The End of TNR As We Know It

Adding to what Zandar discussed earlier about the New Republic, I sat and thought about what I remember about the New Republic. Here is the extensive list:

Stephen Glass
Franklin Foer throwing Scott Beauchamp under the bus, backing the bus up, and then delivering his carcass to wingnuts.
The Bell Curve
Elevating Betsy McCaughey and killing health care reform
Jeffrey Rosen shitting all over Sonia Sotmayer while not disclosing his relationship to Katyal
Providing a forum for the noxious Marty Peretz to slandar at will anyone to the left of Avigdor Lieberman
Serving solely as a “liberal” website used by Republicans to club liberals.

I can’t think of one occasion that sticks out where it was a force for good. Maybe that is my memory at fault, and my tendency to remember the egregious over the positive, but I’m not going to lose any sleep over TNR being turned into a highbrow Buzzfeed. Not a wink.






112 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Jeffrey Rosen shitting all over Sonia Sotmayer while not disclosing his relationship to Katyal

    I haven’t heard of this one.

    Like I said in Zandar’s thread, I never got into TNR, so the post mortems I’ve seen on various blogs are news to me. But it sounds like good riddance to bad rubbish.

  2. 2

    My mom gave me a subscription years ago and I read it, but when it was up I didn’t renew it. If I want to read pseudointellectual chin-scratching with obscure cultural references, I’ll read Andrew Sullivan.

  3. 3
    Sherparick says:

    Having subscribed to it for long years of its decline under Marty Peretz, the movie reviews of the late Stanley Kaufman and although an asshole on Israel and foreign policy, Wieseltier rang a good literary review at the back of the book. TRB MB Arguably, the last time it was a force for good was when Richard Strout was writing the TRB column, and that came to an end in 1983. p One of its dubious claims to fame that it was the launching paid for the dubious neoliberal public intellectuals of both left and right that came to dominate post-cold war political and argument. Kingsley, Sullivan, Krauthammer, Fred Barnes, etc. See http://www.nytimes.com/1990/08.....at-92.html

  4. 4
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    Never read it once. If it is gone for good, all the better.

  5. 5
    Sherparick says:

    They would improve the magazine immensely just by reissuing Strout columns, which sadly are more relevant then ever.

    ”The rich stay rich in the U.S., and the poor, poor, and the gulf between them hardly changes,” another column began. ”America’s disparity of income is the single most significant and sinister social fact in the nation. Everything comes back to that.”

  6. 6
    Soonergrunt says:

    TNR has been on the decline since the Reagan administration, and died as anything useful, effective, or worthy of attention 10 years ago, and I’m being generous here. The events of the last week are merely the long over-due pillow over the face.

  7. 7

    For a magazine that seems to have been all about giving conservatives a ‘liberal’ citation to use in their arguments (Even The New Republic says…), I’d say it’s past time to put it out to pasture.

    There are plenty of other publications out there that range from center-right to hardcore wingnut that you can pick up.

  8. 8
    mantooth says:

    I guess if you want to be uncharitable you can think of those things and then shrug. I first visited Balloon Juice in 2003 to read your opinions on Rachel Corrie and the Iraq War, but that’s not what comes to mind first when I think of this site.

  9. 9
    MomSense says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    If I want to read pseudointellectual chin-scratching with obscure cultural references, I’ll read Andrew Sullivan.

    You should really warn us before writing something like that. It’s coffee drinking time on the East Coast and now my keyboard needs cleaning.

  10. 10
    Tommy says:

    Let’s face it with the Internet you got to be a lean and mean print magazine to make it. I was one of those people pre-Internet access, I might have gotten like 25 magazines a month. I now get Zero. Outside of my membership at Talking Points Memo, which I don’t even use, just sent them money to support them, I don’t pay for any pubs online. Well I paid the NYT, but canceled because the app seemed to try and takeover my tablet.

  11. 11
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    The events of the last week are merely the long over-due pillow over the face.

    Heh! Well said.

  12. 12
    Kay says:

    It just bothers me that everyone else is supposed to embrace “disruption” and eagerly welcome everything being purchased by insanely wealthy people except for this small group of “thought leaders”.

    I can’t help it. I think they’re in the same boat as a ton of other employees and NOW they’re outraged.

