December 5, 2014

"Leon said he’s never seen any editor be so disrespected and dicked around — I’m paraphrasing — as Frank has been treated for the last couple of months."

From "Facebook Prince Purges The New Republic: Inside the Destruction of a 100-Year-Old Magazine."

64 comments:

Skeptical Voter said...

So an editor helms a magazine full of lefty tosh; a Facebook prince comes in as the new owner and isn't impressed by lefty tosh--heck may as well turn the enterprise into a chain of coffee shops--equally irrelevant.

Them as has the gold makes the rules--and who needs an editor when you plan to branch out into coffee shops?

YoungHegelian said...

So Hughes & Vidra managed to make Marty Peretz look kind & humane by comparison. Man, those guys must be grade AAA, USDA certified pricks!

I'm in IT myself, but let me tell you, technology people have no place at the helm of a magazine like TNR. If they want to be the hands-off money bags, that's fine. But to start messing with staffing & content, that's instant death.

Lem said...

Rh recommends more cats.

Anonymous said...

Downward spiral for decades.

The thoughtful and principled left a long time ago.

The tipping point for yours truly was the Scott Beauchamp stuff that a few of the old-timers on this blog will remember.

Sam L. said...

My schadenfreude knows no bounds.

madAsHell said...

I'm thinking this Hughes guy has more money than sense, and I'm pretty sure this situation will resolve itself.

Clyde said...

Their first clue should have been when Wynton Marsalis began playing "The Rains of Castamere". That never ends well.

Paco Wové said...

"The tipping point for yours truly was the Scott Beauchamp stuff"

TNR went from being one of my favorite magazines – subscription and everything – to not-worth-reading in a few short years, approximately the late nineties to 2003. I blame a terminal case of BDS.

Drago said...

""Leon said he’s never seen any editor be so disrespected and dicked around — I’m paraphrasing — as Frank has been treated for the last couple of months.""

Hmmmm, owner of enterprise pops in to speak to management of enterprise regarding the horrific financial/marketplace performance of enterprise and management clearly has no idea how to make it better.

Management decides it wants to "buy in" on the "future" as demonstrated by a couple of competitors and is more in keeping with the business model that the owners are more familiar with.

In lefty literary land, this is termed "disrespected and dicked around".

What were the owners supposed to do? Stay the course?

lemondog said...

Other than becoming digital media and profitable, what is Hughes' V.I.S.I.O.N.

Mary Beth said...

A new guy comes in and dares to threaten the status quo and snowflakes start to melt.

They want to make the magazine a "profit-making media center". They want it to earn money? Those bastards!

Drago said...

lemondog: "Other than becoming digital media and profitable, what is Hughes' V.I.S.I.O.N.?"

Whatever it is I'll bet if fits neatly on a 5-slide powerpoint presentation.

richard mcenroe said...

Front Page Frankie Foer, the man who gave us the Scotty Beauchamp fairtyale and so much more, can NEVER be dicked around —or any other related verb— enough...

richard mcenroe said...

Mary Beth —

"You guys don't know how good you have it! I've worked in the private sector! They demand results!" — Bill Murray, "Ghostbusters"

Anonymous said...

Is the suggestion that Hughes was "dicking around" Foer a slur against the new gay boss, Hughes.

MadisonMan said...

So the Facebook boss is the Ray Kelley of TNR.

New Management will always ruffle feathers. If you don't want your feathers ruffled, be your own boss.

garage mahal said...

The faster this publication dies the better.

Big Mike said...

Progs don't mind turning everyone else's life upside down, from half-starving working people's kids at school (Michelle Obama's lunch program), further impoverishing Appalachia (Obama's "war on coal"), expelling men from the university on the say-so of a girl who was dumped, forcing sick people to change doctors in mid-treatment (Obamacare), closing rural hospitals (Obamacare), and forcing people to replace health insurance that they liked with expensive, high deductible insurance (Obamacare).

But let there be a change of management -- something that happens to those of us living in the real world all the time -- and they break down in tears.

21st century liberals dish out the pain, but can't take a little owwie.

TosaGuy said...

Hughes' BF tried to parachute into NY State and buy what should be a Dem congressional seat - failed.

Popping popcorn and watching the moneyed new left and the entrenched old left fight.

Anonymous said...

