This Space for Rent

Why I don’t subscribe to The New Republic (executive summary)

A long time ago, before the United States was taken over by the Keystone Fascists, I subscribed to a fairly large range of political magazines, from The Nation on the left to the Economist on the right. One of these magazines was The New Republic, which had lost its liberal luster quite a few years ago and was flirting with, but never quite knowing, the right wing. The New Republic was never one of my favorite magazines, but it was an acceptable window into the twisted minds of the self-proclaimed "centrists" of the political world, plus it had Michael Lewis's brilliant political commentary.

Of course, all good things come to an end. The New Republic weathered the overthrow of the United States without embarrassing itself too much (The Nation did a better job, because they published None Dare Call it Treason while the rest of the liberal press was still tiptoeing around the horsehead, but TNR wasn't an abject embarrassment.) But when Osama bin Laden (remember him? He's the fellow who masterminded the destruction of WTC 1,2,and 7) said "hello" to the United States on 11-Sep-2001, it ripped the remaining sense of decency out of The New Republic, which (unlike The Nation, which shed much of its petty leftist squabbling and lifted itself to new heights) lunged towards neoconservatism like a kitten charging after a ball of yarn. My reaction towards getting TNR in the mailbox every week changed from reading it the day it arrived, to reading it sometime during the next week, to just letting the issues pile up, to hurling them, with great force, into the recycling bin, and when the "time to renew notices" started arriving, they were sent on to be pulped without further notice.

Fast forward 2 and a half years.

Last week, I got a chirpy little form letter from Peter Beinart, which was a long plea for me to resubscribe to TNR, and arguing that "okay, so we're conservative, but if you're a liberal you should read us because you're open-minded and we'll challenge your moth-eaten liberal positions with the fierce light of Neoconservative™ Truth!" This letter sat around the house for several days, waiting for me to compose a reply telling them exactly why I didn't wish to resubscribe.

And then Newsweek got trolled by the White House, and the wingnut brigade got busy building little straw men and knocking them down. And then, what do I see? Why, The New Republic (via the increasingly disgusting pen of Martin Peretz) joining in with the wingnut brigade to just make shit up about both Newsweek (who's only sin appears to be that they believed General K. ArlRove when he said, why, yes, he personally saw that document A contained commentary about the US military flushing copies of the Koran down toilets when it was actually documents B, C, D, and down to document ZZZZ) and the US deathcamps (37 prisoners tortured to death that we know about -- that would be 17 prisoners and another 20 added on. Andrew Sullivan, who is a barking-mad conservative, has been pointing this detail out far more eloquently than I ever could.) So, no, I don't think I even need to tell TNR why I won't subscribe to their nasty little magazine; they're already damned and I'm not in the mood to help them redeem themselves.