    Everyone always believes they’re the exception, they’re the ones who can tame the elevation of profit over everything else, they can accept the cash and not get any of the bad along with it, and then no one ever can. They get crushed. It’s arrogant to think you’re the exception, that your unique skill set and super-duper talent will insulate you.

    They’re shocked that this guy is going to squeeze that organization he purchased for every bit of juice and bleed it dry? Welcome to the American workforce, thought leaders! Good luck! I’m pulling for you, although none of you were pulling for anyone else when this was happening in every other sector.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    Disruption is for the little people.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    gratuitous says:

    Let us not leave Andrew Sullivan off the hook for his share in the demise of TNR. It was under his stewardship that many of the most egregious sins took place (Murray, McCaughey, et al; see Driftglass for a fuller compendium).

    I, too, subscribed to TNR in the mid-1980s, but it was in the midst of taking a very dark turn. Can it come back? Magic 8 Ball says, “Signs Point to No.”

  16. 16
    Belafon says:

    I had a digital subscription in the early 2000s. Read the Jonathons (Chait and Cohn) a lot, though Chait knew to get out a few years ago.

  17. 17
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Spot. On.

  18. 18
    raven says:

    @Tommy: Do you get Garden and Gun?

  19. 19
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Frankly, I’m much more concerned about gutting local news than national journals. If we have to triage, I’d save them first. We don’t have any statehouse reporters anymore. God knows what they’re up to in there.

  20. 20
    Tommy says:

    @Kay: All these “rich” people buying pubs are just stupid IMHO (although they are getting them for pennies on the dollar). I have an MA in journalism. Most of my grad classes were in media management. I didn’t want to write for a living, I wanted to run a publication/newspaper. I found out it was a lot harder than I thought. Oh and “good” journalist care about the journalism and not so much the business side of things, which makes them hard to work with (if not impossible).

    Plus I also saw this Internet coming (this was in the early 90s). I might have only had a 28 baud modem, but we had Lexus/Nexus. That I could search and read/print almost every publication known made me realize the days of print journalism were coming to an end as we knew it. So I decided to do something else for a living.

  21. 21
    Tommy says:

    @raven: No LOL. Mostly news, tech/computers, and gaming magazines. The last one I used to get was the Smithsonian Magazine (about a year ago it stopped), which I thought I had a lifetime membership to, because my grandfather gave a large donation in my name to the Smithsonian. Come to think of it I should email them and ask where my darn magazine is :)!

  22. 22
    smintheus says:

    @Soonergrunt: It was in decline already in the late ’70s, when I read a copy of TNR for the first and last time.

  23. 23
    Kay says:

    @Tommy:

    I think people should get paid for the work that they do and I would sympathize with them if they hadn’t been such uncritical cheerleaders for everything else in the world being “run like a business”.

    Of course the 28 year old zillionaire doesn’t care about their storied history and institution and organization. Now that something THEY value is being monetized and marketed and packaged they noticed how destructive this can be? They all benefited from a place to learn their trade. Who was supposed to build and maintain that for the next group coming up? They were. Just like someone provided it for them.

  24. 24
    Lee Hartmann says:

    @Soonergrunt:
    Agreed. It was good during Watergate (yes, I am that old) but then it succumbed to an infestation of Kinsley – with worse to come.

  25. 25
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay: Well said, Kay.

    @Betty Cracker: I missed the launch today too. Wasn’t tuned to NASA channel, and snoozed through the early morning news.

    (Lead story on BBC World News: today is first anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s death. Now there is someone to mourn. Not TNR.)

  26. 26
    Tommy says:

    @Kay: I am with you there. I just wish my local paper was better. Pretty far leaning right, which is strange to me because I live in a “blue” district and it is owned by Knight Ridder/McClatchy. The paper wins awards after national awards for their reporting, but I find it almost unreadable. My brother likes to joke that the lead, above the fold story is always, “scary black man does something bad” (I live in a very “white” area). The op-ed page reads like I was in rural Texas. I don’t live in rural Texas.

    And the TV news isn’t much better. I literally never watch it, but did because I wanted the local reporting on Ferguson. Clearly St. Louis isn’t NYC, Chicago, or LA but the quality of reporting was so “Mickey Mouse” it was embarrassing. It is barely a step up from public access TV.

