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Marrying Money Is A Full Time Job

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Marty Peretz is very, very upset that the New Republic is now owned by a non-crackpot:

Like many readers of the New Republic, I didn’t at first recognize the most recent issue of the magazine. The stark white cover was unlike anything the New Republic ran during my 35 years as the owner. Having read the cover story, I still don’t recognize the magazine that I sold in 2012 to the Facebook FB +1.94% zillionaire Chris Hughes.

[…]

We were for the Contras in Nicaragua; wary of affirmative action; for military intervention in Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur; alarmed about the decline of the family. The New Republic was also an early proponent of gay rights. We were neoliberals…

“And we were for publishing disgracefully and knowingly fraudulent attacks on Bill Clinton’s health care plan. And promoting racist junk science. And publishing other fabulists and plagiarists. And for publishing vicious attacks on liberals who were actually right about the Iraq War we endorsed so uncritically. Not to mention my own consistent bigotry.” And…why am I supposed to be upset that Peretz is no longer running the New Republic again?

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  • Linnaeus

    Not that TNR was an especially radical magazine, but wasn’t Peretz the main reason the liberal New Republic became “even the liberal New Republic“?

    • National Review once called it “one of the most interesting magazines in America.”

      Really?

    • liberal

      I believe so.

      He bought it sometime in the 1970s.

      I still get a chuckle when someone comments in on a blog about how they cancelled their sub sometime in the 90s or 00s.

      • cpinva

        in fairness, that may be when they actually finally got around to reading it.

        “I still get a chuckle when someone comments in on a blog about how they cancelled their sub sometime in the 90s or 00s.”

      • I got my subscription in 99 and dropped it in about 03.

        I clung onto that awesome piece about the Bush vs. Gore decision waaaaay too long.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Definitely the high point of Jeff Rosen’s career…

      • Warren Terra

        I got my subscription in 1997 and dropped it in 2000. It had long been neoliberal, but either it became more markedly neoconservative or I hadn’t previously noticed the rot. I was young, though.

  • the lingonberry jam

    He leads with a boast about supporting the Contras.
    Words fail.

    • scott g

      It was at precisely that point that I cancelled my subscription.

    • McKingford

      Came here to say this!

    • mkdel

      And who can forget the “idiot watch”? What an uncommonly vicious magazine it was.

    • JKTHs

      It was basically a “I am not a DFH” disclaimer

    • Pseudonym

      I thought Slate was the main repository of mindless liberal Contrarianism.

  • Bullseye. Bullseye. Bullseye.

  • Craigo

    You could have just used your “Verbatim” thing on the part where he extols his support of Latin American death squads.

  • Hogan

    The stark white cover was unlike anything the New Republic ran during my 35 years as the owner.

    What? The Beatles? Those noisy English mopheads? Whatever happened to them anyway?

    • “Nigel Tufnel: It’s like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black. “

      • Kurzleg

        Pastel black?

        • Darker.

          Think Disaster Area‘s stunt ship black.

    • david mizner

      Yeah, if I recall correctly the cover of the October, 31, 1994 issue was black — that was the one that excerpted The Bell Curve.

  • Glenn

    The amount of attention TNR draws, good and bad, has always baffled me. I’ve never understood why anyone was supposed to care about it.

    (Not necessarily referring to this post…any opportunity to dump on Marty Peretz is time well-spent, IMO.)

    • Craigo

      I suppose because the New Republic once was an excellent periodical, and, like Gallup and Ray Lewis, good reputations die hard.

    • I understand TNR was a quality magazine back in the 20s-40s.

      • Randy

        There was quality writing in the magazine even during the Peretz years. You just had to learn to avoid Marty’s pieces.

      • It was, but if you read Nancy Cohen’s Reconstruction of American Liberalism, it started in a none-too-good place either.

  • Marrying Money Is A Full Time Job

    You said it.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Awesome.

  • I’ve always enjoyed the movie Shattered Glass, not just for its deconstruction of journalistic fraud, but for the “inside baseball” aspect of Marty Peretz’ tenure at the magazine.

