With this issue, we relaunch The New Republic. Our goals may be somewhat different from those of the magazine’s founding fathers, but we share their unabashed idealism. We believe that our new hyper-information age is thrilling, but not entirely satisfying. We believe that there must remain space for journalism that takes time to produce and demands a longer attention span-writing that is at once nourishing and entertaining. We aim to tell the most important, timely stories about politics, culture, and big ideas that matter to you.
The journalism in these pages will strive to be free of party ideology or partisan bias, although it will showcase passionate writing and will continue to wrestle with the primary questions about our society. Our purpose is not simply to tell interesting stories, but to always ask why these stories matter and tie their reporting back to our readers. We hope to discern the hidden patterns, to connect the disparate facts, and to find the deeper meaning, a layer of understanding beyond the daily headlines.
But wait! There’s more!
I must say, I’d never paid any attention to Chris Hughes before, and I didn’t yesterday until pushed by my commenters. On the evidence of the interview he and Franklin Foer did with the President, I saw him as another media suckup doing Democratic Party politics under cover of journalism. Seeing this “free of party ideology or partisan bias” business now only inclines me to scoff. If that’s what you wanted as your brand, why did you lead off with that interview?
But I realize I need to get up to speed on this Chris Hughes character. I didn’t even bother to name him in yesterday’s post, and I’ve only just made a tag for him now. Sorry, I didn’t bother watching “The Social Network.” To the extent that I follow celebrities, I’m not particularly drawn to new media businessmen. I can keep track of Mark Zuckerberg up to a point, but I’ve never paid attention to the lesser Facebookians.
Here‘s a HuffPo article from last March about Hughes’s purchase of TNR, noting that he was “a key player in President Obama’s online organizing efforts in 2008.” Why would we expect this man — who’s only 29, by the way — to strive to be free of party ideology or partisan bias? I’ve got to assume the striving is toward seeming to be free of party ideology and partisan bias, because that’s what journalists always say they are doing when they have ideological and partisan goals.
Partisans have just as much right to be journalists as anyone else. But they should be honest about their point of view. Otherwise the foundation for everything they say is based upon a lie.