Re: Teach Me

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I used to like Stanley Kauffman's movie reviews from time to time, but the rest of the fishwrap was either monotonously hysterical or hysterically monotonous.

[Something about how bad Andrew Sullivan and Michael Kelly are/were.]


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 8:38 AM
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It's not political, but TNR did publish the infamous "Rick Moody is the worst writer of his generation" book review. Which was kind of great.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 8:38 AM
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I just blathered with some links in another thread, but I will merely link rather than re-post so as to not pollute this noble intellectual exercise.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 8:43 AM
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If it's still the inflight magazine of Air Force 1, does it have ads for the Tilted Kilt like all the other inflight magazines?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 9:00 AM
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We took it into the 90s, so some good articles for sure. I'm on my phone now but I'll be back.

Ripford's 77 in the other thread, semi-facetiously linking RS failure to content piracy, is echoed seriously by Michael Ohare at samefacts.org, also referring to the collapse of TNR.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 9:19 AM
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I'm finding that I have an even more uncertain sense of what I've read where than I thought. But I guess, Krauthammer's "The Case for the Contras" makes the 30-year cutoff.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 9:21 AM
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I'd be more sympathetic to not laying the sins of the (somewhat recent) past on the current TNR if they themselves had not so enthusiastically masturbating to the legacy of the magazine.

This isn't the stuff of sloganeering; it's a complicated set of beliefs that even most liberals don't fully appreciate.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 9:30 AM
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The Bell Curve piece obviously leads the way. Then the Stephen Glass highlights. Then some Marty Peretz columns about Arabs.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 9:35 AM
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The wringing of hands and clutching of pearls on the part of people affiliated with TNR has really been something to behold. As far as I can tell, it hasn't been a great or important magazine for at least forty years -- and maybe longer than that. Most damning of all, I think, is the fact that the vaunted back of the book has been plagued for the past few decades by rigid ideological policing and petty grudges -- just like the front of the book. Still, it's a shame that some good writers are going to be out of a job. (I mean that, by the way, as the magazine publishing landscape is a blasted wasteland.)


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 9:36 AM
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Anyway, Vox nailed it in one (a sentence I never expected to write).


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 9:38 AM
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Marty Peretz is hot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 9:39 AM
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Wait. "Left". Never mind.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 9:40 AM
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9 -- I'm not sure it wasn't relevant, in the marginal way that any magazine is ever relevant -- in DC in the 90s. But not as a force for good . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 9:58 AM
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13: I suppose that's right. It formed an important part of the anti-Clinton chorus and then the drumbeat for war in Iraq.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 10:02 AM
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IIRC, There was a great article about how the Heritage Foundation decided to implement their free market ideas at their own institution, and as a result quickly wrecked it by eliminating all scholarship and reducing everything to a mailing list used for fundraising.

It was a very good article which seems rather prescient now.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 10:04 AM
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I was thinking also of that bogus hit piece in the Clinton health care initiative, which I think actually made a difference. (Coupled with my theory that, at the margin, the 1994 blowout was as much because health care reform had failed than because it had been proposed, I'm fine blaming NR for Gingrich, Bush, and, now Boehner & McConnell.*)

* McConnell, though, has an individual achievement the other guys can only dream about: he stopped the ebola epidemic even before assuming office as Majority Leader. A better demonstration of the importance of Resolve cannot be imagined.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 10:10 AM
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As far as I can tell, it hasn't been a great or important magazine for at least forty years

I think that might be unfair, at least as far as importance and influence goes. Gonerill points to Charles Murray, whose significance in American society was given a genuine boost by TNR.

I'd offer Betsy McCaughey's "No Exit." Without her, would we have been suffering for the last 20 years under a regime of national healthcare? Maybe, maybe not. But it's hard to deny her influence. Heck, Wikipedia tells me that article won her a National Magazine Award for excellence in the public interest.

We probably didn't need Michael Kelly to find out how loathsome Al Gore was, but as with many of TNR's most significant moments, Kelly made it okay for liberals to mock and despise other liberals.

I apologize for shitting all over the original post, which asks a sincere question in an effort to elicit some original thinking on an interesting topic. I know I've read good things in TNR. But if TNR has simultaneously been influential and non-repugnant in the last 30 years, I missed it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 10:11 AM
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Their review of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius had the excellent and insightful title "Being and Knowingness". I can't remember anything about the review itself (except that, as you might guess, it was not favorable). And it's not political. Sorry, ogged!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 10:14 AM
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Does every white collar profession thinks of itself as being unique in the same way?

"they seem to have missed the fact that journalists will not respond well to the kind of management that may work splendidly in Silicon Valley. Attempts to use a conflict-avoidant, buzzword-filled, meeting-heavy management style fail miserably with journalists who are by nature and profession confrontational, cliche-avoidant, and in need of many solid, unbroken stretches of alone time to complete their work."

I'm not surprised that people in the industry think of themselves as special snowflakes. But I am surprised that the exact thing that journalists feel differentiates them from programmers is the exact thing that programmers feel differentiates them from non-programmers. Of course it's bullshit. But I'm surprised that it's the exact same bullshit.