    After all, Peretz was siding with the American Conservative Union (even tho Michael Kelly, who was defending Stephen Glass was wrong) about a story in his magazine. That, and the fact that he fired Gil Harrison because Harrison refused to run his articles in TNR, is about all you need to know to understand that Peretz was one Arabic bombing from turning TNR into NRO

    I mean, my god! He hired (through Kinsley and Hertzberg) Krauthammer, Kondracke, Fred Barnes AND Mickey Kaus! And this was a “liberal” magazine!

  • DrDick

    I am only sad that anybody is still giving Peretz a public platform to spread his crap.

    • Vance Maverick

      Even the liberal Wall Street Journal opinion page….

      • Mrs Tilton

        Oh Vance, you’re a caution, so you are!

      • cpinva

        +1

  • TT

    Peretz and TNR are a lot like Jerry Jones and the Cowboys: they get all sorts of outsized and completely unwarranted attention from a lot people who should know better (and probably hate themselves because they do know better). The only difference is that the Cowboys actually have a following and have been really good a whole lot more recently than TNR has.

    • Joshua

      Every year, around the beginning of the playoffs, I find myself arguing with Cowboys fans over how much the team stinks. Then I say to myself, why I am still talking about this lousy team when there are good teams still left?!?

      • Green Caboose

        For how many years have we heard various paraphrases of “The Cowboys have so much talent”. I’ve heard this from people who otherwise know a lot about pro football.

        I would ask them to name “all the talent”. They say: Romo, Austin, Ware, Witten, Bryant. Then it drops off to average. Big deal – I can name that many “talents” on the 2-14 Chiefs – especially when you include average (not mediocre – but middle-of-the-pack) starters like Romo and Austin. However, being Cowboys everyone just assumed that this team must have lots of talent.

        But the media just plays into it – like with Tebow. When they had that pathetic season a couple years ago the sports programs spent an inordinant amount of air time on “what’s wrong with the Cowboys”. No other team that has won 1 wildcard playoff game in 16 years gets that kind of attention.

        • Cody

          “XXX has so much talent” is just a good way to recognize that a team isn’t at some kind of disadvantage due to location or something.

          The NFL is pretty balanced. The Cowboys have a lot of talent. Every team has a lot of talent. The difference between the Cowboys and the Patriots are how you use it and where you put it. The Patriots have a good owner, a savvy (to put it nicely) coach, and got lucky with a QB.

          The Cowboys have an awful owner, a random coach, and a talented QB. Talented being code for under achieving here…

  • John

    Given that all that stuff Peretz highlights represents a complete betrayal of the historic mission of The New Republic, a magazine with a long and honorable history at the time Peretz bought it, I’m not sure why anyone is supposed to care. Fuck you, Marty.

  • drkrick

    Peretz stating that “I still don’t recognize the magazine that I sold in 2012 …” is about the highest recommendation I can imagine for considering reading TNR again.

    • Chester Allman

      My thoughts exactly! I actually opened the site in a new tab immediately after reading that.

      • Vance Maverick

        Has any of the new stuff lived up to that reputation? The mushy presidential interview and Ezra Klein profile didn’t strike me as promising.

        • Chester Allman

          Well, I didn’t see anything hugely thrilling just now, but I figure it’s worth checking back again.

          Also, I don’t like the way the new site renders in IE, but I suppose that’s my problem for working for an organization that apprently only lets us use IE.

        • John

          I enjoyed the Ezra Klein profile.

          • Vance Maverick

            I was with DeLong on that one — it concentrated on personality, making policy-journalistic virtues look like personal faults.

    • Rick Massimo

      “How dare the guy I sold MY magazine to run it the way HE wants?! It’s almost as if I don’t own it anymore, just because he gave me this pile of money.”

      • dave

        +1

      • Warren Terra

        In fairness, the previous time he sold the magazine he managed to ensure it hewed to the line he preferred. Bad for the magazine, but good for his ego.

  • Pooh

    But where will I go to get my thinly-if-at-all veiled anti-Muslim bigotry now that we don’t have Marty to kick around any more?

