The New Yorker Endorses Kerry

The New Yorker has made the first political endorsement in its 80-year history, backing Sen. John Kerry (search) in next week's presidential election.

The magazine says the Bush administration's record "has been one of failure, arrogance, and — strikingly for a team that prided itself on crisp professionalism — incompetence" and that Kerry "has demonstrated steadiness and sturdiness of character" throughout his career.

The five-page editorial in the Nov. 1 issue criticizes President Bush's tax cuts, his environmental policies, his execution of the war in Iraq and his Justice Department's record of "secrecy and arrogance."

On the environment, the magazine says, "By stripping away restrictions on the use of federal lands, often through little-advertised rule changes, the administration has potentially opened up 60 million acres, an area larger than Indiana and Iowa combined, to logging, mining and oil exploration."

On Iraq, it says that "the cakewalk led over a cliff, to a succession of heedless and disastrous mistakes that leave one wondering, at the very least, how the Pentagon's civilian leadership remains intact and the president's sense of infallibility undisturbed."

Asked why the magazine was endorsing a candidate for the first time, spokeswoman Perri Dorset said, "We believe this is a very critical election and an important time in our country and we decided we want to make a statement about it."