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 10:14 AM
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That's the one.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 10:14 AM
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20 to 17, with which I am nearly entirely in accord. The stuff that was good in NR wasn't influential. The stuff that was influential was all bad bad bad.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 10:17 AM
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NR makes me think of National Review.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 10:19 AM
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Which, to be fair, probably also published something that boosted Charles Murray and attacked Clintoncare.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 10:22 AM
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19. Somebody show me where all the journalists who are confrontational, cliche-avoidant and under 60 work.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 10:24 AM
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19: While I have no tears to shed over the passing of TNR, I can sympathize somewhat with people who have to deal with obnoxious techbros steamrolling into their profession and trashing everything. Rebecca Schuman recently coined the term "disrupt-a-douches" for these types who think that, because they wrote a successful app, they are now experts on everything. I hope the name catches on.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 10:27 AM
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Michael Lewis on Morry Taylor was pretty funny. Michael Lewis on the 1996 Republican primary.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 11:04 AM
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Am I right in thinking that one upside of this is that Hughes is left in the position of having paid silly money for what has now become a valueless and probably toxic brand name?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 11:10 AM
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asks a sincere question in an effort to elicit some original thinking on an interesting topic

Yes and no. My own memory is terrible and I've never been a subscriber, so I wondered if there was some good stuff I'd missed, but the real question behind the question I asked is "hasn't this thing been a piece of shit for as long as you can remember?"


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 11:30 AM
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That said, I knew this crowd would be happy to trash the magazine, so I was really looking to confirm my prejudice.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 11:31 AM
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That's all I've ever known it it as. Or, more precisely, it's been a terrible magazine that people I took seriously took seriously for reasons I didn't understand.

Like, it was Instapundit in 2004. Consistently wrong and kind of horrible, but an important part of the blog ecosystem, even the bits of it I cared about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 11:33 AM
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29: OK, so I'll bring my other comment over here.

Despite my agreeing somewhat with Scott Lemieux that the recent TNR has improved over the Marty Peretz-era BS, I find my sympathies much more in line with Charles Pierce (as I am in most everything) and especially Digby.

This week those editors got a taste of what their vaunted modern capitalist America is all about. A baby billionaire product of Wall Street's inexplicable value system bought the place for his own amusement. And then decided, as his CEO has been quoted saying recently, to "break some shit." And so he did.
And something about the grandstanding principledness of the response has triggered an even more visceral reaction on my part. I find myself thinking that it would be appropriate to invade one of their finely-appointed homes, lick their plates, and take a dump in the cozy study right in front of the immaculate bookcase with the signed copies of books by their friends. They lead one to wonder whether Pol Pot didn't have it right after all.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 11:36 AM
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"disrupt-a-douche" sounds like it's the douchebros getting disrupted.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 11:41 AM
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17, 21, and 30 pretty much cover my thoughts on the New Republic. I'm in my 30s and there's no point where I can actually remember when the New Republic was something I'd recognize as on the left. Supposedly liberal, sure, to some extent, but never close enough that it occurred to me that they really thought of themselves that way as opposed to the way a bunch of think tanks call themselves "non-partisan". I remember somewhere during the earlier phases of the Iraq War, where it was clear to from the observable facts that things were going to shit but no one who had supported it at the beginning was willing to say it yet, being shocked when a person I knew was (1) reading it despite being generally liberal in sensibilities and (2) objected when I called it a conservative magazine. As long as I've been politically aware it has (for the most part) had a standard and obvious shtick about liberal policies, people, and minorities generally, all of which was conservative and usually dishonest, and yet a lot of liberal people I knew held it in esteem as a magazine that had a lot of important things to say and was worth reading. It was just another version of the Economist*, basically.

*Which as far as I could tell had the same answer to every question they asked, had it for the same reasons each time, and most of the time they weren't too great, but still had a public reputation as something for intellectuals to take seriously. So, basically, Peter Singer in magazine form.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 11:42 AM
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"disrupt-a-douche" sounds like it's the douchebros getting disrupted.

It's a euphemism for "ice a bro."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 11:48 AM
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What I love is that they literally brought in the guy from Yahoo! News to ruin the New Republic. Will KenM from Horsey Surprise be commenting? Can we work some content from my favorite information source, Yahoo! Answers into the mix? What's the latest from new contributing editor "smiley avatar" "'hey u arent as smart as me welfare reform will actually help blacks ps Arabs are mud people ps I am not conservative.'"


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:01 PM
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People younger than 50 have no reason to regret hating it always, and also to have been puzzled that we had a soft spot for it.

Remembering that Charley's rubric: The stuff that was good in [T]NR wasn't influential. The stuff that was influential was all bad bad bad always applies, I'd mention that into the 90s, particularly through Kinsley into Sullivan, it was a bit of a forum.

An example would be Tom Geohagen's article "Abolish The Senate. Influential? hardly, but useful to me and my thinking.

And I'm not ashamed at having taken seriously and engaged with themes like Kaus' End of Equality. People I revere still, like Christopher Lasch, did the same and wanted to have that argument, then. Subsequent events can't retrospectively deligitimize, so long as you made the break at a reasonable place.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:01 PM
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Will KenM from Horsey Surprise be commenting?

Please please please


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:02 PM
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More seriously, Stanley Kaufmann was the best movie critic in the country that I know of in the years I read the magazine semi-regularly (roughly 1988-2004). I can't remember a single other specific genuinely good thing. The entire magazine seemed incredibly invested in cleverness over actually meaningful sincere analysis, and that struck me as true even in the new much better post-Peretz version (which to be sure I didn't read very much largely because the brand was so toxic to me by that point). Even on the cultural pages, it was mainly devoted to boundary-policing and cleverness, except for Kaufmann, who was really old.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:30 PM
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+f


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:32 PM
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I started reading TNR around 2001 because the history book reviews were considerably better, from the perspective of a history grad student, than the reviews in other similar magazines. The rest of the reviews were ok.

