The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, April 24, 2003  

It Just Keeps Getting Worse

I first began reading the New Republic when it was edited by the brilliant Michael Kinsley, and, for the most part I stayed with it while it entered its unceasing decline under the editorship of the likes of Andrew Sullivan (i.e., Martin Peretz), when it was hit or miss, and Michael Kelly (i.e., Martin Peretz), when it was just plain awful, and more recently, Peter Beinart (i.e., Martin Peretz). Lately, TNR again has become erratic, though I think the magazine would be much better if the reader could more clearly see Beinart's influence at work.

The latest issue, however, is absolutely despicable, and will for the foreseeable future mark the end of my subscription to the magazine. (I cannot help but wonder whether Sullivan -- still listed on the masthead as a senior editor -- waltzed into the office this week to retch a little bile.) To wit, here is TNR on David Brock's masterful Blinded by the Right:

[L]et us be clear: David Brock is, by his own admission, a liar. He lied when he was a youthful liberal, and he lied when he was a not-quite-so-youthful conservative. Whether he lied in his latest book is, in some ways, beside the point: It is a toxic smear job of nearly everyone who wandered into Brock's careerist orbit in the '90s -- sources, employers, colleagues, friends.

You have it wrong, Messrs. Peretz and Beinart: By printing this tripe, this inexplicable display of animosity toward Brock, you have joined the liars, smearers, and disreputable hacks who cannot muster the courage -- or facts -- to refute any meaningful element of Brock's book. How sad that a once great intellectual magazine has resorted not to reasoned argument and intelligent discourse, but to the name-calling, character assassination, and wholesale defamation we long have learned to accept from talk radio and right-wing camera hogs. What a shame. What a disgrace.

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