  27. 27
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay:

    They all benefited from [a place to learn their trade]. Who was supposed to build and maintain that for the next group coming up? They were. Just like someone provided it for them.

    Story of America, late 20th and early 21st centuries.

    We are going to have to relearn what those who suffered through the Great Depression and the panics of the 1870s learned. First hand. Because too many are too apathetic to tune in.

    I’m not sure religion is the opiate of the masses, but I would believe that handheld technology might be.

  28. 28
    J says:

    @Sherparick: Thanks for the reminder about Richard Strout. As I remarked in the comments to Zandar’s thread, it was the magazine’s support for Reagan’s policies in central America in the 80s that was unforgivable, or the first of its unforgivable moments.

  29. 29
    geg6 says:

    The Bell Curve. The fucking Bell Curve. Goddam Charles Murray was cited in Phyllis Schlafly’s amicus in yesterday’s Pregnancy Discrimination Act case at SCOTUS yesterday as authority. For giving that mother fucker any sort of credibility among it’s many other sins, I say fuck TNR.

  30. 30
    rikyrah says:

    I can’t think of one occasion that sticks out that where it was a force for good.

    LOL

  31. 31
    Tommy says:

    @Kay: Well think First Look Media. Told they had $250M to work with and they are imploding before they even turn one. If you believe the media reports, and I do, it seems those “super smart” nerds are mad their journalist don’t run a business the way they do in Silicon Valley. Didn’t Pierre Omidyar do a little research before he started down this path? Did he really think he could micromanage Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi.

  32. 32
    WereBear says:

    @Elizabelle: I believe the rapid pace of change has undermined the fragile grasp of reality that the very rich possess. Now a pillage mindset has taken over.

    If you can’t figure out how to make money, figure out how to steal from those who do.

  33. 33
    p.a. says:

    @gratuitous: beat me to it.

  34. 34
    CaseyL says:

    I’m another person old enough to remember when TNR was liberal, and how angry I was at its slide into becoming an enabler of Republicanism.

    So maybe this won’t be a bad thing; at least the Village loses its handy-dandy “even-the-liberal-TNR” macro.

  35. 35
    GregB says:

    I actually subscribed to both TNR and the NR back in the late 80’s. It was a pretty decent liberal alternative back then. I ended it in the early 90’s which seems to before when it went off the rails. I remember it as mainly the second Hertzberg Epoch and it was pretty good.

    Fortunately I stopped long before the dark times of Sully’s Bell Curve horrors.

  36. 36
    RSA says:

    @Sherparick:

    Having subscribed to it for long years of its decline under Marty Peretz, the movie reviews of the late Stanley Kaufman and although an asshole on Israel and foreign policy, Wieseltier rang a good literary review at the back of the book. TRB MB Arguably, the last time it was a force for good was when Richard Strout was writing the TRB column, and that came to an end in 1983. One of its dubious claims to fame that it was the launching paid for the dubious neoliberal public intellectuals of both left and right that came to dominate post-cold war political and argument. Kingsley, Sullivan, Krauthammer, Fred Barnes, etc.

    Agreement on all this. I’d add James Wood to the good history of TNR. But I really hated to receive an issue with an article by Sullivan or Krauthammer, in particular.

  37. 37
    EconWatcher says:

    @GregB:

    The style of TNR in the 80s was a bit ahead of its time, using the kind of snark that I mostly associate with later periods. I read it in college in part for the quality of the writing, which was pretty darn high. But they were completely on board with Reagan’s death-squad policy in Central America, which eventually turned me away for good.

  38. 38
    PurpleGirl says:

    I saw TNR and thought “Trap, Neuter, Release”. Then as I began reading the post and comments I realized what it really meant. I think of cats and kittens soooooo much. Silly me. LOL.

  39. 39
    WereBear says:

    @PurpleGirl: Not a bad thing… so did I!

  40. 40
    RaflW says:

    Someone asked yesterday morning who was going to write the first liberal contrarian article about Eric Garner, and I said TNR. Just such an easy guess.

    Why the f*ck a weekly edited by the likes of Andrew Sullivan and his various pals can ever be called liberal is part of how failed our media experiment is.

  41. 41
    Shakezula says:

    The New Republic could not fail, it could only be failed.

