February 14, 2013

"The New Republic has abandoned its liberal but heterodox tradition and embraced a leftist outlook as predictable as that of Mother Jones or the Nation."

Writes Martin Peretz in the Wall Street Journal. Peretz was editor in chief of The New Republic from 1974 until 2011.
The magazine now seems to live in a space where those "little insurrections of the mind" are unwelcome. It is akin to the atmosphere in many colleges and universities: There are prevailing orthodoxies but they aren't recognized as such. Mr. Obama himself is the main one. The president is an object of fealty at the New Republic in a way that Woodrow Wilson and even Franklin Roosevelt never were.

46 comments:

James said...

Sounds like a wasted subscription to me.

bagoh20 said...

"Sounds like a wasted subscription to me"

There is a market for "Teen Beat" for adults. They need to print some posters right in the magazine.

chickelit said...

The orthodoxy paradox.

rhhardin said...

Maybe it's a business play for a demographic that they assume exists.

A business model deal.

Marshal said...

bagoh20 said...
They need to print some posters right in the magazine.


Laugh of the day.

Sure, put Obama on the wall between Sean Cassidy and Justin Bieber.

Portia said...

I actually used to subscribe to that rag. Maaannnnyy years ago, thankfully. It was suggested by my (wait for it) ....college perfesser. Whodathunk.

ricpic said...

Utter BS, FDR was absolutely worshipped at the old New Republic. Peretz is one of those rebellious lefties who thought the decent bourgeois order that made his rebellion safe - because the squares would make the world work no matter how much he and his comrades hollowed it out - would never end and now all of a sudden he's scared because his sons and grandsons are finally actually doing it, actually killing the world of sanity, order and comfort. Eff you, Marty.

traditionalguy said...

The line of the popular media to bow in fealty to King Obama I has stretched around the block.

Apparently a series of hit pieces on Rubio is this years initiation requirement.



Saint Croix said...

Honestly, it's a tragedy. The New Republic was awesome for a couple of decades. Michael Kinsley, Mickey Kaus, Michael Kelly, Fred Barnes. Just a brilliant magazine for so many years. Now it's just stupid and boring.

cubanbob said...

Gave it up 15 years ago followed by Time and Newsweek. Time-Warner is putting Time Magazine up for sale. Another one circles the drain.

Carol said...

awesome for a couple of decades. Michael Kinsley, Mickey Kaus, Michael Kelly, Fred Barnes.

Yes, and Krauthammer. It was a great read in the 1980s for a crypto-conservative like me, but the left always hated TNR.

I subscribed for years and years. When I was low on money I'd talk them into the student rate.

Mitchell the Bat said...

What's the new line on Israel?

furious_a said...

I assume Marty Peretz cashed the check from the new owner before he penned this article.

Not disagreeing with the content of his op-ed, just seems bad form to cap on the buyer who took a money-losing dog off one's hands.

Alex said...

Stephen Glass was the final straw.

Mitchell the Bat said...

"The Flapjack File" by Douglas McGrath was awesome.

jr565 said...

I hope they go bankrupt soon.

dbp said...

I was thinking exactly the same thing, but didn't know how to articulate it.

Pogo said...

It's hard to outdo Woodrow Wilson in cult of personality crap.

I mean, this picture for instance.

But TNR's a good example of the US nomenklatura, or at least its cheering section. Their staff will all do well in the next 10-15 years, even if the magazine devolves into Mr. Hughes's tax write-off, with a thousand loyal "subscribers".

Mr. Hughes and Facebook will be well-protected by their slavish endorsements of all things Obama. Smart guy; he knows that kissing government ass is the only game in town when fascists rule.

The rest of us are screwed. I'd say I told you so, back in 2008, but who cares?

edutcher said...

Lefties fear those "little insurrections of the mind".

Larry J said...

traditionalguy said...
The line of the popular media to bow in fealty to King Obama I has stretched around the block.


Before all is said and done, Obama will likely be the recipient of the longest media blowjob in American history.

Revenant said...

Utter BS, FDR was absolutely worshipped at the old New Republic.

Well, there was something of a heterodox tradition -- some of their writers thought FDR wasn't nearly left-wing ENOUGH. :)

BDNYC said...

Big Business is rational and understands that sucking up to Big Government is one of the most profitable ways to protect their interests. Hughes likely realizes that the tech sector is long overdo for a lumbering government intrusion into their industry, and that the best way he can help his pals at Facebook is to become Barack Obama's mouthpiece.

From Inwood said...

is this an insurrection I see before me or an insurrection of the mind.

AprilApple said...

The New Republic: Stormfront For Liberals.

will stevens said...

No one has yet mentioned that TNR was published in the late 40's and mid 50's by a KGB agent, who was involved with British spies. Why would anyone be surprised by a move to the left by this Red publication?

will stevens said...

No one has yet mentioned that TNR was published in the late 40's and mid 50's by a KGB agent, who was involved with British spies. Why would anyone be surprised by a move to the left by this Red publication?

creeley23 said...

Let us not forget either that in the Nineties TNR published Stephen Glass's fabricated articles and in the 2000s TNR published Scott Beauchamp's fabricated articles on the US military during the Iraq War. Beauchamp was, ironically, married to a TNR fact-checker.

