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‘TNR’ pivots to racial diversity, away from ‘privileged demographic of political elites’

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Gabriel Snyder, the new editor-in-chief of the New Republic, today announced renovations at the magazine with a bold statement about racial diversity:

As we revive one proud legacy of The New Republicthe launching of new voices and expertsthose new voices and experts will be diverse in race, gender, and background. As we build our editorial staff, we will reach out to talented journalists who might have previously felt unwelcome at The New Republic. If this publication is to be influential, and not merely survive, it can no longer afford to represent the views of one privileged class, nor appeal solely to a small demographic of political elites.

Snyder announced some of those new contributors Monday on Twitter:

Gabriel Snyder's list of new contributors to TNR

Gabriel Snyder’s list of new contributors to TNR

When The New Republic turned into Masada last week, the divide among commentators was: Is this about a digital media baron (Chris Hughes) who doesn’t understand traditional journalism? Or is this about a millennial who was not indoctrinated in Zionism bringing down the curtain on a racist, neoconservative regime? I took the latter position; and there is support for my view today. I also said that the magazine’s purge means the end of the Jewish establishment, a statement Peter Beinart echoes: “the likely end of TNR’s Jewish sensibility may portend the declining influence of Jewish culture in American intellectual life.” Many will read Snyder’s statement about a diverse group as signaling that cultural moment. (Heck, Vietnam did it to the WASP elite; Iraq should have consequences, too…)

Bringing the Debate to YouUngar-Sargon wrote a very fair story on Open Hillel for the Forward. Jeet Heer has been very good on the conflict and did some excellent tweets on the New Republic’s racism.

(H/t Catherine Thompson’s report at TPM).

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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18 Responses

  1. just on December 22, 2014, 7:39 pm


    Thanks, Phil.

  2. piotr on December 22, 2014, 9:27 pm

    A ruling class, be their pharaohs, grand poobah or elites in democratic capitalistic societies can reign unquestioned as long as it delivers good weather, good crops, victorious wars etc. I thonk that FUBAR in Iraq and Afghanistan is only one of the signals that the Mandate of Heavens reaches expiration date.

    • lysias on December 23, 2014, 10:59 am

      What puzzles me about our current ruling class is that they continue to be sublimely confident that they are entitled to rule. You’d think their failures would share their confidence, the way Vietnam shook the confidence of the WASPs. But I see no sign of that.

  3. snowdrift on December 22, 2014, 10:56 pm

    I must say it’s funny how, after demolishing old TNR (and rightly so!), Jeet Heer gets picked up by new TNR. I guess that was the job interview–“tell us how much old TNR sucked.” Here’s to TNR doing a 1-80 and becoming arch pro-Palestinian!

  4. ckg on December 22, 2014, 11:05 pm

    “the views of one privileged class, nor appeal solely to a small demographic elites”

    I admire them for their subtlety. But now I wonder if they are frank enough to take on the elephant in the foreign policy room.

    • bryan on December 23, 2014, 3:09 am

      An army backed by elephants is not invincible. Roman general Scipio developed a solution at the Battle of Zama, October 19th 202 BC, by instructing his forces, initially arrayed in a broad front, to open up lanes through which the charging elephants would simply pass. He was not intimidated by the clumsy, inflexible, brute force Of Hannibal’s 80 elephants, and maneuvered around them. Shortly after the battle he forced the Carthaginians to sue for peace!

  5. Krauss on December 23, 2014, 1:26 am

    I’ve read about the so-called Twilight of the WASPs all the time I was growing up, how Vietnam was supposed to have done them in. Well, I look at all the SV companies, the major media companies, Wall St and so on and I ask myself: where is this supposed decline?

    Sure, the difference today is that it isn’t 100% WASPy, but it is still overwhelmingly so. Most non-WASPs in positions of power are (Ashkenazi) Jews. Jews of Color don’t exist, apparently.

    I’m personally pleased that Batya was hired, someone who can shed light on the Haredim from a perspective that isn’t A) hysterical all the time and B) totally secular.

