Media

The Chris Hughes Era of The New Republic Is Ending

TNR's owner wants to sell the magazine.

|

Like the time Fred Barnes and Mort Kondracke dropped acid right before taping The McLaughlin Group—whoa nelly, now that was a tale.
Bantam Books

Chris Hughes, the Facebook moneybags who bought The New Republic in 2012, is now looking to unload it. "After investing a great deal of time, energy, and over $20 million, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for new leadership and vision at The New Republic," he wrote in a memo sent to staffers this morning, adding that he "underestimated the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today's quickly evolving climate." The Wall Street Journal reports that Hughes has "already begun preliminary talks with a variety of potential buyers, including larger media companies, digital startups and philanthropic groups."

Hughes' brief period atop TNR can be split into two sections. In the first, he continued to work with the center-left staff he inherited; he did hire a new man to run the mag, Franklin Foer, but Foer had already edited the magazine from 2006 to 2010, so this wasn't exactly a sweeping change. The outlet in this iteration was more conventionally liberal than the New Republic of the '80s, '90s, and early '00s, but that shift was already underway well before Hughes bought the place, so it wasn't really a big change either. Hughes had worked for Obama during the 2008 campaign, and the magazine in this interval represented pretty much the sort of sensibility you'd expect from a man with that background.

The second phase began after Hughes fired Foer in late 2014, prompting most of the staff to resign en masse. Foer's replacement, former Gawker editor Gabriel Snyder, moved the publication's center of political gravity much further to the left—though in some ways the magazine has been more of an ideological hodge-podge in the last year than an outlet with a consistent point of view.

It is common to claim that The New Republic either improved or declined dramatically under Snyder, depending on whether you preferred the old TNR's politics. But I think the decent stuff/bad stuff ratio stayed pretty much the same, just with different flavors of good and different flavors of crap. I doubt the pre-Hughes TNR would have published the radical writer Malcolm Harris' fine piece on the late Aaron Swartz, with its casual declaration that "one of the lessons that school teaches is that the people who make the rules don't really have to follow them." On the other hand, I doubt the old magazine would have published Phoebe Maltz Bovy's inane argument, if you even want to call it an argument, that "all guns" should be banned. (At one point, Bovy acknowledged the fact that since "crackdowns on guns are criminal-justice interventions," they're likely to have a "disparate impact" on "marginalized communities." She responded that, well, "ultimately" we should disarm the police too.) Similarly, I doubt the Snyder/Hughes New Republic would have published Jonathan Chait's scathing critique of Naomi Klein, even if Chait were still willing to write for them; but it hasn't published former owner Martin Peretz's creepy ruminations about Arabs and Muslims either.

I have no idea what will come next for TNR, but I should note one more tidbit from that Wall Street Journal story: Hughes is apparently "looking at a non-profit structure as one possible solution for the magazine." That's as good a reason as any to quote something Matt Welch wrote right after Hughes bought the mag four years ago:

Political magazines, which as a rule do not cover expenses through subscriptions and advertising, have two basic ownership models: Get an ideologically and/or culturally sympatico rich person (or "vanity mogul," in Jack Shafer's memorable phrasing) to subsidize the losses, or just organize as a nonprofit (Reason chose the latter road decades ago).

There are plusses and minuses to both—as Shafer points out, "Hughes should be able to sustain the magazine's annual losses—which Anne Peretz, the ex-wife of former owner Martin Peretz put at $3 million a year—for a couple of hundred years after his death"—but one aspect I certainly enjoy about the Reason way is that it is literally impossible for a single person (let alone a single person with deep political connections to the sitting U.S. president) to impose his or her will on the editorial decisions of a normally configured nonprofit publication. The basic editorial thrust is therefore much more resilient and consistent in the long term, much less subject to the temporal whims and temper tantrums of a lone deep-pocketed journalistic novice.

If the New Republicans are lucky, their next setup will not depend on a fickle millionaire's largesse.

NEXT: Why We Need School Choice NOW! 3 Reason Events in LA, Vegas, & DC

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. He wanted to create a ‘digital media company’ and during his tenure the website’s traffic apparently fell 50%.

    That’ll happen when you fire all your good writers and replace them with Elizabeth Breunig and Jeet Heer.

    1. Didn’t they turn off comments because they were getting bitch slapped over over the place by commenters calling them on their bullshit every single story?