It was a magazine founded by fascists, later turned to supporting Stalin, and ended back in hero-cult worship fascist camp again at the end. Good riddance.

Nonapod said...

From the front page of TNRs website:

"It's Time the U.S. Paid Reparations to the Prisoners It Tortured"

The clowns at the New Republic have never seemed much like journalists to me.

mccullough said...

Hughes should have bought a sports team instead. There's no money in media.

Anonymous said...

When can this happen at The Nation or Dissent?

Would anyone notice?

Rick Turley said...

Who wants butter on their popcorn? Between this and all the NYT buyouts recently, it's been a good fall...but faster, please.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Has Leon Wieseltier met Jill Abramson?

William said...

I just hope when the Cartoon Network takes over MSNBC, they are more respectful to the talent there. It looks on paper like a seamless fit, but respect is what makes relationships survive.

Tank said...

In other magazine news, Rolling Stone apologizes. Here.

traditionalguy said...

Speaking of Media profit centers, CNN has terminated Candy Crowley. I bet her replcement will the darling little pixie who started out in TV at CNN in Atlanta, Katie The Couric.

JSD said...

I never associated the “I wuz disrespected” vernacular to situations where a white Ivy League guy (Hughes - Phillips Andover & Harvard) dismisses another bunch of white Ivy League people. Where’s the white privilege police when you need them.
Foer – Columbia; Judis – Amherst; Ioffe – Princeton; Rosen – Harvard; Zengerle – Swarthmore; Shulevitz – Yale. I think they’ll find new jobs.

damikesc said...

In other magazine news, Rolling Stone apologizes. Here.

Doubt that'll protect them from lawsuits.

MadisonMan said...

From the RS:

We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.

Not a real apology. Lawyer-driven We apologize if you were offended type of apology.

SteveR said...

This sounds like a fight in the glee club.

Wally Kalbacken said...

Maybe I'm missing it, but other than references to Hughes being a billionaire via Facebook, I have not see anywhere a dollar figure on what he paid to acquire TNR. Which may be due to the fact that it was a money losing/barely break-even proposition which had no positive market value. The deal was probably just like Sydney Harman buying Newsweek for $1, and assuming $47M in liabilities from the Washington Post. Rich guy takes on a loser because he can, expecting to make a point. Cigar explodes in face.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

richard mcenroe said...
Mary Beth —

"You guys don't know how good you have it! I've worked in the private sector! They demand results!" — Bill Murray, "Ghostbusters"


This was actually Dan Akroyd's character, Ray Stantz.

tim in vermont said...

Remember when they told us we should believe Jackies truth even in light of the "problems" with the Rolling Stone story?

Well Rolling Stone just retractedi it.

Maybe we can start talking about real rape issues now.

YoungHegelian said...

@JSD,

Foer – Columbia; Judis – Amherst; Ioffe – Princeton; Rosen – Harvard; Zengerle – Swarthmore; Shulevitz – Yale.

You have, in a sentence, enumerated one of the on-going issues with TNR over the years. It was white, East Coast, Jewish, & Ivy League. It often had no clue as to how much of the country lived or thought. It was strange when a gay, Catholic, Englishman (Andrew Sullivan) took over & actually could get them to get outside of that bubble every now & then.

alan markus said...

Well Rolling Stone just retractedi it.

Maybe we can start talking about real rape issues now.


Not until Lena Dunham owns up to this:

In her just-released memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham describes her alma mater, Oberlin College, as "a liberal arts haven in the cornfields of Ohio." After a month-long investigation that included more than a dozen interviews, a trip to the Oberlin campus, and hours spent poring through the Oberlin College archives, her description of the campus remains the only detail Breitbart News was able to verify in Dunham's story of being raped by a campus Republican named Barry.

richard mcenroe said...

Traditionalguy -- Crowley's been around a long time and was probably getting expensive. They'll probably replace her with an H1B visa hire:

"Hello! I am Fakir, a progressive American journalist! Here now is for you the news!"

Michael K said...

" the Scott Beauchamp stuff that a few of the old-timers on this blog will remember."

I remember it well. These guys are kids like Obama's staff is made up of kids. Adolescence was recently said to last until 26. In the political left it extends at least to 40. Longer if you are gay.

tim in vermont said...

