…just like I was promised when I converted to Judaism. It does not have to be a magazine, it could be a vertically integrated digital-media company. What’s important is that I get what’s coming to me as a Jew.
Chaim Amalek: “IF this stands, what next – Indians running Goldman Sachs? Big beefy gentiles making goy-friendly movies in Hollywood? Hashem send us Moshiach already so that we can regain control over the New Republic!”
Brian Doherty: “Well, Luke, I hope you get it, but be warned that apparently if upon getting this publication you dare fire an editor (after having fired ANOTHER editor to hire that editor, but apparently the first firing was OK) you will be vilified as a force of cultural destruction and one of the worst (somethings) in America by an echo chamber of privileged professionals living in the past.”
This story is about Jews not wanting a goy to own their shop and hire some Guy Vidra over them but it is presented as the death of journalism, like anybody cared about TNR anymore anyway (maybe five times a year I’d hear somebody talk about something in there, about as often as I heard someone remark on a new essay in Hustler).
BRIAN DOHERTY: Luke—I suggested that before posting about this controversy, you should have to answer 5 multiple choice Qs first about articles the Hughes TNR ran, then about 5 articles run in the decade before Hughes took over. You note that NO ONE asserts that anything about the Hughes TNR has been disgraceful or destroyed TNR’s vaunted traditions—-basically, this is all about firing ONE editor (who edited it before, then didn’t, then did again–the mag survived) then everyone else allegedly dedicated to its traditions quitting. If anyone “killed TNR” it is all of them. (Oh, wait, he hired someone who talked tech jargon and acted like something more than trad print journalism was necc. in the 21st century.)
And everyone writes about it as if Hughes is to blame, as if HE purged the mag. They purged themselves.
LUKE: I think Leon Wieseltier is referring to his cocaine and threesome habit here: “We are not only disruptors and incubators and accelerators,” he said, seemingly mocking the language that Hughes and Vidra often used. “We are also stewards and guardians and trustees.” He went on,“The questions that we must ask ourselves, and that our historians and our children will ask of us, are these: How will what we create compare with what we inherited? Will we add to our tradition or will we subtract from it? Will we enrich it or will we deplete it?”
The loss of Wieseltier was easily the biggest component of the shift — he’d been in his position for 30-plus years, is steeped in every classic and embodies the high-minded way in which the New Republic has always looked at the world, not to mention itself. Here, for instance, is the opening line of his Nov. 19 piece about the New Republic: “The idea that the journey is more significant than the destination, out of which Cavafy made something imperishable, is one of the controlling platitudes of American popular culture, and accounts for some of the consolation that Americans find amid confusion and also some of the forgiveness that they practice toward themselves.”