      1. I thought that was Vox, but it very well could have been both.

          1. Ah. Another win for Ezra Klein’s complete lack of self-awareness

            1. Why do you say this about Ezra? Just curious as i dont really know much about him.

            2. Was it Klein or Yglesias who couldn’t figure out how Netflix worked? I always get those two mixed up.

              1. You leave sadbeard alone.

              2. Klein was the guy who said that the Constitution isn’t relevant because it is really old and written using strange language. The only thing that saves Klein is that he seems to be just dumb and not full on retarded or on the aspy scale. That makes him look in comparison to Yglesias who is both.

            3. Its kind of a tribute to Pravda, no?

              or maybe they just dropped the second word “Vox Pars” voice of the party.

          2. Words fail me.

          3. They’re so good at explaining things to their readers, they don’t need them.

    2. Brian Beutler, lol. Because the world needs another Hillary puff piece.

  2. I have come to the conclusion that I cannot continue to waste my money on a dead publication that no one reads and no one cares about and paying a group of ignorant and inbred hack journalists who despise me for my success and with whom I only share a common slavish dedication to a cult like ideology

    Signed/
    Chris

    1. Wrecker! Kulak!

    2. I read it more like: Now that my conflict with the talent burned our city to the ground, someone else is welcome to buy the land, clear the wreckage, and start fresh.

  3. Chris Hughes, the Facebook moneybags who bought The New Republic in 2012, is now looking to unload it. “After investing a great deal of time, energy, and over $20 million, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for new leadership and vision at The New Republic,

    So I guess the Vanity Publishing gig doesn’t have the staying power it once did.

    Hughes had worked for Obama during the 2008 campaign, and the magazine in this interval represented pretty much the sort of sensibility you’d expect from a man with that background.

    *drums fingers on table, quietly judging*

    Foer’s replacement, former Gawker editor Gabriel Snyder, moved the publication’s center of political gravity much further to the left?though in some ways the magazine has been has been more of an ideological hodge-podge in the last year than an outlet with a consistent point of view.

    You don’t say. Much like a print-version of an OWS sit-in?

    they’re likely to have a “disparate impact” on “marginalized communities.” She responded that, well, “ultimately” we should disarm the police too.

    This kind of stuff is always kind of a philosophical hand-wave. Hey, I can kind of see where my own argument is going, we’re not ready for this yet, but I’ll acknowledge this where it must go.

    1. Seriously is there anything more that needs to be said about his handling of the publication than “hired former Gawker editor…”? That tells you everything you need to know.

      This guy will be luck to get $1 for the New Republic.

      1. I will give him $1 for it so that I can light it on fire.

      2. Wasn’t that what happened to Newsweek?

  4. it is time for new leadership and vision at The New Republic

    You mean a vision wherein there would be real objective articles written instead of the same ridiculous brain dead fluff week after week? It’s like New Republic is in a competition with Salon to see which can out stupid the other, and against all odds, NR is winning!

    1. Their writing is actually worse than Salon’s. It’s like no one has edited Bruenig’s work since she arrived, and she really, really needs it.

      They aren’t as stupid as Salon though. Let’s not go crazy here.

      1. Doesn’t that describe very left wing hack journalist under the age of 35? The old school guys could at least write well. The current generation are uniformly ignorant and unfamiliar with even the basic rules of writing. Whether it be Bruenig, Sad Beard, Marcotti or any of them, the pattern is always the same; someone with little or no knowledge, education or ability mouthing the PC line.

        1. But they’re liberal wonks, John. Liberal wonks! Do you know what that means?

          1. A marginally literate political science graduate from UC Santa Barbara who wasn’t qualified to work as a medicare transcriptionist somehow was given one of the tallest soapboxes in the US media with the job of being a “wonk” about healthcare reform.

            Yeah, we are fucking doomed.

            1. Who was this?

              1. Ezra Klein. He made his bones in 2008 on being the “health care wonk” for the Washington Post.

                1. Klein went to UCLA, not UCSB. He did transfer from UC Santa Cruz(!) to UCLA. I’d prefer if he was from UCSB to be honest. At least he’d be a she, a blonde, and have big tits.

              2. Probably Klein. He went to Cal.

            2. That’s fitting given who the President, VP, and SoSs have been. Democratic politics has always been about making loud noises and shouting your opponents down.

              The only innovation in the past twenty years has been the weaponization of tears and the rise of victim culture.