Well, lots of women have claimed to have been raped by a certain powerful Democrat. But we know they were all lying.

Fred Drinkwater said...

re: RS and "Jackie"
They remain worried about "Jackie" and female assault complainants / victims in general, but they express no concern at all that they might have seriously libeled identifiable men.
Sure, it's natural battlespace prep for the upcoming lawsuits, but still...lame.

tim in vermont said...

Well, the WaPo has identified the guy. He belonged to a different frat, and was a lifeguard. If crap even similar to that went on, it needs to be fixed. "Jackie" is supposedly going to talk tomorrow, through her lawyer.

She said some of the stuff was "not accurate" but that it was still "true."

Big Mike said...

@tim, so she mis-identified the frat? Or the number of guys in on the gang rape? Or that it was non-consensual in the first place?

Marty Keller said...

As LarsPosena, Paco Wové, and others have noted, NR used to be provocative and engaging, but not since the days of Michael Kelly and, before him, Andrew Sullivan (although that Andrew Sullivan hasn't been heard from in years).

That said, if Hughes and Vidra were willing to revive the hard-line Stalinist days, then the mag might actually become interesting again.

Jupiter said...

Helen Dragas, a member of the university’s governing Board of Visitors, said Friday that U-Va. needs to continue its focus on preventing sexual assault.

“Despite doubts that have been cast on the Rolling Stone story, we need to keep our eyes on the prize, which is nothing less than zero tolerance for rape,” Dragas said. “There will be time enough to look back and ask hard questions of our administrators about how rapes have gone unreported and unanswered, and I have no doubt our Board of Visitors will do just that. But for now our primary concern must be for the well-being of our students. We need to get this right for them, and do so with no hesitation or concern for image.”

Michael K said...

"we need to keep our eyes on the prize, which is nothing less than zero tolerance for rape,"

Fascist code words. It gets boys suspended or expelled for looking at a cloud shape that looks like a gun.

War on boys proceeding as planned.

tim in vermont said...

No, she says the boy never said what frat he belonged to, but that it definitely happened at the frat she mentioned, of which he was not a member.

And the number of guys started out at five and went to seven in re-telling.

I don't doubt that guys roofie girls and rape them at colleges. I warn my daughters never to let their drinks out of their control.

Fen said...

My understanding is that guy "identlified" by WaPo was by first name only. In the sense that "we only have one guy named Barry on campus and he was with the soccer team in Boston during the alleged crime"

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

He had a "similar sounding name" and when they contacted him, he said he knew her, worked as a lifeguard, but denied all of it. So they have him on record denying that he orchestrated a gang rape. I guess that is a start at destroying his life.

Who knows anymore if she made it up or not? Even if her next story is perfectly credible, she has blown her credibility.

Darrell said...

There was a guy that went by "Barry" sitting in the White House right now. Cookie tells us he is a Republican. 2+2, folks.

phantommut said...

For the life of me I can't figure out what Hughes thought he was getting when he bought the magazine.Had he ever actually read a copy cover to cover? Vidra can't handle a piece longer than 500 words? Whatever value the New Republic brand had was in serving people who didn't want the Cliff Notes version of current events.

It's like buying a Ruth's Cris and deciding to remake it to compete with McDonalds.

An earlier commenter had it right; the dude should just have bought a sports team and screwed that up. For good or ill, The New Republic had a singular place in the market of ideas. (On the plus side, there's now a significant market opportunity for someone with a brain and the sense to hire someone with some business sense. Yo, Mickey Kaus, time for a Kickstarter!)

ddh said...

This story reminds me of the final episode of the Mary Tyler Moore show. "Ted, you're staying, but the rest of you guys, you're going to have to go." The scene starts at 3:50.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwNtHJebpzQ

Danno said...

The upside I see here is that there may be a more than a few former TNR execs and Candy Crowley that will likely be buying Obamacare-compliant health plans in 2015, either on the exchanges or direct from the health insurers, but none-the-less with high premiums and high deductibles.

Sebastian said...

How long before TNR gets sold for $1?

RecChief said...

they obviously don't see that they are the eggs needed to make a worker's utopian publication.

Will Chris Hughes' spouse be able to win an election when this rag is used as a propaganda organ to help in his election. After they buy another mansion in another district I mean.

jr565 said...