I didn't start reading other articles probably until about six months after we invaded Iraq. I even subscribed (online, partly because some of their culture/reviews could only be read on their website even if your library subscribed to the magazine) for a couple of years. It quickly became clear that there were a number of issues where you couldn't trust their reporting and were better off not reading it (much of US foreign policy, welfare, etc.) I think Andrew Sullivan may have still been contributing the occasional piece; I wasn't familiar with him from the 90s and this was either before his blog or before I was aware of his blog but it was clear he was trolling liberalism.

Outside of the subjects that fell under TNR ideological conformity, I thought there was still some good reporting, at least as good as The Atlantic which I didn't subscribe to but read at the library. Didn't they publish one of the better pieces on the Intelligent Design trial? And, uh, other stuff that I don't remember?

After a year or two, I couldn't take their overall politics anymore and dropped my subscription and then they appear to have failed at the internet and then I pretty much forgot about them for a few years until seeing people link to them again more recently.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:35 PM
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Actually trying to answer the OP, the first thing that came to mind:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/the-first-casualty


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:38 PM
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There is something nastily satisfying in seeing Franklin Foer undone* by exactly the sort of bogeyman he feared in his "hey you kids get off my media" laments.

*As Digby notes, "undone" in a kinder, gentler way than most victims of new economy realities.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:46 PM
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42 -- the newspaper into the Internet era analogy is a good one. It's the replacement of news media that was bloated, pompous, establishment, corrupt, and often very pernicious, but still smart and serious and at least aspirationally intellectual and capable of doing serious reporting, with news media that is wafer-thin, dumb, predictable, frequent, ubiquitous, boring, trivial, without serious reporting or aspirations to do the same, vastly more corrupt, but maybe less pernicious because less powerful. The former sucked but it's likely that the latter will suck even more.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:56 PM
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The list of resignations is like a who's who of people I never read past the by-line. No wonder I hadn't been paying much attention to TNR lately.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:03 PM
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43: Agreed.

The Vox piece linked by Wafer in 10 reads in part:

The fact that these editors felt such pain for Foer and Wieseltier highlights just how little pain they felt for Peretz's non-white targets.

That Vox piece supposes that the TNR mass resignations are a function of the resigners' upset at the indignities visited upon Foer and Wieseltier. I'm not sure about that. More about enabling a news organization that is wafer-thin, dumb, predictable, frequent, ubiquitous, boring, trivial, without serious reporting or aspirations.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:08 PM
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I'm a bit more ambivalent about the extent to which these general changes are substantially for the worse. Whatever substantial investigative journalism a lot of these magazines did was overwhelmed by their cheap superficial and pernicious garbage, and as often as not tonally indistinguishable by their fake investigative journalism hit pieces, or at least indistinguishable from them by anyone who didn't already basically know the thing they were reporting on in a general sense. They did plenty of all three, but the balance never appeared great to me. I tend to think that generally high knowledge people aren't going to be left much worse off by the changes to the media, that the majority of people are going to be left in exactly the same (basically no knowledge) place, and the main effects will be on the moderately knowledgeable/attentive people who were always the target of the mainstream consensus anyway. But that mainstream consensus is exactly where the most pernicious stuff tended to live, so....*

*Totally unfair analogy: "Well, ok the old guy did like to run around stabbing people, but his replacement doesn't even own a knife!"


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:09 PM
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I find less pernicious because less powerful inconsistent with suck even more, especially since I'm not going to read whatever replaces TNR, and so I can't lament the passing of the thing at all.

I hope all those people find places for their writing talent, maybe with a publisher who wants to be a force for good.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:12 PM
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44: The list of resignations is, for me, a who's who of people who've done some pretty damn good work. Tomato, tomato, I guess.

I do hope those people find work elsewhere; I'd kind of like to read them. That said, fuck Chris Hughes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:12 PM
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[Bloodpressure raising example of that middle group (a facebook status update from someone I know who is a bit but closer to the low-to-no knowledge category, but not close enough for this sort of thing):

Question: If I were to look for political commentary from a moderate, where would I go? I mean, if I wanted to see right-wing views, I know where I'd go, and if I wanted to find leftist views, I'd also know where to go. But not so sure where I'd find moderate opinions. Is there something like FOX News or NPR for moderates?

There are plenty of people out there paying a decent amount of attention to the standard news media outlets for whom this really does seem like a reasonable question to ask. What's replacing things like TNR is far from a good thing, but I'm not sure if buzzfeed is going to do much worse of a job just because it lacks the superficial veneer of pretending to be serious.]