    @PurpleGirl: Whew! Glad to know I’m not the only one.

  42. 42
    Mandalay says:

    This is what TNR’s hapless CEO has in mind for the future….

    …we are re-imagining The New Republic as a vertically integrated digital media company…we will be making significant investments in creating a more effective and efficient newsroom as well as improved products across all platforms. This will require a recalibration of our resources in order to deliver the best product possible.

    Are suits truly unaware of how idiotic they sound when spew marketing babble like that?

  43. 43
    GregB says:

    Now that TNR is gone we demand intellectual diversity at Balloon-Juice.

    We demand Charles Krauthammer as a front pager.

  44. 44
    Rex Tremendae says:

    I used to read TNR back when Michael Kinsley was there, and as much as Kinsley is reviled by progressives now, he was often very good.

    E.g., calling bullshit on Robert Strauss, the quintessential Republicans-favorite-Democrat back in the day.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/art.....at-dies-95

  45. 45
    PurpleGirl says:

    @WereBear:
    @Shakezula:

    Great minds…. (and compassionate souls)

  46. 46
    beltane says:

    When I was a college student in the late 1980s I remember reading The New Republic in a home I was cat/dog sitting. Even back then it seemed far too conservative for my tastes, the symbol of an American left that had adopted a submissive stance, it’s tail between its legs and peeing on the floor. Good riddance.

  47. 47
    Alex S. says:

    Well, the TNR as I know it is crap. So the end of it is something good.

  48. 48
    Craig says:

    Jonathan Chait wrote a very funny article about Delaware one time.

  49. 49
    dedc79 says:

    A lot of the nostalgia pieces make it sound like the real heyday of the magazine was long before each of the instances you’ve mentioned. Was anyone here reading it back in the 60’s and 70s? Was it at least good back then?

    I’ve never subscribed, but I have enjoyed reading a number of their book reviews online. It’s harder and harder to find decent book reviews lately, so I will miss that.

  50. 50
    Tommy says:

    @Mandalay: Are suits truly unaware of how idiotic they sound when spew marketing babble like that?

    Nope they don’t. This is said as somebody that was a “suit” for almost two decades at high-tech ad agencies. In fact at my last firm, a stellar place, we refused to do Mission Statements. Why, because they always sound like this and are total BS.

    One of my last clients was a start-up. Made a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Both the hardware and software. The head of business development told me they wanted to pay us to come up with a Mission Statement. I told him we didn’t do them. He then asked if we really wanted his business. I said of course sir, but part of my job is to not make the firm look like idiots in your communication with the public.

    There is no way we can come up with a Mission Statement, that everybody on your end would approve, that won’t include buzzwords that mean nothing. A mission you can never fulfill. Plus you have a limited budget. One of my other jobs is to manage your budget so we get the best ROI. Paying for a Mission Statement isn’t even on my radar screen.

  51. 51
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mandalay:
    I think the CEO types either don’t know that we know they’re spouting bullshit, or don’t care since bullshit is spouted for effect rather than actual communication.

  52. 52

    Whatever is happening to the crazy Brit twit and BJ favorite? Is his blog still alive

  53. 53
    Belafon says:

    Should we tell the new CEO of TNR that The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was a movie, not how to remake a company.

    “Life…I’m Lovin’ It”

  54. 54
    Elizabelle says:

    @Mandalay: Funny. It sounds like English. But ….

  55. 55
    blueskies says:

    @Baud: Absolutely true. Our current departmental chief, who has a great but narrow skill set, was all about “disruption” when he first arrived several years ago.

    He’d read a book about it.

    He actually had to have it explained to him why the several prominent, successful professionals in the department resisted his changes (and eventually told him to DIAF already). He actually did not understand what “disruption” meant, that by definition it would end several successful programs and careers. He really was on the level of “Disruption –> ??? –> Profit!”

    Sadly, he remains, though with feathers somewhat clipped. Still full of the last bad idea he read about in the morning paper, but at least “wise” enough to avoid angering the productive people under him, who now largely ignore him.

    Worse leader I’ve ever experienced.

  56. 56

    Last I read TNR was sometime last year when they were pushing austerity. Someone tell me why they are considered liberal?

