And another good profile of someone who has deeply damaged our country, an excellent, sympathetic New York magazine piece about Marty Peretz. The short of it: he’s always been too emo for his own good but now he’s old, bitter, and recently divorced, and thus prone to saying excessively whack angry shit on his blog (which has recently been discontinued). He is no longer editor-in-chief of TNR.
Ultimately, it’s a story about how easy it is to buy some people’s loyalty:
From Harvard he brought E. J. Dionne Jr., Kinsley, Hertzberg, Wieseltier, and Andrew Sullivan. His joy in their ascent was palpable: When he hired Hertzberg the second time, Peretz impulsively took him to his own tailor and paid for a bespoke suit.
Peretz is famously generous—it is a quality as extreme as his partisanship. He has paid for medical treatments, found houses, coached careers. His close friend Michael Kinsley once told him, jokingly, that he should publish his collected letters of recommendation. Peretz has remained devoted to tarnished, even imprisoned friends, and he commands an outsize loyalty in return.
This is why it’s unfair to call journalists “whores”. A prostitute may spend a night doing as a client pleases in return for a cash payment, Hendrick Hertzberg (whose writing I like) will spend a lifetime doing the same for the gift of a bespoke suit.