First Look Media, the umbrella new media group that started The Intercept, went through a rough patch with the sudden departure of Matt Taibbi over management issues and the shelving of the magazine he was brought in to launch called The Racket. But Glenn Greenwald today has some good news about the hiring of Betsy Reed as Editor-in-Chief to replace John Cook who is going back to his former home at Gawker.
Reed comes with impressive credentials but I am also excited by their hiring of that excellent investigative reporter Ken Silverstein. Silverstein was one of the first to alert me way back in 2006 to the fact that Barack Obama was going to be a tool of Wall Street by the way he rapidly changed his views once he became elected to the US Senate and surrounded himself with investment banker types. Silverstein was going against the stream at a time when people were viewing Obama through rose-tinted glasses and seeing him as the great progressive hope.
Meanwhile, many tears are being shed because of recent changes at The New Republic by its new owner Chris Hughes the Facebook co-founder who bought the magazine in 2012. I never liked that magazine, seeing it as pretentious, self-important, and providing a platform for reactionary, neoliberal, and neoconservative views and the Israel lobby, yet claiming the mantle of liberalism. I rarely found articles in it worth linking to. It should not be forgotten that Andrew Sullivan was its one-time editor who hugely promoted The Bell Curve and that its long time former owner Marty Peretz had appallingly racist attitudes towards blacks, Muslims and Arabs.
I have no idea what direction the new owners are taking TNR but the idea that it was some kind of paragon of journalism that is becoming destroyed and prompting the resignation of its many contributing editors and calls for more to do so seems bizarre to me. As Larry Zuckerman says, “Most of those resigning from @TNR tolerated Marty Peretz’s racism & Islamophobia but they can’t handle Chris Hughes?”
So a good week for journalism.