  57. 57
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I don’t check Sully out much anymore, because his site takes too long to load. Generally do find a few article links I like to read …

    Do you check it out much? I generally enjoy the poems he puts up, but haven’t been there in weeks …

  58. 58
    Elizabelle says:

    @blueskies:

    Does he have an MBA?

  59. 59
    Eric U. says:

    I have to say that for most of the time I read TNR, I was willing to put up with some right-wing crap in it because the magazine was reasonably good. Then Watergate happened, and GWB, and the fact that they published that crap seemed like a real problem. It’s not like NPR, where they have right wing liars on and you have to make a real effort not to listen to it. In a magazine, you can just turn the page.

  60. 60

    @Kay: Disruption is the new creative destruction, which itself is almost hundred years old. Schumpeter came up with it, according to him it is the engine of capitalism.

  61. 61

    @Elizabelle: No I haven’t checked it in months, his site freezes my computer. The last I checked he was going on about the, The real “war on women”. The quotes are his not mine.

  62. 62
    Tommy says:

    @Amir Khalid: It is a little of both, and I have more experience here than I care to admit. They do know they are spouting BS. I was paid to do it. It is called advertising and marketing. Do you really think that shoe will make you run faster and jump higher? Of course not. But if I say it in an ad enough times, maybe you think they will and buy them.

  63. 63
    beltane says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Your computer is obviously trying to tell you something.

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: TNR is considered liberal because it was a benchmark liberal publication from 1914 when it was founded until, let’s say, the early 70s. Once Peretz got involved it began to go to shit.

  65. 65
    Tommy says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Funny. Not been to his site for years. I can tell you why it loads slow for “Elizabelle” and freezes your computer. I run an app in Google Chrome that lets me see the apps running on a site. When you do sites for a living, as I do, it is VERY helpful. I can see what other sites are doing.

    He is running an app on his site, called “Infinite Scroll,” which allows news articles to appear as you scroll. Where you don’t have to click a link “for next page.” Some sites have done this well. He doesn’t.

    Geeking out over …..

  66. 66
    Barry says:

    @mantooth: “I guess if you want to be uncharitable you can think of those things and then shrug. I first visited Balloon Juice in 2003 to read your opinions on Rachel Corrie and the Iraq War, but that’s not what comes to mind first when I think of this site.”

    The difference is that Cole has repented; TNR remains snarky scum, who are never happier when they are faking bravely by being wrong.

  67. 67
    Steeplejack says:

    @Kay:

    As a former newspaper reporter, I, too, find this very troubling. Time and again we see stories about “Look at this outrageous law that just went into effect!” or “Look what the school textbook commission just did!” and I think, Why couldn’t we have found out about it when it was in committee in the legislature or when the commission was holding hearings? When opposition could be mobilized and it could (possibly) be nipped in the bud. It’s because state and local reporting has been gutted; there’s nobody watching the process. Maybe a few “concerned citizens,” but then they typically don’t have the megaphone to get the word out.

  68. 68
    beltane says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I am 46 years old. The last time The New Republic could be considered unabashedly liberal was when I was in kindergarten. To say that TNR is liberal is like saying the Democratic party is the party of white southern racists, only true when looked at through the prism of the distant past. The “liberal” TNR has been dead for almost half a century, it’s about time someone buried the corpse.

  69. 69

    @Omnes Omnibus: So it was liberal, but it hasn’t been liberal for quite some time. Just like many other institutions in this country.

  70. 70
    Kevin says:

    Ta-Nahisi Coates is ripping them on Twitter for their history of racism, it’s fun to watch. Some people are aghast that there would be liberals who don’t hold TNR in high regard.

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @beltane: I am not saying it is currently liberal. I was answering a question about where its liberal reputation comes from.

  72. 72
    Barry says:

    @Kay: “It just bothers me that everyone else is supposed to embrace “disruption” and eagerly welcome everything being purchased by insanely wealthy people except for this small group of “thought leaders”.

    I can’t help it. I think they’re in the same boat as a ton of other employees and NOW they’re outraged.”

    Yes.

    There’s been plenty of neoliberalism on the part of the writers and editors of TNR.

    Time for them to drink their own medicine.