    • Anna in PDX

      NRO still on line for your bigotry fix.

    • Pseudonym

      Commentary?

  • Winchester

    Re: Racist junk science

    “In response to the [racial] controversy surrounding The Bell Curve, the American Psychological Association’s Board of Scientific Affairs established a task force in 1995 to write a report on the state of intelligence research which could be used by all sides as a basis for discussion, “Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns”. The full text of the report is available through several websites”

    “The task force agreee that large differences do exist between the average IQ scores of blacks and whites, saying: “The cause of that differential is not known; it is apparently not due to any simple form of bias in the content or administration of the tests themselves.

    “The Flynn effect shows that environmental factors can produce differences of at least this magnitude, but that effect is mysterious in its own right. Several culturally based explanations of the Black/ White IQ differential have been proposed; some are plausible, but so far none has been conclusively supported. There is even less empirical support for a genetic interpretation. In short, no adequate explanation of the differential between the IQ means of Blacks and Whites is present”

    That was the finding of the biggest group of psychometric experts ever assembled to examine this subject.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence_quotient

    • rea

      There is even less empirical support for a genetic interpretation

      • NonyNony

        You are expecting him to read what he cuts and pastes (nevermind comprehend it)? That would cut into his pancake time!

      • DrDick

        It also ignores the fact that the American Anthropological Association and the major genetics organizations have all come out with statements that biological races do not exist in modern humans. We are, overall, one of the least genetically variable species on earth and about 98% of the observed variation is between any two members of the same population (Japanese, San, Navajo, etc.). Further, most of the variability in human populations is found in Sub-Saharan Africa.

      • Winchester

        Indeed, it does not look like the IQ is solely affected by biogenetics flux.

        • sparks

          Backpedaling, moving goalposts, all with pancakes with strawberry syrup at the same time!

          • Dagchester

            What are you talking about?

            The predicate of individual sovereignty directly contradicts ay racism, any assumption that biogenetics determine one’s level of intelligence or one’s sexual orientations, etc.

            The cultural flux is crucial, as much as the biogenetical’s.

            If folks were born homosexual sodomite or if there were such thing as an inferior race, then there would not be any FREE INDIVIDUAL DECISION.

            • Turn up the syllable generator three more steps!

            • DrDick

              That is more genuine pseudo-intelectual gibberish there, that is.

              • Gabby Johnson

                Rarhritt!

            • What are you talking about?

              I’m sorry, sparks, the fellow who brought up “biogenetics flux” isn’t quite sure what you mean.

        • Oh Winnie the Pooh, you rascally bear

        • Indeed, it does not look like the IQ is solely affected by biogenetics flux.

          …which is a bit of a problem for the book that drew the conclusion that efforts to promote racial equality were doomed to failure because of the innate intellectual inferiority of black people.

          • Dagchester

            Which book? The Democratic Party Manifesto?

            Democrats seem indeed to believe in some inherent inferiority of black people — hence the affirmative action socialism they are promoting.

            • Your flop sweat is showing.

              • Jordan

                I think this is trolling squared

            • spencer

              Democrats seem indeed to believe in some inherent inferiority racism of black people the enduring white power structure — hence the affirmative action socialism admittedly imperfect remedy they are promoting.

              Or something closer to this, perhaps.

        • herr doktor bimler

          biogenetics flux
          Turn up the biogenetics flux generator three more steps!

          • DrDick

            He really does like making words up, doesn’t he?

            • commie atheist

              Yes, but the Nobel Peace Prize for Physics in Making Words Up has to go to these guys. That’s some world-class gibberish there.

            • It embiggens him

              • expatchad

                That’s just biGgerish.

            • Dagchester

              How do you adequately refer to the flux of biological information that passes through and between generations?

              • DrDick

                Genetics is the term used by actual scientists. If you were not a delusional Christofascist moron, you would know that.

                • Winchester

                  Genetics is the term used

                  Err, that’s what I wrote: biogenetics: since there are genetical flux that are not biological, but cultural, I did add the prefix bio to genetics.

                  So I did not wrote ‘gibberish’; in fact, I used the adequate terminology.

