Why am I harping on the "New Republic is not liberal" theme? It's not a particularly new one
. Indeed, at least one writer calls it the "Best recycled trend".
Best recycled trend: The New Republic getting conservative--again.
"I read the magazine because it's full of trenchant critiques of the Bush domestic policy," said Hendrik Hertzberg, TNR's editor from 1981 to 1985 and 1988 to 1991. "When I see a piece saying `Nancy Pelosi is a Stalinist,' I just skip it.
"The old `Even The New Republic ... ' scam was getting a little old in the 1980's," Mr. Hertzberg continued. "Now it's a quarter of a century old."
So I'm not breaking any new ground with my criticisms.
But there's no doubt that the "New Republic is liberal" meme is solidly entrenched, to the detriment of our party and issues we care about.
Like America, the Democratic Party is once again a house divided. The resulting social and political fractures run in all directions, but the breaking point clearly is Iraq.
That fissure is particularly clear on the pages of the country's leading journals of opinion. Like the nation, they are evenly split: Two -- National Review and the Weekly Standard -- have conservative politics and generally serve Republican readers; two -- the Nation and the New Republic -- describe themselves as liberal and are generally aimed at Democratic readers. But while the conservative journals forthrightly support the war against Saddam Hussein and the subsequent occupation of Iraq, the Nation and the New Republic are divided on the question, as are the Democratic Party's presidential candidates.
The article goes on to call the New Republic a "leading Democratic journal" (despite being owned by a hard-core Republican and a Zell Miller-Democrat who donated $2,000 to the Bush campaign).
And while the "house divided" story line might've been salient for the war issue, you better believe it will be trotted out all of 2004 as TNR bashes our nominee.
That's the problem with the New Republic. It's not "liberal". It's not a "Democratic journal". It's a center-right publication, that while it has its roster of excellent writers, still has more in common with the Weekly Standard and National Review than with the Nation or American Prospect.
In any case, TNR seems to be in trouble.
The trend appears instructive: Over the past 12 months, the firmly antiwar Nation's audited circulation has climbed to 158,810, pushing it past the field's longtime leader, the National Review, which has 157,616 paid subscribers. The New Republic has made a business decision to allow its rate base -- the number of subscribers a publication promises its advertisers -- to shrink from an inflated 85,000 to a core readership of about 60,000. As a consequence and, perhaps, in some measure because of the magazine's stand on the war, audited circulation is now 61,723. The Weekly Standard has a readership of 55,000. (TAP claims
55,000 -- kos)
So who makes a "business decision" to shrink their circulation? Hopefully they'll be forced to make more business decisions along those lines.
Update: From Tapped way back in July:
Tapped's new favorite thing is the Federal Election Commission database where you can type in anyone's name and see if he or she has donated money to political candidates or parties. (Tapped's old favorite thing was The Washington Post's home buyer database, where you could learn how much your neighbors spent for their apartments.) So check out this nifty little listing (go here
and search for "Steinhardt, Michael") that we discovered while trying to see which big-shot New Democrats were supporting which Democratic presidential candidates: According to this list, Michael Steinhardt, former Democratc Leadership Council stalwart and part-owner of The New Republic, gave $2,000 to Bush-Cheney '04 Inc. on June 20, 2003.I checked it out, and yeah. In addition to a couple checks to Lieberman and a few other assorted Democrats, there's that glaring, noxious maximum donation to Bush/Cheney.