Friday, February 23, 2007


The New Republic has been sold, and will now operate under new, more liberal ownership. This should help resolves some tensions centered around it being a liberal publication with conservative ownership. Editor Franklin Foer explicitly tagged this shift as being in keeping with TNR's shift to the left, which I think is a positive development and necessary for its continued viability. It also is reassuring to me, because in the aftermath of Spencer Ackerman's departure, I was worried about the magazine moving in the other direction (something I felt like I was observing on The Plank).

TNR has worked hard to shake the perception that it is merely liberal cover for neo-conservatism. Peter Beinart has a piece in the latest issue on How He Got the Iraq War Wrong, which struck a chord with me, because I was wrong on Iraq for much the same reasons (Beinart is a writer I respect immensely). There are those on the left who wish to see TNR dead and buried--a view I think is vindictive and unhelpful. But regardless of whether we think they've strayed or not, we should wish them luck in getting on the right track. There are precious few opportunities for sharp liberal writers to get into print without one of the oldest being cannibalized from within.

UPDATE: Can I smile at Marty Peretz's description of his outlook towards blogging?
Mr. Peretz, 67, has himself become a blogger. He said he was "not enjoying it exactly," but that he had found it addictive.

"When I used to see something irritating, I would typically call a friend," he said. "Now I just go to the blog." He said he is often surprised at how quickly readers will post a response. "It’s as if they’re waiting for something,” he said. "Then they say, 'Ah, here he is. I'm going to pounce.'"

I don't have readers poised to pounce on me (if only....), but I definitely relate to the addiction metaphor for blogging.

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