                • Uncle Kvetch

                  “Cultural genetical flux.”

                  Nope, not even a decent band name.

                • Hogan

                  You want to be careful how you throw around registered trademarks. Also, “flux” is singular, not plural, unless you’re just misspelling “flucks,” which wouldn’t surprise me one little bit. Also, cultural genetics? Whiskey tango foxtrot?

                • Malaclypse

                  since there are (sic) genetical flux that are (sic) not biological, but cultural,

                  Yea, arguing that genes are cultural is not gibberish at all. Lamarskism today, Lamarskism tomorrow, Lamarskism forever!

                • Malaclypse

                  Lamarckism, that is. Spelling poorly was central to my point.

                • Uncle Kvetch

                  there are (sic) genetical flux that are (sic)

                  What’s with the (sic)’s, Mal? One fluck, two flux. Don’t you know English?

                • Winchester

                  Yea, arguing that genes are cultural is not gibberish at all. Lamarskism today, Lamarskism tomorrow, Lamarskism forever!

                  Nobody is arguing that biological genes are cultural, obviously. But there are important genealogical forces that are not biological. Technology for instance; or episteme.

                • Winchester

                  In some languages (such as Deutsch and French), the word ‘flux’ is the same in the singular and the plural. My bad.

                • sharculese

                  But there are important genealogical forces that are not biological. Technology for instance; or episteme.

                  What is this dogshit nonsense? Your grasp of science makes naturopaths looks like Richard Feynman.

                • Malaclypse

                  But there are important genealogical forces that are not biological. Technology for instance; or episteme.

                  Too stupid to even be wrong is no way to go through life, Dag.

                • Uncle Kvetch

                  What is this dogshit nonsense?

                  Yeah, he’s just fucking with us at this point. Don’t worry, thought…another couple go-rounds and he’ll find a way to tie it all back to teh buttsex.

                • sharculese

                  It is always about teh buttsex.

                • Winchester

                  It is very possible to do a geneaology of technology, or of knowledge.

                  One can not reduce genetics and genealogy to biological forces. Hence the addition of the prefix “bio”.

                • herr doktor bimler

                  I’m pretty sure that the plural of ‘flux’ is ‘fluces’.

                • herr doktor bimler

                  One can not reduce genetics and genealogy to biological forces.

                  It would certainly be a mistake to leave out the contributions of metallurgy, politics and interpretative dance.

              • In your case, menses.

              • Pseudonym

                You mean semen?

    • Dr. Waffle

      We get it, Winch. You hate the blahs. And while I can’t say there’s no shame in that, you don’t have to feel alone. There are plenty of mouth-breathing creeps out there who feel the same way.

      • Dagchester

        I don’t hate ’em black people. There are a tons of them black people at my parish; I worship among ’em; and they are very fine people.

        • DrDick

          they are very fine people.

          Unlike you.

        • Mister Harvest

          Some of your best friends, you say?

        • spencer

          Because they know their place, is that it?

        • Malaclypse

          Between “a tons (sic) of black people” and “binders full or women,” I will never understand why non-white-males fail to flock to the conservative cause in droves.

  • Aaron Baker

    Philosopher Robert Paul Wolff is always very good, and very devastating, about Peretz; see, e.g., http://robertpaulwolff.blogspot.com/2010/09/harvard-and-peretz.html

    • Scott Lemieux

      Walzer supported Nixon during the impeachment? Not that I had a high opinion of him before this, but wow.

      • gmack

        No doubt.

  • Craigo

    OT, but no one could have guessed when a handful of Senate Democrats kneecapped filibuster reform that the Republicans would actually turn around and use the filibuster against high-level nominees.

    Once more, for the record: The GOP will filibuster Obama’s next Supreme Court nominee.

    • BigHank53

      Ted Cruz will probably start filibustering clocks if he finds out that Obama looked at one.

      • Bill Murray

        Cruz will filibuster clocks because a stopped one is correct twice a day and that’s just too much scientific accuracy for him

    • Cody

      What is the proper format for me to write angry letters at Harry Reid about filibuster reform?

