure to a national television audience was as moderator of William Buckley's Firing Line. In 1979 Kinsley became editor of The New Republic and wrote that magazine's TRB column for most of the 1980s and 1990s. That column was also reprinted in a variety of newspaper op-ed pages, including the Washington Post, and made Kinsley's reputation as a leading political commentator. Kinsley also served as editor at Harper's (for a year and a half in the early 1980s), managing editor of Washington Monthly (in the mid-1970s, while still in school), and American Editor of The Economist (a short-term, honorary position).
In 2002 Kinsley married Patty Stonesifer, previously married with adult children. Stonesifer is a frequent television commentator who was responsible for the former Microsoft news portion of the MSNBC merger (including Slate Magazine, where Kinsley served as an editor.) Stonesifer served as chief executive officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for eleven years, and is now a senior advisor.
In 2002 Kinsley announced that he had Parkinson's disease. He is an atheist.