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TNR, RIP (and not a minute too soon)

By Michael J. Smith on Saturday February 24, 2007 12:09 PM

New Republic to Cut Back Publication Schedule

The New Republic, the thinning left-leaning weekly magazine whose circulation has plunged in the era of the Web, is overhauling itself.... CanWest Global Communications, a Canadian media conglomerate that had been a minority shareholder in The New Republic, is now the majority owner. Martin Peretz, the editor-in-chief, is retaining his one-quarter interest. “Having a corporation in the ownership mix, and at a publishing company at that, is a much greater guarantee for the financial future of the magazine,” Mr. Peretz said today. “It just seemed to me, given my own intellectual and moral synergies with Leornard Asper, a very good partnership.” Mr. Asper, the chief executive of CanWest, was not immediately available for comment.

Poor Mr Asper was probably in the bathroom throwing up. "Intellectual and moral synergies!" Really, Marty Peretz is a national treasure -- who else could ever come up with a phrase like that? -- but the idea of having synergy with him, or syn-anything for that matter, would surely turn the stomach of a turkey vulture.

I'm not sure exactly what the apparently imminent demise of the New Republic portends, but it's good news in any case. TNR was never an organ of the Right -- in a perverse way, the Times ignoramus actually got it sort of correct, without knowing how or why, when she called it a "left-leaning" rag. Of course you have to understand "left" here in its peculiar Times sense, as a synonym for "liberal."

TNR always formed part of the institutional apparatus of American liberalism, not American "conservatism" (to use, for the moment, another word in a common but nonetheless peculiar sense). TNR's function was to provide cover for the liberals' thirty-year romance with... with... -- oh, what the hell, I'm going to let my inner sectarian take wing and call them The Forces Of Reaction. I know it sounds like something out of Monthly Review, but at least it uses words in a straighforward, un-peculiar sense.

So. A few possibilities:

1) TNR is no longer needed. The aforementioned romance has been well and truly consummated by the mighty schlong of the aforementioned F's of R, and the liberals -- all six of them -- have settled more or less contentedly into the life of a cellblock byotch.

2) TNR has exhausted whatever credibility it ever had, even among the infinitely gullible punters of American liberalism, and some other means will have to be found for them to fool themselves that they're splitting the difference.

3) Liberalism has decided to turn from its wickedness and live again.

We can probably discount #3, or at least I hope we can. My own hope is that TNR, having been one of the instruments of the liberals' auto-euthanasia, is now following them into that good night.

Comments (9)

owen paine:

what makes you say its dying father ???

have you seen any end to the dracula series???

this is a very venerable type name plate
we haff here"
as my dearest Akim might say

"and besides ...
its being morphed...
its going to come out the far end of this
something new eh ? ? ....
something higher possibly
but new ...a new stage ...
errr ... new state
or something .....
so booblah what's not to like
in becoming a frickin internet bat ??

royal paine:

as usual my little brother
misses the main point...

i agree totaly
the new republic has been a key moving part
of the broad liberal front
for a century
the question now
has it any further use ???

maybe if it goes down it can take its worthy counterpart the none to solid Nation
to the bottom with it

You mean, they're still publishing the New Republic?

This is like finding out that Chicago (the band) is still together.

Wishful thinking though it may be, I too fondly hope this will also take down the equally irrelevant Nation with it. Never mind the apologia for geezing old Liberalism and the Democratic Party; I can't think of another rag with such a lavish printing budget that could still be so goddamn' boring to look at.

I can't read no fuckin' mooo-ooorrre,
The Nation's such a goddamn' booo-oo-oorre!

duh duh duh duh dumm,
duh duh duh duh dumm,
duh duh duh duh dumm,
duh duh duh duh,
duh duh duh duh...

Tim D:

MJS, being an avid reader of Monthly Review, I'm a bit offended! But I share your general sentiment, assuming that RIP means Rot in Peace. TNR certainly always represented one continuous trend bridging old and new Liberalism: unconditional support for Israel.

royal paine:

tim d

and sanctimonious conditional support
"third world interventions"
you can fuck em fellahs
but only if you restrict yourselves
to the secular missionary position

Isn't La Nation (thanks, Smithee) kept afloat by Paul Newman's fortune ? If so, I've done my part by not purchasing Newman's Own cookies anymore. At some point in '06 they took out the shortening and replaced it with plaster. Perhaps that's what happened to the mag as well, albeit much sooner...

What? Paul Newman?

Hell, I thought it was all those ads for Bose, BP, "socially responsible" mutual fund companies, every goddamn' gadget you see advertised on cable TV at 3am.

Who'd have thought that the downtrodden proletariat had such a pent-up demand for socially-responsible investments, multi-position recliners, tungsten reading lamps, and compact surround-sound digital audio systems?

royal paine:

mike f

irony aside
or tuned to an even baser metal..... lead

the benefactors of social inferiors
and other assorted fans
well wishers card dealers boosters
and mortal sin bathers and purgers
of the down trodden proles
the type of folks on the prowl for hot tips
to the latest must seek social justice
among the hand crafted alley ways
of the Nation supreme ...

and they are nothing if not comfortingly responsible non flea harming pea flicking prufrocks ....
bare naked
exploiters thru shell company proxy only

Royal, if this is your roundabout way of saying that you used to read Utne Reader in the late 1980s/early 1990s, don't be ashamed to come out. I did, too. It was a terrible, terrible time in my life but I am better now. Each day is another chapter in my recovery and I will always have the addiction lying dormant, but with the help of my supportive family and friends at Stop Me, etc etc...

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