              1. the weaponization of tears

                That’s funny, because I keep hearing about the right’s weaponization of free speech.

              2. The only innovation in the past twenty years has been the weaponization of tears and the rise of victim culture.

                Also, the weekly selection of “Worst Human Being in the History of Ever, Ever” on the Twitter and ruining that person’s life.

        2. Marcotte, John, not Marcotti.

          And I only make the correction because right now, there may be some old Italian op-ed columnists waving his hands in the air going, “Hey! Whatsa big idea? I never wrote-a that kind of stupid-a shit in my life-a!”

      2. They’re pretty much experts at using the most words possible to say nothing.

        1. Obfuscation through elucidation.

          When no one can actually figure out what you’re saying, it’s hard to argue with you.

        2. In 2006, there was a paper written by a psych professor at Princeton titled “Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity”. They should probably have read it.

    2. You mean a vision wherein there would be real objective articles written instead of the same ridiculous brain dead fluff week after week?

      Why did the editors of a political mag never think of this? It’s GENIUS!

      1. Outside of our fearless cosmo heroes here at Reason, it’s quite a rare thing.

    3. TNR. NR is the former Buckley rag that has also seen better times.

  5. Well, that was quick

  6. OT: Swedish po-po didn’t respond like this with Julian Assange….

    http://www.dw.com/en/swedish-p…..a-18972345

    1. Better a few teen-aged girls raped than this:

      Far-right on a roll

    2. Where it Cytotoxic to tell us that none of that happened?

      I haven’t seen him around lately. Did he take in some refugees?

      http://newobserveronline.com/s…..-refugees/

      1. You mean Lindsey Dalmia? He’s been deported back to Canuckistan.

      2. He was around the other day, spewing abuse and waving the one or two CATO studies that he always uses. He was pretty thoroughly stomped with evidence, but declared victory and left, as he always does.

        I was amused at his defense, which amounted to: “But we don’t know if all those Muslim robbers and rapist were really refugees!” Dude, if they were Muslims who had lived in Germany and Finland for years, that makes the immigration problem worse, not better. Duh.

        1. Cyto is the smartest 20 something year old Canadian on US politics and history, ever, in all the world. And he’ll be letting you know it. And if you don’t know it, you’re stupid.

          1. I doubt Cytotoxic is in his 20s. Based on the style and content of his “arguments,” i’d put his age anywhere from a bright but sheltered 12 to a borderline-autistic 15.

            1. And yet I still dominate yokels with one hand and peacenazies with the other. Maybe you should be more worried about the quality of thier arguments instead of mine.

              1. And yet I still dominate yokels with one hand and peacenazies with the other. Maybe you should be more worried about the quality of thier arguments instead of mine.

                How Dunning Met Kruger: The Cytotoxic Story

        2. He was pretty thoroughly stomped with evidence

          HA HA HA you don’t even know what evidence is. I have studies from Cato, you have NutJob.com and blurry videos.

          “But we don’t know if all those Muslim robbers and rapist were really refugees!”

          We don’t even know if they were Muslims.

          1. You have studies from a think tank trying to support an ideological position, and the rest of have… the news and the testimony of scores if not hundreds of witnesses, also known as “reality.” Only deluded ideologues ignore reality.

            If you find out that the “Arab”/”North African” gangs were from Christian or Buddhist or Hindu backgrounds, let us know.

            And evidence of coverups is now emerging, but I’m too busy to find the links. Yes, the multiculti leftists of European governments and media (Cytotoxic’s ideological allies on immigration) have been suppressing reports of many crimes by Muslims.

            Gosh, it’s almost as if different cultures have differences. Surprise, surprise, surprise!

            1. You have studies from a think tank trying to support an ideological position with evidence, and the rest of have… the news and the testimony of scores if not hundreds of witnesses, also known as “reality.” anecdotes.

              Anecdotes vs evidence. I think I know which one I’ll go with and which one the yokels will go with.

              “Yes, the multiculti leftists of European governments and media (Cytotoxic’s ideological allies on immigration) have been suppressing reports of many crimes by Muslims.”

              Sure they have.

              1. You have studies from a think tank trying to support an ideological position with evidence, and the rest of have… the news and the testimony of scores if not hundreds of witnesses, also known as “reality.” anecdotes.