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:15 PM
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||
Completely irrelevant to anything in this thread. Gentle mockery of fast car worship.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:18 PM
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46 -- yeah, I actually agree that the 90s Peretz TNR was so bad that its replacement with a series of 7000 word misspelled essays about Khloe Kardashian by Yahoo! Answers member BiggButtzzlvr1234 would have been an improvement. Maybe not the more recent incarnation, though.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:19 PM
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Buzzfeed looks much worse to have open on your browser if the boss walks by.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:19 PM
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49: I'd need to know what the Facebook commenter means by "moderate". Also where the person thinks to go for "leftist" views; oh, I guess that's NPR. Really, NPR is "leftist"? Methinks this person considers "moderate" to be right-leaning.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:19 PM
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In addition to being the contrarian who links to a piece from TNR that I thought was genuinely good/important, I'll also say that I think Buzzfeed and Vice have hired people doing impressive longform and investigative work in the last couple of years. In my own case, I don't find that the good stuff gets drowned out by the endless stream of inane stuff they produce, because I don't land on good Buzzfeed or Vice pieces through their homepage. I get them via Twitter and following the writers and journalists I like.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:22 PM
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The part of the linked piece that I thought was absolutely on target is this:

The overwhelmingly white writers and editors who worked for Peretz knew his work was monstrous, and often struggled over the morality of accepting his money (as did I, during my brief internship there). But none ever resigned en masse as they did over the firing of two white male editors today. That fact is just a particularly egregious example of a much larger problem among the elite Beltway publications: a lack of diversity and a begrudging tolerance of racism that go hand-in-hand.

I may be sympathetic to that assertion because my facebook feed is filled with TNR vets insisting that Marty Peretz wasn't racist.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:23 PM
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The thing is, yes, in practice that's exactly how it works out. But this person is not particularly right wing, or doesn't try to be anyway. In fact, it's mostly the reverse of that (liberal, at a gloss, but almost certainly if you asked with a 'but not crazy or anything' qualifier). That's kind of the problem.

Given the extent to which NPR and Fox tend to overlap in certain areas already I'd guess that they don't actually watch Fox News in the first place (and I'd be surprised if I were wrong there).


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:24 PM
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Buzzfeed is even paying journalists of color $85,000 to spend a year auditing investigative journalism classes at Columbia:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeednews/buzzfeed-newscolumbia-journalism-school-investigative-report


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:27 PM
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48: I didn't mean literally everyone on the list, but more than I expected.

If they become more like The Atlantic's online presence, I don't think that would be so bad. On the other hand, I only read a narrow slice of The Atlantic's online stuff - technology stuff, mainly, which tends to be a bit breathless but better than pure tech product "journalism" - so I could be completely wrong.

If it's more like Buzzfeed, that wouldn't be good, but Buzzfeed doesn't do print so even with fewer issues I figure TNR is still going to be different than pure digital media companies for a while.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:27 PM
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Buzzfeed is even paying journalists of color $85,000 to spend a year auditing investigative journalism classes at Columbia:

That's … surprising and great.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:29 PM
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It seems like you need to meet some pretty burdensome requirements though.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:29 PM
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Yeah, it's a mid-career Fellowship not a general scholarship or anything like that.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:34 PM
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I'll also say that I think Buzzfeed and Vice have hired people doing impressive longform and investigative work in the last couple of years.

And Vice has just started up a partnership with the NYRB.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:40 PM
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10 Reasons Buzzfeed is more than just clickbait media

#7 will surprise you


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:48 PM
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And Vice has just started up a partnership with the NYRB.

So many feels, I can't even. Is this for real?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:50 PM
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So, wait, are we supposed to be paying attention to Buzzfeed and Vice now? Seriously?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:50 PM
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Apparently it's real.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:52 PM
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I have something to say about this Buzzfeed/Vice thingum. Which is: we should please not forget that many, many lower-income people do not have the internet connectivity needed to view such sites on any regular basis.

If a site purports to actually be bringing news to the people, it needs to be simple, not loaded down with all kinds of crap. As long as the New! Latest! Best! purported sites are heavy-load places, they're already catering to the privileged.

Simple text.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:02 PM
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I certainly haven't been paying attention to either one, but clicking on that link (and the Buzzfeed News! link on that page) left me awfully surprised.

It makes me wonder if the "New Media!" replacing serious journalism isn't entirely or at least more superficial and trivial as that it lacking the stylistic tics that used to (superficially) designate which bits of media we were supposed to take as serious and which ones we weren't. I mean, there's no reason serious investigative journalism couldn't be written in the same voice as the NYT Society page, it would just seem odd at first.* (And there's certainly no reason the NYT Society page couldn't be rewritten in the 'I am a serious journalist working intelligently on matters of deep import' voice, because that's an embarrassingly large proportion of the 'serious journalism working intelligently on matters of deep import' out there.

*See also how long it took to sink in that there were an increasing number of genuinely intelligent television shows doing long form storytelling, followed by how long it's taking people to catch on that there are a lot of very unappreciated ones right now that aren't mimicking the HBO house style.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:02 PM
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YES: I'm leaving academia. And second: I'm leaving it for BuzzFeed--more specifically, to be a full-time features writer at BuzzFeed.

From: Interview with Anne Helen Peterson in The Hairpin


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:05 PM
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Like most liberals of my generation, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with TNR. But unlike this crowd, I tilted toward affection. As infuriating as Peretz, Sullivan, Kelly, Krauthammer, Kirchick and the rest were, I almost always found something in the front of the magazine that merited the price of the subscription. And the back of the book...say what you will about Wieseltier as an essayist or a human being, but what he turned out every week was phenomenal.

To ogged's question in the OP, the fact that it's easier to recall the five worst than the five best pieces of the past 30 years may be telling. But there were some good ones along the way.
Ryan Lizza on George Allen's racism
Jonathan Chait on the Netroots (the passage about how liberal bloggers housebroke Joe Klein is priceless)
Jonathan Chait on Bush hatred
Michael Crowley on the anguish of the House Democrats

Oh, and FWIW, it was Jonathan Cohn's profile of Howard Dean that signaled, and arguably triggered, the rise of Dean as a serious candidate for the 2004 nomination.

