Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bury the Hatchet

Kos really has to get over his beef with The New Republic. Seriously: There's no solid foundation to it (Kos is certainly more liberal, but he loves to trumpet how he's interested in building a party, not about purging ideological foes), he's wildly over-estimated their hostility to him (cf. Beinart's positive review of "Crashing the Gates"), and there is no real question that TNR has (and I'd say always has) taken just as hard a line on the follies and failings of the Bush administration as any major Democratic media group.

Seriously. Quit it. You're only hurting your cause.


Disenchanted Dave said...

I couldn't agree more. I've written about this before, and my post has some fairly recent examples of articles that basically could have been written by Kos himself (or his allies).

The only thing I'd add is that TNR should probably stop its own stupid campaign against the liberal blogs. The Zengerle incident seriously shredded their credibility.

Anonymous said...

Can we at least agree that TNR is a terrible, terrible periodical with awful writing and pretty shoddy argumentation?

(If your answer is no, bear in mind this is the same obnocious tactic TNR writers use all the time: "Let's face it: Aside from fighting for themselves, the Israelis are also fighting for us" or "The solutions proposed were many, and the disputations about them were fierce; but almost everybody agreed that transformation was possible and peace a plausible prospect." Fiating agreement withy our cause is not how you make an argyment.)

To be fair, it's mainly TNR's editorials I hate. The rest of the stuff I just "xstrongly dislike".

David Schraub said...

No, I can't agree with that, because I think by and large TNR has spectacular writing and tight argumentation. If I was to name one writer any where in any medium who I think gets it right most often, it would TNR's Jonathan Chait. Of course, this isn't always the case, but no periodical, publication (or dare I say, blog) will meet that standard. Certainly, DKos has had its share of mindnumbingly idiotic posts (such as, for example, anything SusanG writes).

Anonymous said...

I'm with TNR 100% on its policy positions, but its writers are the epitome of sneering beltway insiders. One can't help but think this is 99% of the reason they loathe the openly populist Kossacks.

Certainly, DKos has had its share of mindnumbingly idiotic posts

If TNR let anyone write for them, they'd get a fair amount of stupid articles, too.

jack said...

Well, everyone will probably have to agree to disagree regarding the utter stupidity of TNR's articles (though seriously, the Howard vs. Hillary article was the silliest, most poorly reported tripe I've read in a little while).

But, if you think being hostile torwards TNR is hurting Kos's cause then you wildly over-estimate the importance of TNR. Mocking a failing publication on its way out doesn't hurt anything (except maybe someone's feelings). Its not like Markos is missing a huge opportunity to build the party by working along side TNR. No one read's TNR anymore and Markos Moulitsas isn't the guy to blame for that.

Anonymous said...

Ditto to jack on the Hilary v. Howard article... silly about sums it up.

Also "John Edwards is the new Anti-Hilary"? Its as though they make a game of making the most arbitrary political pronouncements on the slimmest evidence just so they can say they hit the "it" story first. It's like reading a snobby fashion magazine.

Or in their analysis of the Israeli war, they dismiss network news discussions of proportionality in warfare as "grasping for profundity" or something to that effect. Which is dumb for so many reasons:

a) Proportionality talk isn't "profound" but I'd say it's pretty much obligatory to confront that issue when discussing warfare

b) Proportionality is the main argument coming from the war's critics, os it bear reporting

c) If network news people are chasing profundity and failing, are we to believe that TNR has ever, (let alone consistently!) provided any "profound" insights?

The point being even if you agree with Israel there is no reason to entirely write off an important aspect of the controversy using pretentiopus rhetoric.

Blah. And this whole rant is just off of whats on the front page of TNR right now. I could do a new one every week.

David Schraub said...

Matt: I hardly think it is a sign of anything negative to note that network television might not be the best source for "profound" analysis on technical questions of international law. And since TNR has, in fact, covered the issue of the legality/morality from several angles (including a piece by your beloved Michael Walzer), I don't think they can really be faulted on that count. TNR has certainly had a higher proportion of profundity than any other like periodical I can think of. And the "anti-Hillary" article was quite solid I thought--it's no reach (in fact, it's the CW) that Democratic candidates are going to try and be the guy that "anyone but Hillary" voters consolidate around, and that Edwards got a huge boost in that positioning by the new primary layout (with his backing by UNITE HERE and his strong ties in Iowa, Nevada, AND South Carolina).

Amnesty, on the other hand, needs to understand the law before it tries to apply it, especially when dealing with a term of art like proportionality. In terms of actually making coherent arguments based on actual state of law, TNR tops most everything else I read.