Ann Leckie on David Graeber's "Debt: The First 5000 Mistakes": Handling the Sumerian Evidence Smackdown
Afternoon Must-Read: Matthew Yglesias: Lyndon Johnson’s Aides Mad MLK Is Hero of Selma

David Bell Praises "The Old New Republic" as "Not Predictably Reaganite": Live from La Farine


I gotta say, I really do not think David Bell has a clue how badly he looks to every liberal under 40--and even to some of us who are 54--when he feels he has to:

  • cut all ties with The New New Republic upon the firing of Franklin Foer and Leon Wieseltier and their replacement by Gabriel Snyder;

and yet:

  • proudly and blithely and without protest continued his association with The Old New Republic when its editor-and-chief Martin Peretz writes: "Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse."

To be the kind of person who doesn't quit in protest but stays to influence is one thing. But if one is the kind of person who quits in protest, when one does not do so ones silence speaks loudly indeed.

David Bell: On “The Old New Republic”: "For me, the debates over TNR’s legacy...

...are personal. I sold my first article to the magazine in the spring of 1984, and spent a year there soon after as a ‘reporter-researcher’ (translation: underpaid intern). When the year was up, I headed off to graduate school, ignoring warnings from the editors that journalism would prove a safer career choice. (In 1985, no one had heard of the internet.) From my perch in academia I continued to contribute several articles and book reviews each year, mostly on European history and politics. And I read almost every word in each issue. Like nearly every other Contributing Editor, I resigned after the December blow-up, in my case above all out of loyalty to the legendary departing literary editor, Leon Wieseltier...


In foreign policy, a subject in which [Michael] Kinsley took relatively little interest, the magazine adopted a more recognizably ideological line, driven by long-standing liberal anti-communism and Peretz’s strong pro-Israel stance (which indeed sometimes degenerated, in his last years owning the magazine, into anti-Muslim and anti-Arab tirades). But here, too, TNR was anything but predictably Reaganite...

"Old TNR: Not Predictably Reaganite"--I am going to treasure that for quite a while, I think...