One of the most satisfying parts of the magazine was not the landmark articles that will be remembered decades from now but the cut and thrust of debate week for week. Kinsley's TRB columns from the 80s and Chait's merciless skewering of supply-siders come to mind.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:05 PM
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Thanks, KR.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:11 PM
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No lie, I am (or was) certainly in TNR's target audience and demographic, but man are the pieces linked in 70 seem to be ... not that great at all, just clever Beltway bullshit. It's possible that I'm viewing the past with shit-colored glasses. At this point I truly find almost nothing more contemptible than 80s-90s OG neoliberalism (that is, the attempt of Democrats to reinvent themselves under a totally misguided belief in the purported intellectual superiority of Reaganism and Econ 101). Part of that is just how the recent past is always the most unfashionable, like JNCO jeans or something, but these clever little shits really did fuck over America. I liked Stanley Kauffmann though.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:18 PM
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67: not nearly as true as it used to be, and in particular younger minorities and lower-income people are more likely to get online with a smartphone. (Here's some demographic info: http://www.pewinternet.org/2012/04/13/digital-differences) And the newer sites (Vice, definitely) work really well on mobile.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:21 PM
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73: Right, might work well via cellphone, but I confess I suspect that many people don't read very well or closely on a phone.

But I'm not the target demo. I'd never be able to read, say, the NYRB on a phone. I gather other people can.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:28 PM
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I'm arguing somewhat nonsensically at this point, though. My point was simply that I doubt that Buzzfeed or Vice are go-to sites for a very diverse audience. Maybe I'm wrong.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:30 PM
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I don't know anyone at all who reads either one.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:31 PM
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In real life, I mean.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:31 PM
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As you can tell, I'm getting worked up between two long-running hatreds, the contrarian little shits who fucked over everything between 1980 and 2005 (and their not too distant descendants), and the Silicon Valley shits who are fucking everything over now. I guess eg Frank Foer and maybe John Judis weren't that bad, though to err on the side of caution it's more prudent to just kill everyone on all sides.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:32 PM
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I would be shocked if Buzzfeed or Vice have less diverse audiences than TNR.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:33 PM
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As opposed to TNR, which was down the gente.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:34 PM
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My point was simply that I doubt that Buzzfeed or Vice are go-to sites for a very diverse audience. Maybe I'm wrong.

I'm quite certain their audiences are way more diverse than TNR's ever was.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:35 PM
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Dammit.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:35 PM
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Actually, I don't know much about Vice, so I don't know there. But socioeconomically, I don't think TNR has ever gone for a wide readership.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:35 PM
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Predictable pwnage, that.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:36 PM
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80: You misspelled "gentlemen".


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:37 PM
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One thing that I'm now noticing is that a lot of the people lamenting (in very mixed-emotions ways, I mean, not asses who thought TNR was really great) the soon-to-occur downfall of the magazine are doing so because of the extent to which long form investigative reporting is typically a loss leader, and now who will do it?

But one of the things about loss leaders is that anyone can do it! I mean, anyone can do it because you don't have to worry about how you're going to make a profit doing it - you aren't! And investigative reporting isn't that expensive from a production standpoint (you...pay a reporter). The main expense was that you had to print out a long thing and sell it when people mostly wanted to read a short thing. (And usually those people did just read the short things and the long things were there so they felt intellectual about reading the magazine overall.) So there's nothing stopping people from continuing to do it, and doing it for the same reasons that any media companies were doing it before. Which makes Buzzfeed's thing in 57 kind of reassuring to me, since it looks like they're deciding to go for it, or at least to work on building up a reputation of some kind.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:38 PM
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I'm still waiting for The Chive to introduce longform journalism about sideboob.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:41 PM
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Buzzfeed actually has been doing some good investigative journalism recently, and it's interesting to see how their model of extreme disaggregation of content and microtargeting of audiences (the much-reviled "clickbait" model) is providing one means of financing and distributing that sort of investigative journalism in a new way.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:42 PM
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86.2 is extraordinary in its wrongness. Long investigative pieces often involve multiple people, travel, research gathering costs (copying, note-taking, etc, probably cheaper now with digital cameras and such), more editorial staff time, factor into your liability insurance against being sued since there's a good chance it puts you at a higher risk than just writing down what someone says at a press conference, etc. It's not just more words.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:45 PM
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FOIA costs, depending on jurisdiction, can be exorbitant, for example.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:46 PM
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I have a lot of things to say about 86 but I'm so fucking bored with talking about these kinds of issues and have become a fucking caricature on them, and it's part of the reason why I left in the first place. But, fuck it, the internet economy is definitely awesome for making it easier to do long-form journalism -- all you need is a computer, and you can publish to the world at any length you want. That's great. We've seen an incredible explosion of long form pieces everywhere -- at Grantland you can read a new 10,000 word thinkpiece on e.g. the cultural significance of Johnny Manziel's latest outfit every day. But really good journalism isn't just "long-form," it needs really experienced reporters and good staffs and most importantly of all, really good editors, who can direct a piece and make it readable and focused and poignant. And it also needs some kind of distribution, marketing, sales, etc to reach most people. The first part really needs professionals, and if you don't have really professional journalists (and editors) you're going to net out with crappier work. The distribution part seems easy, because you just send things out to the internet, but I think an audience actually needs guidance and heuristics to separate the wheat from the chaff, and that's hard to do without institutions and professional staffs as well. And, the best journalists need not only institutional and financial support but also a community around them of other people doing good work.