Sounds like things are tough over there. Maybe a few of them will need to sell individual cigarettes for cash. Try not to get detained.

Smilin' Jack said...

From "Facebook Prince Purges The New Republic: Inside the Destruction of a 100-Year-Old Magazine."

This is long overdue. If TNR wants to survive, they need to drop all that elitist news/journalism shit and give today's Americans what they really want: cute pictures of other peoples' cats.

cubanbob said...

It's a funny thing. With such a list of characters in this little drama it ought to be possible to find the good guy yet there isn't one.

Unknown said...

Jr,

But if they are - resist!

jeyi said...

Here's a blurb that I wrote just after the 2008 presidential election, intended as an op-ed, but none of the Soviet Media would run it (occupied as they were fending off entry into their consciousness of exactly what "the fundamental transformation of the USA" might be all about). I've flogged it in blog threads ever since...
_____

Chris Hughes, who now owns the venerable New Republic outright, was one of the original FaceBook developers which led in due course to him becoming a wealthy fellow indeed.

He was also in charge, during the run-up to the 2008 elections, of all the Social Media projects at the Obama for President campaign's national HQ in Chicago.

A few weeks before the November ballot date, Mr. Hughes either was or was not personally behind Obama HQ's organized denial-of-service (DOS) attack on the call-in phone lines for old-line liberal prof. Milt Rosenberg's radio talk show, when Rosenberg was interviewing nasty wingnut polemicist Stanley Kurtz, Ph. D., who had just finished researching the archives of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) held in the library at the University of Illinois, Chicago: a public institution assuredly not to be confused with the very private University of Chicago.

The CAC board was headed by the egregious silver-spoon revolutionary Wm. Ayers; allegedly, "just some guy from the neighborhood", who had handpicked Barack Obama to be its Director throughout the three-year (?) project period. Indeed, that was Obama's sole executive position ever, prior to his entering electoral politics.

Ayers was then still on the UIC faculty, and likely may have instigated the abortive attempt by the UIC Library to withdraw its earlier permission to Kurtz to access the stacks, which collapsed when the center-right blogosphere got wind of that ploy... Although never a word on it appeared in the mainstream media (not least, in the Chicago Tribune, which was and is the owner of WGN).

The terms of the CAC's fund-raising required an uncharacteristically robust post-facto evaluation of the project, which concluded that essentially the $120 million (!) of public and private money raised and spent by the CAC went nearly entirely down the toilet.

Almost nothing could be more toxic just then to the upcoming election than a close identification in the public's eye between Obama and Ayers and his politics.

The DOS was a dirty trick on the Nixonian slime scale, and the host of DOS clone calls that did get through parroted the same three lines: "Kurtz is an evil man; WGN is abetting evil by having him on Rosenberg's show; and that therefore WGN's broadcast license must now be revoked by the FCC."

Rosenberg, for his part was just flabbergasted: in three or four decades of broadcasting, he had never been subject to a DOS attack on his call-in lines, and he was rendered almost speechless. Possibly the program can still be accessed online (it was up for at least the following six month) from the WGN website.

It should also be mentioned that the Obama campaign was invited, yea strongly encouraged, by Rosenberg to send a spokesperson to join the program with Kurtz. The campaign not-so-politely declined, claiming they had "insufficient time to prepare" a proper riposte to Kurtz's likely points.

Again, total sound of crickets on that episode from the mainstream media. Including, not least, the Chicago Tribune, nor —to my knowledge— from any other WGN commentators.

This was really an indicator of what the Obamazoids had in store for us and why at all costs, in their current “gun control” initiatives, they need to be utterly disassociated from anything that smacks of their considerable affections for demonization as a tactic, and "progressive" de-facto tyranny as an ideological objective.

Great work there, TNR! May you soon go the way of Newsweek. Sorry 'bout that to the handful of self-respecting writers/editors still on the masthead. (That's you I'm talking about, Leon Wieselthier.)

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Anonymous said...

Puts me in mind of the line in Annie Hall where the Woody Allen character Alvy Singer says he "heard that Commentary and Dissent had merged and formed Dysentery.”

Anonymous said...

He had a "similar sounding name"...but denied all of it. So they have him on record denying that he orchestrated a gang rape. I guess that is a start at destroying his life.

I expect this person at risk of having his life ruined will turn out to be a boy named sue.