  73. 73
    Amir Khalid says:

    So I was scrolling down Sully’s infinite home page just now. I came upon a long cut-and-paste post discussing the economics of New York’s state tax on cigarettes — in relation to you know which case. One would think that the most important thing about that case is that NYPD officers needlessly used force on a man, maybe because he was black, and wound up killing him. But no, Sully quotes other people for paragraphs on end about the freaking cigarette tax. He is as silly, hysterical, and wilfully obtuse as ever, and always best ignored.

  74. 74

    @Amir Khalid: Idiot with a fancy OxBridge accent is what he is.

  75. 75
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Big shout-out to Cole and this thread over at Charlie Pierce’s place. Congratulations, John!

    Edit: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics

  76. 76
    Barry says:

    @Belafon: “… though Chait knew to get out a few years ago.”

    I think that he also lucked out in getting a job somewhere else (hard to get) before he was corrupted by the place.

  77. 77
    NonyNony says:

    @Mandalay:

    we are re-imagining The New Republic as a vertically integrated digital media company

    ?

    Has the definition of “vertical integration” changed since I took econ? Vertical integration is where you own all of the parts of your supply chain – a toy company that owns a plastic production company and a metal fabricating company for example.

    A digital magazine doesn’t have a supply chain – a paper magazine you could imagine being “vertically integrated” where they own their own paper production, ink production and printing facilities, but I don’t see how that works for a digital magazine at all. Has TNR been paying someone to make electrons for them?

    I hate MBA buzzword nonsense.

  78. 78
    NonyNony says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Sully quotes other people for paragraphs on end about the freaking cigarette tax.

    Was one of them Rand Paul? Because Paul was blaming the cigarette tax for the murder just yesterday.

  79. 79
    Barry says:

    @Kay: “Of course the 28 year old zillionaire doesn’t care about their storied history and institution and organization. ”

    BTW, Ta-Nesi Coates’ Twitter feed has lots of good stuff about their history and traditions.

    None of it good.

    They played both side, if anything exhulting in their fake courageous stance as right-wingers pretending to be liberals.

    If they had staked out a liberal position, and defended whenever justified while conceding when not, they might still be in business.

  80. 80

    @Barry: Have you also noticed how the token liberal that MSM shows put up in their shouty segments are usually not very good at defending the liberal/Democratic positions.
    Even on the Snooze Hour, David Brooks runs rings around the jowly sputtering Mark Shields.

    ETA: TNC should not throw stones from a glass house. The Atlantic has morphed into a slightly more intellectual version of Slate, off late. And isn’t TNC one of the editors?

  81. 81
    dww44 says:

    @Tommy: My local paper, formerly a Knight-Ridder one and reasonably moderate (we are a majority- minority city) is now, of course, a McClatchey owned one. The latter apparently brought in a hyper conservative publisher and the paper is way right with Eugene Robinson being the ONLY left of center columnist they have.

    Every day the lead editorial is George Will, Cal Thomas, Walter Williams, or Kathleen Parker with the occasional, God Help us, Michelle Malkin or Maureen Dowd thrown in. We’ve also got local conservatives like Erick Erickson who has a weekly op-ed . The LTE’s are so screamingly conservative that most days I just avoid the editorial page or pages (never more than 2) altogether, otherwise I have to take an extra BP med.

    I used to lobby to the editorial page editor( who is Black) for more liberal female and other voices with no discernible effect. Local papers increasingly reflect the most strident voices in their markets which does little to promote real journalistic independence.

  82. 82
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Talk about a tempest in a teapot. I actually checked the circulation figures, and you could fit all of TNR’s paid subscribers in Dodger Stadium.

  83. 83
    Kay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Is that even true? Didn’t people sell loose cigarettes before the increase in the tax? Isn’t “loose cigarettes” more about being poor than anything else?

    I have a friend who started this charity where she raises money, collects disposable diaper coupons, uses the coupons to shop around and buy diapers. She then fills her truck with disposable diapers once a month and gives them out to parents in the Job and Family Services parking lot. Young, poor parents buy the smallest quantity of diapers (more expensive) because they don’t have enough money at any point in time to buy the giant economy size and they need the diapers NOW.

    Isn’t this a fairly common way that poor people pay more for things?

  84. 84
    Barry says:

    @Rex Tremendae: “I used to read TNR back when Michael Kinsley was there, and as much as Kinsley is reviled by progressives now, he was often very good.”