How it is that TNR maintains credibility as a serious journal eludes me.

EnigmatiCore said...

Implicit in this criticism is the true assertion that Obama is not a heterodox liberal, but a leftist.

Marshal said...

will stevens said...
No one has yet mentioned that TNR was published in the late 40's and mid 50's by a KGB agent,


Peretz mentions it.

Sam L. said...

Blogger Mitchell the Bat said...

What's the new line on Israel?

Why, it is a rogue state, oppressing the entire Middle East; buncha stone-cold killers and evil to the last baby.

Or, same as the old line.

Steven said...

I've appreciated TNR, but never subscribed. You don't get subscribers by being appreciated by many, you get subscribers by being loved by some (if one in a thousand Americans subscribes to a magazine and everyone else hates it, it's wildly successful - c.f. Althouse birthdaymates Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern, who probably both have more detractors than admirers but don't get any less money for a detractor than for someone who has never heard of them).

This is probably less true of getting web hits, and directly competing with other magazines of the orthodox left rather than producing a distinct brand might be a mistake. But there may be more demand for left-wing raw meat than for intelligent and sometimes idiosyncratic left-of-center commentary. Competing for a piece of a larger niche could be more profitable than owning a smaller niche, but it would have to be a lot larger.

Mind you, I'm talking about profitability here, which I don't think is the main driver of the new owner's decision.

EDH said...

At least you can feel politically correct using a rolled-up issue to beat one of your borrowed dogs like, er, a borrowed mule.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

TNR had a considerable Stalinist phase in the 40s and 50s. By the time I first encountered it, in the 80s, it was, well, Althouse-ish -- willing to consider all viewpoints, but ultimately settling somewhere near center, after thrashing out all the alternatives.

I used to subscribe, but stopped when it went biweekly, and even the twice-a-month issues were skinnier than the weekly ones used to be. This piece makes me even likely to resubscribe.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I should've added that the 80s TNR was a very good publication. I have watched it decline subsequently with dismay.

Bryan C said...

"- because the squares would make the world work no matter how much he and his comrades hollowed it out -"

ricpic, well said.

Mitch H. said...

Not disagreeing with the content of his op-ed, just seems bad form to cap on the buyer who took a money-losing dog off one's hands.

I don't think any of these opinion mags really made money even in the old hand-over-fist days. That isn't their purpose, it's either a vanity plate or a fulcrum for policy or ideological leverage.

That being said, they do try to not hemorrhage money.

chrisnavin.com said...

Good point about being loved by your core audience. Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Beck are probably both a little crazy. At the heart of the matter is some personal connection, which can border on a cult of personality.

chrisnavin.com said...

As for the new TNR, it looks like Rolling Stone, and could well become a vanity project for a rich Facebook guy.

Who knows?

Notice it's the tech money influencing politics and culture more nowadays.

And instead of Michael Kinsley we get the progressive Obama lackeys, like at Slate and TNR.

n.n said...

Generational rebels with a cause and without a clue strike again.

Titus said...

Didn't he marry really rich?

If he was gay he could of married the facebook NR queen and would probably be richer.

Michael K said...

" Saint Croix said...
Honestly, it's a tragedy. The New Republic was awesome for a couple of decades. Michael Kinsley, Mickey Kaus, Michael Kelly, Fred Barnes. Just a brilliant magazine for so many years. Now it's just stupid and boring."

I wouldn't know as I gave up about 2000. I do think Peretz is sincere and, aside from his enthusiasm for Al Gore, is center left, in my opinion.

Kevin Drum, who is now at Mother Jones, is another lefty who is fundamentally honest. Back in 2004, when he was at Washington Monthly, he investigated the Bush TANG story and concluded it was bogus, much as he wished it were real.

Not all on the left are beyond logic and ethics. Most are, but not all.

Saint Croix said...

Why the New Republic is and will continue to be the magazine of white people.

Chris Hughes - white

Franklin Foer - white

Sam Tanenhaus - honky white

Rosanna Warren - white

Cass Sunstein - white white white

Adam Kirsch - I just want to pinch his white cheek

Timothy Noah - white cracker

Reuel Marc Gerecht - still white

Eliza Gray - vanilla

Alec MacGillis - whiter than Wisconsin

Alan Taylor - too damn white

Leon Wieseltier - white all over

Ian McEwan - super white

What a white magazine! Ya'll need some rednecks so I don't get snow blindness or something.

Richard Dolan said...

Peretz' comments could easily be applied more broadly. In many ways, lefties and righties have stopped listening to each other, preferring instead to bat down the positions they attribute to each other (often just strawmen). You see it in these threads all the time.

Richard Dolan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SMGalbraith said...

Michael Kinsley brilliantly edited the magazine in the mid 1980s. It was a heterodox liberal publication that the left despised. When you opened it up you didn't really know what you were going to read. Very unpredictable.

It went downhill after that when Andrew Sullivan and Charles Lane followed Kinsley.

And Michael Kelly. Now there was a journalist. He was killed in the early stages of the Iraq War. What a loss that was.

kentuckyliz said...

Maybe it should be retitled Same Old Same Old Republic