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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Duncan Bowen Black

Atrios (second from right). To the left of him are (left to right) Matt Stoller, David Goldstein, and Janeane Garofalo. At right is David Postman (Seattle Times)
Born February 18, 1972(1972-02-18)
Residence Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Citizenship United States
Known for Eschaton weblog
Call-sign Atrios

Duncan Bowen Black (born February 18, 1972), better known by his pseudonym Atrios (pronounced /ˈeɪtrioʊs/), is an American liberal blogger living in Philadelphia. His weblog Eschaton is one of the most popular political weblogs, receiving an average of over 100,000 hits every day.[1] Black was also a regular commentator on Air America Radio's The Majority Report.



After obtaining his BA from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Black obtained a Ph.D. in economics from Brown University in 1999. He has worked at the London School of Economics, the Université catholique de Louvain, the University of California, Irvine, and, most recently, Bryn Mawr College. He is now a Senior Fellow at the media research group Media Matters for America.

Black began his online political life in Salon magazine's Tabletalk messageboards under the pseudonym of Kurt Foster, then began blogging as Atrios, remaining pseudonymous for several years, and even joking that he was actually a high school gym teacher. According to Black, the name "Atrios" is actually a (misspelled) reference to a character named Antrios in the Yasmina Reza play 'Art' who paints the play's key "white painting on white canvas".

Before starting Eschaton, Black wrote (as Atrios) for the webzine Media Whores Online (now defunct). During the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, he revealed that he had accepted a job at Media Matters for America and allowed his name and photograph to be published. He later said that as an academic he blogged pseudonymously to avoid attacks like those later unleashed on Timothy Shortell.[2]


Black's weblog Eschaton generally features short entries on a variety of topics ranging from policy commentary to breaking news and links. Posts are frequent — on the order of ten every day. The majority of posts are authored by Black (as Atrios), but there are occasional guest bloggers. On June 29, 2005, Black described Eschaton as not a blog but an "Online Magazine of News, Commentary, and Editorial."[3] Following a similar announcement from The Talent Show,[4] this was a satirical reaction to Federal Election Commission hearings[5] on the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. Black had previously expressed frustration[6] that the FEC might not apply the act's "media exemption" to blogs, which he regarded as equivalent to other forms of media including online magazines.

Appearance in Fiction

Atrios (portrayed by an uncredited actor) appeared briefly in the 7th Season West Wing episode Welcome to Wherever You Are (Episode 7x15) meeting with the fictional democratic presidential candidate Matt Santos. Atrios was introduced by Josh Lyman (played by Bradley Whitford) as having "raised 300 grand online" and having "almost as many readers as the The Philadelphia Inquirer". [7]


Duncan Black is credited with creating the neologism "Friedman Unit" to refer to New York Times columnist Tom Friedman's predilection for repeatedly pushing a withdrawal from the Iraq War out a further 6 months.


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Dr. Duncan B. Black, known under his internet publishing pseudonym as Atrios, is the author of the liberal blog Eschaton.


  • I am basically a Clinton Democrat - perhaps more along the lines of how Clinton would have done things as benevolent dictator, or at least with a Dem Congress at his disposal, than how things were run in the 90s, but no flaming progressive. [1]

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