The Washington Free Beacon carries a story today about The New Republic, titled “Hughes Drops Jews.” The implication by an unnamed staff writer is rather silly and misguided. The piece argues the following:
The New Republic has quietly dropped at least five prominent Jewish writers from its masthead in a move that may signal the publication’s continued drift away from a staunchly pro-Israel standpoint.
The group, the story continues, is made up of “Daily Beast reporter Eli Lake, longtime TNR columnist James Kirchick, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, and onetime senior editor Lawrence Kaplan. Complicating the picture, former TNR editor Peter Beinart was also dropped from the masthead. Beinart is the publisher of Open Zion, an anti-Zionist Daily Beast blog sponsored by the New America Foundation.”
The only problem with the argument is, as the article notes later on, is that seven others were dropped as well, a group made up of “Gregg Easterbrook, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Jeremy McCarter, Maggie Scarf, R.V. Thaw, Alan Wolfe, and Robert Wright.” (Wolfe is also Jewish, which the author seems not to realize.)
Moreover, on the new redesigned masthead, plenty of those still listed are Jewish, including David A. Bell, Peter Bergen, Nathan Glazer, Jack Goldsmith, David Greenberg, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Michael Walzer and perhaps a few others as well.
Clearly, with the exception of the excellent writer Paul Berman, who was made a Senior Editor, those let go are the type of so-called Peretz era neo-cons that TNR wants to make clear are no longer welcome in its pages. So it is politics, not religion or ethnic identity, that accounts for those now absent from its “Contributing Editors” list. And although Peretz by agreement is listed as one of the “Editorial Advisory Board,” he too is persona non grata at the magazine.
As for the absence of Peter Beinart, I suspect that its editors are perturbed at the notoriety and grandstanding by Beinart, and consider him somewhat of an embarrassment, and fully aware that he has his own perch at Newsweek/Daily Beast, and hence they do not need him in their pages, although he once was an editor of the magazine.
Whatever accounts for their dismissal of these people, Chris Hughes has given us all one more reason to skip reading the magazine.