                You routinely declare the invalidity of statistics that go against your narrative, so quickly after they’re posted that it’s perfectly clear that you could not possibly have done any due diligence to determine the veracity. Spare us your stories about evidence vs. anecdotes, you’re as disingenuous as they come.

            2. Yes, the multiculti leftists of European governments and media (Cytotoxic’s ideological allies on immigration) have been suppressing reports of many crimes by Muslims.

              And it tells you something about the righteousness of their position that they must lie and omit to sell it to people. And when caught distorting and hiding the truth they’ll explicitly tell you that they did so to keep icky right-wingers from the levers of power, as if that were a noble excuse.

              1. PROJECTION LEVELS CRITICAL

                1. PROJECTION LEVELS CRITICAL

                  It’s one thing to claim projection. It’s another to point to Rotherham, Cologne or any random Tuesday in Sweden for direct evidence of lies and omission being excused in the name of stopping right-wing evil by the very people who failed to prosecute and report.

      3. Still here, still awesome, still dominant.

        1. Well, you’re still here, anyway.

        2. Have you heard about the PC master race, console boy?

          1. Have you heard that I have a PC now? Yes you did, but head trauma causes you to keep bringing things up that were addressed long ago.

      4. “This is a sore point. Sometimes we dare not tell how it because we think it plays into the hands of the Sweden Democrats,” said 2014 event organizer Peter Agren to the Swedish press.

        This man should throw himself down some stairs.

    3. At the time, police characterized the event as having “relatively few crimes.” Some officials have even defended the move, saying there were worries the reports could boost sympathy for the far-right.

      Clearly the left thinks that their positions and policy preferences are indefensible if they let the people have all the information available. From where I’m sitting, these “far-right” groups have the moral high ground if it requires propaganda and endangering young girls to keep them from gaining some political capital.

      I honestly don’t understand how the multicultists could wield that argument and think they were helping their position at all. “If we accurately report crimes and justly prosecute crimes, people won’t buy what we are selling. Can’t have that, the proles might elect people I find icky.”

      1. They believe people are too stupid to make their own decisions, so it’s not really a surprise they think the information to people should be limited.

        1. I tend to believe that the vast overwhelming majority of people are grossly unqualified to make decisions regarding the life, liberty and property other human beings. But I just come right out and say it. Meanwhile these leftoids jerk off at the thought of ‘democracy’ but are completely unwilling to follow where it leads unless the results are vaguely leftoid, which they usually are.

    4. “We have to get to the bottom of this,” said national police chief Dan Eliasson on Monday, promising political circumstances would play no role in the investigation

      but agreeing with the mostly migrant young men involved in the incident.

      1. Agreeing ‘with’ or ‘that’ mostly migrant young men were involved?

  7. “Similarly, I doubt the Snyder/Hughes New Republic would have published Jonathan Chait’s scathing critique of Naomi Klein, even if Chait were still willing to write for them; but it hasn’t published former owner Martin Peretz’s creepy ruminations about Arabs and Muslims either.”

    The fact the New Republic would publish weird shit in which their owner said nasty stuff about Arab breeding habits was actually part of what made them interesting. Even if you disagreed with what Peretz said, he was the owner of a left-wing magazine taking a very un-left wing stand on a particular issue. They weren’t doctrinaire leftists. They’d publish things that surprised you and they had smart writers who weren’t hacks and would stand against liberal orthodoxy when they disagreed with it.

    Today, Jeet Heer basically believes whatever leftist nonsense progs are whining about this week. The only thing they publish that isn’t absolute progressive boilerplate is Bruenig’s work where she expounds on her bizarre, lustful admiration for the Pope. Who would possibly want to read what they could get from any left-wing blog?

    1. “It is common to claim that The New Republic either improved or declined dramatically under Snyder, depending on whether you preferred the old TNR’s politics. But I think the decent stuff/bad stuff ratio stayed pretty much the same, just with different flavors of good and different flavors of crap.”

      False. Go read what was getting published by TNR in 2013. Compare the writing quality alone to TNR in 2015. There’s no comparison at all. Every one of the good writers they had left and they ended up with a frontline writing staff of Jeet Heer, Bruenig, Brian Beutler, Suzy Khimm, and Jamil Smith. Go read any of their writing. It is garbage. Pure garbage. I don’t even care about the politics, Bruenig writes like a precocious 14 year old with a personal blog, Jeet Heer is a comic book critic who apparently got it in his head that he knows anything about politics, and Jamil Smith doesn’t publish as often as he should because he’s too busy updating his Obama/Biden sex fiction at fanfic.net.

