Ph.D. Octopus

Politics, media, music, capitalism, scholarship, and ephemera since 2010

The Sad Decline of The New Republic

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Weiner has a great post on Leon Wieseltier’s latest accusation of anti-Semitism in The New Republic, this time against Andrew Sullivan. I’d add that Wieseltier’s piece also neatly, if inadvertently, illustrates the sad decline of a paper which at one time published W.H. Auden, and today publishes largely unmemorable political hack work. I shudder to think what Randolph Bourne, John Dewey, or W.E.B Dubois would make of Marty Peretz.

To this goy, at least, the rabid “pro-Israel” (I hate that term…) bent of The New Republic is disturbing not for its moral or political aspects; I’ll leave that to others to discuss. But the strange intensity, the vicious attacks on those who zig when they’re supposed to zag, the blinkered devotion to a party-line on everything related to Israel… it all is deeply alienating to someone who comes from the outside without particularly strong beliefs. It’s like stumbling upon a newsletter by the Sparticists. Whatever you might think of the argument, the dogmatism and fanaticism is guaranteed to turn you off. And it can’t help but make you suspicious of everything else in the paper.

(Oh, and if you are going to accuse Andrew Sullivan of racism, how about basing it on the fact that when he was editor of The New Republic he used John Dewey’s magazine to host the authors of the Bell Curve, saying “The notion that there might be resilient ethnic differences in intelligence is not, we believe, an inherently racist belief.” Yes. Yes it is.)


Written by Peter Wirzbicki

February 9, 2010 at 14:24

Posted in Uncategorized

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