Will emancipated Sullivan take on Zionism hammer and tongs?

on 17 Comments

I just subscribed to Andrew Sullivan’s great site, the Daily Dish, for a year for $20. Actually, 19.99. Here’s the link. Sullivan’s announcement yesterday that he’s going independent of Daily Beast in February and will raise money from his readers stunned the media world and I believe/pray will help to revolutionize the model of the journalist’s relationship to his or her readers.

In the time I’ve followed Sullivan, he’s worked for The New Republic, The Atlantic, the New York Times, Time Magazine, and The Daily Beast. His blog was independent once before for a while, as I recall, but generally it’s been hosted at a big media shop. Several of those shops are noted for their support for Israel. Which raises the question. In the last year or so Sullivan has gotten more and more out in his criticism of Israel. And I wonder whether support from readers — independence of media barons — will allow Sullivan even greater freedom on this question. Will he oppose Zionism hammer and tongs? Will he call for a democratic state in Israel and Palestine? Will he try and destroy the idol of the two-state solution in the US discourse? Time will tell, of course, but I bet that Sullivan will become even more vociferous and eloquent when he is freed of dependence on the media lords. And if you think I am accusing Sullivan of self-censorship, I am. All writers self-censor. Sullivan certainly must have self-censored when he was at the Zionist New Republic under Marty Peretz, and I imagine he felt pressure at the Atlantic and the Daily Beast as well on the Viva Israel front. Melville said it best, of Shakespeare: All writers wear muzzles on their souls. So I can’t wait for Sullivan’s next act on the Middle East…

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17 Responses

  1. MRW
    January 3, 2013, 11:42 am

    I signed up yesterday. I hope he wasn’t ditched because of his pointed anti-Kristol remarks in his smear-Hagel articles. Or. Maybe because he knew he was leaving, he let loose.

  2. Krauss
    January 3, 2013, 11:48 am

    I was very impressed by his bravery, he is basically taking a leap into the dark, with no safety net. Sort of like you guys here.

    I hope this is the future of media. Completely democratized. There are two threats: first, the paranoia of our governments and their spying on us. Second, the long arms of the media barons. Bloggers can do a lot, but they cannot replace an entire newsroom, even by collaboration. Yet.

    • pabelmont
      January 3, 2013, 6:43 pm

      They cannot replace a newsroom, but they can replace the paid-pundits-of-Israel-dominated-MSM to a large extent.

      One interesting thing will be to see how many people read the independent bloggers as against the MSM [op-] editorialists, and how many links to their thought show up (again as against links to MSM editorialists).

      For instance, I love this blog, but I have no idea how it stacks up against NYT, LAT, WaPo, HuffPo, etc. for readers, for links from others, etc. We small blogs are always “preaching to the choir” but the question is whether our audience includes anyone other than the (old) choir.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 3, 2013, 7:48 pm

        pabelmont, if you read the comment sections of those publications it confirms we are definitely not on the fringe.

  3. Les
    January 3, 2013, 12:07 pm

    The Israel Lobby strikes again. Time-Warner is rushing to drop Current TV before it becomes Al Jazeera America.

    • Les
      January 3, 2013, 6:55 pm

      Time Warner seems to have back tracked, at least it is now “considering” carrying Al Jazeera America. Meanwhile they will continue to provide Fox News and Playboy Channel for the benefit of its viewers.

      • James Canning
        January 4, 2013, 2:34 pm

        Interesting matter to follow.

    • James Canning
      January 3, 2013, 7:39 pm

      Time-Warner wants the American public to be ignorant? What a surprise.

    • AlGhorear
      January 3, 2013, 7:44 pm

      Les: “The Israel Lobby strikes again. Time-Warner is rushing to drop Current TV before it becomes Al Jazeera America.”

      That was the last straw for me with Time Warner Cable. Satellite here I come, at least for TV, but I’ll have to figure out what to do about internet and phone too. Grrrrrrrr

  4. seanmcbride
    January 3, 2013, 2:10 pm

    Is there any indication that Andrew Sullivan was forced out of the Daily Beast because of his views on Israel? That would be a very big story — but I have seen no information yet to support that speculation.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 3, 2013, 2:50 pm

      the thought crossed my mind sean.well, not necessarily forced out but perhaps it was suggested his daggers were too sharp for their taste. either way, this is a good sign.

      • Kathleen
        January 4, 2013, 7:03 am

        If the Beast let Sullivan go over his stances on the I/P issue. Do folks think it would be to his advantage or disadvantage to expose the reasons if that is the case?

      • American
        January 4, 2013, 11:16 am

        @ kathleen

        I think if that was the case it would be better if he waited a while until after he was established to bring up or reveal that reason.
        Too often when someone does get cut for not towing the line and he takes off and makes a squawk about it it becomes too much of a fight about ‘that’ right off the bat.
        Better to let it leak out once he’s up and running and then he can use it as an example of censorship in general.

  5. Cliff
    January 3, 2013, 2:45 pm

    Subscribed to Sullivan as well! He’s come a long way since that appearance of his on the Bill Maher(sp) show.

  6. seanmcbride
    January 3, 2013, 3:03 pm


    It will be a good sign if Andrew lands on his feet and thrives. But the lobby is going to keep coming at him no matter what happens — it is incredibly vindictive and ruthless.

  7. James Canning
    January 3, 2013, 7:37 pm

    Andrew Sullivan also writes for The Times (London).

  8. Kathleen
    January 3, 2013, 8:32 pm

    Sullivan has clearly been stepping out of the box the last few years had no idea he was reeling it in. Sullivan, Greenwald and Chris Hayes have all really been pushing the envelope. Greenwald has been out of the box for a long time. Not sure whether he was ever in a box on the I/P issue. Sullivan seems to be a favorite on MSNBC hope he gets brave on that outlet. MSNBC has been having Steve Clemons on quite a bit he can approach this issue so matter of factly and politely. Great to hear about Sullivan getting out there on his own.

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