      1. I don’t know much about no Jeet Heer, but according to the Interwebz, he’s one of Canada’s “leading intellectuals”.

        1. Saw that. It’s a hilarious puff piece, especially Jeet Heer blatantly lying:

          “Here in Canada, Heer is at least as well known for his day job as a journalist. I first came to associate his name with comics and CanLit, his reviews of which were always playful, erudite and thorough. Thanks to social media, I’ve realized that last descriptor in particular is an understatement: In one Twitter essay, Heer claimed to prepare for a book review by reading 11 other titles ? three of the subject’s previous works as well as eight by his “influences” ? all for an article that paid $25. Upon reading the final piece, Heer’s editor generously offered to double his fee.”

          *cough, filthy liar, cough*

        2. My introduction to Jeet Heer was at the Bleeding Hearts Libertarians blog, where he only stopped by to complain that some commentary on Hayek didn’t go out of its way to mention Pinochet. Something like 5,000 words were spent evaluating Hayek’s writings, and he wanted to wave it all away with, “But Pinochet.”

          I figured that was enough to know that his work wasn’t worth checking out.

        3. LOL no he’s not.

  8. I hope one of the Koch brothers buys it

    1. Haha this

    2. If I had their money, I would buy the magazine and turn it into a salad dressing company.

      1. Oil refinery

        1. Private jet dealership

      2. A coal plant

      3. Monocle factory.

        Come on, people.

    3. That’s pretty much the only thing I’d care about doing if I were a billionaire. I know it would be more comfortable to cordon myself off from the world as an “art collector” or “opera enthusiast” or some such, but using a holding company to buy up MoJo and, of course, the tiny local rag who has plagued me since childhood, would be the socially responsible thing for any billionaire to do.

      1. And I’d wait a couple of decades, then buy Bloomberg News and turn it into the media wing of the RKBA movement.

        1. BLOOMBERG: Why President Chelsea’s plans are a flagrant infringement on the Constitutional right to bear railguns.

        2. And that’s still nowhere near as sick as my plan to buy Moms Demand Action and consolidate it into Vivid Entertainment.

          1. Let’s get that hedge fund started today.

            (checks NASDAQ)

            Well, maybe not today.

            1. Somehow the Dead Cat Bounce Fund just doesn’t have a good ring to it.

  9. Ok, this made me laugh:

    Eldridge [Hugh’s husband/partner] lost his 2014 bid for a congressional seat by 30 points. Following that and the mass resignation from The New Republic, The Daily Beast dubbed the two “America’s Worst Gay Power Couple.”

    1. “America’s Worst Gay Power Couple.”

      In my mind i saw Harrison Ford as Han Solo…smashing some blinkered equipment in the Millenium Falcon… going, “I thought we replaced those Power Couplers!”

  10. I know it isn’t the new republic…but Paul Waldman and Ryan Cooper of theweek are hacks. Anyone read their derp?

    1. Ryan cooper once wrote an article where he wanted to raise taxes on a couple earning 100K total by 10K because analysis paralysis– the government would be better making healthcare choices, daycare, and college for you. Doesn’t want you to get bogged down!

  11. I think someone should give Iowahawk a shot at running the New Republic. He has some very good ideas on his twitter feed right now.

    1. I don’t know why I don’t follow Iowahawk more often, that dude is hilarious:

      I just wrote some box-and-arrow thingies on a whiteboard, thinking about developing it into a TED talk
      cc: Chris Hughes

      This is the Silicon Valley version of the Saudi oil prince who crashes a Lamborghini in the desert and walks away http://www.wsj.com/articles/ne…..1452525601 ?

      Chris Hughes, the billionaire genius who invented getting randomly assigned to Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm floor

      And many, many more.

      1. He is a national treasure. Yesterday he called the Sean Penn El Chap interview a “Falcon and the Snowman/I am Sam mashup”.

  12. This is why I [Heart] Matt Welch:

    Progressivism has reverted to a form that would have been recognizable to Herbert Croly and Walter Lippmann when they founded The New Republic a century ago: an intellectual collaborator in the “responsible” exercise of state power.

  13. On the (new) accompanying image: I agree with a complaint I saw here last week – where the hell were the Y-Wings in Episode 7!? Why was the stupid resistance limited to what looked like one squadron of X-Wings? For a big-budget movie that was guaranteed to make a billion dollars, it played like they didn’t want to spend the money on more than the two fighter models.

