I don’t have a complicated relationship with The New Republic, so I don’t need to add a bunch of full disclosures to this piece. All I know is I had a subscription to the magazine that I let lapse sometime around 2000 because I just couldn’t take the condescending abuse anymore. By 2002, the magazine was a punch line to me. By the time I became a blogger in 2005, I wouldn’t have used its pages to wipe my own bottom.
Ever since Chris Hughes bought the magazine, however, I have regularly found quality, interesting content at the online site, and I’ve been linking to them with increasing frequency, usually with approval. As far as I am concerned, the magazine is back from the dead and it seems to have completely lost its interest in insulting me as a progressive.
It could be that this turnaround will abruptly end with the departure of editor Franklin Foer, but however great he is as an editor, he appeared to be doing much better lately under Hughes’ watchful eye.
I don’t really have an opinion about their business model or any direct knowledge of their management style. What I do know is that The New Republic‘s “immense role in shaping American liberal thought” was trashed long ago. Marty Peretz made sure of that.
So, forgive me if I’m not playing Taps for the magazine. It had fallen so low under the previous ownership that I find it impossible to be nostalgic for the “Good Old Days.” If it goes under, at least now we will have some reason for regret.