    That being said, I’ve come to view how the rest of America views Zionism as a tandem to how Jews have become integrated into white America. America has long had a tolerance for non-white nationalism(even when one type of non-white nationalism has become violent and intolerant), for the sole reason that as white liberals, they can’t critique those choices.

    Well, I think this applied to Jews for a long time, too. I don’t buy the “liberal” Zionist hasbara of “everything went bad after 1967”. People knew what the Zionists had done before then. People were aware, but back in those days, there was a sharp dividing line between Jew and white. That line no longer exists for people under the age of 40, certainly in America.

    I think that is something that probably annoyed the Jewish neocons who were fired in the TNR purge. Many of them wanted a Jewish front against the evil WASP Chris Hughes. What they found is that America had moved on, and saw them as a bunch of overprivileged white men who think they have a right to a national position in the commanding heights of the media. A lot of Jewish journalists also treated them as white, rather than Jewish.

    And all of that is because America is a lot more diverse than its elites are, and a lot of non-white writers pointed out the TNR’s racism and those white writers simply couldn’t defend themselves that well.

    • Mooser on December 23, 2014, 1:14 pm

      “America has long had a tolerance for non-white nationalism(even when one type of non-white nationalism has become violent and intolerant)”

      Exactly what are you talking about, Krauss? Very confused by this statement. Can you clarify a little?
      And excuse me, but what the hell does “non-white nationalism” mean? How can you describe a “nationalism” by a “non”? Or is there something you are reluctant to say plainly?

    • bilal a on December 23, 2014, 5:42 pm

      So things are better now that the flying stinging bugs , WASPS, are dead white men now.
      Imagine a bug acronym for the Ukrainians Kristol and Krauhammer, or the ;What do we want? Dead Cops! ‘ crowd.

      Racism is dead at TNR. Long Live the New Racism.

    • OyVey00 on December 23, 2014, 9:22 pm

      What are “Jews of color”? Literally 99% of Jews look white or middle eastern. If you refer to those Ethiopian Jews, they aren’t even accepted in Israel.

      There’s still a sharp line between Jews and whites in the US. You won’t see Jews being negatively affected by Affirmative Action quotas at Harvard for example, even though they are grossly overrepresented.

    • on December 24, 2014, 8:55 am

      The US elite are still overwhelmingly WASP?

      Any facts even if anecdotal to back this assertion?

    • lysias on December 26, 2014, 7:59 pm

      Wall Street predominantly WASP? Not in my experience.

  6. OyVey00 on December 23, 2014, 4:40 am

    Oh the irony!

    The TNR neocons have always embraced “diversity” in the US. Now it bit them in the ass. Poetic justice.

    • Mooser on December 23, 2014, 1:19 pm

      “The TNR neocons have always embraced “diversity” in the US. Now it bit them in the ass. Poetic justice”

      Please tell me there’s somebody who helps you cross streets, and keeps you from walking out on to the freeway, OyVey00, or I will worry.

  7. bilal a on December 23, 2014, 6:40 am

    jeet says sullivan a tnr neocon revisionist, whitewashing PEP racism and exclusion of un-chosen:

    5. TNR couldn’t have been racist since it was Jewish & liberal? As if both Jews & liberals don’t have history of racism.

    28. In fact, Bell Curve was only debated in TNR because of staff revolt. Peretz & Sullivan wanted to publish, rest of staff didn’t.

    9. As of right now, National Review has employed more senior non-white staffers than TNR. True even in 1990s when Sullivan edited

  8. CigarGod on December 23, 2014, 10:39 am

    Inordinate influence is a natural force in nature. The rogue wave came in and did its damage.

  9. a blah chick on December 23, 2014, 12:52 pm

    Peter Beinart echoes: “the likely end of TNR’s Jewish sensibility may portend the declining influence of Jewish culture in American intellectual life.”

    Hardly, if it portends anything (and the jury is still out for me) it’s the frustration many people have with only the Zionist view reigning supreme in our national discourse.

    • Mooser on December 23, 2014, 1:23 pm

      Gee, as I remember it, Jews were a lot more involved in the US, in an overt and honest way, before the 67 war. It was after that that Jews receded, and Zionists came forward.

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