    1. It felt incredibly low budget. JJ Abrams sucks.

      1. This is one of the wrongest statements ever.

    2. They are trying to hide their presence. Flying two fighter types means two supply chains and perhaps a doubling of detection.

      If Southwest Airlines every had to go off the grid, you can bet the fact they fly only 737s would be helpful.

      1. The rebellion had plenty more. The first attack on the Death Star was a larger operation than this. And ultimately it sounded like the resistance had the support of the Republic (so why were they the resistance?), so they should be in even better shape than the rebels were.

        1. The rebellion scrounged everything they could get their hands on and likely had no supply chain.

          My guess is that they flew Y-wings because they had to, not because they wanted to.

    3. Y-wings are kind of stupid looking.

      The Resistance is, well, a resistance. Their resources are limited.

      1. They’re supposed to be stupid looking. All badass attack aircraft are. See: A6 Intruder, F-111, A10 Warthog etc

  14. Conservative” Supreme Court Looks to Kick Unions in Balls

    was the inherent-conservatism of the court much discussed in the recent gay-marriage ruling? Somehow it becomes a beacon for enlightened jurisprudence… then returns to becoming a one-sided, partisan institution whenever the issue is one that editors feel is being wrongly-handled.

    Their headline is undermined by their second paragraph

    “Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy, two key votes on the nine-member court, indicated during an 80-minute oral argument in the case involving California teachers that they could side with the three other conservative justices in delivering a ruling overturning a 1977 high court precedent.”

    so…. Roberts and Kennedy are ‘conservatives’ when they feel the *wrong way* about things.

    The point here is really just the low-regard journalists seem to have for legal principle. Its all “team”, and anything outside of naked-partisanship is given zero weight.

    “A ruling allowing non-union workers to stop paying “agency fees” equivalent to union dues, currently mandatory under laws in California and numerous other states, would deprive the public sector unions of millions of dollars, reducing their income and political power.

    You’re supposed to understand that as a “bad thing”

    1. The histrionics are going to be hilarious.

    2. How is SCOTUS conservative? Which justices are supposed to be conservative?

      1. Its Reuters trolling. See they are “conservative” but they are thinking of overturning precedent and changing everything, the hypocrites.

        1. Well, if they really were not conservative, they’d vote immediately to gut the constitution, especially those pesky first and second amendments. So, I concede, it must be true.

    3. Wouldn’t overturning that decision nationalize what happened in Wisconsin?

      1. Basically would establish right-to-work for all public employees

    4. This is just more proof (as I said years ago) that Roberts would buy exactly zero good will for his Obummercare ruling. Zero.

      1. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    5. Wonder if this would nuke the dems? They’ve got their own millionaires to donate cash at presidential levels, but the public unions basically support Dem mayors and other city and state level positions. They are already hurting at that level, it couldn’t help not to have cash to throw at advertising all the sudden.

  15. A lot of progs were crying and screeching that Jeff Bezos is going to destroy WaPo because he’s a greedy capitalist pig libertarian. I’m not sure where they’re getting the libertarian part as I have never once seen a quote about Bezos saying that and I’m not even sure I’ve heard a quote by him where he mentions politics at all.

    But I don’t see it happening. As it is, WaPo is about the most balanced publication around in that you really cannot say it leans right or left, it’s about an equal mix on the articles. Progs say it’s right wing, Conservatives say it leans left. That’s how you know it’s fairly balanced.

    New Republic seems to have a formula. It’s like their writers were all told, here’s your 3 topics: Republicans BAD! Libertarians BAD! Democrats GOOD!

    1. Bezos has done two things to change the Post for the better, hire Balko and give Eugene Volkh a platform. Otherwise, it is the same Pravda on the Potomic it always has been. The Post was only ever “centrist” to the extent that it could occasionally be anti-Soviet during the cold war. That is really about it.

      1. I appreciate that Professor Volokh has a bigger platform at the Post, but goddamn, the quality of the comments on that blog has plummeted since moving over there.

        1. Reading the comments on the Post or the New York Times will make you weep for humanity. My God are there some stupid people out there.

        2. There are some good commentariat over there, you just have to weed through all the idiot posts. That just comes with lots of comments. But compared to say HuffPo or Politico, it’s not bad.