      Twitter? Facebook? Trolling? Actual Letters?

  • Bitter Scribe

    Oh noes! Perez’ complaint is behind the WSJ paywall. Whatever will I do?

    • Colin Day

      Ignore it?

  • Hearing that Marty Peretz is sad is a good way to make me much happier…

  • snarkout

    Ignoring Peretz’s 30-year effort to drive The New Republic into the ground, I like that his complaint is that the new ownership is demonstrating how mean and partisan they are by publishing a piece on the current state of conservatism by William F. Buckley and Whitaker Chambers biographer Sam Tanenhaus, an “old-fashioned Jewish anti-communist”.

    • John

      Yeah, that’s pretty remarkable. Sam Tanenhaus is exactly the sort of person one would imagine writing for the New Republic.

    • So telling the truth about how conservatism has been taken over by Bircher’s, The Klan and Rich People who Want Poor People to suffer so they can have another Ivory Backscratcher?

  • We were for the Contras in Nicaragua

    Get your ass back into that dustbin.

  • RhZ

    This reminds me of Lee Siegal.

    • Sprezzatura

      While Peretz was certainly adept at identifying skilled and thoughtful writers, he could never quite match the daring boldness or panache of an incomparable talent like Siegel.

      • vanderleun

        I am aware of all Internet traditions.

  • Breadbaker

    “Sorry, Marty, but the buyers refuse to give you veto power over either design or content after the sale.”

    “Oh, screw it, it was a reasonable request, but tell them I’ll just take it up with the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. That’ll show them.”

  • Does anyone else remember when TNR’s book review section devoted something like ten pages to a takedown of Angela’s Ashes?

    As it turns out, the Irish storyteller dude probably took some liberties with the facts in parts of the story, such as the events that took place before his father was born.

    TNR really blew the lid off that one.

  • Lee Hartmann

    I’m old enough to remember The New Republican when it wasn’t that bad (70s) with whoever was “TRB” dealing with Nixon’s impeachment. I gave up in the 80s.

    Trying to explain to one of my “reasonable” colleagues that TNR was not worth reading was hard, until recently. I think he never read Marty’s screeds. For that matter, neither did I.

  • Dagchester

    Nate Cohn of The New Republic was easily the best analyst of the last presidential election however.

  • Jordan

    The New Republic article Peretz was referring to is actually pretty good.

  • I know I’m late here, but I have to ask, is there a way to be a worse advocate for liberal causes than Marty Peretz? OK, so I gather that he’s complaining that TNR is publishing an article that accurately points out the racism of the Republican Party. That’s too partisan for him or some such. But when he was owner and editor-in-chief, he (to use one example) published an article full of vicious lies about Clinton’s proposed health care plan, and thereby took a leading role in derailing the biggest goal of the Democratic Party in the post-WWII era.

    Seriously, no single National Review contributor can claim to have done more damage to liberal causes than Marty Peretz. Maybe their magazine as a whole can claim to have hindered progress more over that span of time than TNR, but who knows. To the extent that he cares about liberalism, he cares about policing liberal discourse. Don’t utter uncomfortable truths about the right, reserve that vitriol for leftist who fail to live up to whatever standards you feel like applying today.

  • herr doktor bimler

    Having read the cover story, I still don’t recognize the magazine

    If he wanted to go on recognising the magazine perhaps he shouldn’t have sold it.
    It is impressive that the WSJ gave this guy a pulpit to complain that a magazine he doesn’t own is not following the editorial direction it would if he owned it.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Especially when said direction turned said magazine into a laughing stock with half the circulation.

      • herr doktor bimler

        One is tempted to ask, if the guy knows so much about publishing a profitable magazine, why isn’t he publishing one instead of kvetching in the WSJ?

  • S_noe

    Aww, man – Leon Wieseltier is still there.

  • Epicurus

    I have a short piece of advice for Mr. Peretz: Go fuck yourself, you miserable, bigoted piece of shit.

  • Not only is TNR something I’m reading again in small doses since 1992 or so, I have this strange feeling it might even turn a profit for once.

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