If Vice or Buzzfeed can do that, more power to them (Vice in particular has been putting out good stuff that I've seen). But I don't see a long-term funding mechanism, or institutional structure, that's going to allow them to run really good consistent journalism as a loss leader. I especially don't see great editors. And, most internet-specific journalism still seems to me to, at the end of the day, rely on more on old-fashioned newspaper reporting which is getting scarcer, so you have an explosion of commentary and an ever-shrinking universe of reporting of things upon which to comment.

None of the above requires lamenting the loss of the New Republic, as to which at the end of the day I guess my take is that Peretz really did irreparably ruin it, so, good riddance.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:56 PM
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89 is right - I was overstating that. But I do think it isn't as expensive* as the people lamenting it's potential future disappearance (or the potential future disappearance of the good long form stuff as opposed to the pernicious stuff that makes up the majority of it) are making it out to be.

*Digital cameras, sure, and recording devices, and the increasing proportion of digital storage for even the most basic stuff (it used to be that if you wanted to check up quickly on the past public statements of some politician on a topic it would take more than, say, an afternoon), and the infuriating but probably effective technique of splitting long articles up into eight hundred separate pages so that you have to click through multiple times to read all of it, and so on are solidly reducing the cost of this sort of thing.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:59 PM
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Also if Buzzfeed hires Franklin Foer as an editor I will laugh for days. Seriously, I will write that they did it down on a piece of paper and put it in the drawer I keep my tea so that I can start my day off happily.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 3:01 PM
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I'm still waiting for The Chive to introduce longform journalism about sideboob.

News you can use.

(Vice in particular has been putting out good stuff that I've seen)
Peretz really did irreparably ruin it, so, good riddance.

My brother.

I would add that Wieseltier is clearly an abysmal human being and I hope he passes peacefully into the great beyond soon.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 3:05 PM
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Since I barely read political writing and have no real answer, I'll chime in with something that meant a lot to me: Susan Sontag's page-long essay in The New Yorker immediately after 9/11/01. I always say the things that made me feel like I hadn't lost my mind around then, reading lots of horrible things, were that piece, Molly Ivins, and Get Your War On.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 3:11 PM
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89 - Rolling Stone has demonstrated the long form can be done on the cheap. So, you cut a few corners. Whats the worst that could happen?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 3:12 PM
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Oh, um. I completely misread the question.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 3:12 PM
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Schadenfreude, friends of unfogged edition.


Posted by: Knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 3:12 PM
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Long investigative pieces often involve multiple people, travel, research gathering costs (copying, note-taking, etc, probably cheaper now with digital cameras and such), more editorial staff time, factor into your liability insurance against being sued since there's a good chance it puts you at a higher risk than just writing down what someone says at a press conference, etc.

You forgot to include 'incentives for people to talk,' be it straight up money, booze, or a meal out. (Or do only fictional journalists do things like that?)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 3:21 PM
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||

I am in Southern California in early 2015 if there is an unfogged contingent around for a meetup: 12/29 - 1/3, Palm Springs; 1/4 - 1/8, LA.

|| >


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 3:26 PM
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I'm on KR and Parsimon's side here. TNR has been the main political magazine I've read since age 15 or so, and I didn't turn into a warmonger or Israeli supremacist despite such ridiculous articles as the one I remember most infuriatingly, a cover story from 1999 or so saying the Sierra Leone civil war was Clinton's fault because of failure to bomb something or other. It was an inspiring moment when just about everyone I like at TNR (except Brian "Ezra Klein Jr." Beutler) quit as soon as the new cyber-futurist guy publicly issued his streams of posthuman technobabble.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 3:35 PM
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So what are Wieseltier's sins? About the only things I know about him are that Gore Vidal made fun of his hair and that he wrote a book about mourning his father.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 3:44 PM
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102: He's either a neocon or a crypto-neocon. He was a big supporter of the invasion of Iraq (although he's walked that back a bit lately).


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 3:54 PM
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|| Zach Zenner burning it up for SD State -- down by 3 with 4 minutes to play. getting close to taking the lead.

Zenner just passed 2000 yards, 3rd season in a row.

Announcer says it Bizen. |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 4:18 PM
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|| OK, Bison down by four, have the ball at midfield, 1:38 to play. |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 4:28 PM
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102: as with everything on the internet, it goes back to the Iraq War. Also, he's personally odious.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 4:36 PM
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That said, he had (has?) a real talent for getting some of the best scholars (as opposed to the dinosaurs who write for NYRoB) in a variety of disciplines to produce reasonably coherent book reviews, and that's not nothing.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 4:39 PM
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The one and only case I recall where TNR successfully influenced the political debate leftward was Andrew Sullivan's piece on same sex marriage in the 80s or so. It opened up an issue no one was talking about, took a radical position, and in a generation the radical view prevailed. Probably worth reading today, as a historical artifact. Sullivan also did some good writing on AIDS politics in the Reagan years.

On most issues TNR moved the Democratic party rightward.

Also worth recalling is that TNR had some world class fuckups long before Peretz. Google Michael Whitney Straight.