          1. But compared to say HuffPo or Politico, it’s not bad.

            I think you may have managed to give the faintest praise ever given. Seriously, you really know how to hurt people.

            1. I’m actually being objective, not trying to hurt anyone. The problem with WaPo comments is that there are so many of them. So you get a lot of garbage. But there are some very good commenters over there, you just have to be patient to see them. I’ve spent a lot of time at Politico, the first place I ever commented, and HuffPo, I was there for about 6 months maybe. Trust me, WaPo is better than both, maybe a lot better, but better.

              The worst commentariat on the web are at NYT. They could make a sloth fall out it’s tree from boredom.

              1. “The worst commentariat on the web are at NYT. They could make a sloth fall out it’s tree from boredom.”

                I disagree. I once read a NYT comment that advocated for returning all material that had been mined from the earth back into the earth so that the earth could heal. It was lengthy and detailed and sincere. I say that you can’t buy that kind of entertainment at any price.

                1. /sloth falling out of tree

              2. I was just being a smart ass Hyperion. Saying a group of commentators is “not as bad as Huffpo or Politico” is a very low bar indeed.

          2. “Well, the letter are all ordered and spaced to form cromulent words — so its better than Youtube’s comments section.”

          3. Pre-WaPo Volokh had a great set of regular commenters. Many of them are still there, but get buried in the massive amounts of derptitude that goes with being featured on Washington Post.

    2. With a few exceptions, WaPo mostly just leans idiot

    3. I don’t think that’s entirely correct re: WaPo

      I think on the institutional-bias scale, they score better than the NYT in the newsgathering side, but worse on the “commentary & editorial” bits

      (, i think the NYT *used* to have this sort of posture…. “solid news, lefty editorial”… before the ‘internet’. Which is really just a way of saying, “before GWB”, at which point they got into financial trouble and got some editors who decided that the only way to sell their paper was to go full-progtard)

      But I think WaPo has exceeded NYT in the depth of the derp they engage in on the ‘commentary’ side. I mean, things like their “PostEverything” blog are basically a open-mic-session for people from Alternet/Jezebel or any academic kook with a bone to pick.

      1. I couldn’t disagree more. The NYTs commentariat are the dumbest gang of elderly Democrats I have ever seen. The posts there are nearly 100% certifiable meaningless drivel.

        There are plenty of good comments at WaPo, you just have to dig through a mountain of garbage to find them. At NYT, the world’s largest post excavator will not find you one comment that makes any sense at all.

        1. Yea my experience as well. Just an anecdote but recently read a WaPo of a Harvard prof being concerned about minorities and obesity…basically wanting to tell them what they can and cant eat for their own good. He was slammed in the comments.

          NY times is typically all bad

        2. I think that when Gilmore says “commentary” he means the opinion page, not commenters.

          1. What nikki sayeth

          2. Well, not just opinion page… but “everything not pure-newsgathering”.

            which for many media orgs, seems to be becoming the real core of the business, as far as i can tell. Its hard to distinguish much of the news-reporting from the various blogs that WaPo sponsors.

          3. Yep, I agree, my bad. I read it too quickly.

        3. ” The NYTs commentariat are the dumbest gang of elderly Democrats I have ever seen”

          No ones’ talking about the comments. I’m talking about the amount of Prog-fodder blog content that NYT generates relative to WaPo.

          1. Yes, yes, we have established that I got confused and have admitted the error of my ways. I am now going to flog myself with much self flagellation and after, I shall wear sackcloth and pour ashes on my head.

            1. … Except, that I was talking about comments before your post. That’s why I got confused. That and also because I didn’t read your post carefully enough. Ok, on with the self flagellation…

              1. No, that’s understandable. I was just responding to your first comment and didn’t see how the conversation had shifted to “commenters”. i probably should have used a different term than “commentary”, maybe just ‘blogging’.

                IMO, it seems like the wapo has been more successful blurring the lines between its own ‘news’ coverage and its blog-content. Its entirely subjective…. but it feels like the Times had always tried to keep a strict delineation between the 2, while the post has almost none.

  16. Prog logic

    Government is benevolent, serves the people and is supposed to protect the citizens from icky corporations and businesses = need MOAR

    Unions are supposed to protect its workers from their employers screwing and exploiting them.

    Yet they support public sector unions.

    1. It’s not a contradiction. Unions are the government which is why so many politicians and city councils explicitly support the Unions and their activities.

