The Daily Dish was founded in the summer of 2000 by Andrew Sullivan as one of the very first political blogs. Andrew wrote the blog alone for the first six years, for no pay, apart from two pledge drives. In 2006 he took the blog to Time.com and then to The Atlantic.com, where he was able to employ interns for the first time, to handle the ever-expanding web of content.
In 2011, he and three former interns, Patrick Appel, Chris Bodenner, and Zoe Pollock, left the Atlantic for the Daily Beast, where the Dish lost its “Daily” qualifier and became a 24/7 news and opinion site for aggregation of web content, curation of reader input and Andrew’s own ruminations and reading.
In February 2013, under the newly formed Dish Publishing LLC, the Dish returned to independence from bigger media platforms and became one of the first blogs to ask readers alone to support its work. It has a readership of around 1.2 million unique visitors with an average of around 8 million pageviews a month from around the world. The Dish covers anything Andrew, the Dish team or the Dish readership finds interesting – from politics to religion and pop culture and art and film and poetry and philosophy and web humor.
The Dish Team
Patrick Appel – Executive Editor
Since Patrick joined the Dish in December of 2007, his job has been reading the entire internet every day. In addition to keeping the Dish stocked with posts, Patrick also manages the business-side of Dish Publishing LLC. He is married to Katie Rooney Appel and, when not blogging, is often doing the bidding of their chihuahua-terrier puppy, Keely.
Chris Bodenner – Executive Editor
Chris is primarily in charge of the blog’s regular features and editing the massive in-tray. He also heads up project development for Dish Publishing LLC, including the creation of The Cannabis Closet and The View From Your Window books. Raised by two parents in the Army, Chris bounced around ten different states and three countries before landing in Brooklyn. He gets out to visit his niece in Portland, Oregon as much as he can.
Chas Danner – Special Teams
Chas is former waiter turned student turned new media aficionado. He was a regular Dish reader (as well as the emailer who started the Swimming Pig thread) before becoming a Dishtern in 2012. Being from New England, he enjoys woodland streams, Red Sox baseball, and weather that changes. Chas also studies writing at The New School in Manhattan and attends as many storytelling shows as he can get to. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife.
Alice Quinn – Poetry Editor
Alice is executive director of the Poetry Society of America and a professor at Columbia University’s graduate School of the Arts. From 1976-1986, she was poetry editor at Alfred A. Knopf and from 1987-2007 poetry editor of The New Yorker. She is currently at work on an edition of Elizabeth Bishop’s notebooks and journals.
Jessie Roberts - Senior Editor
Jessie is a Columbia grad who first worked for the Dish as an Atlantic Monthly intern in 2007. She rejoined the Dish team in 2013 to cover the blog’s weekend beat. A native of Burlington, Vermont, she now lives and writes in Brooklyn.
Brian Senecal – General Manager
Brian joined the Dish in June of 2013, three years after being introduced to the blog by an old friend. A native of Wellesley, Massachusetts and a graduate of Boston University, he has lived in Manhattan since 2005. He loves baseball, outer space, his book club, Tibetan terriers, and playing banjo for a New York City bluegrass band.
Jonah Shepp – Intern
A regular Dish reader since his days at Amherst College, Jonah lived in Amman, Jordan from 2008 to 2013, working as an editor at The Jordan Times and in various side jobs for local policy research and humanitarian organizations. He is a native of Manhattan, where he currently resides.
Matthew Sitman – Literary Editor
Matt, born and raised in central Pennsylvania, is a Ph.D. candidate in Government at Georgetown University and, prior to joining the Dish, taught political theory and American politics at the University of Virginia. He scours the internet for the best coverage of religion, philosophy, and literature.
Andrew Sullivan – Founding Editor
Andrew was born in August 1963 and grew up in East Grinstead, West Sussex, England. He attended Reigate Grammar School, and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he took a First in Modern History and Modern Languages. He was also President of the Oxford Union, and spent his summer vacations as an actor in the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain.
In 1984, he won a Harkness Fellowship to Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and earned a Masters degree in Public Administration in 1986. In his summers, he interned as an editorial writer at The Daily Telegraph in London, and at the Centre For Policy Studies, Margaret Thatcher’s informal think-tank, where he wrote a policy paper on the environment, called ‘Greening The Tories.’ In the summer of 1985, he travelled through thirty of the United States. He then went on to get a PhD from Harvard’s Government Department with a doctorate called ‘Intimations Pursued: The Voice of Practice in the Conversation of Michael Oakeshott.’ It won the Government Department Prize for a dissertation in political science, and was published in 2008.
From 1991 – 1996, he was the editor of The New Republic, bringing its circulation to a record 103,000 and, alongside predecessor Rick Hertzberg, winning three National Magazine Awards in his tenure. He was named editor of the year by Adweek in 1996. From 1996 – 2000 he devoted his time to writing for the New York Times Magazine, a weekly column for The Sunday Times in London, and to the campaign for marriage equality for gay couples.
In 1989, Sullivan wrote the first national cover-story in favor of marriage equality, and subsequently an essay, “The Politics of Homosexuality” in The New Republic in 1993, an article the Nation called the most influential of the decade in the gay rights movement. In 1995, he published his first book, “Virtually Normal,” a case for marriage equality, which was translated into a five languages. He testified against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, edited an anthology, “Same-Sex Marriage: Pro and Con” and toured the country campaigning on the issue. His second book, ‘Love Undetectable: Notes on Friendship, Sex, and Survival,’ was published in 1998 in the United States and Britain. Sullivan tested positive for HIV in 1993, and remains in good health. In 2006, he published “The Conservative Soul,” a critique of the direction of the American right in the new millennium. In 2007, he was one of the first political writers to champion the presidential campaign of Barack Obama and his cover-story for the Atlantic, “Why Obama Matters”, was regarded as a mile-stone in that campaign’s messaging.
Sullivan calls himself a conservative still, is a practicing Catholic, but has been an enthusiastic supporter (and occasional critic) of Obama since 2007. Sullivan appears regularly on the Colbert Report and Real Time with Bill Maher on television and continues his weekly column for the Sunday Times. He lives with his husband and two hound dogs in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Tracy Walsh – Intern
Tracy was raised on newspapers and Wawa hoagies in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She studied literary theory at Clark University and then moved to New York, where she edited in-flight magazines by day and attended Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism at night. She has since worked for a variety of publishers and nonprofits, including Oxford University Press and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. She would probably like you if she met you.
Katie Zavadski – Intern
Katie grew up in Brooklyn, and is thrilled to be back in her hometown. Before joining the Dish team, she studied comparative religion at Harvard and wrote/fact checked for New York Magazine and some other publications. She likes to church/synagogue/mosque/temple hop and is never caught up on her reading list.