    You mean that he could on rare occasions be good.

    His imprint was clear.

    #slatepitch should really be called #MichaelKinsleypitch.

    The man knew better, but he loved ‘contrarianism’ too much.

  85. 85
    Amir Khalid says:

    @NonyNony:
    Yep.

    @NonyNony:
    Maybe the new Lord CEO plans to offer jobs to his writers’ sources. Or to buy the company that makes their laptops. Or both. No media company has ever tried such a thing before, which makes the strategy all VISIONARY and INNOVATIVE and shit.

  86. 86
    Hawes says:

    I read it in the ’80s. As many have pointed out elsewhere, TNR was a serious, policy oriented magazine before you had serious, policy oriented bloggers. Josh Marshall has a good obit for those types of magazines.

    To me, hating TNR and Vox and NPR is really form of intellectual bigotry. Yes, Marty Peretz was a low point in the magazine.

    But shutting down access to a variety of viewpoints is illiberal at the very definition of the word.

  87. 87
    Comrade Mary says:

    I never thought I would say this about Buzzfeed, especially after Ben Smith took over, but they’re actually doing some decent journalism and long reads now. And as of this morning, they have hired Virginia Hughes to head a 5 person health and science desk.

    As this guy whatsisface from somewhere said, “Also re TNR – much wailing “another Buzzfeed,” on a day when BF commits to a much more serious science desk than TNR ever deemed necessary”.

  88. 88
    Barry says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: “Last I read TNR was sometime last year when they were pushing austerity. Someone tell me why they are considered liberal?”

    Because they say so:

    ‘I’m a liberal, but I really hate [core liberal belief] and reluctantly [always] support [f-ed up right-wing idea].’

    Also, way back when Nixon was president, the magazine (under a different own) actually was liberal.

  89. 89
    Elizabelle says:

    OT: Orion capsule splashdown in 7 minutes.

  90. 90
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Elizabelle: We’re gonna need a bigger net.

  91. 91
    fermiontheclown says:

    Won’t anyone mention MoDo? (Or did I miss it?)

    IIRC we have TNR to thank for MoDo’s current sinecure at The New Pravda on the Hudson (“All the Sh*t that’s Fit to Print”.)

    Perhaps “thank” is not quite the right verb.

    I remember some truly awesome letters written by her one-time high school ex-friends pushing back on a catty endpaper column she wrote about them not long before she departed.

  92. 92
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Barry: How far back TNC looking?

  93. 93
    fermiontheclown says:

    Sorry, I meant “All the Sh*t that Fits We Print” … elder moment.

  94. 94
    p.a. says:

    @Mandalay: plagiarised from Dilbert?

  95. 95
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Is, the word is should be inserted in that last comment.

  96. 96
    Elizabelle says:

    @Gin & Tonic: We could fit all the paid subscribers to Balloon Juice …

    uh, into Lily’s water dish.

  97. 97
    Mandalay says:

    @dww44:

    Local papers increasingly reflect the most strident voices in their markets…

    Isn’t it simply that local papers publish editorials that their customers (presumably mostly old white people) want to read? Your local paper is publishing editorials by George Will and Cal Thomas for the same reason that the Sunday talk shows have ads about bladder control and Vi*gra.

    Look on the bright side: Cal Thomas and George Will, and the folks who read their swill, don’t have that much time left.

  98. 98

    @Hawes: How is it bigotry to point out the obvious? The CW is wrong about NYT, NPR or PBS being liberal. They may be to the left of Fox News, that does not make them liberal.

  99. 99

    BTW the most important question of them all, has Sully changed the color of his banner to show solidarity?

  100. 100
    Peter VE says:

    I grew up reading my parent’s copy, then my mother gifted me a subscription in the early 80s. The retirement of Richard Stroud was the death knell for the “liberal” bent of the magazine, but I kept the subscription until about 12 years ago. The final straw was banging the drum for the Iraq war. Bush and Cheney on the cover as heroic oil wildcatters (before 9/11/2001) was a symbol how far they had fallen, although the back of the book was still strong.