      I’m the employer in the pubsec scenario, because when the pubsec union strikes, they strike against me.

      The Union is protecting its workers from me. And they need that protection, I can tell you, ’cause I’d fire the lot of them the first time they went on strike.

      1. Haha this is sarcasm i assume? Well except for the last sentence “I can tell you, ’cause I’d fire the lot of them the first time they went on strike”.

        Cause we both know that sentence won’t happen in reality.

        1. No sarcasm at all. Unions are negotiating with people who generally support the concept and purpose, and got elected by doing their bidding. The Union strikes against ME, not the people with whom they negotiate their contracts. Therefore, I should have a thumbs-up or down vote on their contract. Yet I don’t. As a result, all the incentives are entirely perverted.

          1. Oh i see what you are saying. Though the government doesnt really seem to be us but rather a third party and they employ these union folk. And they get in bed with each other for sweet love making.

            I definitely agree with your post about we should have a say if they get fired.

            In reality i would say it is a contradiction as the govt who is supposed to serve us (what progs say to me) and that unions are to protect from their employer which in reality is government and not ME, there is a conflict

            Sorry i was a bit confused

  17. I haven’t had anything to do with publishing in a long time, so I am asking this seriously.

    Aside from a server to store articles on and a few cheap desktops to write on, what exactly comprises The New Republic? The team of writers, right?

    How much would anyone pay for a magazine that consists of 10k worth of used computer hardware and a team of writers that suck? You would change writers, right?

    Basically The New Republic consists of nothing that wouldn’t be cheaper to start from scratch.

    Shit-can these pinko assholes and be done with it.

    1. I assume that the brand is still the most valuable part of the enterprise.

      1. Yeah its the brand, it gets your sales people in the door to the advertisers.

        It gets your reporters in door to government and corporate offices. It also gets your reporters and editors in the door at CNN, PBS etc when they are doing stories, reporters love interviewing others in the media.

        The Wombat Daily News is not going to get you in those doors.

    2. I don’t read the NR, so I don’t know how much original reporting they do. Real original reporting requires a budget because you have to send reporters out, gather facts, vet them (*cough*Stephen Glass*cough*) and that requires some real budgets.

  18. I agree with what Matt said at the end, but I would say it’s not just political magazines that can’t cut it as a purely profit-making enterprise any more. There’s not much difference between a political magazine and the New York Times aside from the publishing schedule and the weight of the print stock, but newspapers are coming to depend more on somebody having something to say and the money to say it than advertising and subscription dollars. Ultimately for some of them, the “news” is just a loss-leader for getting the eyeballs on the editorial page. And that’s not a bad thing, as long as more people are aware that the news is slanted there’s more people aware that it’s not just Rupert Murdoch and Sheldon Adelson that are biased.

    I saw a thing on CNN yesterday on right-wing talk radio especially and “the media” in general having a lot to do with Trump’s popularity – CNN just flat said that they paid more attention to Trump, made him a bigger story, than what he deserved. There’s no sort of bias or presumption there in CNN fairly and impartially deciding what is the proper amount of coverage a given story deserves. (When somebody did raise the question of left-wing talk radio, they kinda laughed and said well, there’s really no comparison between the few left-wing talkers and Rush and Sean and so on. I suspect those folks over at NPR were high-fiving over the success of the meme that there’s no such thing as left-wing talk radio.)

    1. Rupert Murdoch and Sheldon Adelson that are biased.

      I wish I could find that early-internet article from a journalist who was railing against the hypocrisy of bias in the newsroom. Paraphrased: Never mind that 9 out of 10 newsroom editors vote Democratic, get one Republican-leaning editor and NOW we’ve got a problem.

  19. Observe the field where I harvest my fucks, and see that I have none to give.

  20. Hiring an editor from Gawker was cynical. See Carla Blumenkramz”s history of Gawker Media / Nick Denton in N+1. Denton figured out that if you use tabloid ‘journalistic’ tehniques like gossip and celebrity stalking (ala the tabloids) but use progressive-sounding political justification, you can be really mean and censorious and still get taken seriously by left-leaning but more staid media outlets. Using identity politics (which make anyone and everyone into an expert about something, i.e. themselves) as leverage allowed Denton to hire young, mouthy people without much exerience who would work for such pitifully low wages. Denton is now worth over 100$ million.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.