Posted by: Unimaginative | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 4:42 PM
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as opposed to the dinosaurs who write for NYRoB

Still bitter they gave Ezra Klein a shot, huh?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 5:05 PM
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The TNR's coverage of the Bosnian war in the 90s was IIRC informative and relatively un-evil. Though to the extent that the same mindset ('moral clarity', etc.) led liberals to support the Iraq war in the 2000s, even that had its downside, to say the least.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 5:11 PM
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That said, he had (has?) a real talent for getting some of the best scholars (as opposed to the dinosaurs who write for NYRoB) in a variety of disciplines to produce reasonably coherent book reviews

True, and makes up (some) for the "petty grudges" (as noted above) that also would crop up regularly. On the other hand, he gave a platform for years to Jed Perl, one of the worst art critics out there today. NYRoB did consistently better art coverage, but now Perl seems to be infiltrating there.

The one and only case I recall where TNR successfully influenced the political debate leftward was Andrew Sullivan's piece on same sex marriage in the 80s or so.

Probably right; the smaller point is that this instance provides the key to understanding Andrew Sullivan. He can progressive, thoughtful, and humane when discussing the problems of people like himself. And that is the limit of his sympathies.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 5:38 PM
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And there's also this.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 6:37 PM
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I haven't read this thread, but I did search for "New York" and "NYC". Does anyone know why they decided to move the magazine out of DC and to New York? The Atlantic, conversely, left Boston *for* DC in 2005.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 6:55 PM
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Vice UK have had a series of good articles digging into the BNP. Eg http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/danny-lake-rainbow-gathering-bnp-interview ... If it seems a bit silly or trivial, to a degree it is. They combine the house style of flippant pissfarting about, which then turns up stuff others don't. And then you realize they've written a whole swathe of these, have gone undercover at rallies, and have developed a deep understanding of how the networks fit together, which is far more insightful then any of the Serious Voice papers.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 8:08 PM
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The one and only case I recall where TNR successfully influenced the political debate leftward was Andrew Sullivan's piece on same sex marriage in the 80s or so.

Yeah, Sully may have moved the needle somewhat on same sex marriage, and on gay rights more broadly. And more power to him, when it comes to the cultural politics of anti-homophobia. But I cannot, or I will not, forgive him for the deeply racist, and embarrassingly shoddy, sociology of the Bell Curve, for which he attempted to give cover, the better to lend that racist claptrap an air of legitimacy.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 9:27 PM
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Sullivan was for sure contemptible as a TNR editor, but I've actually come around on him more than some others, because he's such an incredible weirdo. Reading his blog you get the feeling of someone who is curious but also deeply crazy and prone to all kinds of frantic and bizarre and mutually contradictory and changing views, in a way that makes him seem kind of vulnerable and therefore OK. I dunno, don't get me wrong, that Bell Curve thing was the most racist and stupid thing ever, except for his loony tunes fifth column stuff after 9/11, but I now classify him more as "strange Internet crazy person" than "aggressive right-wing establishment DC boundary policer" which he for sure was at TNR.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 10:19 PM
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I haven't been clicking the links yet, but I have a bad feeling I'm going to stay up all night watching Let the Fire Burn on repeat.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 10:33 PM
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He's good on torture, which put him head and shoulders above a lot of the Village.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 11:57 PM
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A friend of mine, young, very smart, serious, left wing, was just hired by buzzfeed to do exactly the kind of informed and engaged journalism that she was never used by her previous, respectable, employer. And at twice the money, too. I am now subjectively pro Buzzfeed.


Posted by: Paul Dacre | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 12:25 AM
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118: Yes, an area that he was very strong on. For instance, this column where he called out a the NYTimes for a routine NYTimes obituary. Col. Harold E. Fischer Jr., an American fighter pilot who was routinely tortured in a Chinese prison during and after the Korean War....

The NYT's incoherence and double standards, equally, are self-evident. But I would like to know if Bill Keller will remove the t-word from this obit and replace it with "harsh interrogations" as he does when referring to the US government's use of identical techniques. If not, why not? Remember: these people won't even use the word torture to describe a technique displayed in the Cambodian museum of torture to commemmorate the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge - as long as Americans do the torturing. I mean: the NYT isn't just a vehicle for US propaganda, is it? It's a newspaper, right? It has standards that it maintains across its copy. Right?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 6:08 AM
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her previous, respectable, employer

French?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 7:20 AM
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112 is completely right and would produce less cogntive dissonance if de B/oer weren't on Sullivan's payroll right now.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 7:52 AM
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122: I don't think I've heard of the guy before the link above appeared in ny twitter feed yesterday. Haven't looked at Sullivan in close to a decade, so wasn't aware of the connection.

In any event, I'm more ambivalent about the whole TNR thing than that link would suggest. But having stopped reading it years ago as well, its death is less a cause for sorrow than a reminder that it still recently existed at all.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 8:22 AM
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121 More like fchern



Posted by: Paul Dacre | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 10:05 AM
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123 - I can't think of him without thinking of this lowlight in his career (BONERS).


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 10:35 AM
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More like fchern

Then we're thinking of different people. So Buzzfeed is hiring at least two very capable people away from mainstream mediocrity.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 10:43 AM
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Jeet Heer has been tweeting about Wieseltier.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 3:18 PM
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The last tweet points the way towards a lasting resolution of P/I conflict: redirection to book reviews!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 3:23 PM
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One of the guys who lived next door to me Freshman year and in my House all four years wrote for them and just resigned. He only did literature stuff though. I think he was fairly conservative, in a literary sense, though I'm sure he was a good liberal politically.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 3:57 PM
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This piece by David Heilbrunn may be worth a read, Does not necessarily cover a lot of new ground but it is concise and well-written in its debunking of even the liberal TNR .


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 7:08 PM
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100: Possibly to both windows. As it turns out I'll be leaving PS on the 4th.