  101. 101
    Samuel Knight says:

    Some owners finally figured out after 2 long years, that it might be a good idea to get rid of a whole bunch of arrogant Lieberman Democrat writers since there are no Lieberman Democrat readers? And people go nuts?

    Completely bizarre. And the cherry on top – establishment figures wailing about the loss of an intellectual voice – when that alleged “voice” has been the source of dozens of juvenile fabrications over the last 20 years? (Listed above, but Bell Curve, Stephen Glass, health care writing, spring to mind).

    Good for the owners – they should be happy to get rid of a whole bunch of useless poseurs from their masthead.

  102. 102
    Nutella says:

    @dedc79:

    Was anyone here reading it back in the 60’s and 70s? Was it at least good back then?

    I subscribed in the late 70s for a few years. Some of the articles were written from a moderately left, i.e. fact-based, point of view and some were written from a right wing nut job point of view. It gave me intellectual whiplash trying to get through an issue so I stopped reading it.

    The rot’s been there for a long, long time.

  103. 103
    Curt Wohleber says:

    @PurpleGirl: The magazine was trapped, neutered and released a long time ago.

  104. 104
    Barry says:

    @Tommy: “I run an app in Google Chrome that lets me see the apps running on a site.”

    What’s the name of this app?

  105. 105
    Kevin says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Does the Atlantic having morphed into Slate-lite have anything to do with Coates complaints about the racism of TNR?

    No? Didn’t thinks so.

  106. 106

    @Kevin: I never said it did.

    ETA: Just pointing out that Atlantic is not all that different than TNR and other nominally liberal but CW peddling media outlets.

  107. 107
    redoubt says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: “Disruption”: Bad In The Classroom, But Good In The Boardroom
    @NonyNony: Probably means all staff-created content and no more “over-the-transom” articles. (Can’t wait to see what that does to their letters section.)

  108. 108
    Ken_L says:

    You forgot to mention Leon Wieseltier’s relentless neo-con sympathies and denigration of the president.

  109. 109
    Turgidson says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Pretty much. The reaction on the Twitter and the intertubes is not that different from the Village’s favorite bar in Washington abruptly closing. All these assholes (and some decent writers, sure) with soapboxes from which to commiserate and wank talk to each other about how shocking and distressing it is. It’s all very very important to them, which to them means it must be important to the whole world.

    Meanwhile the whole world is like “why the fuck do I care about some pretentious bar where a few dozen fake liberals hang out and write contrarian, quasi-intellectual claptrap meant only to impress each other? The irony of Sullivan and Chait saying, almost in the same sentence, “sure, only 50,000 (or whatever) people had subscriptions, but dammit we were important!! and this news is earthshattering!!! is nowhere acknowledged.

    I mean, OK, I’m sorry Jon Chait is sad that the magazine he grew up worshiping and worked at for a while just lit itself on fire in a humiliating public display, but it’s not fucking national news. It’s gossip material for a bunch of pretentious wankers, and the rest of us have the honor of reading all about it anyway because it’s all those wankers want to talk about, and those wankers still suck up a lot of oxygen in the political media, whether we like it or not. On the bright side, it helped me come to the realization that my Twitter feed has too many of those tools on it, and I need to give it a pruning.

  110. 110
    Drunken hausfrau says:

    This is why I come here. YES, Cole, boohoo. Crying into my adult beverage… Not. As you said, a place for repulicans to bash liberals

  111. 111
    Tamara says:

    @Kay: Speaking of tolerating inexcusable crap, check this out:

    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.

  112. 112
    Ramalama says:

    I drove a freelancer for TNR right as Syria got into the big mess. Couple years ago. I didn’t say how much I loathed Sullivan et al at the magazine, because he’s gotta eat and who knows, maybe he’s a good writer. But he was a pompous, loathsome ass as soon as he stuck his 10 speed in my car in Cambridge to take him to Montreal. He was flying out to Syria from there with his bike apparently. Dominated the entire car ride by speaking Russian with another dude in the car who told him I. Don’t. Want. To. Speak. Russian. He stiffed me on the car fare. By the time we’d crossed the bridge to Montreal, everyone hated him. I dropped him off on a really steep street, in the snow, hoping he’d slip and fall, telling him that my good friend was from Damascus, had plenty of family there, and that I could use them as connections should I ever want to go there. Good riddance!

Comments are closed.