Here's a good Buzzfeed investigative piece by a friend of mine who wrote for the LA Times for a while.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 8:09 PM
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Hughes doesn't sound so bad in his statement here. Obviously carefully crafted, but so were the resignations.

I'm not sure I've seen him quoted before in the superficial reading I did of news about the changes. There's been reported speech from New Republic staff members who say he's said techno babble stuff, but that's not the same thing. Plus, they worked for the New Republic so how credible could they be?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 9:47 PM
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The description of what happened when Peretz showed up in the article linked in 130 is pretty great. I would say it makes me less sympathetic to the people yelling about how awful the recent set of firings and resignations are, but really that ship sailed a long time ago.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 10:54 PM
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133: Yes. But of course it is all from 40 years ago.

The magazine's literary editor Doris Grumbach said, Peretz's "interests are limited to books by friends, book that friends could review, Harvard-Cambridge books and books about Jews and Israel."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 6:39 AM
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100: Possibly to both windows. As it turns out I'll be leaving PS on the 4th.

Cool. You can reach me at this email address if you want to coordinate.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 7:16 AM
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Is there something like [...] NPR for moderates?

Yes, it's called "NPR".

It's so obvious it hardly needs to be said, and yet.

I don't think I've quite nailed the phrasing, but the essence of NPR is that it's politically down the middle while being culturally liberal*, which is awfully useless. People like my MIL who find the tone very appealing (because they are liberal-minded) get news that is highly establishmentarian, while anyone who's turned off by the tone assumes that NPR's reportage must be as biased as Fox's.

If you could pair NPR's top of the hours news with, I dunno, Kardashian coverage, maybe we'd have a less useless electorate. But I'm pretty sure that's not a plausible business model.

*and decidedly not left


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 11:54 AM
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Nosflow: "...journalists who are by nature and profession confrontational, "


Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigggggggghhhhhhhhhhht.

Let me guess - 'bravely speaking truth to power and wealth...'

These guys are the same guys who had no problem with Peretz.


Posted by: Barry | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 12:08 PM
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Late for this, but my favorite TNR article:

"Chicken McMenken" Hendrik Hertzberg's review
of The Liberal Crack-Up, by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
In The New Republic, April 8, 1985, pp. 30-32

Not available online! Maybe the new management will fix this.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 12:20 PM
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Incoming!


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 12:20 PM
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Many are the honors...


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 12:54 PM
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Intellectually curious intellectuals, that's us.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 12:55 PM
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141: By far the best kind!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 12:57 PM
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||

139:Speaking of Wharton and Age of Innocence, the Peter Brook book The Melodramatic Imagination helped me take a second look at Balzac and Henry James. Brook says the conventions and style and stage management of the extreme French melodramas of the 1830s were directly transferred to the late 19th century novel, in the form of gushing authorial intrusions and ridiculously omniscient narratives, and that this remains in the novel to this day. Realism? Naturalism? Get off it. (and Brook says a whole lot more, socio-political. The 1830s melodrama was the art of the petite bourgeois)

So I checked out the Wharton at a random page. Yup. Insane. How do people stand this stuff?

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 1:19 PM
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Wharton:A long time had apparently passed since his heart had stopped beating, for the white and rosy procession was in fact half way up the nave, the Bishop, the Rector and two white-winged assistants were hovering about the flower-banked altar, and the first chords of the Spohr symphony were strewing their flower-like notes before the bride.

Chords a-strewing, eh?

Having said that, well, anime!

I am greatly enjoying Lovely Complex, which is very energetic, well manic, in its use of the anti-realistic tools and possibilities of animation for expressionistic (Brooks term) purposes. Exactly and everything I want in an anime. And freaking funny.

Maybe I'm a hypocrite, but maybe there are important differences between reading and watching images on-screen.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 1:37 PM
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I'm a Pynchon fan, and one of the best reviews of his novels (that I've read) was Edward Mendelson's review of Vineland in TNR.

More recently, Alec MacGillis has been writing some great stuff in TNR. For example, this piece on Chris Christie:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116601/chris-christies-rise-and-fall


Posted by: RPM | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 5:32 PM
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136: while anyone who's turned off by the tone assumes that NPR's reportage must be as biased as Fox's

I'm not sure it's the tone that causes people to assume such a thing; conservative rhetoric about NPR's alleged blatant liberalism goes a long way toward explaining it. As does a lot of the 'both sides do it' rhetoric.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 6:38 PM
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Ok, so where was I. After watching two more episodes of Lovely Complex, I return to:

"...and the first chords of the Spohr symphony were strewing their flower-like notes before the bride."

May.

Okay, maybe Wharton wasn't so bad, won a Pulitzer. Whatever is going on there. (Which might be authorial excess returning the transcendental to a materialist world in order to imply but never show a moral foundation)

Why couldn't Scorcese do it? You know, little black note-thingies with angel-wings floating in front of Ryder carrying and dropping posies at her feet? What the fuckety-fuck is with this "realist" cinema? Why can Wharton do things Scorcese can't get away with?

Cause anime can and not always but often does show them chords a-strewing onscreen.

I also watched Bergman's The Silence the other night. It was...ok. However experimental they want to get, the palette is so limited, the imagination so restrained.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:48 PM
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And for the record, 95% of academic analysis of anime doesn't talk about or even seem to see the visual language. Click on the link in 144. It. is. in. your. face.
And they still talk character, plot, etc.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:02 PM
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